Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below feature many 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 issues of HNP Today, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

After the Provincial Chapter concluded last week, Michael Calabria, OFM, traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, to present a paper at a conference on poverty and wealth in the Abrahamic faiths.  His paper is titled “Mughal Munificence: Care & Concern for the Poor in Islamic Hindustan.”

David Convertino, OFM, executive director of development, has launched a new prayer campaign on social media. Titled “Prayers Under the Sun,” the daily intentions will be posted throughout the summer on the Development Office’s Facebook page, “The Franciscans,” and Instagram. Followers can submit their own intentionsthrough the office’s website.

F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, vice president of Franciscan mission at St. Bonaventure University, gave a talk June 4 at the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities Symposium. The theme of the event, held at Neumann University, Aston, Pa., was “Catholics in the Franciscan Tradition: Formation, Integration and Assessment.” Ed, one of three keynote speakers, spoke about how St. Bonaventure considered St. Francis “a mirror of right living, right relationship and right loving, as well as an authentic teacher.” During Ed’s presentation, he critically analyzed one story from St. Francis’s life to uncover a Bonaventurian model of formative education. He spoke about how contemporary educators at AFCU institutions might creatively adopt this model to meet some of the deepest needs of 21st century students.

Fred Dilger, OFM, Michael Duffy, OFM, and team members of the St. Francis Inn Ministries hosted hundreds at the annual block party. Photos of the June 8 event can be found on the Facebook pages of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry and St. Francis Inn Ministries.

Earlier this month, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va., became the first house of worship in Virginia to complete the GreenFaith environmental certification program, marking the parish as a faith-based environmental leader. The program requires participants to “green” their communities from top to bottom. St. Francis Parish organized more than two dozen environmental activities in two years by reducing paper usage and increasing recycling, installing energy-efficient windows in the parish school, creating composting bins, planting gardens and becoming a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat site. The parish also advocated for access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries and participated in legislative advocacy, among other activities. “By definition as Franciscans, we’re obligated to be good stewards of God’s creation,” said Kevin Downey, OFM, pastor. “Going through the GreenFaith Certification Program has not only energized the parish and school in this responsibility, but the ripple effect has been such that it has also greatly impacted the individual thinking and personal practices of our parishioners.” An article about the parish’s achievement appeared in thePotomac Local.

Octavio Duran, OFM, was profiled in a recent post on the HNP Development Office’s blog. The article describes his service in the 1970s to the Archdiocese of San Salvador and Archbishop Oscar Romero, and of Octavio’s discernment to enter the Order. It tells of the impact that Thaddeus Sapio, OFM, art director for St. Anthony’s Guild, had on Octavio, and of the memory Octavio has of Archbishop Romero. “I learned to take a chance. I never say ‘No, I cannot do it,’” Octavio explained. “I learned to take opportunities and to try, and trying has taken me places. Even more than that, I learned to be courageous, and not just to speak for the needs of the poor, but to take action when I see those needs.”

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, led the Alumni Weekend Memorial Service at his alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas College, on Sunday, June 8. The service remembered deceased alumni, faculty and staff of the college. Michael, a member of the class of 1978, also gave the reflection on the readings for Pentecost Sunday.

Daniel Horan, OFM, participated in last weekend’s board meeting of the International Thomas Merton Society in Louisville, Ky. Next week, he is giving a keynote presentation titled “Revisiting Merton’s Heart: A New Look at the Franciscan Influence on His Life, Thought and Writing” at St. Bonaventure University’s Merton Conference.

Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, chaplain of Siena College, attended the Silver Anniversary Cardinals Dinner in New York City on May 30. The fundraiser for The Catholic University of America, where HNP friars study theology, was hosted by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and his predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan, who served from 2000 to 2009. Gregory and Kevin Mullen, OFM, serve on the board of Medicus Christi, which raises money for medical care in Africa. Among the cardinals who attended last month’s event, Greg said, were Donald DiNardo of Houston, Francis George of Chicago, Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, Sean O’Malley of Boston, and Donald Wuerl of Washington. More than $2 million was raised through the 2014 Cardinals Dinner, a record according to the CUA website.

On June 8, Francis Kim, OFM, presented a talk at St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York City, about the farm in New Jersey that he operates. Francis shared stories of similar organic farms that he established and ran in China and North Korea to support the poor there. This will be the first full growing season of the farm in New Jersey. During his talk, Francis made an appeal for volunteers to participate in this new ministry. He plans to donate the food grown there to St. Francis Breadline, Franciscans Deliver and other food ministries. More information about the farm is available online.

Barry Langley, OFM, took the seniors group of St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, to the Westport River Vineyard and Winery last month. “It was a chilly spring day in New England, but that didn’t stop the Seniors on Arch Street from enjoying a lovely excursion,” said staff member Julie Ogden. “About an hour and fifteen minutes south of Boston, this area is lush farmland with an ocean breeze; considered to be similar in climate to some wine regions of France.  The day began with lunch at The Bayside restaurant. Although it was windy and drizzling, the view from the picture window overlooking the marsh made for a real seaside escape. After lunch and a unique, local dessert of “Indian Pudding” with ice cream, the group ventured inland to tour the largest vineyard and winery in New England. A very educational tour of the facility preceded a tasting of their most popular wines. According to one participant, “This was such a nice chance to get out of the city for the day and have an experience that I wouldn’t likely have on my own. Taking these bus trips really makes it easy.” Later this month, the seniors will take a tour of the Yankee Candle factory and butterfly sanctuary in western Massachusetts. Information about the seniors program at the Shrine is available from Barry at 617-542-6440 ext. 241.

On June 3, three friars were recognized by the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., at the annual diocesan jubilee Mass. They were Finian Riley, OFM, of Ringwood, N.J., who is marking his 60th anniversary as a priest, andKevin Cronin, OFM, and Robert Norton, OFM, of Butler, who both mark 40 years as priests. Photos and biographical information about  the jubilarians was published in the May 29 issue of The Beacon newspaper.

Xavier Seubert, OFM, has organized a summer spirituality series at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, where he is director of adult education. The program will include the following speakers and topics: “Praying with Icons,” with Robert Lentz, OFM, from June 17 to 19, “Praying in the Word(s) of God,” by Sr. Marion Moeser, OSF, from July 15 to 17, and “The Life and Death Adventure of Prayer” by Fr. Michael Holleran, Aug. 19 to 21. Information about the series can be found on the parish website.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by June 18, always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues include:

  • Assignments of friars, based on the Provincial Congressus
  • Profiles of friars marking 25 years of profession
  • St. Bonaventure University’s Merton Conference 
  • Yearlong internships of Ross Chamberland, OFM, Jeffery Jordan, OFM, and Michael Reyes, OFM
  • Commemoration of Franciscan Volunteer Ministry’s 25th anniversary

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas