Friar News Briefs

Maria Hayes 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

After taking his yearly retreat last month at the Prayer House in Dingmans Ferry, Pa., Peter Chepaitis, OFM, wrote a reflection about his experience. “Sometimes I need to be in solitude, without having to follow a schedule of meals or prayer,” he wrote. “This year was one of those times. I made my own schedule and spent time reading, in silence and outside in nature each day. The house — a refurbished mobile home — was perfect for what I needed, and God spoke to my heart through the silence, the Scripture, the waterfalls and streams I visited, and the circumstances of each day. One of my daily companions was Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, through his latest book, Eager to Love. I highly recommend it. I think the Prayer House could be a blessing to many friars and their partners-in-ministry, not only for ‘retreat,’ but for rest and quiet, a time for writing, or even just a base for receiving the blessing of being close to God’s beautiful creation and praising God as Francis did.”

On Sept. 14, Kevin Cronin, OFM, celebrated his 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood at St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J. Kevin was ordained in 1974 by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Many friars joined in the anniversary celebration. Concelebrating the Mass were Michael Duffy, OFM, of Philadelphia, Daniel Grigassy, OFM, of Maryland, Raymond Mann, OFM, of St. Petersburg, Fla., Ronald Pecci, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., Fr. Greg Plata, OFM, of Assumption Province, many Butler friars and four diocesan priests from Long Island’s Rockville Centre Diocese, where Kevin has given more than 100 missions during his 21 years in the Ministry of the Word. They included Fr. Tom Haggerty, pastor of St. Raphael Church in East Meadow, Fr. Thomas Gallagher of Sacred Heart Church in North Merrick, Msgr. Bob Clerkin of Saints Cyril and Methodius Church in Deer Park, and Fr. James Drew of Our Lady of the Snow Church, Blue Point. “Friars from the Butler community assisted at the Mass,” said Kevin. “Michael Harlan, OFM, was cross bearer and led the intercessions. Octavio Duran, OFM, recorded the whole event.” The celebration was a family reunion for Kevin and his 25 cousins, and family and friends, who celebrated with dinner and dancing at the Knights of Columbus in Butler. More than 150 people were in attendance, including parishioners from Pompton Lakes and Callicoon, according to Kevin.

Julian Davies, OFM, editor of The Provincial Annals, will be distributing to all HNP friaries this month an article about the St. Petersburg, Fla., friary that was inadvertently excluded from the current edition of The Annals.

Kevin Downey, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va., participated in the International Day of Prayer Service on Sept. 20 in Manassas, Va. The theme of the eighth annual event was “Sharing Water, Sharing Air, Sharing Our World in Peace.” More than 15 local faith communities and seven community groups participated.

An article about St. Francis International School, on the campus of St. Camillus Church where Michael Johnson, OFM, is pastor, was published last week in National Catholic Reporter. The article, “Maryland Catholic School Finds Its Footing Amid Demographic Shifts,” describes the revisions to the method of operation and financing that he and Tobias Harkleroad, the principal, made to transform the ministry, which opened 60 years ago as St. Camillus School.

An article about Stephen Kluge, OFM, appears in the current issue of The Carpenter, the weekly newsletter of St. Joseph’s Parish, Anderson, S.C. The story, “Father Steve Kluge’s Crooked Line Leads to St. Joseph’s,” describes the background of the New Jersey native, who became pastor of the parish in July.

On Sept. 15, Erick Lopez, OFM, Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, Juan Turcios, OFM, and members of St. Camillus Parish, in Silver Spring, Md., were part of a group that gathered in front of the World Bank in Washington, D.C., to protest a lawsuit by OceanaGold/Pacific Rim Mining Corp against El Salvador. The transnational company is suing the government of El Salvador for more than $300 million for its refusal to allow OceanaGold to mine for gold in the region. El Salvador contends that the company’s mining process will poison the country’s water supply and threaten the health of its people. The case is being heard before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a tribunal housed in the Washington offices of the World Bank Group. The friars, as shown in a video on the Province’s YouTube channel, are speaking out about the case, as part of the Order’s effort to address mining issues throughout the world in its care for creation work. The JPIC animators are focusing on mining during their meeting of the Americas in Bogota, Colombia, that began Sept. 21 and ends 28.

The latest issue of Mount Saint Mary College magazine features Kevin Mackin, OFM, on the front cover, as well as in several articles. Kevin stepped down as president of the Newburgh, N.Y., college in June, and now serves as parochial vicar of St. Raphael Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, participated in his first meeting of the St. Bonaventure University Board of Trustees last week. This Friday, he will take part in Siena College’s trustees meeting.

In the Sept. 17 Making All Things New, Daniel Riley, OFM, director of Mt. Irenaeus, described his evolving role as animator for the Franciscan Mountain Retreat. The issue also contains information about the annual Mountain Auction scheduled for Nov. 1, links to Daniel’s podcasts and photos of Mt. Irenaeus and of St. Bonaventure University students.

Last week, Joseph Rozansky, OFM, represented the Order’s administration at a meeting of an ecological group in Brazil. Pope Francis sent a message to the participants of the Ecclesial Pan-Amazonian Network in Brasilia.

Patrick Tuttle, OFM, was among the attendees at an annual fundraiser for St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, Greenville, S.C., held Sept. 13 at the TD Convention Center. “It was a wonderful evening with more than 550 parishioners and community members in attendance,” said Susan Cinquemani. “This year’s theme was country and western, and included dinner, dancing and silent and live auctions. A popular live auction item going to two high bidders for $24,000 was dinner prepared in the friary by Fr. Patrick and David Phan, OFM. The gala’s presenting sponsor was Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital System. All proceeds from this event go directly to support the school and students.”

Vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, is accepting resumes for an administrative assistant for his office. The job, publicized in HNP Today, includes both clerical and communications duties. Basil requests that inquiries be made by Sept. 29.

Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, and the community of the University of Georgia welcomed Archbishop Wilton Gregory to the Catholic Center at UGA on Aug. 24. A video of his visit was produced by the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

News for the next HNP Today e-letter is requested by Oct. 1, 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 include:

  • Commemorations of the Feast of St. Francis
  • Provincial jubilee celebration on Nov. 12
  • The involvement of Francis Kim, OFM, in the newly-created St. Francis Village Farm
  • A new venture by Robert Lentz, OFM

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas