Forging a new bilingual Pan-Canadian OFM Province, Franciscan friars from the two existing Canadian Provinces, are planning a Chapter of Union on October 21-25, 2018 at Star of the North Retreat Centre in St. Albert, Alberta. The launch of the new Province, which will include a public celebration on the evening of October 22 in St. Albert Parish Church, will be assisted by the presence of the Minister General. A recent update went out to all friars who will belong to the new Province. The update summarizes progress confirmed at a February 22-23, 2018, meeting of the two Provincial Definitories in Montreal, Quebec.
The Chapter of Union will be the second of two important gatherings this year. On April 23-26, Canadian friars will assemble at Centre de Spiritualité des Ursulines in Loretteville, Quebec, for a Chapter of Mats to break open the theme Revitalisation and Evangelisation: Go Repair My House. Capuchin friar David Couturier and diocesan priest Jean-Philippe Auger will animate reflections on the renewal of Franciscan life within the Canadian context. This event aims to draw the friars closer together in their common mission to evangelise as they seek to revitalise their presence in Canada.
As preparations proceed, several committees, including a Mission and Evangelisation Committee, a Formation and Studies Committee, a Finance Committee, a Statues Committee, a Communications Committee and a Liturgy Committee are working in tandem with the existing Definitories, a Transition Committee (tasked to organise both chapters) and a Delegate General. All friars have been invited into a discernment process around the name of the new Province, as an always longed for renewal of Franciscan life and mission takes shape.