Holidays During a Pandemic

Scott Brookbank, OFM Features

The Christmas holidays can be a stressful time, especially when dealing with personal loss and this time of the pandemic. But there are a number of things we can do to celebrate the holidays at our own pace and in our own ways while dealing with grief.

Participants in the October 2019 pilgrimage to Franciscan sites in Italy, in front of a church in Magliano where the group honored the first president of St. Bonaventure University, Fr. Pamfilo Pietrobattista da Magliano. The author is standing in the first row, third from right. (Photo courtesy of the author)

Franciscan Influences: Deepening Faith and Dealing with Loss

Kathy Colucci Features

My friends the Franciscans, followers of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, have had a powerful impact on me for 47 years, shaping the person I have become and deepening my faith. They have been there in good times, and even more so in tough times. Reflecting on how the friars and their values affect me has been especially meaningful during this month of remembrance.

 The Message of Mychal Judge’s Last Homily

Kevin Mullen, OFM Features

In an article published by Siena College on Sept. 11, Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, describes the connection to Mychal Judge, OFM, of a current Siena College freshman and the lasting contribution that the late FDNY chaplain has had on people of good will. In August of 2020, Daniel De Franco began his journey at Siena College. Before coming to …

Friars Reflect on Labor Day During a Pandemic

Stephen Mangione Features

This year, during a time of pandemic, the Labor Day holiday took on a more profound meaning. When the country virtually shut down, minimum-wage and hourly-wage employees became essential to daily life and survival. There has been a deeper appreciation for frontline personnel – such as supermarket cashiers, pharmacists, restaurant workers, fast-food attendants, truck drivers, postal carriers, building superintendents, and sanitation …

The Province’s First Pandemic

Dominic Monti, OFM Features

With our lives and ministries deeply affected in recent months by the coronavirus, several folks have asked me, as the unofficial historian of the Province, to write about the impact on Holy Name Province of the great influenza pandemic of 1918-20. Luckily, someone has already done this. Daniel Dwyer, OFM, of Siena College, published a well-researched article on that topic …

Reflecting on Racism and Ways to Confront a Crisis

Kevin Mullen, OFM Features

After watching and reflecting on the protests around the United States that followed the May 25 death in Minneapolis, Minnesota, of George Floyd, Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, writes about the situation and on the cause of the killing by the police officer: racism. In the message below he describes three perspectives for responding to a crisis. My lived experience …

Earth Day Reflections on Environment and Pandemic

Stephen Mangione & Jocelyn Thomas Features

Hundreds of scheduled festivities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day were canceled throughout the world due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which ironically has cast the spotlight on another global emergency that’s been threatening the environment: the climate crisis. This year’s Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, was supposed to be special – marking half a century …

Franciscan Influences: Two BU Professors Recall Friars’ Message

Eddie Downes & Gary Sheffer Features

This article is part of a series about aspects of the Franciscan message that laypeople find compelling. The previous essay featured two eighth-graders at The Franciscan School in Raleigh, North Carolina, who described the impact that their education and the Franciscan spirit have had on them. Below, two professors at Boston University write about their recollections of their Franciscan colleges. …

Approaching Easter With Hope During Coronavirus Pandemic

Francis Di Spigno, OFM Features

As Christians commemorate Lent and Holy Week, managing daily activities amidst a pandemic, a friar reflects on the gardens of friendship and the seasons of life. Would it be an understatement to say that our lives have been turned upside-down? Although the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and many of these early spring days are warmer than normal, …