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
All are welcome to the Aug. 26 Mass at which two friars – Casey Cole, OFM, and Ramoncito Razon, OFM – will profess their final vows as Franciscans. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, will celebrate the 11 a.m. liturgy at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in New York City. Friars who are planning to attend are asked to contact the Provincial Office no later than Aug. 16.
Six HNP friars will be received as novices on Aug. 21 at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate’s new site – Old Mission Santa Barbara, Calif. They are Michael Cerretti, Jason Damon, Troy Hillman, James La Grutta, Domingo Martinez, and Luis Rosado. A photo of them and other men entering the novitiate can be found on the HNP Postulants Facebook page.

► Christopher Posch, OFM, asks friars and laypeople to spread the word about the job opening at St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Md., where he is pastor. Resumes are welcomed through Aug. 31 for the position of intercultural youth and young adult minister. The job’s priorities, according to Chris, “will be 1) formation of teen and young adult leaders as well as adult advisors, 2) evangelization of inactive teens and young adults in their 20s, and 3) serving as a resource person to our eight youth and young adult ministries.” Details can be found on the website. “Can you please help us to spread the good news? Please pray for this magnificent initiative and encourage qualified people who may be called to this ministry to inquire,” says Chris.

► On Aug. 11, Kevin Mullen, OFM, celebrated Mass at the monastery of Poor Clares in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. With him at the feast celebration were other HNP friars including Peter Ahlheim, OFM, Berard Hanlon, OFM, Michael Harlan, OFM, Michael Joyce, OFM, and Gerald Mudd, OFM.

► A photo of Stephen DeWitt, OFM, was published in the Aug. 3 issue of The Beacon newspaper. It showed him saying farewell to parishioners of St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., a community that he is leaving soon for a new assignment in Philadelphia. Steve will be assigned to the St. Francis Inn Ministries.

► William DeBiase, OFM, of Philadelphia, launched a Snapchat account this month. He plans to post a proverb each week on Tuesday or Wednesday, “a saying for you to think and pray about. Many you have already heard. Some will be new. Some you will relate to, others will not relate to your life at the present time. Have fun, and I do hope that they help.” William’s username is fr.bill. To add him on Snapchat, click here.

► The upcoming yard sale at St. Patrick Friary and the long history of the Franciscans in Buffalo, N.Y., were featured in a piece on WKBW last weekend. The ABC affiliate’s piece, “The Friars Prepare for a Huge Moving Sale,” showed the three friars living at the 120-year old friary – Timothy Dauenhauer, OFM, Francis Pompei, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM – who are preparing to move.  “This beautiful friary was built in 1892 to house about 20 friars and there are three of us in the community now,” said Jud, who has served as guardian since 2014.

► Kevin Cronin, OFM, a member of the HNP Ministry of the Word, said he was happy to arrange and celebrate a special Mass for the Aug. 8 feast of St. Dominic at St. Ignatius Martyr Church in Long Beach, Long Island, N.Y. “I am subbing here for seven weeks this summer, taking the pastor’s place while he’s on vacation. The Amityville Dominicans have a convent in the parish, from when they used to staff Long Beach Catholic School, and Sr. Diane Morgan, OP, is the pastoral associate here. I asked Diane if she would share a reflection about our Holy Father St. Dominic, and she did an awesome job. The other three sisters read and shared the Lord in the Eucharist at Communion time. I first met the Amityville OPs when I was in fifth grade at American Martyrs School in Bayside, N.Y. They were marvelous teachers, especially in English, and they provided a wonderful preparation for all the languages we needed to learn in Callicoon. It was wonderful keeping the Dominican/Franciscan tradition going. We concluded our day with the ‘blessing of the throats’ at 4:30 p.m.” He provided a photo.

► A message from Siena College president F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, about the recent events in Charlottesville, Va., has been posted on the college’s website. “Over the weekend, our nation was shaken and saddened by the hatred and bigotry-fueled violence we witnessed in Charlottesville, Va. Demonstrations by white nationalists and related hate groups erupted in riots and death,” Ed said. “The deep divisions that exist in our country were on horrific display; so too was our failure as a nation to forge a path rooted in our nation’s founding values of inclusivity and the common good for all. As we continue to pray for the victims and their families, let’s also remember those who live in fear, criminally and unconscionably targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or political beliefs. Especially in these moments of sadness and disbelief, I ask all of us to renew and redouble our efforts to be messengers of reconciliation, mercy, and compassion whenever we encounter hatred, bias, or the inclination to violence.” A message from Ed also appears in the summer 2017 issue of Siena magazine, which was distributed earlier this month. It describes the significance of the people who contribute to the history of the college, which this year is marking its 80th anniversary. “Each story is like a fingerprint, and the millions of fingerprints made by the class of 2017 will never wash off the Siena Campus. Similarly, Siena has left its permanent fingerprints of the souls of the graduates. In the span of 1,354 days, they not only developed necessary skills for future careers, but they opened their hearts in acts of service, discovered their passions and potential and made friendships to last a lifetime.”

► An article titled “Doing Well in Order to Keep Doing Good” published on Aug. 13 in the Boston Globe reported that St. Anthony Shrine is “meeting more needs while spending less.” It describes how the executive director, Thomas Conway, OFM, made radical changes while remaining “true to Franciscan values of kindness and egalitarianism.”

► The summer 2017 issue of The Anthonian Franciscan is now available online. David Convertino, OFM, publisher of the magazine and the province’s director of development, says in a message: “There is a French saying that goes like this: L’habitude ne fait pas le moine! In English it means – The habit does not make the monk! This short saying means that religious clothing, or any uniform or specific fashion, does not make the person wearing the clothing. The person is made up of their values, their life with God, and the way they love and care for all others. What we have on does not make us better than anyone else, or more important than anyone else. Our worth and our work comes from our heart, not our clothing. In this wonderful issue of The Anthonian Franciscan, you will see how Fr. Christopher Keenan, OFM, lives that saying each day wearing his uniform in his ministry as the deputy chief of the New York City Fire Department. And then there are those who are wearing the Franciscan habit on their journey to bring the sacraments to so many people. You will read how Franciscan Fr. David Phan, OFM, began his travels from the Vietnamese mountain village of Duc Lap, to the wide state of South Carolina serving the Vietnamese who have immigrated to our shores.”

► A photo of the friars who founded Siena College in 1937, as well as a group photo of the friars currently living at the friary on the Loudonville, N.Y., campus are featured in the summer issue of Siena magazine. The seven friars who established the college and who appear on page 18 of the publication are Adalbert Callahan, OFM, Benjamin Kuhn, OFM, Cyprian Mensing, OFM, Alcuin Shields, OFM, Bernard Tobin, OFM, Joseph Vann, OFM, and Lambert Zalena, OFM.

► John Aherne, OFM, gave a presentation about the HNP Franciscan Missionary Union at Sacred Heart Church in Tampa, Fla., earlier this month. “Preaching at Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Fla., on behalf of the FMU was like having my worlds collide,” he said. “It brought together two of my favorite summer experiences: the time I spent in Kenya with Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, and Dennis Bennett, OFM, working at some of the FMU-sponsored projects, and my summer as an intern at Sacred Heart. It was wonderful to reconnect with George Corrigan, OFM, Zachary Elliott, OFM, Michael Reyes, OFM, and Aaron Richardson, OFM, and the terrific people at Sacred Heart while sharing how FMU’s work changes the lives of so many of the poorest and most vulnerable around the world.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Aug. 23 – 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:

  • Membership trends of the Order of Friars Minor
  • Reception of men joining the Interprovincial Franciscan Postulancy in Silver Spring, Md.

Editor’s note: The format of Friar News Briefs is being revised to list, in alternating issues, 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.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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