Autumn at Holy Name Friary

Philip O’Shea, OFM Friar News


RINGWOOD, N.J. — October is an important month for us friars here at Holy Name Friary as it is for all people of advanced age. The changing leaves are all too real a sign of change and change for us can be a reality of mixed value.

And yet, our Christian faith should assure us we have no real fear of change for we know that change is not a sign of decay and corruption but really a sign of adjustment, however profound. We approach change in the spirit of St. Paul who reminds us that we are racers approaching each day nearer to the finish line. This is a conclusion that we do not fear, but rather long for as we realize more and more that the changes in our physical condition and overall relation to this world are simply a sign that we really belong in the next.

Our activities here at Holy Name Friary for the month of October reflect all this as the games we play and the programs provided for us challenge our overall ability to adjust. Certainly, the upcoming elections form a large part of our concern for we realize that the candidates and the result of the election will impose necessarily a new view of our country and of our relationship to it.

Among the activities that we will be experiencing in the immediate future are an outing to Wal-Mart and also a community luncheon at a local restaurant. Recently, we friars dined at the Breezy Point Restaurant, enjoying a full afternoon of good food, great conversation, and humorous moments. October also holds for us an apple bakeshop 101 hoping to be supervised by Romuald Chinetsky, OFMIt is an inventive way of recovering apples, from a huge barrel!

We are especially looking forward to our annual Oktoberfest, which provides enjoyable accordion tunes and good German foods. Toward the ending weeks of October, we will have a few varied discussion groups savoring Italian cappuccino and then, hen last but not least, classic Halloween jamboree of creepy films’ such as “The Wolfman.” Let’s not forget a good old-fashioned pumpkin carving and sipping some hot cinnamon apple cider, as we think about the holidays to come.

Here again, change is the name of the game (also, incidentally, the name of our new in-house journal) and whatever our loyalty to the form and spirit of our nation may have been, we must adjust without, however, losing any respect for that nation.

Never before has the privilege of voting become so much of a necessity. No matter how strong our inclination not to vote may be, we realize that our contribution to the changing reality has never before been so important.

Thus, the overall understanding of the change that is going on is a special challenge to the need for our overall adjustment to the changes going on around us; not only in the United States, but throughout the world. What a wonderful opportunity this provides for us to take seriously all that Paul tells us about the relationship of life to change. We all will, I am sure, take this challenge seriously no matter how onerous it may seem.

Life calls and we must meet the challenge.



— Fr. Philip, a native of Massachusetts, has written four updates about Holy Name Friary since moving to the Province’s skilled nursing home in summer 2015. The most recent was published in August. 


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