Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name Province friars, featuring 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 interprovincial Chapter of Mats is less than four months away. Friars are asked to register for this historic event – the first gathering of friars from six OFM provinces -– by April 30. A form with online registration information for the July 29 to August 2 gathering was distributed earlier this week.
 The third issue of the Friars Forward, the newsletter launched earlier this year by the US-6 provinces, was distributed in March to the members of the six provinces participating in the Revitalization and Restructuring Process. It contains information about friar photographers as well as the interprovincial pilgrimages being planned for 2020.
The Provincial Office will be closed on Good Friday, April 19.

► Jud Weiksnar, OFM, chair of the HNP Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate, encourages friars to participate in the April 15 webinar about “climate change from the Franciscan perspective.” The webinar, being offered by the Order’s JPIC Office, begins at 2 p.m. Eastern time. “Climate change is an issue where people of differing political views are coming together, recognizing that it is an issue of importance to humanity and to creation,” he said. “It’s also one that cries out for context and we are blessed that Laudato Si’ gives us that context.” The webinar is part of a larger effort of the Province to animate and generate action to coincide with the approaching fifth anniversary of the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ in June 2020. During the next year, the Province will use Pope Francis’ encyclical to guide a process of structural analysis – and to build from the 2018 Local Contacts Retreat, which focused on structural sin, according to Russ Testa, director of the Province’s JPIC Office. To participate in the webinar, use this link, Climate change webinar. Information about the Province’s JPIC initiatives can be found on the Justice and peace page of the website.

Frank Sevola, OFM, and the friars of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he is guardian, hosted a Come and See /Discernment weekend from March 29 to 31. Five men contemplating religious life with the Province participated in the weekend event titled “Called by God; Invited by Francis: Celebrating Franciscan Vocations and Discernment,” which included reflections by several friars and communal prayer and meals with Shrine residents. The visitors also had time to see the sights of Boston, said vocation director, Basil Valente, OFM, who noted: “It was a delight to work with these men, especially as they continue to discern God’s will in their lives.” Other participating friars included James LaGrutta,Tony LoGalbo, OFM, John Maganzini, OFM, Ronald Stark, OFM, and regional vocation directors Hugh Hines, OFM, Michael Johnson, OFM, and Juan de la Cruz Turcios, OFM. Photos and videos of the weekend – the last of the 2018-19 academic year – can be found on the Be A Franciscan Facebook page. Information about the Province’s vocation and formation programs can be found on the Be A Franciscan website.

Joseph Rozansky, OFM, of Chicago, was in Geneva last month for meetings and discussions by members of Franciscans International. The organization hosted a reception at its Geneva office on March 15 that brought together many of its NGO partners, diplomats and Franciscans from around the world – among them General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, president of the Conference of the Franciscan Family, and four other members of the IBD. The event was not just a celebration, it was a reunion, according to Joe, who serves as president of FI’s international board of directors. “Many of the attendees worked together for years in human rights forums. This gathering provided an opportunity for reflection and commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Franciscans International,” said, Joe, the assistant director of the post-novitiate formation team at St. Joseph Friary. A special Mass was celebrated on March 16 by Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. In his homily, Fr. Michael emphasized the strong connection between Franciscans and human rights: “The invitation to all nations and peoples is to pursue the fulfillment of human life: peace, security, mutual respect, and collaboration in promoting conditions for the integral advancement of all people.” This was the first of several events being hosted by FI throughout the year to celebrate the accomplishments of the past three decades, as well as call attention to the existing challenges, according to Joe. The next scheduled event will be held in Rome in July, and a third will be held in New York City in November.

St. Bonaventure University will present Joseph Nangle, OFM, with an honorary degree at its 159th commencement ceremony on May 19 at the Allegany, N.Y., campus. Details about Joe and next month’s graduation exercise can be found in the St. Bonaventure news release which announced that death row survivor Anthony Ray Hinton would be delivering the keynote address.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, spent last week in Racine, Wis., where he participated in the spring meeting of the provincial ministers of the English-speaking Conference. A group photo was provided by Fr. John Eaton, OFM, one of three friars serving as moderators for the Revitalization and Restructuring Process of the US-6 provinces. Before the ESC event, the friars of the US-6 met to discuss assorted issues related to the unification, among them communication, eldercare, finances and formation.

A memorial service for Alexander Di Lella, OFM, was held on April 2 at St. Catherine of Siena in Caldwell, N.J., where Alexander died on March 23. Among those present at the service were Richard McFeely, OFM, former guardian of Holy Name Friary, as well as residents of the New Jersey friaries of St. Anthony of Padua (in Butler) and St. Mary (Pompton Lakes), and friars living at St. Catherine of Siena, as of last month.

Julian Davies, OFM, sends this reminder to friars and their staff members: May 15 is the deadline to submit articles for the next edition of The Provincial Annals, which will be produced later this year. It will contain updates about 2018. Submissions should be sent to Julian at

The spring 2019 issue of The Anthonian – the more than 80-year-old publication of St. Anthony’s Guild – features Paul Chelus, OFM, as well as other friars and their ministries. In an article titled “My Franciscan Journey,” Paul describes growing up near Buffalo, N.Y., where he got to know the friars and identify with the way St. Francis reached out to those on the margins of society. He also describes his varied assignments since joining the Province in 1996. This issue also features St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Butler, the father of a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa who was once a guest at the St. Francis Breadline on 31st Street, and who went on to become a doctor; and the work of the friars who live at the U.S./Mexico border. Copies of The Anthonian can be found at parishes and other ministry sites around Holy Name Province.

On March 28, three temporary professed friars received the ministry of lector at St. Joseph Friary, Chicago. Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM, provincial minister of St. John the Baptist Province, presided. The friars instituted were James Bernard, OFM, Steven Kuehn, OFM, and Luis Manuel Rosado, OFM, who are shown in a photo provided by Fr. Gerald Bleem, OFM, director of the interprovincial post-novitiate formation house in Chicago.

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

  • Profiles of silver jubilarians James Sabak, OFM, and Brian Smail, OFM
  • Earth Day
  • Under 10 Chapter in Taize, France, in July
  • Mt. Irenaeus’s Mountain on the Road program

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Related Links