Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News


The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring 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
An email was sent to HNP friars this week with a reminder about RSVPing for next week’s Mass and Christmas luncheon at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., and an informational flyer about the Feb. 10 to 12 vocation retreat for young black men.The Provincial Council members are holding their December meeting on Dec. 14 and 15.

This is the last issue of HNP Today being published in 2016. The next newsletter will be distributed the week of Jan. 2.

►Lawrence Anderson, OFM, and Sean O’Brien, OFM, appear in a video called “Siena College Class of 2017 Invites Jimmy Fallon to Commencement” that was distributed last week by Siena College. As of Dec. 13, the video had been viewed more than 8,620 times.

Friars from St. Bonaventure University and Siena College who attended the Franciscan Cup basketball game in Allegany, N.Y., on Nov. 30 were captured in photos. Images of Ross Chamberland, OFM, Francis Di Spigno, OFM, and Dominic Monti, OFM, of SBU, and Mark Reamer, OFM, of Siena, were posted on the Province’s Facebook page. St. Bonaventure won the game 81 – 74. The annual match between the two Province-sponsored schools was first played in 2010.

Last week, F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, president of Siena College, signed a statement with leaders in Catholic higher education supporting the rights of undocumented students. The statement, issued by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, supports students who meet the criteria of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, issued by President Obama in 2012. Ed described the statement in a Dec. 10 letter to friends of Siena College, as follows: “The statement reads in part: ‘Many of us count among our students young men and women who are undocumented, their families having fled violence and instability…We express hope that the students in our communities who have qualified for DACA are able to continue their studies without interruption and that many more students in their situation will be welcome to contribute their talents to our campuses.’ At different times we have had undocumented/DACA students on our campus. We welcome them and desire to show them the same respect and care we hope to extend to every member of our community. We also stand in support of our fellow Catholic institutions who enrolled DACA students. Catholic colleges and universities have traditionally welcomed and served a wide variety of students, who historically often were not welcomed in established institutions. It is vitally important that Siena remain true to the Franciscan values that we profess. Fr. Kevin J. Mullen, OFM, Ph.D., my predecessor in this office who is now provincial minister of the Holy Name Province, joins me in support of signing the statement. ‘Our college was founded by the sons and daughters of immigrant Catholics who wanted their children to have access to a college degree. Over the years many of our alumni have proudly boasted that they were the first ones in their family to achieve a college degree,’ he said in a message to me on Thursday. ‘This same dream is shared today by many new immigrants who come to our country. As a Franciscan college, we must assist and stand with these new brothers and sisters.’”

Earlier this month, Daniel Horan, OFM, completed his Ph.D. in systematic theology at Boston College with the successful defense of his dissertation titled “Imagining Planetarity: Toward a Postcolonial Franciscan Theology of Creation” on Dec. 5. His committee included professors Brian Robinette (director), M. Shawn Copeland, and Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM. Dan teaches theology and spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

►David Hyman, OFM, reports that the HNP African Ancestry Committee, of which he is chair, is planning a Provincial celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday at Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham, N.C. As in past years, it will include a Masson Sunday followed by a reception.”We encourage all of our ministries to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, especially his and his wife’s focus on service,” David said.

►  The Arlington Catholic Herald  published a story about John O’Connor, OFM, parochial administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Triangle, Va., in its Dec. 7 issue.  Titled “This Franciscan Fought Fires, Landed on an Aircraft Carrier and Built a Skyscraper,” the article describes John’s many roles – as a campus minister, pastor, director of Holy Name College, fire chaplain, Provincial Minister, and director of real estate for Holy Name Province – and his theory that the best thing that can be done to help a person is to give a person the gift of life, to him or help her see the goodness in oneself.

Pax Christi honored Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, and Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF, director of advocacy and member relations for the Franciscan Action Network, as Peacemakers of the Year at a dinner on Dec. 4 at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md. An article in National Catholic Reporter titled “Author Frida Berrigan encourages ‘modest work’ in wake of election” described Jacek as follows:Orzechowski is a friar of Holy Name Province and a Franciscan Action Network board member. He has led eight Living Stones pilgrimages for the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical foundation and is a tireless advocate for justice, peace and reconciliation in Palestine. He has led numerous efforts in Maryland advocating for immigrants and on environmental issues. The Catholic bishops of Mexico passed a strong statement on forest policy after reading the Franciscan declaration on forest conservation that he authored.”

►Philip O’Shea, OFM, a resident of Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., has written a Christmas greeting  in which he said, “I thought I’d send a few thoughts at Christmas time on the joyful gift of being bedridden.” Philip, who moved to the Province’s skilled nursing home in summer 2015, says “my writing about these matters to you in this Christmas season is to share with you the increasing happiness I am constantly discovering in myself and in my surroundings and to assure you that you can experience a realization of the possibility for this happiness for yourself and a deep sense of how change in its many forms – when looked at positively – becomes a companion to growth.” In October, an article by Philip titled “Autumn at Holy Name Friary” was published in HNP Today.

►Michael Reyes, OFM, of Tampa, Fla., has designed a new logo for The Dwelling Place, the residence for women in New York City founded in 1977 by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y. The organization is marking its 40th anniversary in 2017.

►Robert Sandoz, OFM, bid farewell to retiring Christ the King Prep School trustee Albert Tobia at the 2016 Presidents Gala, an annual fundraiser held by the Newark, N.J., school where Robert is president. An e-newsletter distributed on Dec. 10 shows photos of Robert, who has been part of the administration since 2008. “Accepting this award in the name of the bank was president and CEO Kevin Cummings, said Robert. “In his acceptance speech Kevin demonstrated the impact the business and corporate leaders have on the life of the community. Further, he spoke about the impact the business and corporate leaders can have in fashioning the futures of their community by investing in young people. Investors Bank employs our students at their corporate offices. The relationships developed with our students change the trajectory of their lives forever.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Dec. 27. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage in HNP Today include:

  • Most-read HNP Today stories of 2016
  • 2017 jubilarians
  • Franciscan Volunteer Ministry

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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