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
Friars are reminded to register before Sept. 1 for one of the Province’s six fall 2015 fraternal gatherings. A list of dates and venues was emailed to friars on Aug. 4. Questions may be directed to Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, and to the HNP Communications Office at 646-473-0265.
Committee Updates
The HNP African Ancestry Committee met by phone on Aug. 11 and discussed various initiatives. According to a report from David Hyman, OFM, committee chair, the topics included the Province’s statement about the Charleston murders, collaborating with other HNP committees, and organizing a “come and see retreat” for Lent 2016 in Silver Spring, Md.

On Sunday, William Beaudin, OFM, gave the opening reflection at the interprovincial administrations gathering in Techny, Ill. “In the renewing and restructuring our Franciscan presence here in the United States, there is no driver’s manual… this process is a pilgrimage,” he said. “It is a summons to faith. It is a journey of faith. May we choose real faith in the real God and press on to the land of promise.” A photo of Bill, who is at the Aug. 15 to 19 meeting with Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, and the Provincial Council, was posted on the English-speaking Conference’s Facebook page.

Peter Chepaitis, OFM, is commemorating the 20th anniversary of Bethany Ministries, which he and Sr. Anna Tantsits, IHM, established in 1995. The story of its history is available on the Bethany Ministries website.

On Aug. 7, George Corrigan, OFM, provided a character witness during the penalty phase of a court case against three lawyers found guilty of arranging a DUI setup that resulted in the arrest of a rival attorney. The Tampa Bay Times describes George, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, arriving in the courtroom wearing his habit and, after assessing the character of the man in question, pronouncing him “a good person.”

After professing simple vows earlier this month, Javier Del Angel De Los Santos, OFM, traveled to Madero City, Mexico, where he celebrated the feast of St. Clare with the Franciscan community of St. Francis Parish, better known as “Las Conchitas.” “The participation of many young guys from JUFRA (Franciscan Youth) and the Charismatic Movement, the women of Catholic Action and other parish groups was remarkable,” Javier said. “It was a blessed feast day. I feel so proud to be part of this worldwide Franciscan fraternity of men and women. From the bottom of my heart, I am very thankful to the friars of the Jalisco Province that minister there — Fathers Raul, Alfredo and Luis — for inviting me to share this feast with them. Their testimony of the Franciscan spirit in the middle of this community is remarkable and inspiring.”

Roughly 70 brothers from the English-Speaking Conference attended the first Lay Friars Convocation held Aug. 10 to 15 at St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista, Calif. The event’s planning committee included two HNP friars — Robert Frazzetta, OFM, and Paul O’Keeffe, OFM. Details about the conference, in which General Minister Michael Perry, OFM, participated, will be provided in a future HNP Today article.

Daniel Horan, OFM, has written a piece reflecting on The New York Times article published on Monday that described the people who visit the town in Italy where St. Francis was born. Dan’s essay, titled “A Different Kind of Pilgrim in Assisi?” appeared Aug. 18 on America magazine’s website. In it, he said “That some of these so-called new visitors to Assisi don’t profess the Christian faith, well, that is perfectly alright. As Fr. Enzo Fortunato is quoted as saying in the Times article, ‘Francesco’s Assisi has always represented the welcoming of diversities.’ Given the inclusive vision of St. Francis’s Gospel worldview, it should come as no surprise that those who run retreat centers in Assisi, such as the Franciscan Sister named Susan quoted in the article, share that, ‘We are open to people of all traditions — strangers or seekers.’” Dan added, “Those who profess a faith other than Christianity, or who profess no tradition at all, should always be welcome in Assisi. That so many different people continue to be drawn to this Umbrian town reflects more about that special, enigmatic character of Assisi attributed to its beloved son, Francis, than it does anything else.”

The faith journeys of three St. Bonaventure University graduates — Louis Iasiello, OFM, ’72, the late Sixtus O’Connor, OFM, ’32, and Daniel Riley, OFM, ’64 — are featured in the summer 2015 issue of Bonaventure, SBU’s magazine, in a series of profiles titled “Profiles in Ministry.” “From a college campus to the front line, St. Bonaventure alumni are privileged to share their gift of faith,” read the introduction to the articles. Also featured in the series are Alexandra Henry, ’13, a former Franciscan Volunteer Minister, and Courtney (Murphy) Hall, ’99, ’08, who served as a full-time volunteer at the Province’s St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia.

A reflection on the pope’s encyclical, written in Spanish, by Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, chair of the HNP Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate, was published recently in Pueblo de Dios en Marcha. Jacek said he wrote “it in a way that could be helpful for priests or lay leaders to preach or teach on this topic.”

Raymond Selker, OFM, celebrated a Triduum commemorating the life of St. Clare with the Poor Clares of Jamaica Plain, Mass. Student friar John Aherne, OFM, recently assigned to St. Anthony Shrine for his internship year, joined Ray for the feast day liturgy and celebration, and provided photos of the event.

James Scullion, OFM, accepted a $14,500 grant this week from the executive director of OceanFirst for use by the St. Francis Community Center on Long Beach Island, N.J., to upgrade the computer server and to create wireless access points within the facility, according to the community center’s Facebook page, which posted a photo of James with Connie Becraft, executive director of St. Francis Community Center, and the bank’s representative.

On Aug. 6, the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Patrick Sieber, OFM, protested the production of weapons at Lockheed Martin’s King of Prussia, Pa., campus. During the protest, Patrick held a sign displaying a picture of a little girl who witnessed the destruction of her city. “No one knows her name. She was just one of the thousands of children who were destroyed by the bomb and its aftermath,” Patrick said. “The name of the bomb that was dropped was called ‘Little Boy.’ Such irony.” The protesters held a prayer serve on Lockheed Martin’s campus and were interrupted and arrested. “Seven of us were taken away. We were released and must pay a fine or face jail time,” said the friar, who this year is marking his 50th anniversary as a Franciscan.

News for the next issue of HNP Today e-letter is requested by August 26, 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:

  • Gathering of administration members of the U.S. OFM provinces to discuss reconfiguration
  • Profiles of silver jubilarians Khoa Nguyen, OFM and Christopher Posch, OFM
  • Members of the Province’s 2015-16 postulant class

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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