Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below feature activities of Holy Name friars, including their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, contact the friars by phone or email, or connect with the HNP Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future articles, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

Provincial Councilor William Beaudin, OFM, participated in the Dec. 16 and 17 Interprovincial Renewal and Reconfiguration team meeting in New York City. He is one of three friars serving on this team. Together, they are working with friars who already participate in interprovincial projects, creating additional means for friars to participate in interprovincial activities and establishing working groups across the provinces to carry out specific tasks.

►Ross Chamberland, OFM, gave the convocation at St. Bonaventure University’s December graduation ceremony on Dec. 13. Photos are posted on SBU’s Flickr account.

Development director David Convertino, OFM, led three Franciscan Challenge fundraising events in the last few weeks. They were in Albany, N.Y., Hartford, Conn., and Raleigh, N.C.

On Dec. 16, George Corrigan, OFM, and Frank Critch, OFM, of Sacred Heart Parish, Tampa, Fla., attended a candlelight memorial service sponsored by the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative. George gave the invocation and Frank read the names of the deceased.

After a recent mission in Lexington, S.C., and a trip to Anderson, and Clemson, S.C., to see friends and friars, Kevin Cronin, OFM, drove north and led a well-attended Advent mission at St. Agnes Cathedral, the seat of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island, N.Y. “If anyone wonders or thinks the church is dead in the Northeast, they should attend one of the nine Masses at this cathedral on a weekend,” he said. “They are packed with families. The school has 600 students and is truly an inspiration. After preaching at eight of those Masses, and inviting people to take time to spiritually prepare to put Jesus in the middle of their Christmas, about 500 people attended the three-day mission.” While there, Kevin spoke with several people who knew HNP friars. “I met a man who remembered Salvator Fink, OFM, fondly as his chaplain at St. Francis Prep in the 50s. Another remembered Gerry Carr, OFM, and Pat Morris, OFM. One woman, with tears in her eyes, said she wouldn’t be alive, and not a Catholic, if it weren’t for the friars at 31st Street in New York City. The fathers of both Brian Jordan, OFM, and John O’Connor, OFM, live in the parish.” Kevin said that he is helping during three Advent weekends at St. Ignatius Martyr Church in Long Beach, N.Y., and will celebrate Christmas Eve Mass at 4:30 at Covenant House on 4th Street.

►Henry Fulmer, OFM, led 26 parishioners from the Province’s two parishes in Anderson, S.C., on a “Best of Ireland” tour from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9. For him, the highlight of the trip was a visit to the Church of Adam and Eve, a Franciscan parish in downtown Dublin, according to the Dec. 14 issue of The Carpenter, the newsletter of St. Joseph Church and School.

►Kenneth Himes, OFM, was one of more than 400 Catholic theologians who signed a statement calling for a serious examination of both policing and racial injustice in the United States. A link to the document can be found online.

►Linh Hoang, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y., is involved in a new interfaith prayer website called Prayer Spark. The site allows Linh and men and women from other faith traditions to pray for those in need. Linh represents the Catholic faith. When he receives donations, he gives them to a charity of his choosing.

A message from Brian Jordan, OFM, about the operation of horse-drawn carriages in Central Park, New York City, appeared in the New York Daily News’ “Voice of the People” section on Dec. 4. Brian has spoken out in favor of allowing the horse-drawn carriage practice to continue as animal rights activists call for the industry to be banned. “There has not been one reputable vet who has said that the horse-carriage industry is a threat to the lives of the horses,” he said.

In a reflection in the December Mt. Irenaeus e-newsletter, Kevin Kriso, OFM, tells the story of how the practice of laying Christmas blankets at the graves of fellow Franciscan friars began.

The blog A Franciscan Journey by Kevin Mackin, OFM, is now linked to’s “Blogs by HNP Members and Ministries” page.

On Dec. 14, Hugh Macscherry, OFM, was officially installed as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Camden, N.J. Bishop Dennis Sullivan celebrated the Mass.

►Russel Murray, OFM, stationed in Venice, Italy, is participating in two events in December and January. During the first, he “is co-leading, with another friar and laywoman, a pilgrimage of high school students to Assisi during their Christmas break. I am doing this as a staff member of Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs. The second event is an international symposium on ecumenism and religious life to be held at the Vatican during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from Jan. 18 to 25. It is being sponsored by the Holy See’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated of Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which invited me to participate due to my involvement in the Intra-Franciscan Ecumenical Encounters.”

Posts by two HNP friars — Joseph Nangle, OFM, and John Ulrich, OFM — were recently added to the blog of the Franciscan Mission Service. Their themes were the origins of FMS and experiences in starting new ministries at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford.

►Sean O’Brien, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y., was among the Siena College students, administrators and faculty members who participated last week in the Standing for Solidarity Rally in response to the violent protests that have been occurring in the wake of the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Sean, associate director of Siena’s Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy, “encouraged those gathered to use the recent events as an opportunity for all to find peaceful, just solutions,” according to a report on Siena’s website.

On Dec. 10, John O’Connor, OFM, gave a talk on “Franciscan Charism and its Implications for the Education Endeavor” to the elementary, middle school and high school principals in the Arlington, Va., Diocese. The former Provincial Minister is guardian of St. Francis Friary in Triangle, Va. The presentation took place at St Bernadette’s parish, Springfield, Va.

►Daniel Riley, OFM, visited the metropolitan New York area last month and welcomed St. Bonaventure University alumni and friends to Mountain on the Road programs in New Jersey and Long Island. Photos were posted on the St. Bonaventure University Alumni Facebook page.

News for the next HNP Today e-letter is requested by Dec. 31, always the Wednesday before distribution. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage include:

  • Priestly ordination of two friars in Boston on Jan. 3
  • Formation intersession for the Province’s student friars

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas