Michael SEIFERLING

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Michael Joseph Seiferling
Fr. Michael was the first Franciscan in Western Canada to celebrate his 100th birthday, which was held at St. Michael's Retreat Centre, in Lumsden, SK on September 3, 2012. He was professed Franciscan Friar for 81 years and ordained a priest for almost 75 years, before dying peacefully at the Pasqua Hospital on Thursday, January 03, 2013. Fr. Michael was born to Paul and Anna (Schmidt) Seiferling, and was baptized "John" on September 9, 1912, at Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church in Sedley, SK. Fr. Michael had 15 brothers and sisters, of which three entered religious life and one became a diocesan priest - his brother Canisius also joined the Franciscan Order, two of his sisters, Sr. Herman and Sr. Louisa, joined the Loretto Sisters, and Fred was a priest for the Regina Archdiocese. He was predeceased by his Father Paul and Mother Anna; his brothers, Fr. Fred, Andrew, Mike, Peter, Edward, Cheffey (Joe); and sisters, Caroline and Clara. He is survived by his siblings: Sr. Herman(Teresa), Sr. Louisa (Barbara), Fr. Canisius (Anton), Felicia Klein, Anastisia Mallendine, Pauline McInnis, Mary Wade.
Fr. Michael attended St. Anthony's College, a Franciscan High School in North Edmonton, AB, in the first year of operation, in 1925, and was the first graduate to be ordained a Franciscan priest. Michael was received into the Franciscan community in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on August 12, 1930, and made his solemn profession as a Franciscan Friar on August 19, 1934, in Montreal. After completing his Franciscan formation and theological studies he was ordained a priest in Montreal, on May 22, 1938, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Edmonton on June 5, 1938.
Fr. Michael was posted in many different communities from one end of Canada to the other, and he served in a number of capacities. Shortly after his ordination, Fr. Michael was assigned as a professor at St. Anthony College in Edmonton and later at St. Bernadine's College, Montreal and the Franciscan College in Trois-Rivieres, QC. In the 1940's and 1950's he was a pastor in Plaster Rock, NB and Aroostook, NB. He later served in parishes in Winnipeg, MN, Edmonton, AB, Calgary, AB, and Trail, BC. From 1964 to 1975 Michael again changed ministries and served as chaplain, first at Belmont Correctional Centre in Edmonton, and later at Spy Hill Gaol, near Cochrane, AB. Fr. Michael retired from active ministry in 1975.
A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at St. Michael's Retreat Centre on Monday, January 7, 2013, at 10:30 am, followed by lunch. Interment to follow in Regina. Memorial donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Fund, 8106 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB. T5H 3S1

Published in The Regina Leader-Post from Jan. 4 to Jan. 5, 2013
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