Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below feature activities of Holy Name friars, including their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, contact the friars by phone or email, or connect with the HNP Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future articles, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

►Raphael Bonanno, OFM, of Boston, is leading a tour of China that includes a cruise on the Yangtze River and a visit to Shanghai. Information is available in the Jan. 4 bulletin of St. Anthony Shrine, which describes the trip as “educational and inspirational.”

►Student friar Casey Cole, OFM, posted a photo on his blog of the friars of Holy Name College wearing ugly-looking sweaters during their Christmas tree decorating party last month. In a post titled “Christmas with the Brothers,” he shared the way the friars celebrated the holiday this year.

In a blog entry posted Dec. 24, development director David Convertino, OFM, suggested consumers try a different way of shopping for gifts. “You can help the Franciscan friars provide a hot meal, groceries, clothing and shelter for the poor we serve, especially at this beautiful time of Christmas, by browsing our Totally Different Franciscan Kind of Christmas Catalog.” On Dec. 31, he added a post in which he talked of the value of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media as a way of connecting with others. “Social media has proven itself to be an amazing tool in the dissemination of information to corners of the globe that, without it, would still be in the dark. So many innovations have helped link us to each other, to world events and to combating disease and poverty.”

The friars of Sacred Heart Friary in Tampa, Fla., where George Corrigan, OFM, is guardian, hosted a New Year’s luncheon for their brothers at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg. “The day consisted of participating in the parish Mass at 10:30 a.m., followed by appetizers in the friary. Afterwards, all gathered in the parish hall for an Italian meal and dessert,” said Paul Santoro, OFM, who arranged for a van to transport the friars between the two locations. Paul and Frank Critch, OFM, prepared the luncheon.

►Edward Coughlin, OFM, was the first guest in a new video series called “Five Questions at Casey’s.” This initiative was launched last month by Siena College, where Edward has been president since last summer. The segments are recorded inside Casey’s, the Sarazen Student Union’s new lounge, and “are meant to provide an opportunity to learn about some of the college’s most exciting and innovative people, programs and opportunities,” according to an announcement on Siena’s website.

►Michael Duffy, OFM, was quoted and pictured in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer story titled “On Christmas a Void – and Bellies – Were Filled at St. Francis Inn.” “We consider ourselves a second home for people who have none, especially during the holidays when everything revolves around friendship, family and home,” said Michael, who has been stationed at the Philadelphia soup kitchen for nearly 30 years. “Those three things are lacking in a lot of people’s lives. When they come here, at least for this time, they can forget that and be surrounded by warmth.”

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, arranged distribution of the 2014-15 HNP Directory. All friars were sent a hard copy before Christmas. This month, he will be shipping the latest edition of the Memorial Days of Deceased Friars booklet.

On Dec. 17, Daniel Horan, OFM, gave an Advent presentation titled “The Coming of Christ Into Our Lives” to St. Anthony Shrine’s 20s/30s Young Adult group. Photos were posted on the Shrine’s website.

►David Hyman, OFM, of the HNP African Ancestry Committee, announces that the Provincial commemoration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will take place at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville, S.C, on Jan. 18. Provincial Councilor David Convertino, OFM, will preside and deliver the homily at the 11 a.m. Mass.

►Joseph Juracek, OFM, returned last month from a sabbatical in the Holy Land. He spent three months near Jerusalem at a facility run by the University of Notre Dame and is now serving at St. Mary’s Friary in Pompton Lakes, N.J.

Last month, Stephen Kluge, OFM, hosted several of the Poor Clares of Travelers Rest, S.C., at St. Joseph Parish, Anderson, S.C., where he is pastor. Steve and the four nuns gave a presentation about the Order of St. Clare, the world’s largest contemplative order. Approximately 45 people attended the event, according to the Dec. 28 issue of The Carpenter, the parish newsletter.

The friars who operate St. Francis Breadline in New York City were mentioned last month in a column by Rabbi Marc Gellman titled “Why I Love Christmas.” In a description of things he likes about the Christmas season, the rabbi commented: “I am thinking about the monks at the Franciscan Friary on West 31st Street near Penn Station in New York City who’ve risen before dawn every day of every week of every year since 1924 to serve breakfast outside the church to those who call the street their home. Christmas is the time of their greatest need, but also the time of the greatest contributions from people, who understand that everything we have is a gift, and that we owe some of it back to those who possess nothing but the truth that they, too, are made in the image of God.”

►Richard McFeely, OFM, guardian of Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, hosted a Christmas luncheon on Dec. 23 for residents and guests. Photos of the festivities were taken by Octavio Duran, OFM.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, and the Provincial Council are holding their monthly meeting from Jan. 5 to 7 in Aston, Pa., where the annual HNP formation intersession is taking place. After the meeting’s conclusion, Kevin will travel to St. Petersburg, Fla., to attend the SPUFY gathering at which friars who have been solemnly professed under five years share experiences, concerns and ideas. On Dec. 24, Kevin sent a letter to friars with a wish for a joyful Christmas. The letter included information about a social justice resource “Education for Justice” and a reminder “to proclaim the Kingdom of God in these times of ruptures in human relationships, caused by among other factors, terrorism, poverty, disease and racial tensions.” He also encourages friars to read a letter from Pope Francis to all consecrated people about the Year of Consecrated Life, written in November 2014.

►Daniel Riley, OFM, is accepting applications for the position of executive director of Mt. Irenaeus, where he is president. Information about the recently created job can be found on Mt. Irenaeus’s website. Dan encourages friars and partners-in-ministry to share information about the job with potential applicants — both friars and laypeople.

The community of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., and the newly established Mission of the Vietnamese commemorated New Year’s Eve together “to celebrate the founding and to encourage cooperation in 2015,” said Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony Parish. The Province’s “historic commitment to the Vietnamese community,” previously led by Dac Tran, OFM, and then Khoa Nguyen, OFM, is now being supervised by David Phan, OFM. “David is working with his team to find a location for the new mission soon,” said Patrick, adding that anyone “interested in such historic developments” may contact David at

Vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, will be traveling to University of Georgia, where the Catholic Center will host a vocation retreat on Jan. 26. “The evening will begin with prayer and a homemade Italian dinner (thanks, UGA friars!), followed by a vocation presentation and discussion with the friars,” he said. The evening will conclude with evening prayer with the friars. Campus ministers John C. Coughlin, OFM, and Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, of the UGA Catholic Center, have organized the event. Both are regional vocation directors for the South. Information about future vocation events can be found on

Just before Christmas, Jud Weiksnar, OFM, posted a humorous video on the Facebook page of St. Patrick Friary that describes the return of Santa Claus after Jud and Francis Pompei, OFM, recently cleaned the attic of the more than 100-year-old friary building. The video is titled “Attic Cleanup Part II.”

Topics planned for future coverage include:

  • Formation intersession
  • March for Life
  • Profiles of friars marking major anniversaries of profession in 2015

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas