Communications Update: Bios of Deceased HNP Friars

HNP Communications Around the Province

NEW YORK — Have you been curious about the lives of the early friars of Holy Name Province? Ever wondered where Mychal Judge, OFM, was born?

This and other biographical information about more than 300 deceased HNP friars can now be found on HNP’s Web site. It is on the Our Friars page in the section about Deceased Friars.

The biographies are edited versions of a variety of documents — necrology text, obituaries and letters to friars about deaths of their brothers. Communications coordinator Rebecca Doel has done a thorough job of copyediting and formatting the biographical information, said Jocelyn Thomas, HNP’s communications director.

“She has brought to life the lives of the many gifted and accomplished friars who preceded the Province’s current members. We’re pleased to be able to post these descriptions of the valuable ministry of the friars and their interesting lives.”

A click on the Deceased Friars page displays a list of friars who died in the current month (i.e., September is shown now) as well as an option to search for friars by last name or to view another month.

Doel said she has enjoyed learning about the history of the Province through reading about the lives of its friars. “A lot of them have had very interesting lives,” she said, citing several examples.

Marcellus Kolmer, OFM, began his novitiate as a 17-year-old in 1894. While studying theology to prepare for his priestly ordination, Marcellus contracted tuberculosis. “Convinced he would not live to complete his theology, his superiors obtained a dispensation to have him ordained before he died.” He was ordained in 1902 and lived to serve the Province for 53 years as a priest, dying at the age of 77 in July 1955.

The obituaries, written by fellow friars, often contain personal anecdotes as well. Elzear Chronik, OFM, worked as a plumber, porter, tailor, sacristan and maintenance man. He loved gardening, and his favored crop was garlic. His simple advice for Franciscan life was: “Stick to your three vows and your three meals a day.”

Christopher Hee, OFM, spent his entire friar life as a faculty member at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., but never gave up his “favorite hobby of pastry baking.” Christopher’s biography said he “delighted the friars on special occasions with artistically decorated cakes.”

Before joining the friars, Edmund Wagner, OFM, enjoyed taking part in amateur musical comedy shows.

Currently, biographies of friars who died in the months of May through mid-September are included on the Web site. More bios are added each day.

Other pages of the Province’s Web site that have been enhances recently include:
· Join Us
· Photo Gallery
· Friars in the News

News about the Province is posted on the home page of and distributed through Twitter.