Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 31, 2000
Franciscans honour long-time volunteers
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Two long-time volunteers who helped oversee the finances of the Franciscan Friars in Western Canada have received the order's highest honour.
Paul Lefaivre, 76, and Vincent O'Connor, 71, were honoured as affiliates of the Franciscan order.
"It means a great deal to me," said Lefaivre, a retired Royal Bank executive. "It's an honour for the work I've done with (the Franciscans), but I don't know if I'm deserving of it."
"It's not a passport to heaven," joked O'Connor, a retired Calgary lawyer. "But it's a great honour."
Lefaivre and O'Connor were honoured with the distinction at a dinner in November where they were presented with hand-written scrolls.
Each of them have more than 35 years of service with the Franciscans as two of seven trustees in Western Canada.
The board of trustees is a body of lay people who oversee the finances of the Franciscans, who cannot own property because of their vow of poverty. Properties are in the names of the trustees and administered by them with approval of the Franciscans.
"We were very active," Lefaivre said. "We offered advice on what (the Franciscans) should do with their (financial) affairs. We tried to steer them into the right direction. It wasn't just a rubber stamp thing."
Father Don MacDonald, the Franciscan provincial, recommended O'Connor and Lefaivre for the affiliates' recognition - a "very rare" honour.
"They are competent as advisors in material affairs in terms of looking after our buildings, counselling and financing," MacDonald said. "And their availability, you could call them at anytime. They were always there to help."