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Friar News Briefs

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 communications@hnp.org.

From the Administration
The Provincial Administration is preparing a series of six fraternal gatherings for the members of the Province. From Feb. 5 through April 6, friars will meet at sites from New England to Florida to discuss issues related to elder care, fraternal ecology, the Order’s plenary council document, a presentation by the HNP Racial Action Committee, and the Revitalization and Restructuring Process. All HNP friars in active ministry were asked to register by Jan. 21 for one of the gatherings.

Christopher Dunn, OFM, of Anderson, S.C, received word recently that he had been promoted to Lt. Brigadier (Lt. Colonel) in the Peruvian fire department, which published a personnel list announcing organizational promotions on Dec. 28, 2018. “I was promoted to Lt. Brigadier even though I have not been in Peru for the last 11 months,” said Christopher, who had been stationed in Lima for more than 30 years. “So, being in the United States, I was very surprised. I thought my next promotion was going to be posthumous! The promotion was made retroactive to January 2018, when I was still in Peru,” he continued. “When I left Peru in February 2018, I was awarded the highest medal the Peruvian government grants to its firefighter (except for line of duty deaths or disabilities). I was the first fire chaplain in the history of Peru to be promoted beyond the rank of lieutenant, and now the first to hold a senior officer rank.”

► Daniel Horan, OFM, an assistant professor of systematic theology and spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Ill., will now be writing a column for the National Catholic Reporter. Executive editor Tom Roberts shared the news on Jan. 8 that Dan had joined the NCR team. Tom wrote, “It is my pleasure to announce a new columnist in the NCR rotation. Fr. Daniel P. Horan, a Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province, New York, will write a column, ‘Faith Seeking Understanding,’ that will appear twice a month (every other Wednesday). Look for his first tomorrow.” In a Facebook post, Dan said, “As you may recall, I was a columnist for four years at America Magazine – The Jesuit Review — looking forward to being back in the opinion saddle.” Dan’s first piece in NCR was titled “Make the Catholic Church Great again? There’s No Going Back.” Information about Dan’s writing and speaking engagements can be found on his website, danhoran.com.

If you work or volunteer at a nonprofit organization, or you are an attorney seeking to practice immigration law, Julian Jagudilla, OFM, director of the Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City, recommends registering for the winter session of the 40-hour Immigration Advocacy Training course being held in San Damiano Hall at 129 West 31st Street in Manhattan. The course runs from Feb. 26 to June 25. Information about registration can be obtained by calling 212-736-8500, ext. 305. Additional details can be found on this informational flyer.

Ten Holy Name Province friars participated in last week’s interprovincial retreat in Arizona, the first of two such events – both focusing on brotherhood – being offered this winter to OFM friars in the United States. The Jan. 14 to 18 gathering, which took place at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, was led by Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, who said he aimed to create the spiritual space in which friars could listen to issues and speak about them in a contemplative, faith-filled way. A group photo of the HNP members who attended was provided by Frank Sevola, OFM, of Boston.

An article published last month by The New York Times as part of its annual campaign, “The Neediest Cases Fund,” described the assistance provided to a 24-year-old homeless man by CREATE, the Harlem-based program established nearly 50 years ago by Benedict Taylor, OFM. Titled From Homeless to Dream Job in Just One Year,” the article chronicles how Jordan Levy ended up at the CREATE homeless shelter for young men in Harlem, where after struggling to keep an apartment with his mother, “he finally had a room to himself.” A social worker at CREATE introduced him to Nadap, a career services non-profit organization which helped him land a job with a business in Brooklyn. “This is a great success story and proof of why CREATE is needed,” said Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM.

Vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, together with the other vocation directors of the US-6 provinces, has been participating in the Revitalization and Restructuring Process. As the provinces continue to work collectively to bring the six vocation offices into one vocation ministry, the group discussed several points at the meeting in New York City, including (1) forming a US-6 vocation leadership team of friar ministerial directorial positions, administrative workers, and marketing and IT personnel; (2) forming an integrated vocation application kit; (3) organizing a US-6 training session, and (4) working with psychologists and all six provinces to create a standardized testing format for applicants. Basil, who during the last few weeks has visited HNP ministries over the past five weeks to discuss Franciscan vocations, said it is a privilege to work with the US-6 vocation directors. The HNP vocation office is planning February and March retreats for men who have already made application. Those interested in joining the HNP formation program are encouraged to visit the Be a Franciscan website.

On Jan. 20, Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St Columba-Brigid Catholic Church, Buffalo, N.Y., celebrated the parish’s inaugural snow Mass to mark the season’s first snowfall of more than six inches. The tradition is borrowed from St. Bonaventure University, the Allegany, N.Y. institution approximately 70 miles south of Buffalo, which began celebrating a midnight Mass when the winter’s first storm of a half-foot or more of snow covered the campus grounds. “We love Mother Nature and we love the Church, and we figured this was a way to bring the two together,” Jud said in an article published by Spectrum News. The outdoor 6 p.m. Mass was celebrated among nature’s splendor in front of the church, with parishioners retreating indoors afterwards for a hot chocolate social.

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

  • Profiles of jubilarians marking 50 and 25 years since profession
  • Impact on HNP ministries of the federal government’s shutdown
  • Catholic Schools Week

— 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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