Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 1, 2004
Franciscans have given 90 years of service
By WCR Staff
For nearly 100 years, the Franciscan Friars have been serving the Church in Alberta. The first six missionaries arrived in Lamoreux between 1907 and 1909 with two coming to north Edmonton in 1909.
St. Francis of Assisi Parish was established in 1909 and the small mission would become the Franciscans' centre for missionary and pastoral work in the West.
Over the next few years, numerous friars arrived from the East and missionaries left Edmonton for smaller rural settlements across the West to preach, establish churches and carry on pastoral ministries.
In 1925, the Franciscans began more than 40 years of education ministry at St. Anthony's College.
The college was closed in the late 1960s, yet many of the friars continued to be involved in education with Edmonton Catholic Schools or at Newman Theological College.
Today, St. Francis of Assisi Parish is a major food bank distribution centre, sending out about 70 to 80 food hampers every week. The parish also opens its doors to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.