Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring their 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
A report on the Provincial Council’s April meeting was distributed to friars last week. It included the date of the 2017 Provincial Chapter, information about the fall fraternal gatherings, reports from several HNP directorates and a summary of the spring English-speaking Conference meeting that Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, attended. In addition, information about the closing of the Margate, N.J., friary from May 1 to June 30 for significant repairs was sent to friars.

Provincial Councilor William Beaudin, OFM, a member of the Franciscan Interprovincial Team, encourages friars to keep up-to-date with news about the renewal and reconfiguration process of the U.S. provinces by reading the update on the website. It was written by the three members of the FIT: William, Fr. Richard McManus, OFM, of St. Barbara Province, and Fr. Page Polk, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province.

►Michael Blastic, OFM, of Siena College, is leaing two retreats for friars this summer. The first is in Indianapolis from June 22 to 26 and the second is July 27 to 31 in Dayton, Ohio. The retreats’ title is “Francis of Assisi and the Logic of the Gospel Relinquishment, Fraternal Life and Mission.” Friars interested in participating are encouraged by the HNP Ongoing Formation Committee to register this week. Details about the retreats, organized by St. John the Baptist Province, appear in a flyer.

Provincial Councilor David Convertino, OFM, has organized a series of workshops for staff members of the Provincial offices. The most recent was held on April 23. Included in these gatherings, held in the Province’s San Damiano Hall in New York City, are staff members of the administration, communications, development, finance and vocation offices. David’s objective is to provide interesting and helpful information from speakers, as well as a time for staff members to become acquainted.

►Julian Davies, OFM, asks that information for the next edition of The Provincial Annals be submitted to him by May 15. Submissions should be emailed to

On April 13, Daniel Dwyer, OFM, an assistant professor of history at Siena College, was one of several speakers at a daylong conference titled “Mormons and Catholics: From the Margins to the Mainstream” held at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. A story about the event was published in the Intermountain Catholic newspaper.

On April 16, Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, received the renewal of vows of six simply professed friars: John Aherne, OFM, Dennis Bennett, OFM, George Camacho, OFM, Casey Cole, OFM, Abraham Joseph, OFM, and Ramoncito Razon, OFM. At the liturgy service at Holy Name College, John was installed in the ministry of acolyte; Dennis, Casey and Ramoncito were installed in the ministry of reader. The renewal of vows and the installation in the ministries of reader and acolyte are regular steps in the post-novitiate formation program, said Tony LoGalbo, OFM, guardian of Holy Name College.

►David Hyman, OFM, reports that the HNP African Ancestry Committee, of which he is chair, met at Holy Name College on April 22 to discuss holding a “Come And See Weekend for African-American men, likely between the ages of 21 and 45.” Vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, participated in the meeting and, according to David, “enthusiastically applauded” the idea. The tentative plan is to hold a Lenten retreat with “come and see” elements at Holy Name College and the adjacent St. Camillus Parish.

►Edgardo Jara, OFM, will graduate from the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, Calif., on May 16. The ceremony will be held at Old Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. He is the first friar of Holy Name Province to graduate from this school.

Friars from Mt. Irenaeus and St. Bonaventure University in Western New York joined Kevin Kriso, OFM, on Saturday as he renewed his vows during a liturgy marking his 25th anniversary as a Franciscan friar. Those who renewed their vows with Kevin were David Blake, OFM, Francis Di Spigno, OFM, Joseph Kotula, OFM, Louis McCormick, OFM, Daniel Riley, OFM, and Peter Schneible, OFM. Many students, faculty and friends from St. Bonaventure University were present. “We give thanks and praise for our brother Kevin and his faithfulness over the years to his ongoing growth and communion and conversion in Jesus Christ,” Dan wrote in a reflection on Instagram. “We give thanks for all that God will do with Kevin and with us as we too open our hearts to wonder and abundance.” A special meal followed the Mass. Video and photos were posted on the Mountain’s Facebook page. Kevin and other friars marking 25- and 50-year anniversaries will be recognized at the Province’s jubilee celebration in June.

►Jacques LaPointe, OFM, of Quebec, Canada, recommends a healing retreat for priests that will take place at a Jesuit retreat center in Morristown, N.J. It will be given by Fr. Ghislain Roy, who specializes in giving retreats to rejuvenate and re-energize priests through the Holy Spirit, according to a flyer. “In addition, he helps priests become aware of and develop their own healing gifts they were given at the time they were ordained and practice using them, as there is a need in this hurting world for the healing hands of Christ working through his beloved priests.” For more information or to register, call Margaret-Ann Neimetz at 917-370-0310 or email her at The cost of the retreat, including meals and lodging, is $220.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, is departing for Italy on May 8 to attend the Order’s General Chapter.  He encourages friars to sign up to receive the daily briefings that will be emailed from Assisi after the gathering begins on May 11. This can be done through this link.

