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, publications, and ministry work. 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 contacting the Communications Office.

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

►  Octavio Duran, OFM, of the Province’s Communications Office, spoke on April 22 to parishioners at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn., as part of an Evening Twilight Retreat titled “The Prophetical Voice of Archbishop Romero.”   He described through words and photos the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated in 1980.  Octavio, a native of El Salvador, worked closely with Archbishop Romero, who was known to have provided leadership while advocating for the poor and alienated.
►  Kenneth Himes, OFM, a Boston College professor, gave a presentation titled “Peacebuilding as a Devloping Norm in Catholic Social teaching” at an April 13 – 15 conference at University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Russell Testa, director of the Province’s Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office, attended the conference. Ken’s talk will be part of a book that will be published in 2009, Russell said.

►   Daniel Horan, OFM, traveled to the United Kingdom to present a paper titled “Those Going Among the Saracens and Other Nonbelievers: Thomas Merton and Franciscan Interreligious Dialogue,” at the Seventh General Meeting and Conference of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland at The Oakham School in Oakham, Rutland, on April 5. 

►   Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, chief operations officer at Washington Theological Union, participated in a National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on April 18 in Washington, D.C., that was attended by President Bush.

►   Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, led a March 1 to 15 pilgrimage of 17 people to Israel, Jordan and Palestinian Occupied Territories. 

►   Steven Patti, OFM, reports that Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham, N.C., has begun addressing the needs of the parish in the next one to three years. After a series of meetings, the parish hired Kim Maphis Early, an outside facilitator, who will work with friars and parish staff over the next several months. Early, an ordained Presbyterian minister from Nashville, Tenn., has extensive background in working with the Lilly Foundation and church organizations. She proposed a series of meetings and retreats for friars and staff over the next few months to develop a plan for involving parishioners in planning the future of Immaculate Conception.

►    Patrick Sieber, OFM, was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after a Good Friday protest at the entrance to Lockheed Martin near Philadelphia simulated the Stations of the Cross as an outcry against the weapons-maker. The Good Friday protest marked five years of war and occupation in Iraq. The Stations of the Cross ceremony, what protestors called “a trail of mourning and truth,” began with a reflection by Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution, who reflected on his time five years ago in Baghdad as a witness for peace, with bombs dropping around him. The crosses, which included the Lockheed Martin logo at the nail points, and the names of killed U.S. soldiers, were carried into the corporation’s driveway. The protest also included a flag-draped coffin. As the protestors moved from the driveway toward the building, Lockheed Martin security asked them to leave or risk arrest. The arrested protestors were taken to the police station, where they were released on disorderly conduct citations.

►    James Vacco, OFM, wrote a piece titled, “New Generation of Church will Emerge from Journey in Faith and Grace,” that appeared in the March 2008 issue of Western New York Catholic, the publication of the Buffalo, N.Y, diocese. He compares the transition that the Buffalo parishes are experiencing to childbirth. He says: “The diocese is giving birth to a new generation. It is one that will be different from past generations, but one that is formed out of, and built from, the building blocks of faith. Metaphorically speaking, this new generation being born of mergers, links and expansion of ministries, contains the ‘can’ called faith, and its genetic makeup resembles the unique combination of the characteristics of its parents, but it will truly become its own person.” James is chair of the Diocese’s Spiritual Revitalization Committee.