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
Friars have been asked to complete and return by July 28 the directorate and committee volunteer form to the Provincial Office. “As part of our post-Chapter responsibilities, the Provincial Council appoints friars and lay people to serve on the directorates and committees of our Province,” said Kevin Mullen, OFM. “These working groups join with the Provincial Council to advance the work of the Province over the next three years.”
Earlier this month, the members of the six OFM provinces in the United States participating in the Revitalization and Reconfiguration Process were sent a summary of the provincial ministers’ June phone meeting. in August, the administration members of the six provinces are gathering to discuss the Revitalization and Reconfiguration Process.

► Jud Weiksnar, OFM, participated in Buffalo Day at Chautauqua Institution, the more than 125-year-old non-profit education center roughly 90 minutes from Buffalo where he lives. The theme of the event, at which five people spoke, wasA Crisis in Faith: An Opportunity for Reflection” and how “Faith, Spirituality, Wellness, & Community” can become interwoven. Jud describes the experience as follows: “It was my first time at Chautauqua since a family excursion there on July 4, 1976. I really didn’t know what to expect. Since I have not been in a traditional full-time pastor or parochial vicar role since arriving in Buffalo, but rather helped out for a few months at a time or served in part-time capacities, I’ve had even more freedom than usual to meet people where they are, and discover how the Reign of God appears to be breaking forth in things like community bike rides and interfaith climate justice communities. Though I don’t ride in the Slow Roll in my habit, most of the 1,000+ riders know who I am, and are comfortable talking about their spiritual journeys. Thus I was asked to write an article about the spirituality of bicycling, and to speak as part of a four-part presentation at Chautauqua on ‘Faith, Spirituality, Wellness, and Community.’ We were in the Hall of Philosophy, and my 14-minute talk was an hour before Bill Moyers was scheduled to present Rev. Susan Smith. He must have arrived early and listened in, because in his closing presentation at the end of the week he quoted what I’d said about Slow Roll and then the Chautauqua Institute tweeted it out. I think it’s the first time something I said has ever been tweeted.” Jud provided a link to the audio of his talk, mentioning that his presentation begins at 31:31 and goes to 44:20.

► With a group of Catholic educators brought from across the United States to Israel by the Anti-Defamation League, Tobias Harkleroad, principal of Saint Francis International School in Silver Spring, Md., participated in a Mass celebrated by Dennis Tamburello, OFM, at the Catholic altar on Calvary in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher on July 9. At the Sunday morning liturgy, which took place at the 11th station of the Via Dolorosa, “he raised up prayers and intentions for our entire Saint Francis International School family,” according to the Saint Francis International School Facebook page, which contains photos and a video of Dennis giving a blessing. “While in the Church of Holy Sepulcher, he also lit a candle for the community after he venerated the place of our Lord’s crucifixion on Golgotha. It is thought that Jesus was nailed to the cross here.” Additional information about the 10-day mission trip that Harkleroad and Dennis took to Israel appears on Saint Francis International School’s Facebook page.

► On July 13, William McIntyre, OFM, of Macon, Ga., held a dialogue on “breaking barriers” in preparation for The V Encuentro, a four-year conversation intended to respond to the Hispanic presence in Catholic churches throughout the United States. The Encuentro (or gatherings), held at the parish level, are sessions that encourage conversation and reflection. Photos are posted on the St Peter Claver Macon Facebook page.

► Twelve friar formators from five U.S. provinces gathered for a skills workshop last week at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York. Dr. Kathy Galleher led the three-day program, highlighting skills such as evaluating, communicating concerns, facilitating groups, dealing with cultural differences, and awareness of mental health issues, said Charles Miller, OFM, who – with Walter Liss, OFM, and Dominic Monti, OFM, from Holy Name Province – served as presenters. “The principles presented were immediately applied by discussing case studies and doing role plays. Friar formators from Immaculate Conception, St. Barbara, Sacred Heart, St. John the Baptist, and Holy Name provinces participated. The group included formators from vocations, postulancy, and post-novitiate. Some were new in the ministry; others had extensive experience,” said Charley, associate director of postulants.The skills presented were very practical and the exchange of ideas lively and informative. Both new and veteran formators found the workshop valuable, ‘wished it could have been longer,’ and had suggestions for future workshops. Walter, director of the HNP postulancy program, demonstrated the use of technology for organizing and communicating in a formation program. This workshop was organized by the Formation and Studies Directorate of Holy Name Province. Galleher is a member of the directorate and has worked with religious formators and students in formation for many years in the Washington, D.C area.”

► Thanks to donations to Mychal’s Message, the 2016-17 Cassian Miles, OFM, Jubilee Scholarship was presented to a school in the Philippines so it could purchase a new computer for students. The school is run by the Immaculatine Franciscan Sisters, according to the summer 2017 issue of Mychal’s Messenger newsletter. Mychal’s Message, founded in 2002 to honor the memory of the late Mychal Judge, OFM, who died on Sept. 11, launched the scholarship fund several years ago when Cassian, a classmate of Mychal, marked his ordination anniversary. The current newsletter issue, which can be found on the Mychal’s Message Facebook page, includes three photos of Fred Dilger, OFM, taken at St. Francis Inn soup kitchen in Philadelphia.

► A photo of the late Mychal Judge, OFM, appears in the July 6 issue of Catholic New York newspaper.  It shows the friar with Cardinal John O’Connor and TV journalist Gabe Pressman, who died last month, in 1997, when Pressman was installed as president of the New York Press Club of which Mychal was a chaplain.

This summer, Jeffery Jordan, OFM, is in New York City, stationed at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. He will return to Italy next month to continue his studies at the Biblium in Rome.

► A book titled The Ground Zero Cross by Brian Jordan, OFM, about the 13-year journey of the cross to its current site at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, was published recently by Xlibris Corporation. A July 8 article in the New York Daily News describes Brian’s involvement with the cross. “In Jordan’s view, the cross should have remained at St. Peter’s Church, on public display to inspire thousands and thousands of daily passersby,” according to the story. “Instead it was installed as part of an exhibit when the museum opened in May 2014. I’m at peace now with the cross being here,” said Brian. “I’ve grown to accept it. I have reconciled all my differences of the past.”

► Four HNP friars will be among the men who profess their first vows as Franciscans on Aug. 2 in Burlington, Wis. They are James Bernard, OFM, Nicholas Carbuto, OFM, Steven Kuehn, OFM, and Adolfo Navarro-Blanco, OFM. Earlier this month, Ross Chamberland, OFM, of St. Bonaventure University, directed the novices’ end-of-year retreat in preparation for their profession. It took place in Burlington.

► Bill Beaudin, OFM, one of the Province’s new regional vocation directors, offered a reflection during a “Franciscan Meet and Greet Celebration” in New York City last week — a celebration of brotherhood for men recently invited to join the HNP fraternity. “Bill encouraged our incoming brothers — men who will join with as many as 15 other postulants in the new Interprovincial Postulancy Program this August in Silver Spring, Md. — to take strength from the community of friars, who will joyfully walk with them in all things, who will help bear burdens when they come, and who will celebrate with them throughout our common life together,” said vocation director Basil Valente, OFM. “The retreat gathered some of the incoming postulants with the friars at 31st Street and included Mass, prayer, meals, conversation and even opportunities for ministerial involvement with the St. Francis Breadline, a social outreach ministry committed to serving those less fortunate in Manhattan. “The new postulants enjoyed a welcomed opportunity to spend time getting to know each other and the friars at 31st Street while sharing stories, questions and reflections related to our lives as Franciscan brothers,” said Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM, also a regional vocation director. Basil said he is expecting nine men from HNP to be part of the 2017 postulant class with a full cohort that is maybe as large as 20 or more. Photos of the July 7 to 9 retreat can be found on the Be A Franciscan Facebook page and information about joining the Province’s formation program can be found on the Be A Franciscan website. Is God calling someone you know to be a Franciscan friar? If so, Basil suggests asking him to contact the vocation office at or 800-677-7788.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by July 26 – always the Wednesday before publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage in HNP Today include:

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Editor’s note: Beginning this month, the format of Friar News Briefs is being revised to list, in alternating issues, 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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