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
 The Provincial Council is in St. Louis this week meeting with members of the administrations of the other provinces involved with the Revitalization and Restructuring Process. This is the first in-person meeting since the May 30 vote in which members of the US-6 provinces voted to form one new Franciscan entity.
An updated edition of the HNP Directory is now available. It can be found in the Friars Only section of

► Casey Cole, OFM, and Daniel Horan, OFM, were featured in an article titled “Accompanying Young People in a Digital Age” posted earlier this month on the Order’s website that describes how the friars communicate using videos, blogs, and social media. “We should not be afraid to go out to this ‘digital continent,’” said Dan. “It’s how people communicate, study, seek entertainment, meet one another, share common interests, and even explore their faith.” In his time with the friars, Dan has written a blog engaging social and political topics with a Franciscan spirituality for the 21st century, and has engaged questions and comments on Facebook and Twitter. “I think it’s important to have our finger on the pulse of how young people are communicating today, adapting and updating as the world changes,” said Casey. As the founder of Breaking in The Habit Media, Casey has worked to create content for as many platforms as he can, producing videos on YouTube and Instagram, writing articles on his blog, and answering questions on Twitter and Facebook. “Young people no longer gather in physical locations like they used to, but they are gathering. It’s our responsibility as ministers and evangelizers to go where they are.”

Lawrence Ford, OFM, was one of several members of the clergy quoted in the New York Times article “‘We Are Entitled to a Righteous Anger’: Catholics Return to Mass After Sex Abuse Report,”  which shared reactions to the recently released report detailing various allegations of abuse in the Pennsylvania dioceses. Larry, pastor of Holy Name of Jesus-St. Gregory the Great Parish in New York City, called the report a “shame and embarrassment” to the Church and issued this call: “If you know someone, or you are someone, who has been violated, come here. Let us help you, listen to you. If your faith is challenged, come here and let us, together, talk about this. We are entitled to a righteous anger.”

► Edgardo Jara, OFM, reports that two musical events are planned for the fall at St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Md. The first is a concert-prayer-adoration service with Solideo Franciscanos, four friars from Ecuador who, he says, “sing beautifully.” The event is scheduled for Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Camilla Room. “Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used for the Spanish Small Communities fund, which covers our summer door-to-door mission and our annual Kerigma retreat,” Edgardo said. The second event is a concert with Br. Alessandro Brustenghi, OFM, the “Singing Friar” from Italy, who has performed around the world including in New York and at the Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C. The concert, by the friar often called “the voice of Assisi,” is on Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Camillus Church. The fundraiser will support the parish assistance fund. The minimum donation for each of the two events is $15.

► On June 20, Brian Jordan, OFM, underwent a double knee replacement at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. “After completing 61 marathons and many other races in 33 years of training, my knees were bone on bone and filled with osteoarthritis,” he said. “I do not regret one moment of training, nor any marathon mile. However, I opted for double knee replacement.” Two months later, Brian has transitioned from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane to walking unassisted in “serene settings.” He wrote about his ongoing recovery process in a reflection titled “Surgery: Sanctity, Sanitary, Sanity, and Serenity.” “This surgical experience has given me both humility and knowledge,” he remarked. “Humility to accept that I am getting older and I desire to age gracefully. Knowledge that I was never alone in this experience. There were many other patients from all ethnic backgrounds who required surgery like mine that day. There were many members of the medical staff from all ethnic backgrounds who helped the patients with surgical and post-surgical procedures. The overall goal of all the people involved was healing. To conclude, I now have my own version of the serenity prayer. ‘People hurting – together! People helping each other – together! People healing each other – together! Amen.'”

► On Aug. 25, Abraham Joseph, OFM, will profess his solemn vows at a Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. All are welcome at the 11 a.m. Mass, which will be celebrated by Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM.

► Christopher Keenan, OFM, has announced that the Mass before this year’s 9/11 Walk of Remembrance will be celebrated in the upper church at Manhattan’s St. Francis of Assisi Church. The 2018 event, which begins with the rosary at 9 a.m., is scheduled for Sept. 9. The 9/11 Walk was founded in 2002 by John Bates and the late Steven McDonald to honor the memory of Mychal Judge, OFM, and all who died as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Christopher succeeded Mychal as FDNY chaplain. Details about the 9/11 Walk of remembrance can be found on its Facebook page.

► James McIntosh, OFM, director of USFranciscans communications, has provided information about an opportunity next month for friar-priests who are interested in border and immigration issues. “Faith in Public Life is partnering with Hope Border Institute and the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, for a border immersion trip and media training for Catholic priests from Sept. 4 to Sept 6 in El Paso. All expenses (including airfares) will be paid.” In El Paso, “we will dialogue along the border,” said John Gehring of Faith in Public Life. “We will hear about Bishop Mark Seitz’s initiatives on migration, including his pastoral letter on migration, and the formation of a Diocesan Commission on Migration. In addition, we will meet, hear from and pray with immigrants who have recently arrived during a visit to a detention center or Annunciation House, a volunteer run respite center. Faith in Public Life will lead a media training workshop focused on how to articulate effective messages about justice for immigrants to a broad audience.” Information about this initiative can be obtained by emailing John Gehring at

► On Aug. 4, John O’Connor, OFM, celebrated the alumni reunion Mass for the 50th anniversary jubilee class of Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean, N.Y., where the friars served until 1969. More than 70 alumni from the class of 1968 attended. “The Mass, held in the school’s chapel, was followed by a festive dinner at which the class of 1968 recalled memories of the friars who taught them, including Jimmy Haggerty, OFM, who was a principal, as well as others including Callistus Bamberg, OFM, Richard Biasiotto, OFM, and Patrick Brennan Fitzgerald, OFM,” said John, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va. “A number of the graduates from the Olean area were members of the St. Bonaventure University parish when I was pastor in the 1970s. Archbishop Walsh has struggled in recent years with enrollment, but the administration is determined to see it survive and is developing several innovative programs.”

► In the middle of August, Ringwood, N.J., resident Philip O’Shea, OFM, reflected on changes of seasons and the importance of seeing the seasons “as a manifestation of the presence of God among us.” Philip, who has lived at Holy Name Friary since 2015, wrote, “For us, there is no complaining that August means an end leading to a new adaptation of unwanted difference. We embrace autumn in a full spirit of participation and we accept Winter as a challenge to be met even though the spring that will come will not be experienced here but in the fullness of the world to come. “ His complete reflection can be found through this link. Others essays that Philip has written can be found in the Friar News section of

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

  • Welcoming reception in Silver Spring, Md., for 2018-19 OFM postulants
  • Transfer of Jean-Marie Kabango-Lenge, OFM, to the Province
  • Profile of Philip O’Shea, OFM, and other retired friars

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Related Links