Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, 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
The last in the Province’s spring fraternal gathering series is taking place on Thursday in Boston. Since early March, 11 similar meetings have been held around the Province. On April 25 and 26, the Provincial Council is meeting in Massachusetts.

►Frank Critch, OFM, and William McIntyre, OFM, participated in the Diocese of Savannah clergy conference from April 4 to 6 on St. Simon Island in Georgia. “One day was devoted to the Franciscan Missions of the Georgia coast in the 1570s,” said William. “Five friar martyrs from the St. Catherine Island Mission are being considered for sainthood by Pope Francis.” William provided a photo of himself with Dr. David Thomas of the American Museum of Natural History, who presented his decade’s long work on the Georgia martyrs. “Dr. Thomas gave lectures to the friars at SBU in the 1980s about the Franciscan mission,” Bill said. “Conrad Harkins, OFM, a mentor of mine from St. Bonaventure University, was also a part of this work. Conrad was an important part of Dr. Thomas’s team for decades. The friars at SBU and the Franciscan Institute contributed their knowledge to this work.” William provided two links with background information – a YouTube video called “The Long Lost Franciscan Mission – Santa Catalina de Guale” and the history of St. Catherines Island. Both Frank and William are stationed at St. Peter Claver Parish in Macon, Ga., which the Province began staffing last September.

On April 18, many of the postulants and friars of Silver Spring, Md. — Holy Name College and St Camillus Parish — went to Washington, D.C., to participate in a rally as part of Democracy Awakening, supporting President Obama’s executive action on DACA and DAFA. They stood in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters as the Supreme Court heard arguments to determine whether they would unfreeze and expand programs that would provide relief for millions of immigrant families and their communities. Photos were posted on the Franciscan Action Network Facebook page.  The group included Abel Garcia, OFM, Erick López, OFM, Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, Ronald Pecci, OFM, Christian Seno, OFM, and postulants James Bernard, Nicholas Carbuto, Steven Kuehn and Mitchell Ortiz. Ron appeared on a EWTN News report covering the event.

►Linh Hoang, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y., has been appointed consultant to the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs for a three-year term that extends until November 2018.

►Julian Jagudilla, OFM, is finalizing arrangements for the May 21 conference on migration called Franciscan Common Ground that is being held at San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street in New York City. “Through this gathering, we hope to forge a network that can offer information and support to immigrant advocates with the Franciscan family,” said Julian, director of The Migrant Center of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Registration, which is required by May 9, can be done on the event’s FCG website.

►William McIntyre, OFM, pastor of St. Peter Claver Parish in Macon, is in search of a statue of St. Anthony of Padua for display at a nearby church. Next month, Bishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv., will consecrate a new church in Ray City, Ga. “This small diverse parish is a merger of three mission parishes. Bishop Hartmayer chose the name of St. Anthony of Padua for this parish to honor the great Franciscan saint and to acknowledge the ministry of friars of HNP who served Georgia for decades. Because the church still needs a statue of their new patron, the friars of Macon thought it would be good to donate a statue. We can pay for shipping costs.” Anyone who knows of a large statue of St. Anthony in good condition is asked to contact William at The goal is to have the statue in place by Advent.   

Earlier this month, Ronald Pecci, OFM, and the postulants visited the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis. The students spent April 5 to 8 at the place where those who move ahead in their Franciscan journey will live next year. “We gathered with other postulants from around the country for our annual ‘Human Sexuality Workshop’ given by Br Sean Sammon, FMS,” said Ronald, director of the HNP postulancy program, adding that since the postulants attend a workshop at this fairly centrally located site, they are able to “spend time with their potential novitiate classmates but they also got to see the novitiate. It has been a very successful program on all counts.”

In this month’s e-newsletter from Mt. Irenaeus, Daniel Riley, OFM, writes in his column about “the ‘flow’ of life,” describing the Easter season. The animator of the Franciscan Mountain Retreat says it is “one of great light and movement throughout all of creation, not only the movement of the rock away from the tomb.” He says Louis McCormick, OFM, is “quick to help us see the movements and the moments of life lived fully with his humor.” The April issue of Making All Things New invites all to participate in a community service and reflection day on April 23 and in an inaugural spring convocation during the weekend of April 29. Those interested in participating are asked to contact Michelle Marcellin at

On May 19, Gonzalo Torres, OFM, is leading evening prayer and a dinner at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J, as part of the Province’s North Jersey Discernment Group. Details about the event can be found in the bulletin of St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J. At similar events, Gonzalo has preached the Gospel of the day, shared his “personal story of how God calls me, tell people about our ministries, and, of course, invite young men to consider joining us and others to spread the Good News.”

►Patrick Tuttle, OFM, reports that the school affiliated with St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., where he is pastor, was recognized recently. St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School was awarded the Association for Learning Environments’ 2016 Excellence Award during the organization’s annual South Carolina Spring Conference. “Started in 1939 by a Franciscan Order of friars to serve a predominantly African-American community, the parish of St. Anthony of Padua opened their Catholic School in 1951,” said the GSA Business Report“Nearly 60 years later, they opened a much-needed new 31,000 square foot school in May 2013.”

Earlier this month, Angel Vázquez, marked his 75-pound weight loss through Weight Watchers and his total 102-pound loss with a photo on the interprovincial novitiate’s Facebook page.

►Jud Weiksnar, OFM, plans to ride 44 miles to raise money for cancer research in the 21st annual Ride for Roswell on June 25. Roswell Park Cancer Institute, located less than three miles from St. Patrick’s Friary in Buffalo, where Jud is guardian, was recently ranked the second most technologically advanced cancer center in the world. As he did last year, Jud said he plans to ride his 46-year old Schwinn Continental, doing the route that goes into Canada and back, aiming to raise $1,500. Jud asks that people interested in supporting this cause donate by visiting his fundraising webpage, or go to and search for “Weiksnar.” Supporters can also donate by check made payable to The Ride for Roswell and sent to Jud at 102 Seymour Street, Buffalo, NY 14210. On behalf of all those suffering from cancer, Jud said, “I and the other riders appreciate your help.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by April 27, 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 in HNP Today include:

  • Profiles of Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, and other friars marking jubilees of profession in 2016
  • Signs of the Times essay by Kenneth Himes, OFM
  • Commencements at the Province-sponsored colleges

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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