Development Office Launches Facebook Page

HNP Communications Friar News

NEW YORK — The Province’s Office of Development has been scheduling the Franciscan Challenge appeal with various Provincial ministerial sites for this year and the next.

At this time, 10 sites — including St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn., and St. Anthony Shrine in Boston — have been scheduled for the event. The Franciscan Challenge brings together into one fundraising event the two annual Provincial collections for the sick, aged and retired trust, and the formation trust. With the Franciscan Challenge, those collections are eliminated and funding for the benevolence trust grants is added.

Besides a website and blog, the HNP Office of Development is now using Facebook and has generated a great deal of interest with a new character named Brother Finias. He is a friar cartoon character who moves between the humorous, the serious, and the poignant.

Brother Finias will appear on Facebook each week and so far has brought in over 5,000 “likes” after only five days. His first statement was issued on day six of the U.S. government shutdown and can be seen to the right. He is a gentle, friendly, humorous character that can bring a pointed message about life issues without coming across as angry, grouchy or judgmental. Brother Finias can deliver both lighthearted and serious messages without using a lot of words. The cartoon’s progress is monitored by Paul Burke and Hannah Kong, members of the office’s information technology team.

The Development Office has released a travel video titled “A Walk Through Assisi” that highlights the Franciscan places in and around Assisi, Florence and Padua. The DVD has been included in St. Anthony’s Guild’s St. Francis appeal and more than 2,000 have been distributed so far. This video is offered free to anyone upon request as part of the guild’s evangelization program. Several other DVDs are being developed: the first titled “Christmas in Greccio,” and the second titled “A Walk Through Anthony’s Padua” for the feast of St. Anthony in June.

In just a few months, St. Anthony’s Guild will begin celebrating its 90th anniversary next year with a variety of events and mailings. A prayer initiative called “90 Prayers for 90 Days” begins on Dec. 31 and will continue until March 30, 2014 — the actual anniversary of the guild, which began in 1924. A special pictorial book titled “Anthony’s Padua” will also be released on June 13, 2014. This will include photos taken by Octavio Duran, OFM,this year in Padua, Arcello, and Compasampierro, Italy.

Other commemoratives will be issued throughout the year to celebrate “90 years of love at work.”

—  Fr. David Convertino is executive director of the HNP Office of Development and director of St. Anthony’s Guild.