Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

NEW YORK — Below are news items about some of the many activities of Holy Name friars, including their presentations, outreach, and celebrations. More information can be obtained by visiting links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, by contacting the friars by phone or e-mail, and by connecting with the Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, e-mail Jocelyn Thomas

David Bossman, OFM, who has served 28 years as editor of Biblical Theology Bulletin (BTB), an international quarterly journal of Bible and theology, reports that beginning with the February 2009 issue (BTB 39:1), Sage Publishers will publish, market and distribute the journal. The Web site displays the journal and provides access to articles from 1999. He said that the new goal is to make all issues available, dating from 1971 when the journal was published at the Biblicum in Rome under Editor Leopold Sabourin, SJ.

David continues as editor, and former friar Michael Meilach as copy editor of BTB, which targets an educated generalist readership. Subscriptions are available through the Web site.  David is a professor in the Graduate Department of Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., where he has been on the staff since 1985.

Vincent Cushing, OFM, will speak Feb. 8 in McLean, Va., as part of the 40th anniversary lecture and discussion series of Washington Theological Union. His topic is “Do Intentional Eucharistic Communities Fit in Post-Vatican II Ecclesiology?” His talk is the second of five lectures being offered by the Pax Community, an inclusive Catholic Christian community committed to planning and celebrating meaningful liturgies, a developing community and responding to the needs of the work through liturgy. Details are available on Washington Theological Union’s Web site.

Lawrence Ford, OFM, and Matthew Pravetz, OFM, are featured in the Jan. 28 issue of Holy Name Parish Today, the e-newsletter published by Holy Name Parish in New York City. Lawrence’s story is titled “The New Kid on the Block” because he recently relocated to the parish; Matthew’s section describes his recent trip to the west coast of Africa where he visited his father who was staying with Matthew’s brother, a doctor who runs a hospital.

Robert Gavin, OFM, Anthony LoGalbo, OFM, and Dominic Monti, OFM, are among the friars teaching courses this season at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. Robert’s course is “Abandonment to Divine Providence.” Tony will teach,“A Many Splendored Thing: An Introduction to the History of Western Christian Spirituality, Part 2.” Dominic will lecture on “The Reformation.”

An article by Daniel Horan, OFM, “Embracing Sister Death: The Fraternal Worldview of Francis of Assisi as a Source For Christian Eschatological Hope,” was published this week in The Other Journal (January 2009). The issue’s theme is death and dying. The Other Journal is an academic journal of theology and culture published by the Mars Hill Graduate School of Theology and Ministry in Seattle, Wash.

John Leonard, OFM, reports that the marking of Catholic Schools Week at St. Anthony’s School in Butler, N.J., was a success. It began on Jan. 25 with a liturgical celebration at the parish’s 9:30 a.m. Mass, celebrated by PastorJohn Alderson, OFM. After Mass, an open house was hosted, with tours led by middle school students.

John said, “St. Anthony’s School is designated as a Star School by the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., one of very few schools in the diocese given that distinction.” Other events in the weeklong celebration was a day devoted to service, visits by parents, a book fair, spelling and geography bees, a morning prayer service by second-graders and a Teacher’s Appreciation Day. “Kudos to principal Felicia Goodness and to St. Anthony’s teachers, students and all other participants.”

Siena College President Kevin Mullen, OFM, encourages readers of Siena magazine to contribute stories to the publication. “It is the best way to contribute to the body of knowledge about Siena and to ensure its strength and growth,” he said in the letter on the inside cover of the Winter 2008 issue. “Your stories enrich the Siena story. After all, alumni of Siena College not only had a wonderful experience while attending Siena, but have had extraordinary accomplishments since then.”

Michael Oberst, OFM, was mentioned in the Jan. 22 issue of The Buffalo News. The article describes the merger of two prison ministries — Hope of Buffalo and Cephas Attica — the latter of which Michael is executive director. The combined organization will expand development of prison ministries in Buffalo and surrounding communities, he said in the news story titled, “Two Groups Aiding Ex-Inmates Merge.”

After returning from his visit to Peru last month, Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, spent several days visiting friars in North Carolina. He celebrated Mass on Jan. 28 at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C.  Earlier this week, he met with fellow members of the executive committee of the English Speaking Conference.

Francis Pompei, OFM, guardian of St. Patrick Friary in Buffalo, N.Y., and a member of the Province’s Ministry of the Word, conducted parish missions recently in California. He reports that approximately 700 people attended the program at St. Paul’s Church in Sacramento, Calif. He said that his Franciscan Mystery Players will perform in several locations in New Jersey on Palm Sunday weekend in April.

Andrew Reitz, OFM, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Tampa, Fla., said that before the Super Bowl last Sunday, which was played in Tampa, attendance at morning Masses was high. “At the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Masses, we had very large crowds, and many people were fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals; you could easily tell by the way that they dressed.” He also said the city was busy with pre-Super Bowl events, including parties, concerts and free entertainment. “The town was flooded with celebrities and parties every night. Traffic was very heavy and there were hundreds of buses and limos moving around the city,” he said.

Andrew added, “From all that I have read and heard, Tampa was a great host. The last time the Super Bowl was here was in 1991, so the city was experienced in hosting something of this proportion. Police reported very few incidents.”

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, traveled south last month to present several talks at the University of Georgia in Athens. The turnout and enthusiasm were impressive, Brian said. On Jan. 28, Brian was interviewed by National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” program, to air this month.  The Province’s vocation ad on the New York City Subways, asking men to consider a career change to religious life, caught the attention of an NPR reporter.

Submission of friar news for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Feb. 11.