Commemorating Jubilarians and Remembering Deceased Brothers

HNP Communications Friar News

The 2020 jubilarians: top row: Scott Brookbank, John Gill, and bottom row: Steve Kluge, Tom Donovan.

With the calendar turning to 2020, the new year will be a special one for a group of Holy Name friars – among them four jubilarians who are poised to celebrate 25 and 50 years since their first profession of vows, and 17 others who will mark 25th and 60th anniversaries of profession and ordination, totaling a collective 1,005 years of service in Franciscan Fraternities-in-Mission ranging from parish assignments, missionary work, pastoral and social justice ministries, and higher education.

“Through the course of the year, we will acknowledge these friars not only for reaching these personal milestones, but also for their sacrifices and commitment to making a difference – especially among the marginalized – and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of God here and abroad,” said Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM. “These 21 brothers have well represented the Franciscan charism and the ideals of our founding father St. Francis.”

This year’s jubilarians marking 25 years of profession as friars include Scott Brookbank, OFM, who is stationed at St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, New Jersey; John Gill, OFM, who is assigned to St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford, Connecticut, and Steve Kluge, OFM, who has been serving as the spiritual assistant for a Secular Franciscan fraternity based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tom Donovan, OFM, the head sacristan at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Massachusetts, is the sole friar in 2020 celebrating 50 years since his first profession.  He joined Holy Name Province in April 2010. The group will be honored by the Province at a special jubilee celebration in June.

This year’s class of 60th anniversary celebrants as friars are John Alderson, OFM; Anthony Carrozzo, OFM; Capistran Heim, OFM (an alumnus), Joe Hertel, OFM; Richard Husted, OFM; John Kull, OFM; Ronald Stark, OFM; and Bill DeBiase, OFM.

David Blake, OFM, Bill McIntyre, OFM, Khoa Nguyen, OFM, and Chris Posch, OFM, will mark 25 years of ordination, while Julian Davies, OFM, Hugh Hines, OFM, Bernardine Kessing, OFM, Benedict Taylor, OFM, and David Hyman, OFM, have reached their 60th year of ordination into the priesthood.

In Memoriam
In 2019, Holy Name Province lost nine members – friars who served in diverse ministries as educators, missionaries, retreat leaders and parish priests. They included:

Myron McCormick, OFM, who died on Jan. 21 in Caldwell, New Jersey. During his 71 years as a professed friar, Myron served in various ministries that included education at both private schools and the Province’s seminary, parish work, and ministering to sick and retired friars. Myron also served at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Massachusetts, as an assistant and as director of pilgrimages.

Emeric Szlezak, OFM, who died at age 101 on March 16 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  A professed friar for 79 years and the longest-living friar in HNP history, Emeric – who came to the U.S. with his family in 1923 from his native Budapest at the age of six – served 42 years at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish on East 82nd Street in New York City, working with the Hungarian immigrant community.

Alexander Di Lella, OFM, who died on March 23 in Caldwell, N.J. Alexander spent more than 50 of his 68 years as a professed friar in academia at institutions that included St. Bonaventure University and Washington Theological Union. He also worked in archeological excavation and research in Jerusalem.

Reginald Reddy, OFM, who died on May 28 in Albany, N.Y. As a professed friar for 63 years, Reginald was a longtime physics professor at Siena College, where he also served as head of the department. He was the spiritual assistant for a lay missionary group and a Secular Franciscan fraternity, and chaplain to several local groups in Albany, N.Y.

James Toal, OFM, who died on July 24 in St. Petersburg, Florida. A professed friar for 65 years, James spent most of those years as a college administrator with assignments at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N. Y., Siena College in Loundonville, N.Y., and Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois. He also served as guardian of St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Edward Coughlin, OFM, who died on July 30 in Rochester, N.Y. Ed served in many roles during his 47 years as a professed friar, mainly in education and Provincial Administration – including director of pre-novitiate formation, associate director of novices, and director of initial formation. He worked in the counseling and placement center of St. Bonaventure University, and before his death, Ed was president of Siena College.

Blaise Reinhart, OFM, who died on Aug. 10 in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. A professed friar for 67 years, Blaise – who served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a technician with an anti-aircraft artillery battalion – spent 50 years in academic and administrative roles at Siena College, including chair of the economic department, vice president of student affairs, and dean of the school of business.

Philip O’Shea, OFM, who died on Nov. 16 in Dobbs Ferry. Philip’s 46 years as a professed friar – which began with the Custody of Our Lady of the Angels, an Eastern Rite unit of the Order of Friars Minor – was spent mostly in education as a college professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, Emmanuel College in Massachusetts, Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, and St. Bonaventure University in upstate New York. Despite being born with cerebral palsy, Philip never allowed his disability to hinder his resilient spirit, hopes and pursuits.

Berard Hanlon, OFM, who died on Dec. 30 in Brazil. Berard, an HNP alumnus who was a member of the Brazilian province, participated in the special Mass held in Goiás in June 2018 to celebrate the 75th jubilee year marking the arrival of the first North American friars from Holy Name Province. He served at the Church of Sant’Ana in downtown Anápolis, one of the first churches in Goiás for which the friars became responsible after their arrival in 1943.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas