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

 Russell Becker, OFM, director of the Province’s Franciscan Missionary Union, led a day of prayer on the theme of St. Francis for the friars of Saint Anthony Shrine in Boston on Sept. 29. The community gathered at 10 a.m. for prayer, followed by Russell’s talk, “Saint Francis and Evangelization.” He focused on Franciscan life in fraternity and ministry, based on key moments in the life of Saint Francis. One of his points was taken from the question often posed to Francis, “Why are so many people attracted to you?” Questions and reflections followed. Russell’s afternoon discussion group focused on readings for the Feast of Saint Francis. He later presided at 3:30 p.m. Mass. That evening, the postulants and friars went to the Boston waterfront, where they were treated to dinner and a harbor cruise aboard a boat owned and operated by Terry and Sherry Kirkman, who attend Saint Anthony Shrine.

► Christopher  Coccia, OFM, and Hugh  MacSherry, OFM, recently visited the community of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J.  Many photos of the welcoming visit appear on the parish Web site.

 Kevin Cronin, OFM, recently conducted “A Francis Week On the Road,” a Franciscan retreat in the parish where he grew up, Our Lady of the Snows, North Floral Park, Queens, N.Y. Themes included  “Falling in Love, Living the Gospel” and “Rebuilding the Church.” The retreat concluded with the Transitus on Oct. 3, and a feast day Mass and a Blessing of Animals on Oct. 4. “This was very special for me,” Kevin writes, “because it will be my kick-off Franciscan mission as we begin to celebrate our 800th anniversary in 2009. It is also special, because this will be my fourth mission there in the past 15 years.” Kevin, a member of the Ministry of the Word (MOW), also said he was excited to give the first mission in Our Lady of the Snows’ new church that was dedicated on Aug. 6. In addition, Kevin preached Mass on Sept 28, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the parish. “Who said you can’t go home?”  Kevin smiled. 

►  Two other MOW members,William DeBiase, OFM, and Daniel Riley, OFM, traveled recently to preach and celebrate Mass. William preached with Food for the Poor on Sept. 20 to 21 in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Oct. 4 to 5 in Worchester, Mass.  This weekend, he will minister at Dover, Del., Air Force Base. Daniel, director of Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat, celebrated Mass on Sept. 28 with alumni of St. Bonaventure University in Endwell, N.Y.

 Francis Gunn, OFM, presented “Songs in the Key of St. Francis” on Oct. 1 at St. Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes, N.J.

► Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, attended a special Mass on Oct. 6 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Terence Cardinal Cooke, who is called a “Servant of God.”  It was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. 

► An article by Daniel Horan, OFM, was published in the July/September 2008 issue of the journal, The Cord. His article, “Praying With the Subtle Doctor: Toward a Contemporary Scotistic Spirituality,” can be found on pages 225 to 242 in the third issue of Volume 58. This is Dan’s second published work on John Duns Scotus. In this article, Dan suggests a new way of looking at the philosophical work of Scotus, with particular attention to the implicit Franciscan spirituality that underlies the 14th Century thinker’s intellectual projects. Dan continues to work on projects related to the Franciscan theological and spiritual tradition, including forthcoming publications on Bonaventure’s The Tree of Life and Thomas Merton’s Franciscan Interreligious dialogue. The Cord is published by The Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University.

 Kevin Mackin, OFM, was awarded the Monsignor Burns Memorial Award on Sept. 22 at the Century House in Latham, N.Y. Established in 1986 by the school board of the Catholic Central High School (CCHS) in Troy, N.Y., the award recognizes individuals whose lives and action reflect the values of CCHS. Kevin, a member and leader in many education and community organizations, will be formally inaugurated as the fifth president of Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., Oct. 17.  Last month, Kevin, who served 11 years as president of Siena College, greeted students at The Mount’s freshman orientation. 

In addition, Kevin was part of the conversation recently when the Greater Southern Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce hosted a dialogue with four local college presidents in Fishkill, N.Y. In addition to Kevin, panelists included Steve Poskanzer of the State University of New York at New Paltz, David Conklin of Dutchess Community College, and Cappy Hill of Vassar College. Kevin, introduced as the newest on the panel, mentioned his Franciscan and Dominican connections. He described the college’s distinction in seeking to develop both skills of the mind and habits of the heart. The panel also discussed keeping education affordable. Kevin is a proponent of scholarships. The event was covered by The Poughkeepsie Journal. Read it here 

► Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, gave two presentations last week about Franciscan history. The widely known scholar spoke about the friars coming to Paterson on Sept. 29 at St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, N.J., and about  “Other Great Franciscan Saints” on Sept. 30 at St. Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes, N.J.  On Oct. 2, he attended the inauguration of the president of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y.

► On Sept. 28, John “Gus” Richardson, OFM, and Ignatius Smith, OFM, blessed the new $27 million Villa Roma Hotel and Resort in Callicoon, N.Y., not far from Holy Cross Church where Ignatius is pastor. Hundreds of family members, well-wishers and local politicians were on hand for the ribbon-cutting of the rebuilt hotel. Its owner, Marty Passante, thanked the friars for their many years of ministry to hotel guests. The original hotel building was destroyed by fire in 2006.

► James Scullion, OFM, is speaking Oct. 8 at Holy Name of Jesus Church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. His topic is “Saint Paul — Missionary and Letter Writer.” 

 Richard Trezza, OFM, the Province’s spiritual assistant for the Secular Franciscan Order, is giving a retreat Oct. 17 to 19 at Damascus Retreat House in New York City.  The event’s theme is  “Called and Sent: Our Journey as Baptized Catholic Christians.”