Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below describe some recent activities of Holy Name Province friars. They highlight their personal projects as well as events at friaries and ministry sites.

For details about any of the information, email the friars, contact the HNP Communications Office, or visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned. To provide news for future articles, send an email to communications director Jocelyn Thomas.

From and About the Administration
As a substitute for the Province’s traditional fraternal gatherings – usually held during the autumn season, but canceled due to the ongoing novel coronavirus – the Provincial Minister organized eight virtual meetings from Nov. 11 to 17 via Zoom conference as a way to uphold the tradition and bring together the friar community. In preparation for the gatherings, Kevin Mullen, OFM, asked friars to reflect on the effects of the pandemic personally and in their fraternities, and suggestions for improving fraternal experience during these times of separation. The virtual gatherings were scheduled for one hour.
At their recent meetings, the Provincial Councilors have discussed a wide range of topics, including their reactions to the presidential election. They began their Nov. 4 meeting with a prayer for healing and conversation distributed by the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities. During their business sessions, the Councilors finalized the members of the Provincial directorates and committees, worked on the development of three videos based on Chapter themes, and began work on a Franciscan leadership program.

► The Oct. 29 issue of The Beacon, the newspaper of the Diocese of Paterson in New Jersey, featured an article about the online program on racism that has been organized by Jay Woods, OFM, Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, John Aherne, OFM, and Provincial staff member Maria Hayes. The article said that a group of the faithful at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, “learned, or were reminded, that racism is not only caused by the hateful acts of individuals but more pervasively by a long-standing social and political system in the U.S. designed to maintain the status quo” of inequality for people of color. The one-hour sessions, “Let’s Talk About Racism,” conclude on Nov. 19. “We wanted to help people understand that racism is caused by a system of discrimination in society,” John said in the article. “I’m impressed about how open people are in discussing their experiences, even about their own implicit racial bias, which we all have. This is not leftist propaganda. We want to create a space where people can talk about the sin of racism in this country so we can help change it together and move forward into the future.”

Patrick Tuttle at a block party in Macon. (Photo courtesy of Patrick)

Patrick Tuttle, OFM, was installed as pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Macon, Georgia, on Oct. 28 by Bishop Stephen Parkes of the Diocese of Savannah. Days later, he attended a block party whose other guests included the mayor, sheriff, city council members, and neighborhood officials. “It was a great, cool sunny day,” said Patrick, who moved to Macon from Greenville, South Carolina, in September to take on his new pastoral assignment. St. Peter Claver Parish, where Patrick is living with other Province friars, posted on its Facebook page a video of him dancing at the block party with members of a sorority. To help the community get acquainted with its new pastor, Holy Spirit Parish posted Patrick’s biography on its website.

Tito Serrano (Photo from the Provincial files)

Tito Serrano, OFM, is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 5 at a live-streamed Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas Olmsted at St. Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix, Arizona, which is affiliated with the high school from which Tito graduated and where his mother currently teaches. The Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific Time, or noon Eastern. Tito, who professed his solemn vows as a Franciscan in August 2019, has been assigned since late last summer at Siena College in Loudonville, New York, where he has several roles — working in the chaplain’s office and Damiano Center and serving as an academic advisor in Siena’s athletic department.

► The annual online Mountain auction was held from Nov. 6 to 15 to benefit the programs and residents of the retreat community in Western New York. Among the auction items was original artwork by Daniel Riley, OFM – a founder of Mt. Irenaeus, which was established in 1985 – along with sports memorabilia, travel items, and vintage Mountain trail signs. Reflections by Dan and Kevin Kriso, OFM, guardian of the Mountain’s Holy Peace Friary, can be found in the Mt. Irenaeus fall 2020 newsletter, and information about the Franciscan Mountain community can be found online.

An announcement of Michael’s recent master’s thesis exhibition. (Image from postcard)

► Artwork by Michael Reyes, OFM, was displayed earlier this month at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. The art show, installed in the school’s main gallery from Nov. 3 to 8 and visited by friars and others, featured 11 large-scale mixed-media paintings that he completed as part of his master’s program. The largest was 72” x 60”. “Not only is the artwork Franciscan in subject, but the process and materials are very Franciscan as well because they find the beauty in the ordinary, mixing the precious metal leaves with the ordinariness of the papers to create something beautiful,” said Michael, who lives at St. Francis of Assisi Friary on West 31st Street. He has been studying at the school – which offers an extraordinary studio arts program for aspiring artists – for the past two years. The thesis show was one of the final requirements to obtain the MFA degree, said Michael, who is scheduled to graduate on Dec. 12. The show and graduation were originally scheduled for May 2020 but were postponed because of the pandemic.

► A tribute to the late Chris Posch, OFM, was posted last month on the website of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry. He had been involved with the program for 17 years, supervising and mentoring dozens of volunteers right up until his death. Three FVM alumni shared memories of the life and impact of the friar in the heartfelt tribute titled “Remembering Brother Chris.”

Joe Nangle’s article at Pax Christi USA. (Image from the website)

► Three days after the presidential election, Joe Nangle, OFM, wrote a compelling article for the website of Pax Christi USA that raised thought-provoking questions. Headlined “Hope is the place to begin again if we are to save the soul of our country,” Joe said in the Nov. 6 article, “The division in this country does not only run along political/party lines as much as it represents an ominous difference of basic values among us. It gives rise to fundamental questions: What have we become as a country? What do we want to be as a country? Do 60-something million of our fellow citizens actually prefer xenophobia over internationalism? Would they actually agree to turn our backs on efforts like the Paris climate agreement?” Earlier this month, Joe was part of a group of more than 100 clergy leaders who signed a statement circulated by Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace and justice movement. The group preached on the weekend before Election Day “to address people’s anxiety and tension,” according to the written pledge, “by cultivating [their] commitment to the common good, respect for individual conscience, belief in the promise of nonviolence, and trust in the democratic process.” The Pax Christie election season invitation was aimed at helping priests and deacons to prepare their faith communities for the possibility of a contested election and the social unrest that might follow in its aftermath.

► As a way of introduction to parishioners, the new friars at Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Florida, have participated in a light-hearted game called the Rapid Friar Question Challenge. The entertaining and informative responses by Ron Gliatta, OFM, Michael Jones, OFM, and Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM, were posted on the parish’s website and Facebook pageA video interview with Ron by Pam Ferron, director of parish life and communications, is also posted on the Facebook page

► Pius Liu, OFM, reports from Taiwan that he has been busy recently with celebrations of the feast of St. Francis and other events. Pius, who commemorated his 99th birthday in January, lives at the Franciscan Friary in Taishan, Taipei Hsien. To update his contacts around the world, Pius posts photos and information on his Facebook page.

► Last month, Stephen Kluge, OFM, celebrated a Mass commemorating the 60th anniversary of the first profession of Sr. Mary Francis Flynn, OSF. Stephen, who is stationed at St. Francis of Assisi Parish on the Jersey Shore, “gave a beautiful homily,” according to the Facebook page of the Monastery of St. Clare of Chesterfield, New Jersey, which posted a video of the Oct. 17 celebration.

A screenshot of an image representing one of Lalo’s talks. (Image from Facebook)

Lalo Jara, OFM, has launched video series on YouTube aimed at providing faith formation to the Latino community. Named Cafeteano con Padre Lalo, or Drinking Coffee with Fr. Lalo, the videos are posted weekly, on Wednesdays, on Lalo’s Facebook page. Lalo, a native of Costa Rica who was ordained in 2017, bases his presentations on questions that are submitted to him via text message and email – usually in Spanish. He began the series in May when the Archdiocese of Washington asked him to “put together a series about the rosary. Approximately 1,000 viewers from states and countries where Lalo has lived tune into his videos on Facebook and YouTube. Previously stationed in Silver Spring, Maryland, he is now assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Virginia.

Daniel Horan, OFM, the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union, gave three presentations in the last few weeks. On Nov. 12, he delivered the 2020 Albertus Magnus Lecture at Dominican University, titled “Loving the Dust We Are: Vulnerability, Interconnectedness, and Rethinking What it Means to be Human.”  He also gave a lecture sponsored by the Religious Formation Conference on Nov. 15, titled “Fear, Faith, and Religious Life in the Context of Global Crisis.” Dan will give a presentation on Nov. 23 to the US-6 Provincials on the pope’s encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti.” Dan wrote the introduction to the Orbis book printing of the encyclical. Dan, who spoke as part of a panel on the new document, also wrote an article for NCR (Oct. 4, 2020, “Relationship Leads Us To Peace: Three Key Franciscan Themes in Fratelli Tutti”) about some of the Franciscan themes in the encyclical.

Thomas Hartle, OFM, of Butler, New Jersey, led a Zoom retreat for the Poor Clares of Cincinnati last month. It was the first-ever virtual retreat given by Tom, who has served as the religious assistant to Holy Name Federation of Poor Clares for 22 years. The Oct. 18 to 23 retreat consisted of Tom’s presentation with responses – questions, observations, and sharing – from the sisters. Though the method was an effective way to hold a retreat during the pandemic, Tom said it was somewhat awkward. “I felt removed from the situation,” he explained. “The immediacy of presence is lost on ‘zooming.’ Being present and experiencing the presence of the retreatants helps me to form and shape my reflection.” Helping him overcome the challenges was the fact that he knew all of the sisters at the Cincinnati monastery. “I would have found it more disconnected if this was a group that I had never met,” said Tom, whose retreat theme was “Life in the gardens and the desert/wilderness.”

► The HNP Vocation Ministry recently posted on its Facebook page videos by friars describing why they answered the call to become Franciscans. These poignant vocation stories by Ignatius Harding, OFM, and Henry Fulmer, OFM, can be found on BeaFranciscan. Its Facebook page also has posts of videos of friars – including Kevin Mullen, OFM – speaking on discernment. For National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 1 to 7, the HNP Vocation Ministry posted daily quizzes to educate and entertain its followers.

 Eat – comer, mangiare, manger, essen, jeść. No matter which language you say it, you won’t want to miss the video series, “Friar Chef,” which was launched in October by the Province Development Office. In these wonderfully inspirational culinary videos that can be found on the FriarWorks website,  friars – including Thomas Gallagher, OFM, and Michael Carnevale, OFM – describe, create and share their delightfully delicious recipes.

► On Nov. 11, Hurricane Eta gave Tampa Bay a taste of her high winds and rain. The local news station and meteorologist predicted the rains, but they couldn’t predict Eta’s change of mind, according to Henry Fulmer, OFM, guardian of Sacred Heart Friary in Tampa, Florida. “We awakened the next morning to the high winds and torrential downpours without the floodwaters. Although the high winds departed, the rain continued,” said Henry. “A sister of one of the friars called to check on him because of the weather reports she was hearing. He informed her that being in our friary is like living in Fort Knox – and that we were safe. The friary structure is solid and it’s attached to the church and parish offices, so we didn’t have to brave the elements to get to our offices.”  Henry said it actually turned out to be a quiet day, so much so that one of the friars commented that it felt like a retreat day.  “The storm gave us a break from our daily routine – a day to do something we would not have been able to do otherwise – pray and rest, and in the midst of the wind, sit in the quietness of a storm,” said Henry, who noted that a convalidation celebrated by Zack Elliot, OFM, was a team effort, as Mike Jones, OFM, volunteered to go shopping and prepare dinner for the friars that evening.

► Among the many people saddened by the recent death of long-time Jeopardy host Alex Trebek was Tom Cole, OFM, of Butler, New Jersey – where he is among a group of friars that gathers after supper to watch the popular game show. Tom said the dedicated fans at St. Anthony Friary were inspired by Trebek’s attitude and candor in dealing with his battle with cancer. “His death leaves us with a great absence,” said Tom, adding that many friars said they will miss welcoming him into their home every evening. “The friars felt that the half-hour spent with Alex Trebek, especially in these days of COVID and nasty politics, was refreshing. He was one of very few wholesome and entertaining celebrities who the entire family could watch. Trebek was an inspiration to many people struggling with illnesses of their own,” Tom said.

Butler commemoration of All Souls of the Seraphic Order. (Image from the Facebook video linked to in the item below)

► Friars living in Butler marked the commemoration of All Souls of the Seraphic Order in a special way on Nov. 6. They participated in a midday prayer service at the friars’ plot in Mount Calvary Cemetery. Paul Chelus, OFM, a resident of the Butler friary, provided photos – which can be found, along with photos of other events in Butler, on the St. Anthony of Padua Church Facebook page.

► A co-authored article by Ross Chamberland, OFM, associate vice president for student affairs at St. Bonaventure University, and his research colleague, Dr. Guillermo Montes, was published in the 2020 annual Catholic Social Science Review, the peer-reviewed journal of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. The article, “Leadership Lessons from the Court of St. Fernando: The Treatise of Loyalty and Nobility,” analyzes a medieval treatise on leadership written at the request of Saint Fernando III of Castile in the 13th century. An announcement by St. Bonaventure says that the authors investigate how the conceptualization of leadership is similar and different from our modern approaches. Ross, a native of New Hampshire, has been stationed at SBU since 2013.

Topics planned for upcoming issues of the HNP Today newsletter include:

  • Francis Springs Prayer Center updates
  • Lessons learned during the pandemic
  • Ordination of Tito Serrano, OFM
  • Renovation of St. Anthony of Padua Friary in Butler, New Jersey
  • Franciscan pilgrimages

The next newsletter issue is scheduled for distribution the week of Dec. 14.

 — Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas