Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars and feature celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, email the friars, contact 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 Administration
The Provincial Council met in Macon, Ga., from March 20 to 21. Among the topics discussed were Pope Francis’s message for World Communications Day, the Revitalization and Restructuring process, the May 29 to 31 Extraordinary Chapter, committee and directorate reports, extension of deadline for grant requests to the HNP Benevolence Grants Committee, the Fifth Chapter of Mats Under 10 being held in July 2019, and the approval of Abraham Joseph, OFM, for solemn profession in August. Before the meeting, the councilors visited St. Peter Claver Church, which the Province has staffed for more than two years, as well as Mount de Sales Academy and Daybreak Center.
On March 26, Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, convoked through a letter to HNP members the 2018 Extraordinary Chapter.

In Buffalo, N.Y., a centuries-old custom of praying at seven churches on Holy Thursday has been turned into a bike tour. In a March 25 Buffalo News article, “One Night, Seven Churches: Ancient Holy Thursday Custom Makes a Comeback,” Jud Weiksnar, OFM, talks about the tour, which he co-led last year. “I was impressed by the reverence of the riders, some of whom may not totally appreciate the significance of Holy Thursday,” he said. “They knew it was more than a tourism trip, that something else was going on. Even if they’re not entirely familiar with it, they understand.” This year’s bike event was canceled when the weather forecast called for rain. Photos of Jud at Holy Thursday Mass at Ss. Columba-Brigid Church, where he is pastor, can be found on the parish’s Facebook page. Another tradition – the Buffalo Mass Mob – will be coming to Ss. Columba-Brigid in August, Jud said.

On Good Friday, Patrick Sieber, OFM, did as he has done in past years – joined a group of people at the Lockheed Martin Company in King of Prussia, Penn., to advocate for peace. Roughly 15 people read messages by authors and writers including Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed 50 years ago. Patrick and six others were arrested for disorderly conduct and released. On April 3, he shared on the Province’s Facebook page “A Prayer for the Love of Humanity.”

An article by Frank Sevola, OFM, titled “My Franciscan Journey” appears in the current issue of The Anthonian Franciscan magazine. In it, Frank, guardian of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, describes his path to becoming a friar. Other topics included in the spring 2018 issue of the magazine produced by St. Anthony’s Guild are the investiture of novices last summer, the 50th anniversary of the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo, and the Peace Camp of St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Md.

St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va., will celebrate the 50th anniversary of profession of John O’Connor, OFM, pastor, with a Mass and reception on May 5. All are invited to attend. John has been stationed at the northern Virginia community since 2014, when his term as provincial minister ended.

A concert of original music for choir composed by Kevin McGoff, OFM, has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on June 16 at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn. It will be accompanied by an exhibition of the iconography of Robert Lentz, OFM, and Michael Reyes, OFM. The all-professional choir, conducted by Kevin, will sing works composed on the words, prayers, and writings of Sts. Alphonus Liuori, Anthony of Padua, Francis and Clare of Assisi, John Paul II, Theresa of Calcutta, and Katherine Drexel, among others. This concert is free and open to the public.

►Kevin Mackin, OFM, of St. Petersburg, Fla., is preparing to lead a trip to the Bavarian town that presents every 10 years the world-renown play depicting the passion of Jesus Christ. Those interested in traveling to Oberammergau, Munich and Salzburg from Sept. 13 to 20, 2020 can find information in a flyer and through Foxtow World Journeys at 941-355-9704.

►Kenneth Himes, OFM, recently completed his term as a member of the Siena College Board of Trustees. He has served as a member for 23 noncontinuous years. “As someone who has spent most of my Franciscan life working on the academic side of the university, the trustee experience was a great education for me,” he said. “I learned to appreciate the complexity of higher education – student life, budgeting, strategic planning, fundraising, physical plant, enrollment – all the other dimensions of higher education that make the work in the classroom possible. And an added perk is that I got an opportunity to visit with the friars at Siena several times a year while being a trustee.”

►Roberto González, OFM, archbishop of San Juan, reports that the process of reconstructing Puerto Rico is moving along slowly. “While 90 percent of our population have water and electricity, six months after Hurricane Maria, thousands of people are still without these basic necessities,” he said in an email this week. “Yet, the human condition is resilient and rarely loses hope and trust in the Creator’s loving and abiding presence. Our people are deeply religious. Holy Week, the Easter Triduum and Easter celebrations in Puerto Rico were profound experiences of our Christian faith. We appreciate prayers as we recover from last year’s hurricane season and prepare for this year’s, which begins June 1.” Roberto provided an article that, he said, “sheds light on the steps that still need to take place for an effective and progressive reconstruction of the Puerto Rican archipelago.” It is titled “Recovering Puerto Rico: Lessons form New York City’s Fiscal Crisis” and was published by the National Institute for Latino Policy, which is based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

An article about the connection that Octavio Duran, OFM, has to Blessed Oscar Romero was published in the National Catholic Reporter on March 24, the anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s death. Titled “Franciscan Octavio Duran Fortunate to be Key Photo Historian for Blessed Romero,” it says Widely known as Romero’s ‘unofficial photographer’ for the last two years of the churchman’s life, Duran, now 63, was a 21-year-old seminarian in 1977 at San José de la Montaña seminary for the Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador when he first met Romero, whose canonization is expected later this year.” Octavio, a native of El Salvador, professed his solemn vows in 2003.

The latest video in the Catholicism in Focus series created by Casey Cole, OFM, was published the day after Easter. It is titled “Why Does it Matter?” and can be found on Casey’s Facebook page and on his website,

►Michael Blastic, OFM, is delivering a lecture this month as part of the Franciscan Vision Series sponsored by the Franciscan School of Theology. Titled “Meditating on the Life of Christ: The Early Franciscan Practice and Its Implications for Contemporary Praxis,” the lecture is scheduled for April 18 at St. Clare Chapel at Mission San Luis Rey Retreat Center in Oceanside, Calif. A recording of the talk that Michael gave at the March 12 to 15 interprovincial retreat is available online. Michael is a member of the leadership team of the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Topics that will be featured in future issues of this newsletter include:

  • Experiences of 2017-18 novices
  • Recognition of Ignatius Harding, OFM, by Franciscan Mission Service
  • Profiles of silver jubilarians Russel Murray, OFM,and Sean O’Brien, OFM

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Editor’s note: The format of Friar News Briefs lists, in alternating issues, shows names organized by friars’ last names, in ascending (A to Z) order, followed — in the next issue — by names listed in descending (Z to A) order.

Related Links