Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, contact the friars by phone or email, connect with 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 Provincial Administration
A webinar was held last week to enable friars to discuss the Province’s new fraternity/ministry possibility in Macon, Ga. It was hosted by Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, and Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, who were joined by six friars — Henry Fulmer, OFM, Dan Kenna, OFM, William McIntyre, OFM, Paul Santoro, OFM, Patrick Tuttle, OFM, and Christopher Van Height, OFM. Participants reviewed the Macon discernment process to date; answered questions about the new ministries there; addressed the central importance of a well-developed fraternal-life plan for and by the Macon community, discussed concerns, cautions, opportunities and benefits of assuming a cluster of new ministries in Macon; and reviewed available and interested friar personnel. At present, according to an update from Lawrence, “one Spanish-speaking friar is excited about beginning ministry in the Macon parish and another friar is interested in exploring further the direct-service Daybreak ministry. Two other friars — one lay and one ordained – have expressed interest in Macon. We will continue our discussions with these friars and others who may come forward to express interest and will attempt to have a definitive answer about Macon by the beginning of August.”
Recent updates distributed to friars by the Provincial Office included information about a summer ministry opportunity in New York City, the July edition of the HNP Directory, and a request by the postulant director for a resource. Information about these announcements can be obtained from Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, and the HNP Communications Office.

► On July 16, Casey Cole, OFM, presented and facilitated a discussion of Pope Francis’s recent encyclical “Laudato Si” (“On Care For Our Common Home”) at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va. The event launched what the parish’s Care for Creation Committee is calling the “year of the encyclical.” Kevin Downey, OFM, pastor, opened and closed the evening in prayer, announcing “Our plan is to roll out various initiatives in the parish from ‘Laudato Si’ over the upcoming year through a variety of ministry areas.”

► Provincial archivist Thomas Cole, OFM, attended the 2015 Western Archives Institute held from July 5 to 17 at Santa Clara, California, University. It was an intensive two-week certificate program in archive management, he said.

► The Boston Globe published an article on July 20 about the renovation being done to the heating and cooling systems of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. In “Friends of prominent downtown shrine pitch in to help,” Thomas Conway, OFM, executive director of the 60-year old ministry center building, said the man who supervised the project was “like a pied piper” in the way he gathered volunteers. The “massive overhaul” is expected to be completed this fall, according to the article, which includes a photo of Christopher Coccia, OFM.

► Edward Coughlin, OFM, will be inaugurated as the 11th president of Siena College at 11 a.m. on Oct. 2. Mark Reamer, OFM, a member of Siena’s inauguration planning committee, invites friars to participate in the three-day celebration with the theme “Embracing What Is Ours to Do.” The proceedings afford the “opportunity to reinvigorate our commitment to be a learning community advancing the ideals of a liberal arts education, rooted in our identity as a Franciscan and Catholic institution,” according to an announcement made last week to the faculty, staff and administrators of the Loudonville, N.Y., college. A campus symposium and dialog, led by Sr. Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ, is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Oct. 1. Details will be provided on the page of Siena’s website dedicated to the inauguration.

► Henry Fulmer, OFM, has provided the name of a woman from whom Franciscan habits can be purchased. She will “do a great job” and is to “able to produce two habits a week,” Henry said. Sharron Nidy Sutterfield lives in Anderson, S.C. and can be reached by email at Her phone number can be obtained by calling the Provincial Office or by emailing Henry at

► Last week, Daniel Horan, OFM, led a presentation titled “The Mystical Vision of Thomas Merton: Recovering Our Original Unity” at the Pastoral Institute at San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, N.J. On July 18, Dan traveled to Dubuque, Iowa, where he is leading a retreat this week called “The Saint and the Pope: What the Spirituality of Two Men Named Francis Can Teach us about Christian Living” at the Shalom Retreat Center in Dubuque, Iowa. A piece titled “The Franciscan Character of ‘Laudato Si’” appears in the July 20 – 27 issue of America magazine. Photos and information about Dan’s activities can be found on the Daniel P. Horan Facebook page.

