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Father Mark Steed, OFM Conv.
Spiritual Testimony ~ October, 2019
Hello! My name is Mark Steed. I am 79 years-old and I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar-Priest of the Our Lady of Angels Province (USA). I am currently retired and in residence at St. Bonaventure Friary, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I was born in 1940 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. My Mom was Polish and my Dad was English.
I first learned about the Conventual Franciscan Friars at my high school in Hamilton. After learning more about the Community, I applied and entered the seminary in Watertown, NY in 1958. Later, I entered the novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in Middleburg, NY (1960) and professed my first vows under the direction of my novice master +Fr. Celestine Regnier, OFM Conv. in 1961. Some of the friars in my class were +Phil Kelly, John Burkhard, Ed Handy and Ernest Rudy. We professed our Solemn vows in August, 1936 in Rensselaer, NY. I completed my formal studies for the priesthood and I was ordained a priest on March 21, 1987 at our St. Bonaventure Parish here in Toronto.
Over the years, I have had many different and varied ministries, everything from being a maintenance man, assistant novice director, teacher, director of a shrine for Native Americans and parish priest but I would have to say that my ‘favorite’ ministry was working in the northern missions in Canada with First Nations peoples there. I enjoyed living and learning about Native peoples and sharing their lives and stories. As a result, I would have to say that my favorite spiritual devotions would be Native spirituality. I also enjoy the spirituality of Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM.
If someone was considering a vocation to our Order and Province I would say: “Learn who you are in relationship with God and the Friars…and make that relationship real!”
And to our student friars: “Don’t get stuck in any particular devotion…stay open to the Holy Spirit and share your faith and insights and love of God…don’t be afraid of your relationship with God! Always look outward!”