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

The Provincial Administration asks that friars be aware of two deadlines.(1)  Grant applications for the Benevolence Trust are due no later than April 1, 2015. The forms are found on the HNP website on the Grants page of the Our Work section. All forms should be submitted electronically.(2)  Grant reports for the Province’s Benevolence Trust for fiscal year 2014-15 are due by April 15.

John Aherne, OFM, Casey Cole, OFM, F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, Francis Di Spigno, OFM, Christopher Dunn, OFM, and Daniel Grigassy, OFM, are among the friars pictured in the current set of revolving photos on the home page of the Province’s website.

William Beaudin, OFM, and the other two members of the Renewal/Restructuring Team of the American OFM provinces will meet with the provincial ministers later this month in Albuquerque, N.M. This week, William is moving into his new home in New York City, where he will live and work with his teammates. A photo of William and Fathers Richard McManus, OFM, of St. Barbara Province, and Page Polk, OFM, of St John the Baptist Province, appeared in the Jan. 20 issue of Around the Province, the newsletter of Sacred Heart Province. William was among the members of the provincial administrations who met last August to discuss the reconfiguration of the U.S. provinces.

Several friars are leading new programs at St. Francis Church in New York City as part of the parish’s spring 2015 adult education season. They are David Convertino, OFM, who will lead a one-day workshop titled “Why Change: We’ve Always Done it This Way,” Brian Smail, OFM, who is teaching a series of classes on “The Letters of St. Clare,” Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, who will teach a series of classes on “Lent and Easter with the Fathers of the Church,” and Basil Valente, OFM, who will lead a one-day program called “Leading Lives the Matter: Developing an Authentic Understanding of One’s Vocation.” Information about these and other programs can be found on the parish’s website.

On Feb. 1, Kevin Daly, OFM, joined more than 200 people in walking into the frigid Atlantic Ocean off Long Beach Island, N.J., as part of the XI Super Plunge. The fundraiser benefits the St. Francis Community Center and the Southern Regional High School swim teams that use the center’s pool for practice and meets. James Scullion, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, was there also, but did not go into the water. Staff member Lori Dudek said “the air temperature that day was 38 degrees and the water temperature was 36.” Photos were posted on Facebook.

Daniel Dwyer, OFM, reports that on Jan. 28, the friar community of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., hosted several men interested in learning more about Franciscan life at its weekly community night. “Six men joined us for Mass, preprandium and dinner,” Dan said. “There was a very active interchange between the friars and our guests, and everyone pronounced themselves pleased with the evening. Of the six men, five were Siena students, and one was a recent graduate of Le Moyne College. They expressed interest in a retreat, possibly around Holy Week.”

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, was appointed last month to the board of directors of The Dwelling Place of NY, Inc., a privately funded organization, providing food, shelter and support services to homeless women. The Dwelling Place was established on the west side of Manhattan in 1977 by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y.

Daniel Horan, OFM, has been sharing his knowledge about Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk and author who was born 100 years ago, through various media outlets. On Jan. 30, Daniel was interviewed by  Dan talked about his book, The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton, as well as St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, where he lives. That day, Dan was also interviewed on the Busted Halo Show on Sirius XM radio. In addition, he was interviewed by the Catholic Book Blogger. Readers of America magazine found an article by Dan in the Jan. 19 – 26 issue titled “How the Trappist Monk and Author Speaks to Millennials.” Information about Dan’s writing and speaking engagements can be found on his blog and his Facebook, both of which are linked to his website

Tony LoGalbo, OFM, and the friars of Holy Name College, where he is guardian, held a Super Bowl party on Feb. 1.  Michael Reyes, OFM, organized a group of friars to decorate the recreation room for the occasion. Balloons and streamers were hung corresponding to each team’s colors, and Sports Illustrated magazine photos and articles about each team could be found all around the room. “After prayer, we started with ‘bar food’ in the rec room, where the projector and speakers were set up,” said Casey Cole, OFM. “Each item on the menu had a special name to it corresponding to the game: Gronk-amole, Mozzarella Beli-sticks, ‘Blount force trauma’ hot wings, Marshawn ‘Quiche-Mode’ Lynch. Prior to the game, 10 to 15 members of the house filled out a 15-question ‘Prop Bet Challenge’ with questions that included: ‘What color will Katy Perry’s hair be?’ ‘Will the coin toss be heads or tails?’ and ‘After kickoff, what will be the first commercial?’ The winner, Michael Johnson, OFM, won a $15 gift card to the movies. Since the party also celebrated the birthday of John Heffernan, OFM, after the first quarter we had a cake in the shape of a football field, with green icing, goal posts, white lines, and even little football players. Each quarter, a prize was given to one person based on the score and their randomly selecting a box on a grid.”

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, returned Jan. 31 from Rome where he had spent three weeks attending the Order’s formation program for new provincial ministers. “The best part of my experience at Provincial School was meeting friars from all over the world,” said Kevin. “Though we had different languages, cultures and nationalities, we were united as brothers who believe in a common mission to live the Gospel. Being with brothers from around the world highlighted the significance of our fraternal life.” While in Italy, Kevin attended presentations that focused on canonical and administrative topics. The provincials also visited the various offices of the Curia and met the friars who work in them. “Joseph Rozansky, OFM, provided an overview of the working of his office in the areas of justice, peace and integrity of creation,” said Kevin. “In addition, special material was presented that concerns the upcoming General Chapter in May.” Interspersed with the presentations was a day trip to Fontecolombo, where Francis composed the Rule of 1223, and a trip to Greccio, where Mass was celebrated in the small cave that Francis used to draw attention to the nativity of Jesus. Later this week, Kevin will be going to Pompton Lakes, N.J., to participate in the Province’s first fraternal gathering of 2015.

News for the next issue of HNP Today e-letter is requested by Feb. 11, always the Wednesday before distribution. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage include:

  • Profiles of Xavier De La Huerta, OFM, Thomas Ennis, OFM, and other jubilarians
  • The upcoming General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas