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

Christopher Coccia, OFM, is serving this week as homilist at four Advent Penance Services in the Allegany N.Y., area. Information is posted in the bulletin of St. Bonaventure Church, Allegany.

Kevin Downey, OFM, reports that St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., where is is pastor, will be featured on CBS on Dec. 21. The television program, entitled “Caring for God’s Creation,” will air in the New York City area at 1:00 p.m. and will feature ways that religous groups are helping the environment.

R. Patrick Fitzgerald, OFM, reports that the recently-published book about Mychal Judge, OFM, was featured prominently in the Dec. 14 issue of The New York Times. In a full-page article called Page Turners Amid the Mistletoe,” The Book of Mychal is recommended as a book to purchase as a gift this Christmas season.  Writer Sam Roberts says author Michael Daly’s latest book is a “marvelously revealing, inspirational, sensitive and surprisingly candid acount of the life and good work of the Rev. Mychal Judge, the Franciscan friar and New York City Fire Department Chaplain….” Daly says Mychal seemed to many people “to be as close as any mortal could be to Christ on earth.”

Thomas Hartle, OFM, led a day of recollection on Dec. 16 for the friars of St. Francis Friary in Midtown Manhattan. Earlier this month he provided an Advent retreat at the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Aston, Pa.

Hugh Hines, OFM, offered a presentation titled, “The Spirit Given Through Jesus” at Holy Name Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Dec. 11. It was sponsored by the parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults program.

J. Patrick Kelly, OFM, of FrancisCare: A Counseling Service, Inc., in Elmwood Park, N.J., inaugurated the Advent series “Pathways Prayer” for Sacred Heart Church in Rochelle Park, N.J. The Dec. 1 presentation was titled, “Christmas Peace:  Christmas Stress.” He said he “endeavored to explain what Christian peace is, as well as what it is not.” Using a psychological understanding of the consequences of holiday-seasonal stress, he aimed at helping the more than 50 attendees from parishes in northern N.J., understand how the true meaning of Christmas joy can remedy negative consequences at such a stressful time of year.

Anthony LoGalbo, OFM, is conducting a survey for the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University about the use of “Build With Living Stones Program: A Course on the Franciscan Charism (BWLS).” Tony, who is director of the Center for Franciscan Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan, served at the institute for many years. He asks that anyone who has used BWLS, or is interested in using the program, to contact him by Dec. 30. He said: “In your response, please include with whom you used the program and a brief explanation of your experience with it. If you are not familiar with the program and would like to learn more about, please indicate your interest in receiving more information.” Address responses to, or to Tony in care of St. Francis Friary, 135 W. 31st St., New York, NY 10001-3403.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, president of Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., was interviewed Dec. 4 by students at Delaware Valley Elementary School in Pennsylvania. According to the Mount’s Web site, Kevin “didn’t break a sweat during the half-hour interview with the seven ‘reporters’ from DVE-TV.” DVE-TV consists of sixth graders that write and report for a live television show. They produce their own newscast with world, local, and national news, features, sports, weather, and interviews with special guests. Their show airs live, daily in their school, and weekly on public television, Port Jervis/Deerpark Television, in Port Jervis, N.Y.

Postulant Director John Maganzini, OFM, reports that HNPs three postulants, Scott Carey, Gerald Hopeck, and Michael Reyes, are receiving positive feedback for their ministry at places that serve the poor near St. Anthony Shrine. John said that Scott is ministering at Friends of the Unborn; Gerald at Cathedral Grammar School; and Michael at Project Hope. Recently, John completed the first semester visit to each of these ministerial sites. He observed the postulants at work, and met with their ministry supervisors. John said: “It was a rewarding experience to watch the postulants bring Franciscan presence to each of these wonderful places.  From all three supervisors, I heard nothing but praise and one common remark, ‘What a blessing.’ ”

Kenneth Paulli, OFM, chief of staff for the president’s cabinet of Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., is a new member of the board of trustees of St. Bonaventure Universitiy in Western New York. Following in the tradition of the two schools, members of the administration Siena and SBU serve on the boards of each school.

Joseph Rozansky, OFM, participated this fall in the meeting of UCLAF, the Union of Franciscan Latin American provinces. It includes four conferences and 32 entities. The annual meeting was held Nov. 16 to 22 in Bogota, Columbia. Joseph reports that the Order’s JPIC office recently produced the book Pilgrims and Strangers, for continuing education.

Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, led an Advent Day of Prayer at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in Manhattan on Dec. 13.  The theme was The Word was Made Flesh.” The theme further explored why God would send his powerful Word, through which he upholds the universe (Hebrews 1:3), into our flesh, which is frail and mortal, given to sickness and decay. The event was held in the Province’s San Damiano Hall next door, and included morning prayer, lunch, and a communal penance service.

James Vacco, OFM, of St. Bonaventure University, continued a Thanksgiving tradition that he began seven years ago by cooking a turkey for the labor and delivery staff of Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y. His story was featured  on Channel 4-TV News and cable affiliate, WNLO, throughout the day. James was also recently featured on the Buffalo Diocese TV cooking show, The Daily Bread. His tasty recipes are posted on the Diocese Web site.

Friars wh will be featured in fure issues of this newsletter include Ronald Pecci, Raymond Selker and Daniel Sulmasy.