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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
 The December issue of the Province’s Inside-Out Wellness newsletter contains seasonal information that includes ways to prevent colds and influenza, tips for driving in winter weather, and a recipe for a healthy alternative to buñuelos (the traditional Latin treat of fried dough with sweet toppings).
Look for the next newsletter issue after the New Year’s holiday. The HNP communications team is taking a brief pause from its research and writing for the Christmas season. The staff wishes a blessed Christmas to all!

Last month, Ross Chamberland, OFM, and St. Bonaventure University in Western New York hosted 12 students from two Ohio high schools for a four-day retreat that emphasized Franciscan values. An article about the retreat appeared in TAPinto Greater Olean. The dozen participants were from Padua Franciscan High School in Cleveland and Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati, both OFM educational institutions. Now in its second year, the retreat was led by Ross, Fr. Roger Lopez, OFM – a theology teacher at Roger Bacon and member of St. John the Baptist province – and a team of 10 St. Bonaventure students, who gave witness talks and guided tours, and led scavenger hunts and other activities. Peter Schneible, OFM, gave a presentation on SBU for Life, a club at the university that he advises. Ross, assistant vice president for student affairs at St. Bonaventure, said the event included an overnight stay at Mt. Irenaeus, the Franciscan retreat in West Clarksville, N.Y. The Nov. 9 weekend concluded with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the opportunity for the high school students to share aloud their experiences. “They gave powerful witness. I was truly amazed by the hard work, dedication and shared faith of our SBU retreat team,” said Ross, who also serves as executive director of the university’s Lateran Center – whose objective is to increase awareness of the Catholic identity and mission at St. Bonaventure, and serve as a catalyst for program development, special events and student recruitment. Ross started the retreat for OFM high school students as part of a mission-based recruiting initiative. “It was natural to appeal to students who would be interested in continuing their Catholic education in the OFM tradition,” Ross said of selecting the schools.

George Corrigan, OFM, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Fla., participated in the Dec. 6 to 8 National Youth Ministry Conference, along with Luis Manuel Rosado, OFM, of Chicago. Held at the Tampa Convention Center, approximately 2,500 people attended the event. “I was interested in the sessions about both youth and older folks disaffiliating from the Church,” George said of the two-day seminar centered around studies by CARA and St. Mary’s Press, as well as a study by Dr. Jason Packard on the sociological trends of people leaving organized religion but not abandoning their faith. George said the “Going, Going, Gone …” conference was particularly well done. “It was a real bonus that the conference was in Tampa. That allowed Fr. Salim Joseph, OFM, of our faith formation staff, and our youth minister to attend the full conference, which provided lots of networking opportunities,” George said.

There’s nothing like a friendly game of hoops between two Franciscan colleges. F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, president of Siena College, and a group of other friars stationed at the Loudonville, N.Y., campus, traveled cross-state to Allegany last week to watch the Siena men’s basketball team play St. Bonaventure University at the 8th annual game for the coveted Franciscan Cup. “Though the Saints lost to the Bonnies, it was a wonderful event. The Franciscan Cup has developed into a nice tradition with alumni from both Siena and St. Bonaventure enjoying a friendly rivalry. The Bonaventure friars were gracious hosts,” said Ed, who, as a 1970 graduate of SBU, saw his loyalty put to the test. The Siena group that made the trip included Lawrence Anderson, OFM, Mark Reamer, OFM, and Sean O’Brien, OFM. The friar contingent was joined by members of Ed’s family and alumni of both institutions for a pre-game dinner. Also making the trip were Greg Jakubowicz, OFM, an SBU graduate and a former Siena employee who made the drive from Buffalo, and Kevin Kriso, OFM, who is stationed nearly 30 miles from the SBU campus. Like Ed, Kevin also found his allegiance put to the test. Although a proud Siena graduate, he has been working with SBU students for more than a decade. The final score of the Dec. 5 game was 82-40 in favor of the Bonnies. Ed offered his post-game analysis: “The Saints didn’t have their best night on the court, but the camaraderie and social gathering at the friary after the game was an enjoyable part of the trip, providing everyone with the opportunity to greet some old friends and colleagues.”

Kevin Cronin, OFM, a member of the Province’s Ministry of the Word, gave three missions this fall that he described as “interesting and poignant.”  They were at  St. George Parish in Jeffersonville, N.Y., Our Lady of Victory in Tannersville, Pa. – whose pastor is a Christ the King Seminary alumnus – and St. John the Baptist in Silver Spring, Md., near St. Camillus Church, and where the coordinator, LJ Milone, is a Siena College graduate and a former Franciscan Volunteer Minister. Kevin shared a note he received from the pastor that read in part, “I [could] only envision St. Francis and the early followers when observing Fr. Kevin using every possible prop and activity, and every bit of his energy, to help us know and experience the joy of the Gospel, and to love God more gladly…” Kevin said he was pleased that his books, Kenosis and A Friar’s Joy, “have been selling like hotcakes” ever since reducing the price to $10 – which has boosted sales of his CDs and DVDs.

An interfaith Thanksgiving service at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Triangle, Va., drew the participation of five faith communities and the attention of the diocesan newspaper. Ignatius Harding, OFM, parochial vicar, stationed in northern Virginia since 2017 after spending 30 years in South America, and a group of community partners organized the event held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Day. The Arlington Catholic Herald, in a story titled “Many Faiths, One in Gratitude,” quoted John O’Connor, OFM, pastor, who said: “We come together tonight to celebrate the fact that as human beings, we share so, so much in common. So much in common in terms of our experiences as human beings, our desires, our hopes, our wants in life, our challenges in life, but also, even more importantly, our faith in life.”

The coverage by National Catholic Reporter about the 50th anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton included two articles related to scholar Daniel Horan, OFM. On Dec. 7, NCR published a story titled “Memories of Merton’s Path Linger at St. Bonaventure University.” It described the connection of Merton, who died in Asia on Dec. 10, 1968, to the Franciscan university. The reference to Dan, in part, said, “Daniel Horan, who did his undergraduate studies at Bonaventure from 2001 to 2005, regrets that so few students really appreciate the significance the campus and the Franciscan tradition had on Merton’s life, thought and vocation. He hopes the anniversary of his untimely death might draw more attention to the monk for a new generation. Horan, a Bonaventure trustee and the author of The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Inspiration of His Life, Thought, and Writing, pointed to much in Merton’s own college life that could resonate with today’s Generation Z and even older millennials.” On the Dec. 10 anniversary of Merton’s death, NCR published a piece by Dan titledWhy Should Anyone Care about Thomas Merton Today?” In it, Dan wrote, “…yet I believe, upon closer examination, that Merton provides us with at least three compelling reasons for continuing to learn about him and read his work as much today as when he was living more than half a century ago.” On Dec. 8, he spoke at the closing liturgy at the Thomas Merton Conference at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. On his Daniel P. Horan, OFM, Facebook page, Dan wrote of the event: “I’m grateful to all our speakers, the hundreds who attended, and CTU and our sponsorship partners for making this happen!” On Dec. 10, Dan presided at a Memorial Solemn Mass at Corpus Christi Church in New York City, where Merton was baptized, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the monk’s death.

The heavy snow that fell in western North Carolina this past weekend created picturesque scenes at several of the Province’s ministry sites. Nearly two feet of snow fell in the Stoneville area, about an hour northwest of Durham and Immaculate Conception Parish. In an email on Monday, David Hyman, OFM, who is stationed at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C., provided this weather update: “We easily got between 20 and 24 inches of heavy wet snow, beginning late Saturday evening and ending Sunday afternoon. Once the snow stopped falling, I thought we were ‘out of the woods.’ But at about 8:30 Sunday evening, we lost power. It was restored at 1:50 a.m. – when the lights I left on in my room were suddenly ablaze. It is a day later and our country secondary road is still not plowed. In the South, due to infrequent storms, there is less equipment on hand and plowing main roads come first. We cancelled our final ‘Christmas at The Springs’ weekend event due to the storm. Jim Sabak, OFM, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, was supposed to lead this a second time. Our house is all decorated for Christmas, and now we have no one to appreciate it!”

On Dec. 1, Kevin Kriso, OFM, and Daniel Riley, OFM, of Mt. Irenaeus in West Clarksville, N.Y., participated in a “Mountain on the Road” event in the nation’s capital that had an interfaith flavor. The MOTR program was held at George Washington University, where St. Bonaventure University alumni are studying. Six current SBU students accompanied Dan and Kevin to participate in the MOTR event at GWU. According to Mt. Irenaeus Facebook post, the gathering included Dan, Kevin, St. Bonaventure University students, GWU medical students, local Mountain leadership, and many guests – among them local Capuchin friars. Nearly 40 people gathered at GWU in prayer and fellowship, which included reading from various sacred texts of different faiths. More than a dozen recent SBU alums, now at GW’s medical school s part of a dual degree program between SBU and GWU also participated.

Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., participated in the Order’s Nov. 25 to 30 meeting of the Animation Committee of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. At the meeting, which was held in Poland, the friars developed a plan for the 2019 international meeting of the JPIC Council, which will take place in Jerusalem. They also developed a series of online JPIC courses. An article posted on the Order’s website describes the 2016-2021 JPIC Animation plans.

James Sabak, OFM, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, N.C., is among a group of priests offering Advent video reflections being published by the Diocese of Raleigh. The diocese on Dec. 2 announced that the reflections can be viewed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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

  • Seasonal gifts being sold around the Province
  • Profile of retiree Edward Flanagan, OFM
  • Year-end thoughts of an assortment of friars
  • 2019 jubilarians

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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