Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

NEW YORK — Below are news items about some of the many activities of Holy Name friars, including their presentations, outreach and celebrations. 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 connecting with the Communications Office.

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

Russell Becker, OFM, director of Holy Name’s Franciscan Missionary Union, distributed his monthly letter last week focusing on Blessed Damien Kamiano of Moloka’i whose feast day is May 10 and who will be canonized on Oct. 11. This Meditation No. 61 can be received by either email or snail mail, said Russell, who can be contacted through the FMU. Russell’s letter begins by reminding readers that the Easter season continues to May 31, the Solemnity of Pentecost. He closes by offering reflection questions and asking readers to pray for missionary friars.

The ministry of Peter Chepaitis, OFM, was featured in the April 9 issue of The Evangelist, the publication of the Diocese of Albany, N.Y. The article titled “Easter Spirit Animates Middleburgh Community,” described the Lenten season at Bethany Ministries in upstate New York, run by Peter and Sister Anna Tantsits, IFM. The community, dedicated to “prayer, proclamation and hospitality,” according to The Evangelist, includes approximately 16 local households and a larger circle of supporters.

William Fitzgerald, OFM, reports that Quam Bonum in West Falmouth, Mass., will be closed for a private retreat from May 24 to 29.

Lawrence Hayes, OFM, and David McBriar, OFM, led a meeting on April 24 of HNP’s Evangelization Directorate, of which they are co-chairs. The group met at the Provincial Office. 

Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, chief operating officer at Washington Theological Union, reminds friars that May 6 is the RSVP deadline for attending the May 16 open house for Joan Christenson, who is retiring after 34 years as WTU’s assistant registrar. To attend, contact Alyce Korba, executive assistant to the president. She can be reached at 202-541-5228.

Friars planning to attend the Province’s June 27 wellness workshop in New York, “The Well-fed Friar: Maintaining Taste and Health,”  are asked to RSVP by May 15 to Francis McHugh, OFM. Registration forms can be mailed to Francis at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston or faxed to him at 617-542-4225. Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, said in a recent letter to the friars that he considers this workshop to be  “a top priority.”

Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J., honored Cassian Miles, OFM, with a thank you luncheon April 19 to show its appreciation of his nearly three years of ministry there. Cassian moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., last year, after winning the hearts of both adults and children at the parish. Assumption Pastor Brian Cullinane, OFM, said the luncheon was suggested by parishioner Patsy Baghdo, who wanted the parish to acknowledge Cassian for his contributions. Baghdo said, “Fr. Cassian epitomizes the meaning of the word Franciscan, by truly living out his calling in life through his deep devotion to God and to the needs of his people.” At the luncheon that followed the 11 a.m. Mass at the parish, the community showed its gratitude to Cassian through speeches, gifts and displays honoring his ministry.

Harry Monaco, OFM, organized the recent gathering of Solemnly Professed Under Five Years (SPUFY) friars. It was held the weekend of April 17 at St. Anthony’s Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., under the direction of Daniel Dwyer, OFM, and David Hyman, OFM.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, is participating in the ninth and last in the spring series of HNP fraternal gatherings on May 7; it will be held at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md.

John Pierce, OFM, of Butler, N.J., will give the invocation and benediction at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation Remembrance Day ceremony on May 7 in Holmdel, N.J. The event was established in 1991 to honor  New Jerseyans who served their country during the Vietnam War era. When the organization wrote to him seeking his participation, it included a photo of John celebrating Mass in a field in Vietnam.

James Scullion, OFM, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J., spoke at Holy Name of Jesus Church in New York City on April 29 about St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. The title of the presentation was “Living Our Faith Each Day.”

The Delaware Sunday News Journal recently featured photos of Michael Tyson, OFM, of St. Paul’s Church in Wilmington, Del., for his advocacy for non-violence. Information about the two rallies that Michael led last month appeared in the newspaper’s April 25 and April 26 issues. The rallies are part of an initiative joining councilmen with religious organizations in hopes to help individuals who are prone to violence find “peace in their hearts and learn about others whom they may see as the enemy,” according to the article. Currently, violent crimes in Wilimgton appear to be down compared to last year, when 26 people were killed and 125 shot.

Friars who will be featured in upcoming issues of this newsletter include Linh Hoang, OFM,John Felice, OFM, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM,  Harry Monaco, OFM, Daniel Riley, OFM, Richard Trezza, OFM,and James Vacco, OFM.

Information about HNP friars who have appeared in the public press can be found on the Communications page of the HNP Web site. Photo albums of friar gatherings can be found on the HNP Extranet.