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 meeting at the Provincial Office in New York City on Dec.19. The Provincial Office will be closed for Christmas on Monday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Dec. 26 and, for the New Year holiday, on Jan. 1.
The next issue of this newsletter will be distributed on Jan. 10.

► On Dec. 12, the admissions office of Siena College, in Loudonville, N.Y., released a new video that captures assorted aspects of student life at the Province-sponsored college. The video, titled “Siena in 82 Seconds,” includes Lawrence Anderson, OFM, Siena’s chaplain.

► An essay by Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, appears in the current issue of the Franciscan Anthonian magazine, the publication of St. Anthony’s Guild. “My life has come full circle after meeting the friars of Holy Name Province 37 years ago at St. Francis of Assisi Church,” he said. “I’m grateful to God for the pilgrimage that I have taken to this point, especially for the brotherhood in which I have invested my life.”

► On Dec. 2, Robert Menard, OFM, campus chaplain at Clemson, S.C., University, congratulated pastor Chris Heavner, the 2017-18 recipient of the Roger Bacon Award presented in acknowledgment of his dedication and service to the university community. The award was presented at the annual St. Andrew Day Dinner where Dominic Monti, OFM, of St. Bonaventure University, spoke.

► Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, of Buffalo, N.Y., participated in a clergy interfaith trip to Israel from Nov. 29 to Dec. 8 sponsored by the Buffalo Jewish Federation. The trip’s goals included strengthening relationships, building a foundation for future dialogue, and exposing cultural leaders and clergy from many faith traditions to the multi-faceted issues related to establishing a lasting peace in Israel. “It was an enriching experience. I found the conversations with my fellow participants who were faith leaders from other traditions to be engaging and hopeful. The grassroots efforts we witnessed that are seeking to find a common ground of peace through faith in the midst of theological and geopolitical complexities were encouraging. The experience challenged us to commit to greater dialogue and cooperation in our home community of Western New York.” During the trip, the group – which included Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, president emerita of St. Bonaventure University – visited a variety of places including a bilingual school (K-12) in Southern Jerusalem that is creating a new narrative of peace and cooperation; the Etzion Settlement Block south of Jerusalem, which brings together Palestinians and Jewish settlers in a unique coexistence dialogue/living project; a group in Jaffa that seeks to integrate the Hebrew and Arabic traditions through activities including art, music, ecology, sport, and leadership development; Rawabi, the new Palestinian city north of Ramallah; Bukata, a Druse village in Golan Heights, where leaders spoke about their relationship to Israel and Syria; and the Kababir neighborhood in Haifa, where the group met with a leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. “A sobering highlight was our visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the six million victims of the Holocaust,” Greg said. “My visit also coincided with President Donald Trump’s announcement of the move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. At the time of the announcement, I had already spent four days in Jerusalem and was in Tel Aviv, where there was relative calm regarding the announcement.”

► A reflection by Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, was published in the Advent blog of the Franciscan Mission Service. Kevin describes a time when he “embraced the culture of encounter” by welcoming someone in the spirit of St. Francis. “That day in Boston four decades ago, I remember learning that a person always takes precedence over the rules,” he said. ‘Praying for and welcoming the other is important now more than ever.”

► Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, a former chair of the Province’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate, recently wrote about the season of Advent being “an invitation for us to pay attention to the poor around us” and “to the transforming presence of the Spirit of God in midst of our broken and yet still beautiful world” for a reflection published on Catholic Charities’ website.

► Francis Pompei, OFM, of the HNP Ministry of the Word, has been presenting “Advent Evenings” at churches in Upstate New York. He uses the theme “The Yearly Advent Dupe” to describe that Advent is a time of waiting, but “it is not us waiting for Jesus. It’s the other way around. It’s Jesus waiting for us 24/7.” Francis has given the presentation at several churches and the events seem popular, he said, attracting several hundred attendees. He also distributes a document with an image and reflection, which he encourages attendees to take home and read on Christmas – before gifts are opened or before the main meal.

► The work done by Ralph Perez and Benedict Taylor OFM, for 40 years in helping young adults was featured in The New York Times last week. An article titled “In Harlem, a Shelter that Gives Young Men the Tools to Succeed,” describes Create, the 50-bed transitional housing program serving men 18 to 25, many of whom have aged out of New York City’s foster care system. It also gives a history of Create’s growth. “In 1983, Mr. Perez and Father Taylor expanded their operation, taking over a three-story tenement building across the street from the rehabilitation center (which they opened 10 years earlier). They converted it into a 19-bed shelter for homeless men, the city’s first such community-based and -operated shelter financed with city and state funds.” Today, Create Inc. is associated with three residential housing facilities, a drug-treatment center, and a food pantry. It also provides tenants with services like job-skills training, educational support and the opportunity to gain work experience. Ben, who this month turned 85, lives at the College of Mount St. Vincent in the Bronx.

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

  • 2018 jubilarians
  • Ordination of a friar

— Compiled by Johann Cuervo and 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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