Bronx Community Bids Farewell to Friars

HNP Communications In the Headlines

BRONX — Parishioners of Holy Cross Church here gathered in late June to say farewell to the friars who, because of a Province restructuring, are moving to other ministries. As announced in February, administration of the parish has been transferred to the Archdiocese of New York. A Mass and reception was held June 29.

Approximately 450 attended the June 29 dinner reception to honor Pastor Todd Carpenter, OFM, Parochial Vicar Raymond Selker, OFM, and the other parish friars.  Many photos of the event are available through the parish’s Web site

“Although it was a sad occasion, we had a very enjoyable celebration,” said Todd. “It was truly a celebration of the many blessings God has bestowed upon Holy Cross Parish — 87 years of Franciscan presence and a bright and promising future.”

Leadership Change
Todd also introduced the new pastor, Fr. Peter Pomposello, who began his ministry on July 1. At the end of the month, Todd moves to Saint Paul Church in Wilmington, Del., where he will be joined by William Herbst, OFM, and Michael Tyson, OFM.

In addition to Todd and Ray, other friars in the present Holy Cross community attended the reception; they were Brennan Connelly, OFM, Robert Frazetta, OFM, Peter Ahlheim, OFM, William Herbst, OFM, and Matthew Pravetz, OFM, Jeffery Jordan, OFM,  Claude Lenehan, OFM, Ronald Pecci, OFM, and Derran Combs, OFM. 

Other friars from around the Province came to join in the farewell celebration, including Martin Bednar, OFM, Kevin Cronin, OFM, Octavio Duran, OFM, Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, Brian Jordan, OFM, Michael Tyson, OFM, and John Quinn, OFM. Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, addressed the congregation. Bronx-area assemblyman Ruben Diaz was also on hand, giving out Certificates of Merit to the friars.

Francis Medals
In addition, Todd awarded four people the Province’s Francis Medal. Medals went to Jaime Bello, deacon and director of religious education; Ernie Zalamea, Holy Cross School principal; and friary cook Amada Santini and housekeeper Rosalina Torres, who both retire this month. Photos of the four recipients appear on the cover of this issue.

“Over the years, many parishioners have been recognized for their service to the parish,” said Todd.

“At the 85th anniversary banquet in 2006, we honored several people. At our farewell, the friars decided to honor four special people who have made a significant impact on our lives as friars.”
Zalamea, school principal for nine years, is a true Franciscan at heart, according to Todd. “He lives and instills Franciscan values in all our students.”

Santini has cooked for the friars for 20 years, and retires at the end of July. “We honored her for taking such good care of the friars and our appetites,” said Todd.

Torres, who also is retiring, has been the friary housekeeper and Amada’s assistant for several years. “Rosalina has always kept our friary clean and welcoming.”

Bello is parish deacon and director of religious education. Todd said: “In many ways, Jaime is also a member of our community. He is a true brother in Francis and has gone out of his way to serve the many friars who have lived here over the years.”

Todd expects to travel between Delaware and the Bronx during July, and looks forward to starting his new ministry on Aug. 1.