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

 Todd Carpenter, OFM, and Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, attended the installation of the new pastor at Holy Cross Church, Bronx, on Sept. 14.  Father Peter Pomposello was installed as the first diocesan pastor of Holy Cross by Bishop Dennis Sullivan, vicar general of the archdiocese of New York. “Thus completes our history at Holy Cross, Bronx,” said Todd, former pastor.

► Radio station WDEO of Ave Maria Communications in Detroit interviewed Peter Fiore, OFM, scholar in residence at Siena College, about Milton’s “Paradise Lost” on Aug. 20. Peter, author of Milton and Augustine (Pennsylvania State University Press), talked with Al Kresta of the “Kresta in the Afternoon Show” about Milton’s theology in the epic poem. Peter said that Milton’s theology was primarily Protestant with strong Augustinian overtones. He commented on the fallacy of satan as epic hero, on Adam and Eve’s marital sex in unfallen Eden, on the poet’s misogynism, and on the person of Eve in the epic. He also pointed out Milton’s major theological error; saying that the Son and the Holy Spirit were inferior to the Father. Peter said that Milton’s use of Augustin teaching on thefelix culpa (the fortunate fall) gives the epic its optimism, beauty and stature as the greatest classical epic in the English language. 

► Roy Gasnick, OFM, writes that he finds himself without a personal copy of his Marvel comic book, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He requests that any friar with a copy to share send it to him. Roy’s gratitude will be immense, he said.

► Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, and Jerome Massimino, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan, attended the Sept. 23 opening of the United Nations General Assembly.  In addition to hearing President George Bush speak, they heard presentations by the presidents of Brazil and France.

 Lawrence Hayes, OFM, is leading a Bible study at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md., in which participants will “prayerfully examine Paul’s letters from prison,” according to a recent parish bulletin. The study, which began Sept. 8, includes 10 sessions with prayer, group discussion and a video presentation.

► An article in the Houston Chronicle earlier this month described the artwork of Robert Lentz, OFM, at All Saints Catholic Church there.  He created paintings and sculptures for the recently-renovated church. Robert’s work includes an almost life-size represtation of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Joseph in his carpenter’s shop with Jesus as a child, according to the newspaper. The parish, where Robert has lived for more than three years, is celebrating its centennial of being in the Heights section of Houston.

 John Maganzini, OFM, reports that the “friars and postulants at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston have begun a new monthly happening in the life of the community — a friars’ evening.”  The format includes a one-half hour presentation by a friar or postulant on topics such as their vocation journey. This talk is followed by preprandium, informal dinner, Compline, and dessert in the recreation room. The first speaker was Raymond Mann, OFM, who gave a faith-sharing reflection on Sept. 10. The friars and postulants echoed the same comment repeatedly: “This was wonderful. Ray’s talk really gave us much to reflect on.” After Compline, the friars gathered for dessert.

 Joseph Nangle, OFM, was the ambassador of peace for Pax Christi USA at a national press conference in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, launching the Million Doors for Peace campaign to end the war in Iraq. The campaign was held last weekend, when Pax Christi members knocked on neighborhood doors to solicit signatures to end the war. Pax Christi was the only faith-based organization at the press conference, which included groups like United for Peace and Justice, Iraq Veterans Against War, Democracy for America and others. “My short intervention called attention to the deafening silence of American pulpits as this war has progressed,” said Joe, “despite Popes John Paul II’s and Benedict’s denunciation of it.”  He added, “On Saturday, the pulpits would be taken to the homes of Americans through the Million Doors for Peace effort. I ended my remarks by comparing the silence of the churches, especially my own, to that of the Christians in Nazi Germany, who, for the most part, remained silent.” Joe’s statement can be found on the Pax Christi USA Web site. Joe is a member of the Pax Christi board of directors.

► Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, is attending a Sept. 25 meeting of bishops and major superiors of New York State. This weekend, he participates with John Piccione, OFM, and Joseph Hertel, OFM, in a meeting of the National Catholic Development Conference in Orlando, Fla.

 Steven Pavignano, OFM, who was recently appointed pastor of All Saints Church in Harlem, N.Y., has announced that VISTA volunteer Laura Robinson will assist in improving the parish’s food pantry. Robinson, a graduate of Duke University, with a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology, applied for the position through the NYC Coalition Against Hunger. “With Laura’s help, we hope to better care for our brothers and sisters who are hungry,” said Steven.

► Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, attended a planning meeting with the Archdiocese of New York Vocation Office for Religious at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie.  The Sept. 17 gathering was hosted by Sr. Deanna Sabetta, CND, who heads up the office. More than 35 religious vocation directors from the area attended, Brian said, adding that the theme was “Benedict and Beyond: Becoming Christ Our Hope,” building on Pope Benedict’s visit to New York City and his remarks about vocations.  The purpose of the meeting was to plan joint vocation events in the archdiocese such as young adult gatherings, the catechetical convocation, online retreats,  as well as to share ideas and insights concerning vocation recruitment. On Sept. 11, Brian participated in a meeting of the Province’s vocation committee which is chaired by Francis Di Spigno, OFM, a Provincial Councilor. 

 Daniel Sulmasy, OFM, director of ethics at St. Vincent’s Hospital and New York Medical College, was featured in an article titled, “How to Talk to your Doctor about God” on CNN’s Web site earlier this month. 

 Basil Valente, OFM, program director of St. Bonaventure University’s Oxford program, recently changed locations of the program from Somerville College, home of the program for nearly 20 years, to Trinity College, one of Oxford University’s 39 independently run colleges. The move transformed study for SBU students this summer as the Francis E. Kelley Oxford program celebrated its 21st year.

According to a recent announcement from SBU, Basil began the search for new academic possibilities at Oxford nearly four years ago. His focus led him to Trinity College, which went out of its way to accommodate the program. “Trinity College wants St. Bonaventure there,” Basil said.  This summer, 27 St. Bonaventure students joined those from schools such as Georgetown, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Georgia, in the program.  Another friar Daniel Dwyer, OFM, a history professor at Siena College, was part of SBU’s Oxford Program staff this summer.