Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below feature 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 articles, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

Siena College’s interim president, F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, was interviewed Aug. 22 by the college’s radio station. Edward discussed what he plans to do at Siena, as well as insights into his life as a friar and the special connection between Siena and St. Bonaventure University. The show aired on FM 88.3 The Saint and was streamed online via and iHeartRadio.

Reflections by John C. Coughlin, OFM, and Daniel Riley, OFM, are included in the August issue of the Mt. Irenaeus e-newsletter distributed Aug. 21. “Recently, we blessed and said goodbye to John as he headed to a new ministry at the University of Georgia,” wrote Dan. “Earlier this month, with a deep, earthy morning prayer led by Joseph Kotula, OFM, I could feel Joe’s journey into a new spring as he left us for his four-month sabbatical. A few years ago, we were six friars on the Mountain, and for a while this fall, we will be three!”

Kevin Cronin, OFM, of the HNP Ministry of the Word, shared a story about him written by the pastor of St. Ignatius the Martyr Parish in Long Beach, N.Y., where Kevin assisted for a few weeks this summer. As a recent renovation was beginning in the church, the statue of St. Anthony was moved to the sacristy for safekeeping, explained Msgr. Donald Beckmann. “After a meeting, I wanted to go back to my office to check on a few things before going to the rectory to retire for the night,” said the pastor in the Aug. 3 bulletin. “Heading from one place to the other necessitated walking through the sacristy. Although it was already night, I figured I knew the parish buildings well enough to navigate in the dark. When I walked into the sacristy, I jumped. There in the dark stood a man in a Franciscan habit. As my heart slowed down to normal, my first thought was, ‘Why is Fr. Kevin here and why is he standing in the dark?’ Then I realized that it was the statue of St. Anthony. The statue needs some touching up before it is put back in place. In the meantime, it is good to have a moving and breathing Franciscan here with us for a few weeks.”

Michael Duffy, OFM, and Juan Turcios, OFM, participated in the opening retreat for the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry‘s 2014-15 class. Photos of the event, held at Christ the King Retreat House near Syracuse, N.Y., can be found on the FVM’s Facebook page.

The recent death of Martin Hanhauser, OFM, the oldest friar in the Province, at age 98 and a little over nine months, had several friars chatting at the recent solemn profession about who holds the record for the longest-living friar in the history of the Province. “Upon checking the database, Marty came close,” noted Dominic Monti, OFM. “He fell a couple weeks short of Emmanuel Duffy, OFM, who passed away in December 2005 at 98 years and almost 10 months. The third longest span of life was Gerald McMinn, OFM, who died in May 1992 at the age of 98 years and three months.” Dominic noted that three other friars have reached the age of 97: Basil Harkins, OFM, who died just short of 98, Hormisdas Marcotte, OFM, and Peter Sheridan, OFM. “And Emeric Szlezak, OFM, of St. Petersburg is about to enter the ranks of the longest lived friars of the Province. Emeric, who celebrated his 75th jubilee as a friar this year, will turn 97 in December. He was very much alive at the recent solemn profession!”

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, is compiling names of friars interested in serving on Provincial directorates. In an email to HNP members on Aug. 15, he asked friars to indicate their interest by returning a form to the Provincial Office by Sept. 8. Prior to making appointments, the Provincial Administration would like to obtain names of friars interested in serving on one of the directorates, he noted.

Steven Pavignano, OFM, was mentioned in the Aug. 14 issue of Western New York Catholic, the publication of the Diocese of Buffalo, in a story titled “St. Clare Parish Begins Making Parish Focus Statements.” “The pastoral council of St. Clare Parish in Buffalo is in the process of establishing parish focus statements and a mission statement to more clearly express the parish goals. In writing the focus statements, the pastoral council, led by pastor Fr. Steven Pavignano, OFM, opted to focus on four key areas: prayer and worship formation; faith formation; social mission; and community building. The members of the council will create one focus statement for each of these areas, and plan to use these as a springboard for St. Clare’s mission statement.”

On Aug. 26, Ronald Pecci, OFM, welcomed five men to Holy Name College, Silver Spring, Md., as they prepare to be formally accepted into the Province’s postulancy program on Wednesday, Aug. 27. Ronald has directed the program for five nonconsecutive years.

John Schulmeister, OFM, of Baltimore, Md., has been appointed by Archbishop William Lori to be the “assigned priest” for St. Bernadette’s Parish in Severn, Md. The parish does not have a resident priest and is administered by a deacon of the archdiocese, John said.

News for the next HNP Today e-letter is requested by Aug. 20, always the Wednesday before distribution. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:

  • Reception of postulants on Aug. 27
  • Summer assignments of friars in formation
  • Spanish vocation retreat

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas