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Friar News Briefs

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name Province friars, featuring celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, email the friars, contact the HNP Communications Office, or visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned.

To provide news briefs for future articles, email information to Communications Director Jocelyn Thomas.

From the Administration
Resources have been developed by the Provincial Administration for maintaining contact with HNP members who recently moved from Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., to other nursing and elder care facilities. A directory listing the friars and the new facilities at which they now reside, along with a form that should be completed after a visit with a friar, was emailed last week to all HNP friars.
The April issue of the Province’s wellness newsletter was distributed last week. Friars who would like a copy of Inside-out Wellness may contact the Communications Office or Amy Stewart-Wilmarth, HNP director of wellness.
The Provincial Administration reminds friars interested in attending the US-6 Chapter of Mats to submit their registration forms by April 30.

► Several friars participated in Siena College’s annual Scholarship Appreciation Dinner on April 11. After a blessing by chaplain Lawrence Anderson, OFM, and music by Siena Psalm 150 Music Ministry, F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, Siena’s president since 2014, delivered opening remarks – thanking donors for their generosity and noting the uniqueness of the event. Scholarship recipients shared a meal with their donors, which Edward said, “made it a very special night.” The 28th annual dinner event, which was attended by Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, and Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, recognized nearly 90 scholarships.

► In Western New York, Francis Di Spigno, OFM, and Lawrence Ford, OFM, participated at an April 7 dinner at St. Bonaventure University, during which the John Domino Award was presented to 1974 SBU alumnus Thomas McElroy. St. Bonaventure’s Jandoli School of Communication celebrates courage, skills and humanity by presenting the prestigious award to an SBU graduate in sports communications who has excelled in their position. Francis offered the benediction and Lawrence gave the closing prayer at the event. Held every other year, the dinner felt like “happy nostalgia,” said Lawrence, who grew up near the SBU campus while his father was a member of the university’s staff.

► Photos of Daniel Horan, OFM, during his visit with the Poor Clares of Chesterfield, N.J., are posted on the Monastery Happenings blog. Dan, who lives in Chicago, spent part of Holy Week with the Poor Clares.

► Late friar Mychal Judge, OFM, was mentioned in a recent New York Times article about the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Headlined “The Chaplain, the Cathedral Fire and the Race to Rescue Notre Dame’s Relics,” the article described the Paris Fire Department chaplain’s reactions on the day after the fire. “When he saw the flames getting closer to the cathedral’s two towers, Father Fournier’s thoughts turned to another fire chaplain: the Rev. Mychal F. Judge, who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.”

Kevin Kriso, OFM, and Daniel Riley, OFM, remind HNP friars as well as members of other OFM provinces who are planning to attend the 2019 Contemplative Days at Mt. Irenaeus where they are guardian and animator, respectively, to register by May 1. From June 17 to 21, attendees will have the opportunity to reflect, relax and spend time with other visitors on the 378-acre property in Western New York. Those interested in participating are asked to contact the Mt. Irenaeus office coordinator to register. In its recent e-newsletter, the Mt. Irenaeus community also invited men and women with interest in living and working at the Mountain to consider visiting during July and August to experience firsthand the ministry and beauty of its surroundings.

► The Franciscan Volunteer Ministry Board of Advisors met on April 6 in Durham, N.C., where volunteers have been working since last summer. A photo of the gathering – which was hosted by Hugh Macsherry, OFM,  the Durham friar site supervisor, and the Durham FVMs – can be found on the FVM Facebook page. Meeting attendees, including FVM executive director Katie Sullivan, associate director Lizzy Heurich and other board members, participated either in person or via web-conferencing. These meetings regularly include site reports from friar site supervisors Chris Posch, OFM (St. Camillus Parish, Silver Spring, Md.), Michael Duffy, OFM (St. Francis Inn, Philadelphia, Penn.), and Hugh, as well as updates on finances, recruiting, and supporting personal and communal development of the FVM participants. At this year’s spring meeting, there was significant focus on FVM’s upcoming 30th birthday celebration, which is scheduled for July 20 in San Damiano Hall at the Provincial headquarters in New York City. Participants also discussed the promotion and marketing of FVM through the Restructuring and Revitalization Process. Following the meeting, attendees visited Bennett Place State Historic Site, where the largest Civil War surrender was negotiated.

► “Every faith tradition has its tangible representations of an intangible belief: symbols, texts, and even elements of nature can center one’s faith and serve as a reminder of traditional values and figures. But to Siena College in Albany, New York, the important part of owning The Saint John’s Bible isn’t to show it off as ‘proof’ of faith or tradition.” That thought-provoking statement was the opening of “Franciscan Tradition is ‘Alive’ with the Heritage Edition at Siena College,” an article published in the newspaper of Saint John’s University in Minnesota. The article described the importance of the Saint John’s Bible, which is currently at the Loudonville, N.Y., campus, thanks to the efforts of Mark Reamer, OFM, director of Siena’s Mission Office, who has been serving at his alma mater since August 2014 when he arrived to fill the position of guardian of the friar community. A story on this topic, titled “Siena College Sees Edition of Saint John’s Bible Igniting Faith on Campus,” was published in September in Crux.

► The familial culture of St. Anthony of Padua School in Greenville, S.C., along with the values taught there, was among the qualities described in an article published on April 9 in the Greenville Journal. Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, was quoted in the story titled “St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School’s nurturing atmosphere prepares students to achieve without limits.” “We educate children not only with academics but also with character formation. When children understand they are the apple of God’s eye and base their self-esteem on God’s opinion, they feel more comfortable and secure to learn,” said Patrick. “We are adding to the increasing graduation rates in the city — 100 percent of our students graduated high school and 100 percent earned college admission.”

► Last week, Basil Valente, OFM, the Province’s director of vocations, attended the Association of Governing Boards’(AGB) National Conference on Trusteeship in Orlando, Fla. Basil was representing Siena College’s Board of Trustees and is beginning his second term as member of Siena’s Board. Duncan Wardle, former vice president for innovation and creativity at The Walt Disney Company, delivered the keynote address at the conference. He challenged board members around the country to “develop a culture of innovation while working on strategic goals to teach students to assume jobs that don’t yet exist,” according to Basil. Speaking to more than 800 board of trustee members and college presidents representing 46 states, Wardle invited attendees to “teach students to be ‘creativity leaders,’ by ‘igniting a culture of innovation and creativity’ on your campuses, especially if you hope to remain competitive in higher education,” explained Basil, a 1984 Siena College graduate and tenured faculty member at St. Bonaventure University.

Topics that will be featured in future issues of this newsletter include:

  • Profiles of silver jubilarians
  • Recognition of David Bossman, OFM, by Seton Hall University
  • Summary of commemorations of the anniversary of the encounter of St. Francis with the Sultan

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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