Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

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

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

From the Administration
More than 200 members of Holy Name Province, along with guest friars from other provinces, will be gathering next Sunday at Siena College, outside Albany, N.Y., for the 2017 Provincial Chapter. Using the event’s theme “Pilgrims, not Strangers,” they will discuss topics ranging from the reconfiguration of the U.S. OFM provinces to issues affecting the life of the friars. Members of the Provincial Council are meeting this week at the Provincial Office.  Included in their discussions are finalizing the  details of the Chapter agenda as well as ongoing conversations about the Congressus that will take place the week after the June 4 to 9 Chapter.

The next issue of the HNP Today newsletter will be published after the 2017 Provincial Chapter. The HNP Communications Office is skipping the June 7 issue and will instead communicate news to friars through e-bulletins during the chapter. HNP Today articles will also be added to the Provincial News section of

► John Aherne, OFM, will be ordained a deacon at 10:30 a.m. on June 10 at St. Clement Church in Cincinnati. “I will be ordained at the same ceremony at which Br. Colin King, OFM, from St. John the Baptist Province, will be ordained a priest,” he said. “Our goal was to have an interprovincial ordination.” Several HNP friars including Lawrence Hayes, OFM, the Province’s secretary for formation and studies, and Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of post-novitiate formation, will be at the ceremony. John professed his solemn vows as a Franciscan last August.

► Earlier this week, a message about Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, co-authored by Michael Calabria, OFM, director of St. Bonaventure University’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, was posted on the Order’s website. Titled “A Message for the Month of Ramadan” and addressed to Muslims, the piece begins: “On behalf of the Special Commission for Dialogue with Islam of the Order of Friars Minor, it gives us great pleasure to extend our greetings to you as you begin the observance of Ramadan, a month devoted to fasting, prayer and almsgiving, honoring God (swt) and the revelation of the Holy Qur’an. Franciscan friars and Muslims have a history together than stretches back almost 800 years, beginning with our founder, St. Francis of Assisi. We friars continue to take great inspiration from the meeting of St. Francis and the Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil in 1219, an encounter based on peace, and mutual admiration and respect. It is in this spirit that we greet you.” The message was co-written by four friars who comprise the special commission. Ramadan runs from May 26 until June 24.

► At a May 13 ceremony, Ross Chamberland, OFM, of St. Bonaventure University in Western New York, received an Ed. D degree in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. Ross, executive director of the SBU’s Lateran Center for Catholic Identity and Formation, professed his solemn vows as a Franciscan in 2014 and was ordained a priest in 2015.

► Thomas Conway, OFM, executive director of St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, attended a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event on May 16 at which he spoke with Maura Healey, attorney general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. One of the major themes in her keynote speech was the current opioid addiction crisis in Massachusetts, according to a post on the Shrine’s Facebook page that said “The Shrine is increasing its activity with regard to this epidemic, through such activities as hiring another addiction counselor to expand our The Father Mychal Judge Center for Recovery, and welcoming the American Liver Foundation as they host an Opioid Conference here at the Shrine in the fall of 2017.”

► Casey Cole, OFM, is producing a video series showing the lives of six friars. The first, about Fred Dilger, OFM, of Philadelphia, shows Fred’s work at the Province’s St. Francis Inn soup kitchen where Fred describes the meal preparation, the community life, highlighting the joys and challenges of his role. In the trailer for the series, titled “A Friar Life,” Casey says, “join us each Friday as we take a glimpse of what makes our life a friar life.” More of Casey’s work can be viewed on his website,

► Vincent Cushing, OFM, Jim McIntosh, OFM, and Joseph Nangle, OFM, were among roughly 100 people who attended the annual Franciscan Mission Service World Care Benefit and Celebration held May 5 at the Holy Land Monastery in Washington, D.C. Three members of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception – Sr. Damon Nolan, MFIC, Sr. Jean Morrissey, MFIC, and Sr. Chris Cullen, MFIC – were honored for their efforts in Carmen Pampa in Bolivia, where they have dedicated years to a college founded in 1993 that provides higher education to the poor and marginalized.

► Five residents of Holy Name Friary will be honored on June 24 at the friary’s jubilee celebration. They are Romuald Chinetsky, OFM, Justus Frazier, OFM, and Leonard Lencewicz, OFM, who are marking 60 years as friars, and Bonaventure Hayes, OFM, and William Scully, OFM, who are commemorating their 50th anniversaries of priesthood. The event begins with an 11 a.m. Eucharistic liturgy.

► An article on the late Mariano Gagnón, OFMwas featured on the English Wikipedia’s main page from 8 p.m. on May 20 until 8 p.m. the following day. It appeared in the “Did You Know…” section with the following text: “… that Mariano Gagnón was a Franciscan friar who organized airlifts to help refugees escape the Shining Path?”

► Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, participated in a meeting last week of presidents of the conferences of the Order of Friars Minor. It was held from May 15 to 17 at the Order’s headquarters, or General Curia, in Rome. As the other conference presidents did, Kevin – president of the English-speaking Conference – gave a report on topics related to life issues and issues of brotherhood and ministry, according to an article on the OFM website.

► Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, returned earlier this week after spending nearly two months abroad as part of a sabbatical. He spent two weeks with the Franciscan friars in Morocco where, he said, he “had the privilege of spending Holy Week learning about the friars’ ministry to migrants and refugees and about the history of the Franciscan presence in Morocco,” he said. “After Easter weekend, I embarked on my journey to Spain to walk the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage. “ He began from a village in France in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, walking – with a backpack – 600 kilometers (almost 400 miles) over 25 days in what Jacek describes as a “powerful experience that he is “eager to share.” Jacek plans to write a reflection for a future issue of HNP Today.

► Christopher Posch, OFM, pastor of St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Md., is seeking applicants for a full-time intercultural youth and young adult minister. The job’s priorities, he said, are 1) formation of teen and young adult leaders as well as adult advisors, 2) evangelization of inactive teens and young adults in their twenties, and 3) serving as a resource person to our eight youth and young adult ministries. Information about the position is posted on the parish website. “We have extended the deadline for submitting resumes to June 15,” Chris said.

► Earlier this month, Joseph Rozansky, OFM, participated in a meeting of Franciscans International, of which he is chair of the board. “It was similar to the reception we had in New York City last fall,” said Joseph, who lives in Chicago. “The May event included a board of directors meeting from Thursday to Saturday, a meeting with the board and staff of FI on Sunday mid-afternoon, and the reception for the Franciscan family of Umbria on late Sunday afternoon. On Monday and Tuesday, we held a mini-pilgrimage for the board and staff in Assisi.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by June 14 – always the Wednesday before publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage in HNP Today include:

  • Induction of the late Mychal Judge, OFM, into the Irish-American Hall of Fame
  • Profile of Jacques LaPointe, OFM, who is marking his 25th anniversary of profession this year
  • Presentations of the HNP Francis Medal
  • New ministry center at St. Bonaventure University

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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