Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

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 at

From the Administration
Holy Name Province is celebrating two important events this month. On June 22, Casey Cole, OFM, will be ordained to the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, N.C. On June 27, friars marking 50 and 25 years since professing first vows will be honored at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.
The Provincial newsletter will be changing to a monthly distribution schedule beginning in July. The first issue on this new schedule cycle will be released soon after Independence Day.

► St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City is holding a three-part lecture series next month, titled “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place: St. Francis of Assisi Parish at 175.” The lecture series will feature three friars, among them William Beaudin, OFM, who will teach week one’s “Biblical Perspectives” on July 17 and 19; Dominic Monti, OFM, who will teach week two’s “Historical Perspectives” on July 23, 24 and 25, and Timothy Shreenan, OFM, who, along with Joseph Nuzzi – director of evangelization at the 31st Street parish – will teach “Theological and Artistic Perspectives” on July 30 and 31. This three-week program, offered by the parish’s St. Francis Adult Education Center, will be held at San Damiano Hall, 129 West 31st Street. Details can be found on the parish website and in a pamphlet available at the parish office.

► The spring issue of r, the magazine published by the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University, is now available on the center’s website. This issue commemorates the 800th anniversary of the encounter in 1219 between the Sultan of Egypt and St. Francis of Assisi. It includes articles by Michael Calabria, OFM, Robert Lentz, OFM, and Islamic scholar Irfan Omar, as well as a book review by Fr. Michael Cusato, OFM, and other interesting writings. A limited number of paper copies of the magazine is available and can be requested by contacting Michael Calabria – who has served as director of SBU’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies since 2015. Michael and Fr. Michael Cusato of Sacred Heart Province were involved in the production of the 2017 film, “The Sultan and the Saint,” which was featured in last month’s edition of Independent Catholic News.

► For the past year, Christopher Dunn, OFM, has been working with the youth at St. Mary of the Angels in Anderson, S.C., where he has established a YouFra group, the inverted acronym for Franciscan Youth. “Young Franciscans is a program that was big in Peru, where Chris was stationed before coming here,” said Michael Jones, OFM, pastor, who noted that the organization, connected to the Secular Franciscans, is a journey of Franciscan spirituality and experience of fraternity for young people who seek to deepen their relationship with God and understanding of self, others and the beauty of creation. The emerging fraternity of Secular Franciscans in Anderson has been involved in the formation of the YouFra group. Chris was appointed as the spiritual director of the Secular Franciscans during the council’s first election on June 10. The group, which has begun a year of formation in Franciscan values and lifestyle, chose as its patron 14-year-old martyr St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, one of the newest recognized American , saints who was brutally tortured and martyred during the Cristeros conflict on Feb. 10, 1928 in Sahuayo, Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, according to Christopher, who has been stationed in Anderson since early last year.

Linh Hoang, OFM, is scheduled to give a lecture, titled “Asian Slavery in the Americas: Franciscanism, Race and Identity in the Asian American Experience,” at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union on Oct. 2. Linh, an associate professor of religious studies at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., also serves as a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The lecture presentation will use a “theology of place” as a background to discuss intersecting elements, according to the re-Cap newsletter of the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, which publicized the event in its June 5 issue.

The friars on their solemn profession retreat, shown here at the General Curia in Rome, include Roberto Serrano,  kneeling at left, and Javier del Angel de los Santos, standing at right. (Photo courtesy of Russel Murray)

Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, and Russel Murray, OFM, are part of the leadership team for the friars participating in the solemn vows pilgrimage in Italy this month, which began on June 5 and concludes on June 29. Russel accompanied the brothers at the start of the journey and remained with them until June 14, when Greg then joined the group. “After the pilgrimage proper, the brothers will stay with the Conventuals at Rivo Torto for a week’s retreat with Fr. Jason Welle, OFM, of Assumption BVM Province,” said Russel, who emailed several photos of the pilgrimage to the HNP Communications Office, one of which was taken from the deck of the OFM Curia, where the 14 pilgrims had pranzo, their midday meal, on June 6.

Brian Jordan, OFM, was quoted in a New York Daily News article published on June 16 about Dominic Ternan, OFM, who died on June 19, 1944, in France. In “Man of God, Son of Brooklyn and WW II Hero,” it says that Brian – who hails from the same Brooklyn parish as Dominic – was inspired to make a pilgrimage last year to the site of his death in a French battlefield cemetery that pays homage to the priest’s selfless sacrifice. The article concludes with a quote from Brian: “Now every time as I look at ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ when a priest is blessing bodies, I think of Dominic.” On June 19 – the 75th anniversary of Dominic’s death – the Province is holding a memorial Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City in his honor.

► A video about the contemplative life of Daniel Riley, OFM, was released by Casey Cole, OFM, making it the 10th production in Casey’s YouTube video series, “A Friar Life.” This installment shows Dan’s life at the Mt. Irenaeus community in Western New York and his work with students at nearby St. Bonaventure University. A recent Mt. Irenaeus Facebook post said: “Friars have had their own version of contemplative life since the founding of the Order. Recently, Casey spent time with us at the Mountain and documented a slice of our life in his ongoing YouTube series. Enjoy this video, Fr. Dan’s words and Br. Casey’s stunning cinematography.”

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

  • Simple profession of vows on July 2
  • SPUTY Chapter for friars solemnly-professed under 10 years, being held July 7 to 14 in Taize, France
  • Presentation of HNP Francis Medal in Bolivia

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas