Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below describe some recent activities of Holy Name Province members. They highlight the friars’ 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 at

About the Administration
The Provincial Council announced the approval of three friars for priestly ordination this year. They are Juan de la Cruz Turcios, OFM, Javier Del Angel de los Santos, OFM – both of whom are scheduled to be ordained at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland – and Jay Woods, OFM, whose ordination Mass is to be held at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Connecticut. The dates of the Masses are not yet determined.
At their recent meetings, the Councilors discussed a variety of topics that affect the Province and the lives of the friars. They include financial transparency, regional councilor reports, a leadership program for guardians and pastors, the sale of the friary in Ringwood, New Jersey, and the fraternal life plans, which must be submitted in writing to the Provincial Office by Feb. 22. The Councilors also spent considerable time reviewing several documents released by the Order – among them missionary evangelization and initial formation, and a statement by 11 bishops that joins with the Tyler Clementi Foundation in standing up for at-risk LGBT youth.
The Provincial Administration sent special invocations and intercessions in an email to all friars, asking that these prayers for the success of the OFM General Chapter 2021 be added to the Liturgy of the Hours during Morning and Evening Prayer starting on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17. The prayer request came from the Minister General and the Order’s General Council.

Larry Anderson, OFM, hosted an online Theology on Tap on Feb. 10 for young Siena College alumni. The campus chaplain since 2014 led a discussion on faith that connected Ash Wednesday and Lent. The Theology on Tap program, which usually takes place in a bar or tavern, brings people together in an informal setting to discuss how faith plays a role in day-to-day life.

Br. Brian’s month in the Siena College calendar. (Graphic courtesy Siena College)

► The Siena College class of 2021 has designed and produced a wall calendar that features Holy Name Province friars at the Loudonville, New York, campus – with each month’s page illustrating a friar and the particular season. Calendar sales proceeds is part of the fundraising efforts of the senior class for the dedication of a campus townhouse to honor the memory of Ed Coughlin, OFM, Siena’s 11th president who died on July 30, 2019. The calendar’s month of February features photos of Brian Belanger, OFM, who has been at Siena since 2000, while the month before showcases Roberto Tito Serrano, OFM, who arrived on campus last summer. March features Mark Reamer, OFM, vice president for mission and guardian of St. Bernardine of Siena Friary, while July pays tribute to Ed, who served as Siena’s president from 2007 until his death in 2019. August shows Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, enjoying summer activities. The 2021 friar calendar can be purchased by using a link on Siena’s website.  The class of 2021 Siena Gift Committee expressed their gratitude to the friars for their patience, energy, and willingness – and for being overall good sports during the photoshoots for the calendar.

Ross Chamberland (Photo courtesy of the Provincial archives)

► On Feb. 7, Ross Chamberland, OFM, served as a presenter for the Boy Scouts of America Allegheny Highland Council’s Scout Sunday observance, an annual event that traditionally takes place on the first Sunday of February to celebrate the 12th point of Scout law – “A Scout is Reverent.” At the ceremony, which was held remotely because of the pandemic, Ross reflected on this Scout law from the perspective of the Catholic faith tradition, while other participants from the Islamic, Jewish and Protestant faiths also provided reflections to the roughly 75 people who attended the recorded event. Ross, associate vice president for student affairs at St. Bonaventure University and himself an Eagle Scout, began his remarks by saying that he very much identifies with what he learned as a scout – describing the story of St. Francis befriending a wolf while wandering the hills of the medieval town of Gubbio in central Italy. Citing the prayer of St. Francis, Ross said, “We are all brothers and sisters to one another by way of coming from one Father. It is important to remember that we are all connected.” Ross has served on the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, which is affiliated with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, for 15 years – during which he has served as chaplain and National Training Committee advisor. Ross, who has also served as a chaplain to circus performers, recently completed a graduate certificate in “diversity and inclusion” from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Julian Davies, OFM, has requested that friars submit annual updates about their ministry sites by May 1 to be included in the next edition of The Provincial Annals. Each year since 1936, Holy Name Province has produced a book, currently in soft-cover format, that summarizes major events of the year as well as developments at specific friar fraternities and ministry sites. Julian, who lives at Siena College, organizes the information for this annual project.

► The friars and their parishioners at Sacred Heart Parish in downtown Tampa, Florida – less than five miles from Raymond James Stadium, where Super Bowl LV was played between the hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs – were right in the middle of the festivities and excitement of the NFL’s biggest game of the year, reported Henry Fulmer, OFM, guardian of the friary. “The Riverwalk was decorated so local fans and visitors could enjoy the scenery of the host city, and there were plenty of activities leading up to the game – fireworks, entertainment at local eateries,” said Henry, who arrived at his new assignment last September. The Sacred Heart Bookstore adjacent to the church sold facemasks with the Buccaneer logo, and the parish staff celebrated with a tailgate luncheon on the Tuesday before the game. On Super Bowl Sunday, the friars enjoyed appetizers and a friendly pool that was won by Michael Jones, OFM, and Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM. “The team spirit was evident among parishioners who wore team apparel at all the liturgies. Parishioners were gracious hosts to visiting Chiefs fans who joined us for worship,” said Stephen, pastor of Sacred Heart who also arrived in September.

