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 at

►  Michael Calabria, OFM, presented a program titled, “And the Word Became Book: A Journey into the Heart of the Qur’an,” Sept. 5 to 6 at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in Aston, Pa. It was described as, “A journey to the heart of the Qur’an that explored its principal themes, particularly those held in common with Christianity.”  Michael, who has lived and ministered in Egypt, and traveled in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, teaches Arabic and Islamic studies at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y.

 William DeBiase, OFM, preached last week in Jamestown, N.Y., with Food for the Poor (FFP). Next week, he will be in Sioux Falls, S.D. In addition to FFP, William’s schedule includes preaching for the Province’s Franciscan Missionary Union, parish missions and the Secular Franciscans.

 Steven Kluge, OFM, announced in his letter in the Sept. 6 church bulletin that the St. Francis of Assisi Parish is considering selling St. Clare Church in Loveladies, N.J.  Steven, pastor since 2007, describes the reasons in the bulletin and in an article in the Atlantic City Press.

 Joseph Kotula, OFM, and Louis McCormick, OFM, invite all to the Mt. Irenaeus Harvest Weekend Sept. 19. The weekend is the time that the ministry harvests trees that have taken root on what is called Naomi’s Knoll. Named to honor an early benefactor of the Mountain and friend to Thomas Merton, Naomi’s Knoll provides a spectacular window into the majesty and peacefulness of God’s creation. The trees will be harvested to provide firewood in winter and their ashes will fertilize the garden and flower beds next spring. The two friars say they need helping hands to join the harvesting and to pray together. Call Lou at 585-973-2470 to reserve space at the Mountain for all or part of the weekend. Contact Paul Kline at with questions.

 Kevin Mackin, OFM, has been greeting groups in his new role as president of Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. On Aug. 20, he addressed more than 200 local businesspersons at a Dutchess County, N.Y.,Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast. On Aug. 22, he celebrated an opening liturgy and welcomed freshmen and their families to the campus. Kevin welcomes opportunities to celebrate weekend Masses at churches between Manhattan and Newburgh, according to his assistant, Janet Gianopoulos.

►  Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, gave a talk about Franciscan history at St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J., on Aug.  28.  He presented information about the friars’ 80-year history on LBI. On Sept. 29, Dominic will speak on “The Coming of the Friars to Paterson, 1876” at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J.

►  Provincial Minister John  O’Connor, OFM, celebrated Mass for Sullivan County law enforecment officials in Yulan, N.Y., on Sept. 7.  The celebration was organized by Anthony Moore, OFM, pastor of  St. Anthony Church, and parish volunteers.

►  Frank Sevola, OFM, pastor of Church of St. Mary, has been elected to the Priests Council of the Diocese of Providence for a three-year term.

►  Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, hosted a “come and see” weekend Sept. 5 – 7 for men interested in joining the friars. It was held at the St. Francis of Assisi friary in Beach Haven, N.J.   In addition to prayers and conversation, the gathering included dinners prepared by John Ullrich, OFM, and a visit by the neighboring Franciscan sisters.  The windy, rainy weather on Saturday did not dampen the spirit of the weekend, Brian said. 

►  Flavian Walsh, OFM, was featured in a recent issue of the Boston Herald. A photo showed him with welcoming arms in an article describing the Come Home Program that he hosted at Saint Anthony Shrine in August. The program and open house for disaffected Catholics, returned to the shrine after an eight-year hiatus, according to the article. David Convertino, OFM, the shrine’s executive director, said that these listening sessions are valuable.  “We are called to be peacemakers,” Flavian said.