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
 All solemnly-professed friars are reminded to complete and return by July 31 the R&R survey that was emailed July 17 by Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, who emphasizes that the survey is short. The Provincial Councils of the six provinces participating in the R&R Process are meeting next month in St. Louis to discuss next steps.

► John Aherne, OFM, will be officially beginning his first assignment since his June 23 ordination next week – on Aug. 3 at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes N.J. During the past month, John’s activities have included participation the Province’s Young Adult Ministry Leadership Retreat at Siena College from June 29 to July 2 and a visit to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. “I spent about 10 days at the Shrine saying Masses and hearing confessions,” said John. “It was a wonderful way to begin my sacramental ministry in a place that I love surrounded by friars I respect so much, who help me process some of the experience.”

► Michael Calabria, OFM, director of St. Bonaventure University’s Center for Arab and Islamic Center, recently returned from India where he conducted research for his forthcoming book “The Language of the Taj Mahal: Islam, Prayer and the Religion of Shah Jahan” being published by I.B. Tauris. “Since the focus of the book is the inscriptional program of the Taj Mahal, I am gathering as much information as I can on the calligrapher who is somewhat elusive in the historical record,” Michael said. “I visited a structure he built outside the city of Amritsar where his calligraphy can also be seen, as well as his tomb. I also examined and photographed his calligraphy at the Taj itself in order to test some hypotheses about stylistic variations.”

► Ross Chamberland, OFM, has been named assistant vice president for student engagement at St. Bonaventure University, according to a July 23 announcement. “In his relatively short time here at Bonaventure, Fr. Ross has forged such a meaningful bond with so many of our students that it just makes sense for us to take fuller advantage of both his academic credentials and personality in this new leadership role,” said SBU president Dennis DePerro. “In his new role, Fr. Ross will provide administrative and programmatic oversight to initiatives focusing on student involvement and leadership development, diversity and inclusion, learning communities, and student learning outcomes.” Added Katie O’Brien, SBU’s vice president for student affairs, “His work will expand and strengthen the university’s established comprehensive and integrated student engagement program to enhance students’ sense of belonging at the university.”

► Since June 2, Casey Cole, OFM, has been on the on the road, visiting Franciscan parishes around the country and across provinces. “I’ve been to Cedar Lake, Ind., Portland, Ore., Huntington Beach, Calif., Quincy, Ill., Cincinnati, Ohio, Greenville, S.C., and am currently in Durham, N.C. After a week’s vacation, I will be going to Raleigh, N.C, Triangle, Va., and Pompton Lakes, N.J. So far, I have traveled about 7,800 miles.” He often provides updates through videos and Facebook posts. After his July 15 visit to St. Anthony of Padua Parish and School in Greenville, S.C., he posted on his blog a video titled “A Pilgrimage to the Holiest Place on Earth.” It describes the parish’s strong community spirit as well as the connection that he has to the area. Casey’s presentations are centered around his book, “What Happens after Saying ‘Yes’ to God.” Information about Casey can be found on his website, “Breaking in the Habit.” The purpose of the tour, Casey said, “is to engage people on the topics of discernment and discipleship, recognizing that we all have a call from God no matter our age or life status. I preach at all of the Masses on the weekend and then offer two nights of talks during the week.”

► Earlier this summer, two groups traveled to Morocco on trips organized by Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, the Province’s secretary for missions in evangelization. The first was June 15 to 24 with parishioners from the University of Georgia Catholic Center and students from St. Bonaventure University, the University of St. Francis in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Alvernia University in Reading, Pa. The second trip, which took place from June 24 through July 3, included a group of parishioners from St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, N.C. “We arrived in Morocco on Monday, June 25, in the magical-sounding city of Casablanca, after a long layover in London,” said Steve Patti, OFM, pastor.  “We traveled to Meknes, to Fez, to Midelt – which is in the Atlas Mountains in the interior of the country – to Marrakech, and finally back to Casablanca. In some ways it was a blur – lots of places, sounds, sights, different languages, whole different culture.” Steve’s description was provided in the Pastor’s Column that was posted on the parish’s Facebook page. Information about upcoming trips sponsored by the HNP Franciscan Missionary Union can be obtained on the FMU website and through Paul, who provided a photo of participants on the first trip.

► Last month, James Vacco, OFM, of St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany, N.Y., took part in a panel that addressed the future of the Church. The other participants were Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo; Sr. Denise Roche, GNSH, the retired president of D’Youville College; and Dr. Anthony Pivarunas, chief of the no-natal unit at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo. It was held June 1 at St. Leo’s Church in Amherst, N.Y. Photos and video are available on the parish website.

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

  • Simple profession of vows on Aug. 6
  • Jean-Marie Kabango-Lenge, OFM, who recently joined Holy Name Province
  • Solemn profession of Abraham Joseph, OFM, on Aug. 25

 — 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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