Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For details about the news briefs, contact the friars by phone or email, connect with 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 Provincial Administration
A message from the HNP Franciscan Life in Mission Directorate was distributed to friars last week through an e-bulletin. It described research being conducted about possible new ministries. Friars who would like a copy of this or any issue of the Provincial Office’s e-bulletins may contact the HNP Communications Office.

Earlier this week, police asked the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo to halt the daily distribution of onigiri (rice) to the homeless for the first time in its 29-year history. “On April 13, the Shibuya police told our delivery group that they had received complaints about our distribution location and forbid us to continue,” according to the Facebook page of the center, where Russell Becker, OFM, is pastor. “No onigiri were delivered that morning, although our delivery coordinator met with those we serve at the normal distribution spot to let them know what was happening.” Delivery resumed the next day at the usual time, but at a new location located nearby the original spot. “We hope that this is an acceptable compromise for everyone,” the center stated. “Thank you all so much for your concern.”

Two friars from St. Francis Inn Ministries – Fred Dilger OFM, and John Gill, OFM – are preparing for the relocation of three programs into a recently acquired building. By early May, John said, the Thrift Store, the Thea Women’s Center and the Urban Center will all be housed in the same facility – a building across the street from St. Francis Inn, at the corner of Hagert and Kensington streets. The property is being named All Saints in honor of the inn’s deceased volunteers and patrons, said the April 2015 issue of The Pilgrim newsletter.

►Francis Di Spigno, OFM, participated in a Holocaust memorial service at St. Bonaventure University on April 14 that was a “coming together as a people of goodwill” and an opportunity to pray for peace. The event took place in the university chapel and recognized all forms of holocaust, especially the murders of more than six million Jews during the World War II. “When we hear the word ‘holocaust,’ we immediately think of World War II and the horrific murder of millions,” said Francis, executive director of University Ministries, before the service. “Unfortunately, the reality of those horrific murders is not just something in the past but still present today. Even though the St. Bonaventure Holocaust Memorial Service will be grounded in the Jewish experience, our prayer will address the reality of today’s world and the sounds of racism, prejudice and evil that continue to echo among us.” According to Francis, the service was meant to remind attendees of the larger world beyond their own personal experience. “We live in a global world,” he said. “We really need to be aware of what is happening in that world.”

Last month, Christopher Dunn, OFM, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Lima, Peru, was awarded a Master Chaplain certificate by the Federation of Fire Chaplains (USA) after he exceeded certification requirements. Christopher has served almost seven years with the Peruvian Volunteer Fire corps, he said, and more than 230 hours of training and courses with the federation, the Peruvian volunteer Fire Corps, the Red Cross, the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Chris has also received a certificate of specialized training in “spiritual care in crisis” from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. He has been giving talks on resiliency and stress management in the firehouses. Chris is chaplain for Division 24-Lima South, which includes “wealthy and workers’ neighborhoods in Lima, the shanty town area, beach communities and small towns outside the capital, up to two hours south of Lima,” he said.

► Daniel Dwyer, OFM, and the friars of Siena College hosted a “successful” Lenten vocation retreat on March 31. Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard served as keynote speaker for the event and led a discussion on the call of the Church today. The visitors also attended a Mass celebrated by the bishop and had preprandium and dinner with the friars of the college. “The community was very welcoming and the men seemed to feel at home,” said Dan, who serves as regional vocation director for the eastern portion of Upstate New York. Information about upcoming vocation events is available on

►Daniel Horan, OFM, gave several presentations recently. On Tuesday, he gave the keynote address at the Spiritual Directors International Annual Conference, held in Louisville, Ky. It was titled “Emerging Wisdom for Today’s Spiritual Seekers.” On April 9, Dan spoke at Felician College in Lodi, N.J. That evening, he said on his Facebook page, “It was a great joy to deliver the annual John Paul II Social Justice lecture at Felician College. It is a wonderful school with a student body and faculty committed to Franciscan values! It is also a humbling privilege to be given an honorary degree and thereby also joined to that community in a unique way.”

St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, is offering a program about icons at 5:30 p.m. on May 7. It will be presented by Robert Lentz, OFM, and his apprentice Michael Reyes, OFM, both of Silver Spring Md. Details are available in the Shrine’s April 19 bulletin.

Next week, Provincial Councilor Joseph Nangle, OFM, will be part of a panel discussion at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., about three missionary priests who helped shape the United States: Fathers Junípero Serra, OFM, and Eusebio Kino, SJ, and Jacques Marquette, SJ. The April 22 program, “The Founding Padres,” will examine the continuing legacy of these priests, who are honored in the halls of the U.S. Capitol by the states of Arizona, California and Michigan, according to Patricia Zapor, who is organizing the event. Joseph, associate pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Arlington, Va., was a missionary in Latin America for 15 years.

From April 13 to 15, Frank Sevola, OFM, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J., has been at the Parish Catalyst Conference in Los Angeles. “St. Mary’s was chosen as one of 12 parishes from around the country to gather together to talk about millennial discipleship. Joining me from St. Mary’s are Anne Silversey, assistant to the pastor, and Beverly Delleart, director of Christian Care Giving,” Frank said. “We will gather four times over the next 18 months to discuss all the wonderful ways the millennial generation makes our Church great.” In March 2011, Silversey participated in the Province’s evangelization to younger generations workshop.

►Patrick Sieber, OFM, of Philadelphia, was among seven people arrested following the Good Friday Stations of Justice, Peace, and Nonviolent Resistance at Lockheed Martin, King of Prussia, Pa. “After each station and accompanying reading, a large wooden cross was hammered next to the main driveway entrance, adjacent to a large wooden sign with the Lockheed Martin logo that read ‘We’re Making A Killing.’” Patrick and others have protested in the past at the site of this nuclear weapons contractor.

►Gonzalo Torres-Acosta, OFM, is leading an 11-day pilgrimage to Italy in November that will include visits to Assisi, Florence, Rome and Venice. The group will depart from Newark, N.J., Airport. Details about the trip, which welcomes participants, can be found in the April 12 bulletin of St. Mary’s Parish, one of two parishes where Gonzalo works.

A photo of Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville. S.C., was published in the April 10 issue of the Greenville Journal. The photo shows Patrick working with one of the sixth graders in the SkyKnights afterschool club. “The St. Anthony SkyKnights have explored avionics including ailerons, lift, thrust, flaps, velocity and the dynamics of wings and propellers. The students received a gift of an aircraft that each will learn to fly. The SkyKnights will end the year with a synchronized flight across the gym, very challenging, our own version of the Navy’s precision flight team, the ‘Blue Angels.’”

Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham, N.C., held a bilingual Way of the Cross on Good Friday in the streets of Durham. Christopher VanHaight, OFM, pastor, who submitted photos, said that “hundreds of men, women, and children followed in procession.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today e-letter is requested by April 22, always the Wednesday before distribution. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage include:

  • Profiles of jubilarians Karl Koenig, OFM, and Dominic Monti, OFM
  • Summer assignments of the Province’s student friars
  • Next month’s anniversary event at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in North Carolina
  • Province’s June 15-16 meeting of guardians and pastors

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas