Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below feature activities of Holy Name friars, including their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, contact the friars by phone or email, or connect with the HNP Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

Several friars — Louis Canino, OFM, Casey Cole, OFM, and Gene Pistaccio, OFM — are participating in this year’s JPIC Local Contacts Retreat. They are joining more than 25 representatives of HNP ministries from July 18 to 20 at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C., to discuss methods of implementing the mandate approved at the 2014 Provincial Chapter calling for increased advocacy and media outreach. The retreat is being organized by the staff of the HNP Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation — Russell Testa and Fran Eskin-Royer.

Ross Chamberland, OFM, Jeffery Jordan, OFM, and Michael Reyes, OFM, are participating in a month-long interprovincial retreat in Italy, the customary pre-solemn profession program. The trip includes a three-week study pilgrimage to Franciscan holy places in Italy, culminating in a week of hermitage. The three friars will profess their final vows as Franciscans on Aug. 23 in New York City.

A reflection by David Convertino, OFM, about Independence Day was posted last week on the blog of the HNP Office of Development. David said that on July 4, he thought about his “brother Franciscan friars who won’t enjoy a hot dog or fireworks until late in this day of independence celebrations because they will be at the veterans’ hospital in Bethesda, Md., with the wounded warriors of our international wars.These Franciscan brothers of mine are an inspiration and they are my first images on this July 4. This is not about guilt on the Fourth of July; it is about faith recognizing heroism, love recognizing suffering, and gratitude being constantly shown to these warriors every single day of the year.”

George Corrigan, OFM, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Tampa, Fla., shared news about the church’s upcoming renovations in a South Tampa News article. The plan includes replacing granite steps and removing a cracked concrete platform, as well as adding benches, LED lighting on tandem light poles, Wausau concrete planters, trellises for new greenery and more. The Parish Plaza Project is focused on creating an inviting, welcoming place where the community can gather, according to George.

Kevin Daly, OFM, John Frambes, OFM, and James Scullion, OFM, were among those who volunteered at the third annual “Garden Party by the Sea: A Fashion Show,” held June 24 to benefit St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J. Photos were shared on the Province’s Facebook page.

Francis Di Spigno, OFM, and students from St. Bonaventure University spent several weeks in Salamanca, Spain, last month as part of the SBU Spanish Immersion Program. Students had the opportunity to travel from Madrid to Andalucia, and Portugal, to enhance their cultural views. They were also in the country during the coronation of King Felipe VI de Bourbon. Francis and the students were invited to Salamanca’s city hall for a farewell reception on June 26. They were welcomed by Julio Lopez Revuelta, deputy of culture and tourism for the city. Other international students from the Colegio de España joined them for the reception.

Christopher Dunn, OFM, of Lima, Peru, said the newspaper La Republica published an article last week that mentions Mychal Judge, OFM. The story is about a donated Joe Leavey fire engine, named after Mychal and blessed on July 5. The engine was put into service June 30, said Christopher, adding, “this is the second engine donated to the Peruvian General Volunteer Fire Corps. The Mychal Judge engine is also mentioned in the article,“Proyecto de EEUU Dona un Camión a Compañía de Bomberos de VMT.” In April, a new apparatus bay and roof were dedication in Mychal’s memory. The New York fire chaplain died on Sept. 11.

The keynote speech that Daniel Horan, OFM, gave earlier this year at the Franciscan Mission Service’s World Care Benefit Celebration has been posted on the FMS website. Daniel’s presentation was titled “Two Men Named Francis.”

The golden jubilee of ordination of Kevin Mackin, OFM, was featured in the June 25 issue of the Poughkeepsie Journal. He and seven other friars celebrated their 50th anniversary as priests in May with a special Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. On June 30, Kevin left his position as president of Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., and moved on July 1 to the St. Petersburg friary.

As a way to actively welcome all members of the community, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City held its annual pre-pride Mass last week. Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM, celebrated the June 28 Mass, with his homily focusing on John 21:15-19, in which Jesus asks Peter three times: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” An excerpt from his homily is included here.

Historian Dominic Monti, OFM, participated in a meeting of scholars the weekend of June 27 at the Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University to plan a companion to St. Bonaventure’s “Breviloquium.” The text will provide assistance to students seeking more information about the content, context and significance of Bonaventure’s theology. A photo of the participants was posted last week on the Facebook page of the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition. Next week, Dominic will preside at a Mass at SBU for the feast of St. Bonaventure.

Steven Pavignano, OFM, of Buffalo, N.Y., reports that a novitiate classmate of his, Art Scheider, was ordained a deacon by Bishop Michael Burbidge in the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C., on June 28.

Andrew Reitz, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, traveled to the Franciscan Monastery in Washington on June 28 as part of a pilgrimage with the parish’s Ugnayan (Filipino Ministry).

Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of the Order’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation is speaking on “St. Francis, Pope Francis and Ecology” at St. Francis Church on Long Beach Island. The presentations are July 10 at 7 p.m. and July 11 at 9:30 a.m. Information about this and other parish news can be found on the parish’s website and Facebook page.

Frank Sevola, OFM, met Jerry Stiller when a movie featuring the actor was shot in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Filmmaker Steve Monarque, who attended St. Mary’s Parish in his youth, asked to use several rooms at the church during the filming. “He needed places for catering, bathrooms and a place for the star, Jerry Stiller, to rest and study his lines,” said Frank, the pastor. “Of course I said, ‘Yes!’” Frank met Stiller when he noticed him in the church one day. “He was very nice and happy to see a friar. His wife, Anne Meara, was Catholic and has priests in her family.” When it was time to screen the movie, Monarque, whose mother Pat is a parishioner, suggested it be shown in the parish’s Carnevale Center as a gift to the people of the town. Frank said more than 200 people attended the July 1 screening, giving a free-will offering to the church. “The surprise of the event was Jerry Stiller returning to St. Mary’s for the screening. Once again, he was delightful,” said Frank.

An article by Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, of New York City, titled “Some Issues in Spiritual Integration,” was published in the July/August issue of The Pastoral Review. Kevin is now stationed at Holy Name of Jesus Friary on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Basil Valente, OFM, is in Oxford, England, with David Blake, OFM, and St. Bonaventure University students until Aug. 16 as part of the Francis E. Kelley Oxford Program. After Labor Day, Basil will move to New York City to begin his role as the Province’s vocation director.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by July 16, always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues include:
Profile of Jud Weiksnar, OFM, who is marking 25 years as a friar
Artwork of David Haack, OFM
• New roles for Daniel Riley, OFM, and the friars of Mt. Irenaeus

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas