Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name Province friars, featuring 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 February issue of Inside-Out Wellness newsletter was distributed to HNP members earlier this month. Friars with questions about health are encouraged to contact the Province’s nurse, Amy Stewart-Wilmarth at
Three of the Province’s six fraternal gatherings have been completed. The next is being held from Feb. 25 to 27 at Mount Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
Schedule Announcement: The Provincial Office will be closed from March 1 through 7 for alterations, and will reopen on March 8. The next issue of the HNP Today newsletter will be distributed the week of March 11.

Provincial archivist Thomas Cole, OFM, and the archivists of the other five provinces participating in the Revitalization and Restructuring Process convened at Mission Santa Barbara in California during the week of Feb. 4 for their annual meeting. They are working on a book titled “Franciscan Friars: Coast to Coast,” which through a series of photos and captions will introduce each OFM province, according to Tom, who said he believes that the publication will be completed in the fall. While in Santa Barbara, the archivists participated in a class on U.S. Franciscan history taught by Fr. Jack Clark Robinson, OFM, provincial minister of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province. The class was for the novices stationed at the Interprovincial Franciscan Novitiate at the mission.

David Convertino, OFM, executive director of the HNP Development Office, invites friars and friends of the Province to participate in a pilgrimage to Padua, Italy, this summer. In an email blast, David wrote: “The St. Anthony’s Guild family is excited to invite you to our ‘Walk in My Shoes St. Anthony Pilgrimage to Padua.’” Scheduled for Sept. to 12, it includes time for reflection, prayer, conversation, leisure and visits to sacred Franciscan places, his email went on to say. Information is available using a link to the Franciscan Missionary Union website.

► Julian Davies, OFM, has asked friars to prepare updates about their ministries for the 2019 edition of The Provincial Annals. All information should be submitted to Julian no later than May 15 using this email address:

Daniel Horan, OFM, is delivering a lecture titled “Racism is a White Problem: Thomas Merton, Whiteness, and Racial Justice” on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. The event is open to the public. Earlier this month, Dan was in Santa Barbara for a meeting of the Franciscan School of Theology Board of Regents, of which he is a board member. Information about Dan’s speaking engagements can be found on his website and Facebook page Daniel Horan OFM.

In Macon, Ga., a few blocks from St. Peter Claver Catholic Church where he is pastor, William McIntyre, OFM, kicked off the dedication of the newest Macon Area Habitat for Humanity home in the historic Pleasant Hill neighborhood.  The house was built in honor of the 70th anniversary of Sheridan Construction.  St. Peter Claver School staff member Regina Sweeney provided photos taken of the Feb. 11 event.

On Feb. 21, Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, will be speaking at a Theology on Tap event being held by the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Young Adult Ministry at O’Reilly’s Pub in New York City. Details about his presentation, titled “Seeking the Truth in the Age of Fake News,” can be found on the News & Events section of the parish website.

Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, has been approved by the General Council of the Order of Friars Minor as a member of the OFM Animation Committee of the Justice, Peace and Integrity General Council. Over the years, the Silver Spring Md., resident has been “a passionate preacher, teacher and advocate for justice, peace and care for our common home,” according to an announcement posted on the Order’s website.

During a presentation at a special interfaith event earlier this month, Steven Patti, OFM, spoke about the importance of the encounter in Egypt 800 years ago between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Malik al-Kamil. Held on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C, the event was co-sponsored by the Islamic Association of Raleigh, the Muslim Student Association at NC State, and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, where Steve is pastor. The program included a showing of the film “The Sultan and the Saint,” which tells the story of St. Francis meeting the Sultan of Egypt during the Crusades in 1219. Before the film, Steve offered a presentation about the significance of the encounter that took place in the midst of the violence of the Crusades. “Francis was drawn to move beyond the fear and mistrust of his time to speak of peace,” Steve said. After the film, a local imam spoke about how the voices of Francis and the Sultan of Egypt were able to rise above other voices of their time. The messages of the presentations by the imam and Steve were not lost on the audience – which was reminded of the importance of this story to all people in our own time, but particularly people of faith. The event was an opportunity for the Muslim and Christian communities to come together. “In times of fear and violence, this gathering was a witness to the possibility of peace and dialogue in a fractured world,” said Steve. The event concluded with a fellowship social.

James Sabak, OFM, associate pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, has been named editor of the Franciscan Ordo.The appointment carries a four-year term. He is working during a transition year with Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, OFM, of Sacred Heart Province, who Jim is succeeding. He will be overseeing the coordinator of the calendar each year for the celebration of the seasons of the larger Church and of the particular feasts and memorials for the Franciscan communities — primarily OFM, TOR and Poor Clares. (The Capuchins and Conventuals have their own Ordo.) “The Ordo helps to guide our various communities in what can be done when praying the Liturgy of the Hours and celebrating the Eucharistic Liturgy,” said Jim, who will carry out his new responsibilities from Raleigh. “It is a great honor to be able to offer this support to the greater community in its work of prayer and thanksgiving to God. Lawrence Jagdfeld has been the coordinator for 23 years. I will be stepping into great shoes, hoping to continue the important work that Lawrence initiated as a guide for our prayer and worship.”

Five men joined the community at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., from Feb. 8 to 10 for a “Come & See/Discernment Weekend.” They participated in prayer, meals and fraternity as they learned more about the Franciscan way of life. “The friars were blessed by our candidates’ unique gifts and poignant inquiries into the Franciscan experience,” said vocation director Basil Valente, OFM. “One friar commented that ‘we are continually renewed in our own vocations through the enthusiasm and interest of the men discerning our way of life.’” Information about the HNP Vocation Ministry can be found on the Be a Franciscan website and Facebook page.

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

  • Profiles of friars marking 50-year and 25-year jubilees of profession in 2019
  • Recent visit by a friar to the U.S. – Mexico border
  • Franciscan Mission Service

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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