Last week, Joseph Nangle, OFM, participated in a panel discussion at The Catholic University of America called “Founding Padres.” He and four other presenters discussed three missionary priests who helped shape the United States: Franciscan Junipero Serra, and Jesuits Eusebio Kino and Jacques Marquette.

►Joseph Quinn, OFM, of St. Anthony Shrine, was featured last week in an article in the Boston Globe. The April 19 article, titled “Dispense With Medical Marijuana Alarmism,” describes Joseph’s desire to use marijuana to ease his pain. “Sometimes, when the Franciscan friar says Mass at St. Anthony Shrine downtown, he is in so much pain that tears roll down his face,” writes Yvonne Abraham. “He has Ogilvie’s syndrome, a rare gastrointestinal disorder that has put him in the hospital for months at a time, required multiple operations, and left him dependent on a feeding tube. It hurts, all day every day, the agony an 8 or 9 on a 10-point scale. ‘After a while, the pain becomes unredemptive,’ he said, his eyes welling. ‘It doesn’t serve any purpose, except to be in pain.’”

►Andrew Reitz, OFM, participated in a celebration last weekend of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Peekskill Franciscan Sisters in New York at St. Francis Church on West 31st Street. Andrew described background in a recent bulletin of St. Francis Parish, where he is pastor: “In 1986, Fr. Andrew Pfeiffer, OFM, pastor of St. Francis Church at that time, petitioned Rome to send sisters to teach in the school here on 31st Street. The ‘Grey Nuns’ from Gemona, Italy, were sent to accomplish this mission. Three sisters and several friars sailed from Brest, France, on Nov. 16, 1865 and arrived in New York on Dec. 5, 1865. The small group of sisters grew quickly and they taught for many years in Catholic schools and opened many ministries, especially in the eastern United States. They eventually settled in Peekskill and have their motherhouse there. We extend to the sisters our congratulations and many blessings on their 150th anniversary.” The Peekskill sisters began their jubilee year celebration in December.

►Michael Reyes, OFM, will be ordained a deacon on May 2 at 10 a.m. at the Crypt Church of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The Most Rev. Martin Holley, auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., will be the ordaining prelate and Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, will concelebrate. A Capuchin Franciscan friar will be ordained to the diaconate with Michael, said Tony LoGalbo, OFM.

►Ignatius Smith, OFM, administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Anderson, S.C., reports that the National Catholic Educational Association has chosen St. Joseph School Advisory Board as one of the five outstanding Catholic school boards in the United States. “The five were chosen from Catholic colleges, high schools and elementary schools,” said Ignatius. “The prestigious award was presented on April 8 at the annual NCEA convention in Orlando, Fla.” Also receiving an award from the NCEA was Saint Francis International School in Silver Spring, Md. The community was awarded The Catholic T. McNamee, CSJ, Award for offering “exceptional leadership in promoting a vision of Catholic education that welcomes and serves cultural and economic diversity or that serves students with diverse needs.”

An article about the late Alphonsus Trabold, OFM, was posted April 26 on, an online guide to news, arts and events in the Buffalo, N.Y., area.  In “Elegy for an Exorcist – In Memoriam: Father Alphonsus Trabold (1925 – 2005)” Mason Winfield describes his connection to the friar he calls a “legend on the St. Bonaventure University campus.” The writer, an author of 11 books on supernatural-paranormal subjects,  said that when the Rochester-born professor died, Western New York lost one of its most intriguing residents and the world lost of one of its luminaries.  “Father Alphonsus was a man of more than just faith; he was a man of clear thought and hard reasoning,” said the writer. “He had witnessed instances of psychic phenomena and he had studied parapsychology.  An academic defender of the spirit, he was a rare breed these days.” The writer said he found the late friar, who taught a St. Bonaventure class that was nicknamed “Spooks,” to be “a man of immense seriousness and deep compassion.”

►Juan de la Cruz Turcios, OFM, and the friars of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., hosted the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry board on April 18 for its spring meeting.

►Dennis Wilson, OFM, was re-elected chair of the Treasurers of the English-speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor at the recent meeting in Burlington, Wis. His term will last for two years.

News for the next issue of HNP Today e-letter is requested by May 6, 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 Dominic Monti, OFM, and James Nero, OFM
  • Summer assignments of the Province’s student friars
  • St. Francis Inn’s new building

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas