Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Around the Province

NEW YORK — Below are news items about some of the many activities of Holy Name friars, including their presentations, publications and ministry work. More information can be obtained by visiting links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, by contacting the friars by phone or e-mail, and by contacting the Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, e-mail Jocelyn Thomas at

► William Beaudin, OFM, recently offered a blessing of Siena College volunteers who went on a spring break service trip. During the week of March 17, more than 125 people from Siena College are serving at St. Francis House in Boston, on Habitat for Humanity projects in North and South Carolina, and on study trips overseas. William is Siena’s chaplain.

►  Communications Office staff member Octavio Duran, OFM, travelled last month to China to accompany Francis Kim, OFM, in his mission efforts to alleviate the suffering of North Korean refugees.  “It was an incredible experience seeing Francis’ overflowing compassion  for the refugees,” Octavio said, mentioning his desire to “keep Francis in prayer because his ministry is very complicated.”

►  Linh Hoang OFM, assistant professor of religious studies at Siena College, recently published a book and an article in New Theology Review. The book, Rebuilding Religious Experience: Vietnamese Refugees in America, explores how Vietnamese Catholic refugees enter into a process in the United States of culture negotiation that brings together their history as a colonized people in Vietnam, the experience of refugee resettlement, and a unique appropriation of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. This latter theological perspective helps the Vietnamese American Catholic community mediate its Confucian-based relationships and the new relationships into which they must enter in the United States. This appropriation also balances apparent internal inconsistencies in the doctrine that become evident in new cultural settings — in this instance, the encounter between Eastern and Western cultures. As Vietnamese Catholics remain and grow in America, they continue this cultural negotiation between their previous home and their new one. In doing so, they make a unique contribution both to a multicultural American Catholic Church and to the wider understanding of how refugees rebuild their worlds. 

The article in New Theology Review, All Look the Same: Asian American Catholics and Racism, appears in the February issue, Vol. 21 No. 1 pages.18-28. Linh is a friar-in-residence in Hines Hall, and faculty advisor to The Promethean, the student newspaper. He also assists Conventual friars at the Poverello Center, an urban outreach center for the poor in downtown Albany.

 Louis Iasiello, OFM, resigned March 7 as president of the Washington Theological Union. Fr. John Burkhardt, OFM Conv., has been named interim president. In a news release on the seminary Web site, WTU writes: “We respect Father Lou’s decision to pass the baton to a new leader to continue the great mission and traditions of the Washington Theological Union, and his leadership, devotion and camaraderie will be missed by our institution. Father Lou will assist in the search process to identify his successor. The WTU has been both blessed and fortunate to have had Father Lou, a loyal and dedicated alumnus, at its helm over the past 18 months. He is widely regarded as a selfless individual who always sought the counsel of faculty, staff and students to achieve his primary goal of preparing WTU’s clerical and lay students for 21st Century ministry.”

 Michael Johnson, OFM, led a group of 16 to Honduras last month as part of the St. Francis Builds ministry that he founded and supervises. The organization, established in 2006, is based at the Province’s St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md.

► A book by Joseph Juracek, OFM, Way of Sorrow: Way of Hope: Meditations on the Stations of the Cross, is available at the St. Francis Bookstore on West 31st Street in Manhattan. It was published by Franciscan Press at Quincy University.

► David McBriar, OFM, reports that an article about  a delegation of parishioners from Raleigh’s St. Francis of Assisi Church who travelled last month to the United States–Mexico border appears in the March 11 issue of theNews & Observer.  The story can be read here

► Jim McIntosh, OFM, taught a week-long class on the writings of Saints Francis and Clare to formation students from various Franciscan orders and congregations during the Semana Franciscana at the Franciscan Center in Cochabamba, Bolivia. “It was challenging,” said Jim, “because this was the first time I had tried to put together a 15-hour class, completely in Spanish.”

► Jeremiah McGinley, OFM, participated in the 20th St. Patrick’s Day parade of St . Ann’s parish, Fair Lawn , N.J., as master of ceremonies.   It is the 19th year that Jeremiah has been involved.  In addition to Fr. Joseph Doyle, pastor, and Fr. Colin Kay, associate pastor, other participants  included schoolchildren, town officials, and parishioners,  he said, adding that  “it was a grand day altogether.”

►  Family and friends of Kevin Tortorelli, OFM — many former  Siena College students — journeyed to St. Francis of Assisi Friary in Midtown Manhattan on March 15 to commeorate a belated milestone birthday with Kein and to announce a scholarship fund., established recently in Kevin’s name at  the Loudonville, N.Y., college. Photos will appear in the next issue of this newsletter.

Details about many of the briefs mentioned above will appear in future issues of HNP Today. News for the next issue is requested by April 1.