Fra Gabriel makes the news again with his Skateboarding for God
Walking slowly in the Toodyay sun, hooded habit and rope belt swaying in time with his sandal-bound feet, Brother Gabriel Cortes conceded most of Perth had no idea his conservative Catholic order had set up shop in WA.
Based in the 118-year-old Sisters of Mercy Convent off the main street of Toodyay, hidden in plain sight, the brothers of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate dress and live like religious men from the Middle Ages.
But, in stark contrast to the order’s spartan daily routine, which begins at 4.45am every morning and involves more than six hours of prayer, Brother Cortes uses a very 21st century means of spreading his 13th century vales in Perth.
Friar Gabriel entered religious life at 17 years old, here’s an image of him at 13.