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
The April 2016 edition of the HNP Directory is now available in the Friars Only section of the HNP website.
Submissions of articles for The Provincial Annals 2016 about HNP friaries and ministries are requested before May 15. They should be emailed to Julian Davies, OFM, editor of the annual publication, at

►Lawrence Anderson, OFM, and Dennis Tamburello, OFM, are traveling to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston with Siena College’s music ministry, Siena Psalm 150. The group, made up of more than 55 musicians, will be singing at Masses on April 9 with the Arch Street Band.  Larry, Siena’s chaplain, “is going as our pastoral leader,” said Kate Kaufman Burns, director of liturgical arts at Siena, adding that Dennis” is my star drummer.”

A reflection by William DeBiase, OFM, of Philadelphia, titled “The Sounds of Holy Week,” was posted on March 25 on the USFranciscans Facebook page as part of its “Friar Friday” series.  William served as a missionary for 30 years and now works at St. Francis Inn soup kitchen as well as at a hospital as a chaplain.

►Kevin Downey, OFM, and staff members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va., are included in The Global Catholic Climate Movement’s soon-to-be-released “GCCM Guide Project.” The parish is recognized as one of many Catholics doing “green” work around the globe.

►Daniel Horan, OFM, participated in the 11th General Conference of the UK Thomas Merton Conference from April 1 to 3 held at Oakham School in Rutland, England. He presented an academic paper titled “Thomas Merton’s Model of ‘Ecological Conversion’ in the Age of Pope Francis.” Last month, Daniel gave a lecture on “Laudato Si'” for the Boston area Secular Franciscans hosted by St. Anthony Shrine, as well as a talk called “Dating God: Being Grounded in Contemplation, Peacemaking and Relationship” at Alvernia University in Reading, Pa. Information about Dan’s activities can be found on his website and Facebook page.

►Christopher Keenan, OFM, is looking for a volunteer to help organize the contents of the growing archives of information related to Mychal Judge, OFM, who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Those with skills in converting documents to digital, searchable formats are asked to contact Christopher at

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, is in Galveston, Texas, this week for the spring meeting of the provincial ministers of the English-speaking Conference. The participants are being hosted by St. Joseph the Baptist Province. Updates along with photos can be found on the ESC’s Facebook page.

On Holy Thursday, Russel Murray, OFM, joined Br. Pascal Robert, OFM, vicar of the International Fraternity for Dialogue (Turkey), at the Lay Centre in Rome to speak with a group of 30 undergraduates from De Paul University, Chicago, on the place of interfaith dialogue within Franciscan Peacemaking. The students were in Rome as part of a course on peace and nonviolence in the Franciscan tradition. “The Lay Centre is dedicated to the formation of the laity and to the promotion of the lay vocation in the Church and in the world, by offering formation programs and conferences to local and international groups, as well as to the lay students, enrolled in pontifical universities in Rome, who live at The Lay Centre,” said Russel, adding, “For more information on The Lay Centre, visit its website at”

►John O’Connor, OFM, was invited to address fire chiefs and assistant chiefs at a national conference being held April 6 by the Fire Service Executive Development Institute. “These chiefs come from all over the United States, including as far away as Nevada, California, Florida, and many states in between,” said John, guardian of St. Francis of Assisi Church Friary in Triangle, Va. “My topic was ‘The Role of the Fire Rescue Chaplain in the Integrated Command System: Duties, Responsibilities and Training.’ The presentation took place at the Xerox conference center outside of Washington D.C.”

On March 13, Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, returned from a weeklong mission trip to Cuba. “This is the first of four mission trips to Cuba this year,” said Paul, the Province’s moderator for missions and evangelization. “Cuba is the newest trip being offered by the Franciscan Missionary Union along with the trips to South Africa and Turkey this coming May. We will also be offering a mission trips to India and Kenya next year in addition to the three mentioned above. This trip was my second to Cuba and the first with a group. I traveled with eight students and one chaperone from the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia. We spent time with the friars in Havana as well as rural areas four hours east of Havana, where we spent time with small Christian communities and learned about their struggles to remain Catholic in a country where the government has often been hostile to Catholics. We also learned about Santeria, a syncretistic religion that blends elements of Catholicism and Yoruba traditional worship. Santeria was developed by Africa slaves in Cuba and other Caribbean islands, and is practiced by more than 50 percent of people in Cuba today. Our mission was one of ministry of presence. Our presence and interest in the people we met was greatly appreciated as many Cubans are curious and a little fearful of North Americans from the U.S.”

►Daniel Riley, OFM, and Peter Schneible, OFM, were among the employees of St. Bonaventure University recognized last week for their years of service. Dan has worked for SBU for 40 years and Peter, an instructor in the biology department, for 30. The event was part of SBU’s Spring Honors and Awards Ceremony held March 30.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has posted on its website a video showing the medieval Palm Sunday program that Xavier Seubert, OFM, co-organized last year. “I cannot thank enough the incredible work that Xavier put into this, the generosity of Professor Craig Wright of Yale granting me the permission to present this program based on his article, and Professor Margot Fassler of Notre Dame who suggested Professor Wright’s work in the first place,” said Nancy Wu, a museum educator and art historian who co-organized the event. Xavier’s opening remarks are also online. In March 2015, Timothy Shreenan, OFM, along with several Provincial staff members, participated in the event at The Cloisters that reenacted a medieval Palm Sunday procession held in 1190 in Chartres, France.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by April 13, 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 Alan Thomas, OFM, and other friars who are marking major anniversaries of profession
  • Service trip to Nicaragua taken by Sean O’Brien, OFM, and Siena College students

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Related Links