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Friar News Briefs

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 communications@hnp.org.

From the Administration
Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, has asked all friars who plan to attend the solemn profession of Abraham Joseph, OFM, on Aug. 25 to contact Sharon Berrios at the Provincial Office by Aug. 10. The Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.
 A report on the July meeting of the Provincial Council was distributed to HNP friars on July 27. It summarized the councilors’ discussions about two articles as well as about plans for the 2018 guardians and pastors’ meeting, an update on the US-6 Revitalization and Restructuring Process, visits to fraternities-in-mission, a conversation with representatives of the JPIC Directorate about a proposed statement from the Franciscans about the state of the country, an update from the Province’s Task Force on the Care of the Elder /Infirm Friars, and an evaluation of the Council’s recent work.

► Patrick Tuttle, OFM, was quoted in an article titled “Proposed Townhouse Development Re-ignites Gentrification Concerns in West Greenville” that was published Aug. 5 in the Greenville News. Patrick and other members of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., where he is pastor, “fear that even more of their neighbors, mostly the working poor, will be pushed out of the community if a nine-unit, three-story townhouse development is built on North Leach Street,” according to the article. “The new, three-story townhomes could sell for as much as $550,000 in a neighborhood where people were renting homes for $300 a month not that long ago. One of those rental homes recently sold for $349,000, reflecting the dramatically changing nature of a neighborhood that has long been home to some of Greenville’s working poor.” A photo in the article shows Patrick speaking in opposition to a proposed townhouse project at 214 North Leach Street in downtown Greenville during a neighborhood meeting on Aug. 2. According to the article, “St. Anthony members oppose the project and are “advocating for the underclass market.” Said Patrick, “We’re trying to make sure this land gets preserved for them.”

► Throughout the summer, Juan de la Cruz Turcios, OFM, and Julian Jagudilla, OFM, gave presentations at Provincial ministries on the new “STAND UP, IMMIGRANTS!” campaign that seeks to build a network of protection, especially for the undocumented. The presentations have been offered at the following parishes: St. Camillus in Maryland, St. Francis in Triangle. Va., and St. Anthony in Butler, N.J., St. Bonaventure in Paterson, and St. Mary’s in Pompton Lakes. Other ministries that are interested in having this information presented at their location are invited to contact Juan and Julian, director of the Migrant Center of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City.

► Essays by two Holy Name Province friars were published recently on USFranciscans.org as part of its the Friar Friday series. A reflection by Ramon Razon, OFM, titled “Nice and Oppressive: A Conflict in Nakedness Before God” was posted on Aug. 3 andA Personal Story of Racism” by James McIntosh, OFM, was posted on July 27. Information about the friars of the OFM provinces in the United States can be found on the Facebook page of USFranciscans.

► Russel Murray, OFM, was in Australia last week “in the middle to two trips,” he said, “one on behalf of Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs and the other on behalf of the Order. After my annual summer work at Yad Vashem on behalf of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa., I traveled to the state of Victoria, Australia, to collaborate in a series of visits to Franciscan schools in and around Melbourne. With me were Sr. Nancy Celaschi, OSF, of the School Sisters of St. Francis, and Br. Mike Ward, OFM, of Sacred Heart Province. In April 2017, Sr. Nancy, Br. Mike and I team-led an FPP Pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome for educators from five Franciscan Schools in Victoria: Padua College (Mornington), Our Lady of the Nativity School (Melbourne), Ave Maria College (Melbourne), St. Francis School (Nathalia) and St. Mary of the Angels College (Nathalia). The purpose of the pilgrimage was to deepen these educators’ understanding of the Franciscan tradition so that, in turn, they may deepen its appreciation in the life of their schools. From July 16 to 24, Sr. Nancy, Br. Mike and I were invited to bring the FPP pilgrimage spirit into the schools of our new Aussie friends through a series of visits with their students and faculty and staff. For the overwhelming majority of those we encountered, we were the first Franciscans they had ever remembered meeting. This fact, coupled with our presentations and Q&A’s, engendered a wide range of rich discussions.” After the visit, Russel conducted several informal fraternal visits with the friars of the Province of the Holy Spirit (Australia and New Zealand) and the Custody of St. Anthony (Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei). “Those visits will conclude with a presentation to the provincial ministers of the South Asia and Oceanic Conference (SAAOC) on the present and possible future activities of the General Secretariat for Missions and Evangelization,” he said.

Last week, Dominic Monti, OFM, served as Catholic chaplain at the Chautauqua Institution, the more than 130-year-old education and arts facility located roughly an hour’s drive west of St. Bonaventure University, where Dominic is stationed. He said he enjoys being at the facility because it is both relaxing and stimulating. This past week, for example, the theme that ran through the presentations was “The Changing Nature of Work.”  Among the featured general speakers for the week, besides economists and technology experts, was Sr. Joan Chittester, O.S.B. Dominic gave a talk sponsored by the Catholic Community, titled “Work: Catholic Teaching, American Reality?” Through the years, other HNP friars have served as chaplain at the institution. St. Bonaventure alumnus Michael E. Hill, ’96, currently serves as president of the institute.

► More than 30 friars who are solemnly professed under 10 years are gathered this week for a SPUTY meeting. The Aug. 7 to 10 event, being held at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md., where Walter Liss, OFM, is guardian, is open to members of all the OFM provinces in the United States. Its organizers are Fr. Bob Barko, OFM, of Sacred Heart Province, and Fr. Jason Welle, OFM, of Assumption BVM Province.

► Richard Husted, OFM, of St. Anthony of Padua Parish-Friary, Butler, N.J., returned last week from a pilgrimage to Italy. Participants visited Rome, Assisi and other areas that are “cornerstones of not only our faith but for Franciscans as well,” according to post on the Facebook page of Franciscan Pilgrimages, which organized the trip. “Pilgrims were able to celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, climb to the top of a mountain in La Verna, have a traditional Italian Christmas dinner, renew their baptismal right in the fountain where St. Francis and Clare were baptized, and enjoy the most peaceful garden view at Casa Papa Giovan.” “At St. Peter’s, we celebrated Mass at the tomb of St. John XXIII,” Richard said, “There were 15 of us led by Fr. Andre Cirino, OFM, of Immaculate Conception Province, and Sr. Suzanne Kush, OSF. The heat in Italy was as bad there as it is here, but we all survived. It is hard to imagine that there is still so much to learn about Francis and Clare.”

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

  • Profiles of Bernardine Kessing, OFM, Philip O’Shea, OFM, and other retired friars
  • Membership trends of the Order of Friars Minor

 — Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Editor’s note: The format of Friar News Briefs lists, in alternating issues, shows 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.

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