► Julian Jagudilla, OFM, invites friars and laypeople to a public forum titled “Focus on Mindanao — Faith Seeking Justice: Defending the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao” being held from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 22 at San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street in New York City. Presented by the Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and partner organizations, the program will include three speakers — Sr. Familita Somogod, MSM, of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Amirah Ali Lidasan of Surara Gangsamoro of Voice of the Moro People, and Vennel Francis Chenfoo of Panalipdan Youth-Mindanao & BALSA Lanao, Mindanao – who will talk about the Church’s and the people’s response to human rights violations. “Mindanao in the Southern Philippines contains more than half the mineral wealth of the Philippines,” said Julian in an email announcement. “It also has more than a million hectares of grasslands. Many large multinational agribusiness and mining corporations displaced many lumads. Many of their leaders and other human rights defenders have been subjected to harassment, torture and extra-judicial killings.”

► On July 10, Edgardo Jara, OFM, and Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, participated in an interfaith/civil society advocacy meeting at the office of Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski in Greenbelt, Md. They were part of a group of 16 Maryland faith leaders of four faith traditions who met with three of Senator Mikulski’s staff members to speak about the importance of appropriating the U.S.’s committed $500 million to the Green Climate Fund, to assist our neighbors in developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change. “We wanted to emphasize the importance of the Green Climate Fund to the senator,” said Edgardo. “We shared our concerns and our own personal stories about the climate change’s effects in our own original countries.” Both he and Jacek live in Silver Spring, Md.

► The help that Brian Jordan, OFM, gave recently to a New Yorker was mentioned in the July 14 issue of the New York Post. The article titled “Priest gets real estate developer out of jail sentence” said, “A prominent Catholic priest made an unlikely appearance in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday to ask a judge for mercy on behalf of a real-estate developer facing jail time for harassing an ex-business partner. Father Brian Jordan — who blessed the steel beam cross at Ground Zero — convinced Justice Laurie Peterson to sentence Howard Neu, 64, to 200 hours of community service, instead of 60 days jail.” A photo of Brian blessing the 9/11 memorial cross appears with the story, which quoted Brian as saying: When I met Howard, I knew right away he was a good, upright man. It’s better time served for New York,” said the priest, dressed in a Franciscan habit. “He’s already been humbled by this.”

► Next week, in three thought-provoking conferences, iconographer Robert Lentz, OFM, will examine the importance of erotic love in the knowledge of God, or appreciation of beauty, and the work of artists who help bring beauty into our lives. The program is scheduled for July 28 to 30. Information is available on the website of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City LINK where the conference is being presented.

► Pius Liu, OFM, of Taiwan, reflected on the recent feast of St. Bonaventure, saying that the name of Bonaventure in Chinese is a combination of two words: knowledge and virtue, both of which describe perfectly the life of the saint. Pius said he “cultivated both knowledge and virtue, blending one with the other harmoniously and radiantly.” St. Bonaventure prayed and meditated on the Eucharist, the Passion of Christ, and the life of the Virgin Mary through which he learned and comprehended this wisdom of love, lived up to this wisdom of love, experienced a mental and spiritual elevation of peace and joy hovering our worldly atmosphere, and uncontrollably preached this wisdom of love.”  Pius asked St. Bonaventure to intercede for the faculty and students of St. Bonaventure High School for Girls in Taipei, for St. Bonaventure College in Hong Kong, and for St. Bonaventure University in New York “that they could learn, comprehend, live up to and spread this wisdom of love.”

► Jim McIntosh, OFM, has been named U.S. Franciscan digital media director. As he undertakes this role for the OFM provinces of the United States, Jim will continue to live at Juniper Friary in Philadelphia, where he has been stationed since 2014. Jim participated in the 2015 ESC Communicators meeting held last week in New York City.

► On July 15, after the friars’ webinar, Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, presided and preached at a Eucharistic celebration at Siena College’s friary for the feast of St. Bonaventure after which the Siena community shared a festive dinner with Kevin and Larry Hayes, who were also visiting the Loudonville campus. Edward Coughlin, OFM, was saluted on the feast day of his alma mater St. Bonaventure University and Reginald Reddy, OFM, was serenaded on the eve of his birthday. The previous Saturday, Kevin celebrated a Jubilee Mass for four friars who live at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J. – Thomas Ennis, OFM, who marked 50 years as a friar, Cassian Miles, OFM, who marked 60 years as a friar, and Edward Dillon, OFM, and Blaise Reinhart, OFM, who commemorated 60 years of ordination. Photos of the Ringwood celebration, taken by Octavio Duran, OFM, were posted last week on the Province’s Facebook page.

► Ronald Pecci, OFM, and several postulants participated in the July 11 5k Run/Walk held as part of Bonafest, the annual festival of the Province’s Allegany, N.Y., parish. The Bonafest was held on Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. “The night before, tickets for 350 take-home chicken dinners were sold and passed out,” said James Vacco, OFM, pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish, who provided photos that were posted on the Province’s Facebook page, said that “during the day, two of the postulants helped make pizza. When I pointed them out to a group of parishioners as the two postulants were making the pizzas, one of the children said: ‘Oh, wow… postulant pizza.’ One of the major items raffled was a quilt (picture attached) made with the help of the 10th grade religious education class made from former tee shirt logos from past Bonafests. The winner of the quilt donated it back to the parish and it will now hang in the Memorial Hall.”

► On July 19, a farewell event for Ignatius Smith, OFM, was held at St. Joseph Parish in Anderson, S.C., where he has served for several years. Photos of Ignatius can be found on the Facebook page of St. Joseph Catholic School, Anderson, S.C.

► Dennis Tamburello, OFM, served as chaplain for the 2015 Bearing Witness Advanced trip to Israel, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League in cooperation with the United Stations Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Catholic Education Association. The program, held from July 1 to 8,  is focused on training Catholic school educators on how to present Judaism, Jewish-Catholic relations, the Holocaust, and the State of Israel, said Dennis, adding “We visited several sites that are holy to Jews and Christians, including the Western Wall, Capernaum, and Nazareth. We spent the better part of a day at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial.” On August 3 and 4, Dennis will be presenting in the first phase of the Bearing Witness program at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus in New York City where he has taught in the N.Y. regional program for several years.

► A memorial Mass for the late Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, will be celebrated at 6 p.m. on July 24 at the University of Georgia Catholic Center in Athens where he was stationed for the past 10 years. Information as well as tributes to Thomas, who died on July 4, can be found on the Facebook page of the UGA Catholic Center.

► Jud Weisknar, OFM, reports that a St. Bonaventure graduate and priest in the Diocese of Buffalo, came to St. Patrick’s Friary to film part of the July 11 episode of “Our Daily Bread,” a syndicated cooking show that he hosts, produced by Daybreak Productions. He had Jud, guardian of the friary, prepare a fruit salad in the friary dining room, which they “ate in Tim Dauenhauer’s garden with a statue of St. Francis looking on from the background, according to Jud. The group then proceeded to Larkinville, a block away from the friary, where Jud “showed an amazed Fr. Paul how the neighborhood changed since the days when he grew up nearby. After walking through the venues where Food Truck Tuesdays and the Wednesday concert series take place, Fr. Paul beat me in a quick game of Nano Golf, previously known as miniature golf.” They also discussed the challenges that gentrification poses to the working class neighborhood in light of Pope Francis’ recent pronouncements, and Jud reinforced the importance of community organizing. This was not the first time Our Daily Bread was filmed at the friary. Roughly 20 years ago, Mo Swartout, OFM, was the featured guest, said Jud.

News for the next issue of HNP Today e-letter is requested by July 29, always the Wednesday before distribution. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage include:
► Profiles of jubilarians Kevin Kriso, OFM, and Kevin McGoff, OFM
► An essay by student friar George Camacho, OFM, about his summer assignment in South Africa
► Profession of first vows by three HNP friars on Aug. 2
► Convocation of OFM brothers being held next month

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas