Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas 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

► John Aherne, OFM, and George Camacho, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., participated in the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 26 in Washington, D.C. This was George’s first marathon and John’s second. “We’ve participated in a number of races during our time at Holy Name College, including the Cherry Blossom Run and the Army Ten-Miler,” said John, whose photo appears on the Province’s Facebook page. “We recently used the Philadelphia Half-Marathon as a happy reason to visit St. Francis Inn in Kensington. It was a great way to keep on top of our training, while getting a chance to spend time with our brothers at the Inn.” George, one of the animators of Holy Name College’s JPIC Committee, has also organized “The Franciscan Flyers,” a group of friars who will run a Turkey Trot in Washington, D.C., on Thanksgiving Day. “The money we Franciscan Flyers raise from the Turkey Trot will go to support SOME, a non-profit organization that has served the homeless and poor in Washington, D.C., for more than 40 years.”

► On Oct. 27, Siena College’s chaplain Lawrence Anderson, OFM, offered a blessing of more than 300 student athletes at the college’s new grotto. A video and photo gallery were posted on the Siena Saints’ website.

► Provincial Councilor William Beaudin, OFM, represented Holy Name Province at a discernment meeting of a group of friars of the English-speaking Conference who will manage the process of revitalizing the Franciscan presence in the United States. He and the representatives of the six other provinces met Oct. 27 to 29 in Chicago. William was one of three friars selected to be part of a full-time renewal team that will “enlarge the circle” of those involved with the revitalization process by: working with friars already in communication with one another across the U.S. sub-conference and ESC; organizing and/or engaging others to create means for friars to attend interprovincial events, as well as planning new activities around age groups and ministries; and establishing working groups across the provinces to carry out specific tasks. More details were included in the October newsletter from the English-speaking Conference.

► After driving from New York to Arizona last month, William Bried, OFM, is becoming acclimated to his new role at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. At Masses the weekend of Oct. 18, he received a “very warm welcome.” He has been “moved by the congregation, which fully participates in the Mass. Everyone joins in to celebrate the Catholic faith.” There are more than 800 volunteers at the church that holds 300 people. “It is so full on Sundays that not everyone can fit,” William said, adding, “It is a very active place. There are TVs set up so people who can’t fit can see. They are building a new church to hold more people.” Homilies are recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Bill says he “is enjoying what he is doing,” adding, “The weather is very different from New York City.” He lives with three friars from St. Barbara Province, which operates the renewal center.

► In an article published last week in the National Catholic Register about St. Francis Parish in Triangle, Va., Kevin Downey, OFM, said his “vision of his job as pastor is to make my people disciples. Then I have to move them from disciples to wanting to become apostles. There is a difference between the two.” The Oct. 30 piece, “Franciscan Parish Lives Namesake’s Mission,” says the friars have inspired their faithful to do apostolic work in their community. The article describes the importance of faith formation and the focus the parish has on putting the Church’s social teaching into action, highlighting various activities that give voice to the voiceless. “The key to St. Francis Parish’s success is how the friars inspire the lay faithful to live out the call of Vatican II to spread the Gospel,” according to the story. “The laity are involved every step of the way,” said staff member Rob Goraieb, adding, “Without the support of Fr. Kevin and the other friars, it couldn’t happen.” “Mcompliments to Kevin Downey, the friars and staff at St Francis in Triangle,” said guardian John O’Connor, OFM. “To see such an article in the National Catholic Register is quite an a accomplishment. When a ministry does outstanding evangelizing, the compliments can cross philosophical and ideological lines.” The previous week, a story about the parish’s environmental work was published on In “95 Express Lanes Plants Trees at Greenfaith Church and School in Triangle,” Kevin said, “As a Franciscan parish, we try to show the students that nature is God’s creation and it’s our responsibility to care for it.”

► On Oct 24, two friars from Holy Name Province — Michael Duffy, OFM, of Philadelphia and Paul Keenan, OFM, of Wood-Ridge, N.J. — concelebrated a Eucharistic celebration presided by Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Newark at St. Joseph’s Church in East Rutherford, N.J., along with the current pastor, Fr. Joe Asterita, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Rosary Altar Society. “Many friars had been the chaplains for the St. Joseph Rosary Society over the years,” said Paul, who is stationed at Assumption Parish, Wood-Ridge, N.J. “It was a beautiful Mass and a beautiful dinner and celebration honoring the Rosary Society’s many contributions to the parish and to the community. Parishioners were very happy to see the friars present at this celebration.”

► On Oct. 29, Daniel Horan, OFM, of Boston, was interviewed on Sirius XM’s Catholic Channel for “The Busted Halo Show.” On Nov, 5, he is speaking at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Wood Ridge, N.J., on “The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton.” Dan recently released a book with the same title.

► Photos by Glenn Humphrey, OFM, appeared in the October-November issue of The Padres Trail, the newsletter of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province. The photos show the 50th anniversary celebration of St. Berard’s Mission in New Mexico. Glen is stationed in St. Michaels, Ariz.

► On Nov. 2, when thousands of people were participating in or watching the New York City Marathon, the New York Daily News published a four-page article about Brian Jordan, OFM, who has run 61 marathons. The piece, “Every Step of the Way: Fr Brian Jordan is the Marathon Man who Continues to Run Wherever He is Needed,” described the friar’s connection to both the New York and Boston marathons, and the help he has given to the people of each city in times of tragedy. The story also describes the influence that several Siena College friars — the late Mychal Judge, OFM, and Richard O’Connor, OFM — had on the life of this Brooklyn native. “Wherever there’s trouble and people need him, he’s there,” said a police lieutenant who met Brian at Ground Zero.

► Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, is being honored Nov. 6 by the University at Albany Foundation. He will receive the 2014 Academic Laureate in UAlbany’s SEFCU Arena.

► Daniel Riley, OFM, director of Mt. Irenaeus, gave a contemplative retreat Oct. 24 to 26 at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Arizona. In the fall newsletter of Mt. Irenaeus, where he is director, Dan reflects on a variety of topics, including the history of the Franciscan Mountain Retreat and new team and staff members.

► On Oct. 25, Christopher VanHaight, OFM, gave the opening prayer for the assembly of Durham CAN, which stands for congregations, associations, and neighborhoods. Hundreds of local citizens met with local, state and federal officials to discuss urgent community issues such as schools, affordable housing, job training and policing policies. Articles about the event appeared in The Herald Sun and The Durham News.

News for the next HNP Today e-letter is requested by Nov. 12, 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:

  • Jubilee celebration on Nov. 12
  • Ministries of the friars stationed at Holy Name College in Maryland
  • Friars’ involvement with commemoration of Durham’s Emily Krzyzewski Center

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas