Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Around the Province

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

►John Heffernan, OFM, of Lima, for two years, has been offering dental care for the past year in Peru’s central jungle. During the recent rainy season, John reports that he has hosted an oral health campaign through a medical post in the parish, Santa Ana, in a pueblo joven, south of Lima. Anthony Wilson, OFM, is the parish’s pastor, works with Carlos Sarmiento, OFM, the parochial vicar.  John is staying at the mission house in Mateo Pumachaua, with Paul Breslin, OFM, and Christopher Dunn, OFM, and will return to the jungle when school resumes in March, he said.

► Edward Higgins, OFM, a teacher at Paterson, N.J., Regional Catholic High School, has asked friars to consider donating items for classes. He is seeking several black academic robes for students participating in a mock court as judges in a law class. In addition, books and DVDs. Items should be sent to Edward at Paterson Catholic High School, 764 11th Ave., Paterson, NJ 07514.

► Stephen Kluge, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J, is giving two days of prayer this week to the Poor Clares. A program for the Poor Clares of Chesterfield is based on St. Francis’ Prayer before the Crucifix and St. Clare’s letters to Agnes of Prague. The Aston retreat at the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Aston, Pa., is based on the Scrutiny Readings for Lent and on original Stations of the Cross, Stephen said.

► Kevin Mackin, OFM, was quoted in an article in the Feb. 14 issue of the Schenectady Daily Gazette titled, “The Mysterious St. Valentine.” In it, the president emeritus of Siena College and religious studies professor at the Loudonville campus described the reason for St. Valentine’s “demotion,” and explained a popular legend about the man. Comments from Kevin, as well as from Siena’s Director of News Services Janet Gianopoulos, also appear in a Feb. 14 article in the Troy Record. 

► A reflection by Louis McCormick, OFM, appears on the Web site of Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat. It is one of a series of seasonal reflections arranged by the Franciscan Sojourners group, a community based at the Mountain, formed in 2006.

► Kevin Mullen, OFM. was one of several Siena College administrators who served meals on Jan. 29 for guests staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Albany, N.Y.

► Cleveland, Ohio, was the site of a parish mission given by Joseph Nangle, OFM, on the weekend of Feb. 16. Next week, Joseph will offer a retreat on Long Island.  Information about the Feb. 29 – March 2 program at St. Joseph’s Renewal Center is available through the Provincial Office.

► Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, met earlier this month with members of the executive committee of the OFM English-Speaking Conference. Discussion at the Feb. 8 gathering in Silver Spring, Md., focused mainly on the upcoming visit by the general minister. After his March 28 arrival in the United States, Fr. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, will join the ESC friars both in New York City and at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York.

► Gene Pistacchio, OFM, celebrated a special Mass at the Wellness Center at St.  Anthony Shrine in Boston for the World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Mass “united us to the whole world to pray for all the sick and all those who care for them. Gene’s homily, coupled with his musical and contemplative sense of liturgy, connected us with the whole world,” said John Maganzini, OFM.  All medical staff members associated with the Wellness Center were invited to share in both the Mass and a reception that followed. Sr. Pat Barrett, director of the Wellness Center, offered a reflection after Communion.

► Frank Sevola, OFM, reports that several groups are participating in the Franciscan Peacemaking program at St. Mary’s Chapel in Providence, R.I. More details about this and other Providence ministries will follow in a future issue of this newsletter.