April History of Holy Name Province

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

Notable events that took place in the month of April through the years include the following:

One Year Ago
April 27, 2018 – Long-time missioner Ignatius Harding, OFM, was honored by Franciscan Mission Service for his more than 40 years of missionary work in Bolivia. The award was presented at its annual World Care Benefit and Celebration.

Five Years Ago
April 19, 2014 – Ambrose Donehue, OFM, 90, a professed Franciscan friar for 67 years and a priest for 62, died at Holy Name Friary, the Province’s long-term care facility in Ringwood, N.J. Among his varied ministries, he was a missionary in Japan for 16 years, serving as pastor at parishes in Tomioka, Ota and Kiryu.

April 24, 2014 – The Mount Saint Mary College community in Newburgh, N.Y., bid farewell to its president, Kevin Mackin, OFM, who was preparing to step down from the leadership position at the end of the academic year. He was the college’s fifth president in its 54-year history. “He has truly led by example,” Mary Bocskocsky, president of the student government association, said at the ceremony. “He went above and beyond to make sure the students had a first-rate experience, no matter what.”

10 Years Ago
April 9, 2009 – Anthony Schneider, OFM, 76, died in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was a professed friar for 54 years and a priest for 49. He ministered at parishes in a variety of places, including Connecticut, Georgia, New York, and Virginia, as well as in Bolivia and Puerto Rico.

April 13, 2009 – Funeral services were held for Laurence Rainville, OFM, 89, who died at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood. A professed friar for nearly 67 years, he served more than 55 years of those years at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., where he founded the computer science department.

April 17-19, 2009 – Franciscan scholars Dominic Monti, OFM, and Michael Blastic, OFM, were among the presenters at an international symposium on the Early Rule of the Friars Minor. Sponsored by the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York, the symposium – considered the only formal academic event in North America to celebrate approval of the Rule – was held in commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Order. Approximately 80 friars, sisters and members of the laity attended.

April 15-18, 2009 – Eight friars represented Holy Name Province at the International Chapter of Mats in Assisi, Italy. They included Russell Becker, OFM, Brian Belanger, OFM, Thomas Conway, OFM, Francis Di Spigno, OFM, Michael Harlan, OFM, Gary Maciag, OFM, Mark Reamer, OFM, and Brian Smail, OFM. Members of the Order’s three branches of Franciscans attended the Chapter, a gathering that brought together friars from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.

April 25, 2009 – Nearly 120 members representing each branch of the Franciscan family – first, second, Third Order Regular, and Secular Franciscans – attended HNP’s Franciscan Family Study Days at San Damiano Hall on 31st Street. in New York City. The event commemorated the Order’s eighth centenary. In addition to Holy Name friars, participants included Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Sisters of St. Francis (New York and Philadelphia), Franciscan Sisters of Peace, Brooklyn Brothers (TOR), Poor Clares of New Jersey (Chesterfield) and a number of other orders and attendees.

April 26, 2009 – The 52 staff members of Holy Name Friary’s skilled nursing home in Ringwood were honored with a luncheon in appreciation of their work.  HNF director A. Francis Soucy, OFM, organized the event on the suggestion of Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, as a way to thank the Ringwood staff members for their dedication and expert care. Francis and other staff members served lunch to more than 30 attendees. (The Province’s long-term care facility closed this spring.)

15 Years Ago
April 19, 2004 – Robert White, OFM, died at the age of 78 in Ringwood. In addition to teaching high school history, mathematics and Latin, he was a history professor and served in campus ministry at St. Bonaventure University, and also was a regional representative to the National Marriage Encounter’s national board.

20 Years Ago
April 5, 1999 – The Washington Theological Union honored Vincent Cushing, OFM, for his 24 years of service as president of the institution. Among those who succeeded him were Daniel McLellan, OFM, and Louis Iasiello, OFM.

April 29, 1999 – Gerald Brennan, OFM, died in West Falmouth, Mass., at age 81. The Brooklyn native’s ministries included 26 years as a missionary in Brazil, and he later began inner-city ministry at St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I.

30 Years Ago
April 1, 1989 – Lambert Zaleha, OFM, died in Ringwood at the age of 88. The Coaldale, Pa., native spent most of his religious life in academics, teaching at St. Bonaventure’s College, as it was called in his era, and Siena College, as well as parishes in Florida, North Carolina and New York.

April 10, 1989 – William McConville, OFM, was named president of Siena College by the board of trustees. He served in that position until 1996.

April 29, 1999 – The new chapel at Mt. Irenaeus in West Clarksville, N.Y., was built using an age-old process – timber-frame construction, according to The Provincial Annals.

40 Years Ago
April 27, 1979Blaise Scannell, OFM, died in St. Petersburg, Fla., at age 68. During his 48 years as a friar, he served as a missionary in China, as a chaplain with the U.S. Navy, and in ministry at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.

60 Years Ago
April 5, 1959 – Placid Hennessey, OFM, died at St. Joseph Friary in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., at the age of 61. A native of Canada, he served at St. Joseph Parish in Wilkes-Barre and had assignments. at parishes in New Jersey and the Bronx, N.Y.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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