NEW YORK — “Being Who We Say We Are” has been selected as the theme of the 2014 Provincial Chapter. The HNP Chapter Planning Committee finalized this last week, choosing a logo for the event and evaluating details related to the agenda and logistics.
The committee chose this theme for the June 1 to 6 gathering, because of the current focus on identity by friars and the Provincial Administration.
“It is important, at this stage of the Province’s life, for us to think about our personal identities as well as our organization’s identity,” said Daniel McLellan, OFM, committee chair. “‘Being Who We Say We Are’ is meant to generate discussion among the friars about our lives and our ministries, about what it means to be a ‘brother,’ not by blood but by vocation, and to be in mission, not self-selected, but sent.”
The logo, designed by Michael Reyes, OFM, conveys — through an image of a cord — the vows of a Franciscan friar — and — through the face that appears in the logo — a sense of the multicultural communities the friars serve.
To prepare friars for the chapter, the planning committee is using the 2014 spring fraternal gatherings as an opportunity for in-depth discussions. At each of the seven gatherings, taking place between late February and May, friars will be led in conversation about their ministerial and fraternal lives. A layperson — known by the Province through the HNP Lay Advisory Board or through his or her connection to a ministry — will present information about the impact made by friars on partners-in-ministry.
At its Jan. 15 meeting, committee discussed the need for lay partners to address their topic in a manner that allows each friar to “identify” with their remarks. The committee is compiling a summary of expectations of lay participants and in the next month will be contacting the people who are being asked to participate in the HNP gatherings.
Results of the gatherings’ friar conversations will be used by the Chapter Planning Committee to formulate the agenda for the chapter. Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, has asked friars to register for one of the spring gatherings, held at retreat centers around the East Coast, by Feb. 3.
Voting Process and Logistical Details
Other preparations in progress for the chapter include logistical arrangements and voting for the Provincial Minister through primary elections.
Michael distributed the second and final ballot to friars on Jan. 6. Results will serve as “sort of a barometer,” he said, since they offer a sense of which friars are considered strong candidates for the position of Provincial Minister. Names of the top 10 candidates will be sent with their curriculum vitae to Rome for review by the General Curia. Five friars approved by the General Definitorium, will participate in an open forum during the chapter. This allows members of the chapter to engage the candidates about any matter, said Dan, adding that roughly two thirds of Holy Name Province’s members are expected to attend the 2014 chapter.
In the coming weeks, friars will be asked to submit proposals — topics they suggest be discussed at the chapter. The committee expects to make the proposal criteria and format available to friars within the next month.
Other aspects of the chapter, such as leaders for various functions, were also discussed. Fred Dilger, OFM, will chair the environment sub-committee and Daniel Grigassy, OFM, will chair the liturgy and worship sub-committee. An art exhibit to display the work of several friars is being arranged for the nearly weeklong stay on the Siena College campus.
The next meeting of the Chapter Planning Committee is Feb. 18. In addition to the nine HNP friars, the committee also includes General Visitor Fr. Melvin Jurisich, OFM, who will serve as chapter president.
— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communication for Holy Name Province.