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
Highlights of the July meeting of the U.S. provincial ministers about the “R&R Process” – the discussions about the revitalization and reconfiguration of the U.S. OFM provinces – were distributed last week to friars. This month, members of the administrations of the six provinces participating in the reconfiguration process will meet in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., for several days of discussions.

► Four friars – James Bernard, OFM, Nicholas Carbuto, OFM, Steven Kuehn, OFM, and Adolfo Navarro-Blanco, OFM – are professing their first vows as Franciscans on August 2 at an interprovincial ceremony in Burlington, Wis. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, and Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, are attending the ceremony at St. Francis Friary.

► On July 17, Michael Calabria, OFM, presented on “Pope Francis and Muslims” at the India Islamic Cultural Center in New Delhi. Michael spoke at the invitation of Fr. Victor Edwin, SJ, a lecturer on Islam and Christian-Muslims Relations at the Vidyajyoti College of Theology in Delhi. The event was sponsored by the Interfaith Coalition for Peace. “In my talk, I emphasized the Franciscan elements in the pope’s encounters with Muslims, modeled on St. Francis’ encounter with the Egyptian Sultan in 1291,” said Michael. “It was particularly poignant for me as a Franciscan to speak to a largely Indian audience of Muslims, Christians and Hindus at a time when there are serious religious and political divisions in India that ironically parallel those in the U.S. In India, however, it is the rise of Hindu extremism that has resulted in violence against Muslims and Christians. This has largely gone unreported in the West. Yet, as the world’s largest secular democracy, the future of religious pluralism in India is vitally important for the world.” The Indian press, including India’s largest Urdu newspaper the Roznama Rashtriya Sahara, covered Michael’s lecture.

► The Florida Catholic newspaper published an article on July 20 titledDiocese Welcomes Two New Religious Orders.” It provided biographical information about four friars who are at St. Joseph and St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Orlando – Todd Carpenter, OFM, Steven Pavignano, OFM, and Paul Santoro, OFM, along with Fr. Luis Aponte-Merced, OFM of St. John the Baptist Province. According to the article, “Their charism will be lived out among the communities of St. Joseph and St. Maxilimilian parishes in Orlando and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Winter Park.”

► David Convertino, OFM, director of development, and six friars from the Province visited the New Jersey shore’s Long Beach Island parish last month to present a Franciscan Challenge. “It was fun to be there and to tell the people about what the friars do,” said David, adding, “we presented as duos with two of us sharing each presentation.” In a post on the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Facebook page, James Scullion, OFM, pastor, thanked the friars who preached at the 17 Masses: Brian Belanger, OFM, Ross Chamberland, OFM, Robert Frazzetta, OFM, Jeffery Jordan, OFM, Richard McFeely, OFM, and Basil Valente, OFM. The HNP Development Office launched the Franciscan Challenge initiative nearly five years ago.

► On July 20, Daniel Horan, OFM, gave a keynote address at Neumann University outside Philadelphia to the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities. The title of his lecture at the ASACCU conference was “Orienteering for Life: Catholic Higher Education, Theological Imagination, and the Journey of Faith.”

► On July 30, as part of St. Camillus Parish’s viewing of the film “The Sultan and the Saint,” Erick Lopez, OFM, and Christopher Posch, OFM, were joined by Protestant and Muslim leaders and participated in an interfaith dialogue. Photos of the event, held in Silver Spring, Md., were posted on the Facebook page of St. Camillus Parish.

From July 21-23, Julian Jagudilla, OFM, of New York City, Jim McIntosh, OFM, of Philadelphia, and Gene Pistacchio, OFM, of Boston, participated in the Province’s annual JPIC Local Contacts Retreat, held this year at St. Francis Retreat in Easton, Pa.

► The 9/11 Walk of Remembrance – established in 2002 to honor the late Mychal Judge, OFM, who died in 2001 at the World Trade Center – is scheduled for September 10. The walk begins outside St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in New York City. Photos of past walks along with several videos can be found on the walk’s Facebook page. This year’s event will be dedicated to the co-founder of the walk, Stephen McDonald, who died in January.

► Russel Murray, OFM, recently returned to Rome from Jerusalem where he served as coordinator of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education’s Catholic Institute for Holocaust Studies. The Institute takes place each summer in partnership with Yad Vashem’s The International School for Holocaust Studies and Hebrew University’s The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. As part of his work, Russel lectured on the significance of the Holocaust for Catholic teaching on Judaism and the Jewish People. This was Russel’s sixth year with the Institute. Information on the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) and its Catholic Institute for Holocaust Studies can be found on the NCCHE website.

► On July 30, Holy Cross/St. Patrick Parish in Callicoon, N.Y., welcomed a new administrator and bid farewell to Charles O’Connor, OFM, who has been stationed in Sullivan County since 2012. Fr. Joseph Raj Arockiya-Samy, MMI, was formally installed as the new administrator at the 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday. Following the Mass, a formal luncheon was held in the parish hall, where Charlie greeted parishioners who wished to say goodbye to all. The Province announced in May that it would be turning over to the Archdiocese of New York the administration of the Callicoon parish. At the Mass, Charles paid tribute to the Franciscans for their service over so many years and installed the new administrator.

► The friars of St. Patrick Friary in Buffalo, N.Y. are holding a yard sale the weekend of August 19. “All are invited to 102 Seymour Street,” said Jud Weiksnar, OFM. “We will be selling religious items, furniture, kitchen items books – old and new, religious and popular – old National Geographic magazines, a pool table and other items.” The friars will be leaving the more than 100-year-old building in September.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by August 9 – always the Wednesday before publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage in HNP Today include:

  • Novice reception on August 21
  • A service trip to Peru taken by Henry Fulmer, OFM, and parishioners of the Triangle, Va.
  • Membership trends of the Order of Friars Minor

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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