► A recording of the 2021 Duns Scotus lecture presented by Danial Horan, OFM, is available at, the website of the Catholic Theological Union, which sponsored the event. During the Q&A portion of the Feb. 6 lecture – “Spirituality in a Wintry Season: The Wisdom of the Franciscan Tradition in the Quest for Meaning Today” – Dan suggested further reading on Franciscan spirituality, including “Francis of Assisi: The Life” and “Francis of Assisi: The Life and Afterlife of a Medieval Saint.” Dan recently submitted to his publisher the text for another book, whose title will be “The Way of the Franciscans.”

Migrants in need of assistance are encouraged to contact the Migrant Center at 31st Street. (Graphic courtesy of Julian Jagudilla)

Julian Jagudilla, OFM, is asking those who know of migrants in need of legal information to encourage them to contact the Migrant Center of New York, which is based at 135 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001. “Join the Migrant Center of New York’s DACA campaign! Let us bring the light of hope to our sisters & brothers,” says Julian, who helped establish the Migrant Center in 2013. The Migrant Center can be reached at (212) 736-8500 ext. 377 or 305 or via email.

Greg Jakubowicz leading the recent prayer service for the health of President DePerro. (Photo courtesy of Maria Hayes)

► An article published last week in the Chronicle of Higher Education, titled “As Its President Fights Covid in the Hospital, a Campus Prays for Healing,” featured the Feb. 3 prayer service for Dennis DePerro, president of St. Bonaventure University since 2017, in his battle with COVID-19. More than 650 participants attended the live-streamed online prayer service led by SBU campus chaplain Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM. DePerro has been hospitalized at a Syracuse medical center since late December after his diagnosis.

Jacek Orzechowski reads to students at Immaculata School. (Photo courtesy of Jacek)

► During Catholic Schools Week 2021, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, and Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, read to students at Immaculata School in Durham, North Carolina. Hugh read to kindergarten students outside on the church steps, while Jacek, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, read to 1st-grade students in their socially distanced arranged classroom. A faculty/staff reflection was held virtually during CSW, which this year was held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6.

Joseph Nangle, OFM, and William Jud Weiksnar, OFM – co-chairs of the HNP Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate – and the staff at the JPIC Office are encouraging friars to enter into a deeper understanding of the teachings of Pope Francis by reading the pontiff’s book, “Let Us Dream the Path to a Better Future,” and by participating in the upcoming webinar series, “Politics and Pope Francis.” Information about these opportunities was distributed to HNP friars on Feb. 10 by JPIC leaders, including Joe, Jud, Erick Lopez, OFM, who is the liaison to the Provincial Council, and staff members Russell Testa and Fran Eskin-Royer. Information about ecology, immigration, and other relevant issues can be found on the Justice and Peace page of the website.

The community chalkboard at St. Francis Inn in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Richardson)

► Last month, St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, implemented an initiative created by student friar Aaron Richardson, OFM – using a chalkboard to generate dialogue among the guests of its soup kitchen. Interaction has been muted ever since the pandemic forced the Inn to convert from restaurant-style service to packaged takeout meals distributed through a window. The 8-by-12-foot board made its debut on Jan. 25. “We have been fortunate to continue providing meals, but the relational dimension of our ministry has suffered, as interactions with the community we serve have been drastically abbreviated,” said Aaron, who was assigned in June 2020 to the more than four-decade-old Inn as part of a year-long internship. “Our guests are feeling it too because our sit-down meals provided quality time for them to connect with one another. My hope is that the chalkboard will be a space that can facilitate that connection, giving guests a vehicle to express themselves with words and images.” The board debuted at the evening meal with a simple prompt: “Say Hi!” – to which guests responded by filling the space with words and drawings. Aaron said the prompts will change – for example, one of the Inn’s Franciscan volunteers is planning to draw the Philadelphia skyline with the question, “What’s your favorite thing about Philly?” During his time at the Inn, which will conclude in June, one of Aaron’s projects has been giving the yard a facelift since the outdoor space has become a focal point of safe interactions with the community. A Christmas tree initiative in which guests demonstrated an eagerness to express their creativity – and a small chalkboard on the wall of the women’s center on the Inn’s property – led Aaron to create the larger-scale community chalkboard. The Inn is run by a team of friars, sisters, and lay volunteers.

Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Macon, Georgia, was “blown away” by the outpouring of generosity after he launched an online fundraising initiative to repair a truck that he uses to haul crates of food, furniture, lumber, and his DJ gear. Within 48 hours of his post appearing on social media about the truck’s blown engine, he raised $3,540 of the $4,000 needed. “I am so blown away! I am witness to your power … $460 more and we are repaired!” Patrick said in a follow-up post.

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

  • Renovation of St. Anthony Friary in Butler, New Jersey
  • Artwork of Michael Reyes
  • Franciscan pilgrimages

Editor’s note: Past HNP Today stories can be found on the News & Events page of the Holy Name Province website.