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
The Province’s annual jubilee celebration honoring friars marking 50 and 25 years since their first profession – is being held on June 22. All are welcome to the 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in New York City. This year, seven friars will be honored.
The Provincial Office will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, July 3 and 4, in commemoration of Independence Day.

► Michael Calabria, OFM, wrote an analysis of President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia that appears on his blog for St. Bonaventure University’s Center of Arab and Islamic Studies. In the piece titled “Trump: Dancing with the Saudis,” Michael says, “Rather than concluding a business transaction with the Saudis for weaponry – a deal that has serious humanitarian implications – Mr. Trump might have engaged in true diplomacy by helping to bring the Saudis and the Iranians together to end sectarian conflict in the region, rather than exacerbating it. While the president’s visit to Riyadh may not have been a ‘disaster,’ it was certainly a serious misstep.”

► An article about the May 14 celebration at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C., was published in The Catholic New Herald last month. It describes the dedication of two new cottages named for St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi at the retreat center in northern North Carolina. A photo in the article shows Louis Canino, OFM, and David Hyman, OFM, with members of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God from High Point, N.C.

► Casey Cole, OFM, and Ramon Razon, OFM, who will profess their final vows as Franciscans on Aug. 26, are preparing to participate in the traditional solemn vows retreat next month. Casey will do his retreat in Italy while Ramon will be at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis.

► Five Holy Name Province priests were among those honored by the Paterson, N.J., Diocese at its annual Priests Jubilee Mass held on June 6. The friars are Bernard Creighton, OFM, Bonaventure Hayes, OFM, Michael Joyce, OFM, William Scully, OFM, and A. Francis Soucy, OFM, who are marking their 50th anniversary of ordination this year.

►  F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, welcomed alumni to the campus of Siena College, where he has been president since summer 2014. Photos of him and of other participants at the June 2 to 4 gathering can be found on Siena’s website and Flickr page.

► On June 17, the friars of St. Anthony Shrine, where John Hogan, OFM, is guardian, hosted a “Friends of the Shrine” Pasta Dinner. According to the Shrine’s Facebook page, which shows photos, the event “was great fun. With the friars serving in red aprons and black mustaches and a strolling violinist, it made for a perfect Italian dinner setting.”

► Daniel Horan, OFM, led a session at the 2017 International Thomas Merton Society Conference, held from June 15 to 18 at St. Bonaventure University. This week, he is teaching the course: “Spirituality of Thomas Merton for Today: On Racism, Violence and Justice” at Catholic Theological Union’s Summer Institute in Chicago.

Last month, Kevin Mackin, OFM, led a group of 35 parishioners from St. Raphael Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., on a pilgrimage to Italy. A video about the May 15 to 25 journey, which included stops in Assisi, Perugia, Florence, Siena, Rome, Castel Gandolfo, and Orvieto, was shared on YouTube.

►  St. Andrew Parish in Clemson, S.C., has announced that the homilies of its pastor Daniel McLellan, OFM, are available as podcasts. The link posted recently on the parish’s Facebook page includes 13 homilies going back to March of this year. Dan has been pastor of the parish since 2012.

► Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J., concluded a commemoration of its 90th anniversary with a Mass on June 11 celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSSR, of the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., who, according to Richard Mucowski, OFM, pastor “left  a positive impression.”  Details will be provided in a future HNP Today article.

► On June 10 at the Saturday evening Mass, Bishop Michael Burbidge installed John O’Connor, OFM, as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va. The bishop, who – John said – was welcomed by a church filled with excited parishioners, spoke of how pleased he was to have the opportunity to install John, as he has known John for several years and had worked with him during John’s time as Provincial Minister, John said. “He referred to me as a colleague and friend. Bishop Burbidge thanked the parishioners and choir for their enthusiastic celebration of the liturgy. He also spoke of the extensive outreach programs for the poor that the parish sponsors, and complimented the parishioners for their efforts in this area. A reception attended by several hundred parishioners was held immediately after the liturgy. Several times during the evening, the bishop commented to John, ‘your parishioners are so friendly and welcoming, and they really like each other.’ All in all, it was a great celebration and a fun evening.” Photos of the event were provided by Jim Mudd.

► The May/June 2017 issue of the Mt. Irenaeus newsletter, “Making All Things New,” features a video reflection by Daniel Riley, OFM, director and founder, about Pentecost titled “The Fire of God’s Love.” The publication also includes photos of Kevin Kriso, OFM, guardian, and Joseph Kotula, OFM, at Mass after the People’s Climate March in Washington. D.C., in April.

► Last week, student friar Christian Seno, OFM, arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is working for Franciscans International this summer, in preparation for a yearlong internship at Franciscans International’s offices in New York City. Christian is sharing on the Holy Name Province JPIC Facebook page information about the organization’s ecumenical statement for World Refugee Day, a panel discussion about the human rights crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other related news.

► In the June 11 bulletin, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City bid farewell to Xavier Seubert, OFM, who is relocating to Western New York to teach at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora. “We thank him for all that he has done for the parish and the friars – he was the director of the adult education program well as the guardian of the friar community,” according to the bulletin. “Our prayers and best wishes go with him.” Other news about the parish on West 31st Street can be found on its website.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by June 28 – 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:

  • New assignments of friars, based on this month’s congressus
  • A reflection by Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, about his sabbatical
  • A reflection by a former Franciscan Volunteer Minister

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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