Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring 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
Friars are reminded to complete the survey evaluating the work of the Provincial Administration over the last two years and submit it by midnight on June 18. The survey was emailed to friars last week. The Administration also reminds friars who would like to participate in the Province’s July 13 webinar about possible new fraternities-in-mission in the South to register by July 5.

On June 23, the Province will honor 14 friars marking anniversaries of profession: those marking 50-year anniversaries — Peter Ahlheim, OFM, Michael Duffy, OFM, Alfonzo Guzmán, OFM, Ignatius Harding, OFM, Vianney Justin, OFM, Gerard Lee, OFM, Daniel Riley, OFM, Alan Thomas, OFM, and Kevin Tortorelli, OFM — and those marking 25-year anniversaries — Francis Di Spigno, OFM, Patrick Fereday, OFM, Lawrence Ford, OFM, John Leonard, OFM, and Paul Lostritto, OFM. They will be celebrated at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on June 23 at St Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.

►John Aherne, OFM, George Camacho, OFM, and Edgardo Jara, OFM, are leaving early next month for a four-week retreat in Italy, as preparation for their profession of solemn vows in August. They will participate in the traditional pilgrimage from July 2 to 25, and then they will have a one-week supervised retreat at La Verna, said Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of post-novitiate formation.

Last week, six friars were recognized by the Paterson, N.J., Diocese for their anniversaries of priesthood. The annual Jubilee Mass was celebrated on June 7 at Our Lady of the Magnificat Church in Kinnelon, N.J. The friars commemorated were Christian Camadella, OFM, who marked 60 years as a priest, Richard Husted, OFM, John Kull, OFM, and Gerald Mudd, OFM, who marked 50 years, Francis McHugh, OFM, who marked 40 years, and Frank Sevola, OFM, who marked 25 years.

Several friars are teaching courses at St. Francis of Assisi Parish’s adult school in New York City. From June 20 to 22, Michael Calabria, OFM, is presenting a class titled The World of Islam: An Art Historical Approach.” Javier Del Angel De Los Santos, OFM, is leading a class from June 6 to July 18 titled “Basics of Catholicism,” and Jeffery Jordan, OFM, is teaching “Deepening our Understanding of the Bible” from Aug. 10 to Sept. 7.

►Casey Cole, OFM, and Christian Seno, OFM, arrived in Mexico last week and began their summer internship at La72, a safe house for migrants and refugees located in Tenosique, Mexico. Both student friars are writing about their experiences on their blogs — Casey at “Breaking in the Habit” and Christian at “Pax-Bonum.”

►F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, Francis Di Spigno, OFMGregory Jakubowicz, OFM, Gary Maciag, OFM, Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, and Mark Reamer, OFM, were among the participants at the 2016 Symposium of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities held June 7 to 9 in Indianapolis. Francis and two representatives of Hilbert College in Buffalo, N.Y., spoke on about “Franciscan Learning Community Initiative” and Gregory and two colleagues gave a talk titled “Franciscan Pilgrimage for Business Students.”

Two HNP friars concelebrated Mass on May 28 for the golden jubilee celebration of seven Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. They were  Michael Duffy, OFM, of Philadelphia, and Thomas Walters, OFM, of New York City. Photos can be found on the sisters’ Facebook page.

In a story titled “In Gentrifying East Kensington, Affordable Senior Apartments Arise,” Michael Duffy, OFM, talked about the need for housing for seniors who are struggling and the impact that St. Francis Villa, a new building near St. Francis Inn with one-bedroom apartments, will have. Most guests of the Inn “are elderly, longtime residents of Kensington and come nearly every day to eat because they cannot afford to buy food and to pay for housing and their medicine, too,” said Michael. Many of the seniors “live in hovels, since they don’t have the money to keep them in good repair.”

Several ministries are offering special prayer services to remember the victims of the June 12 shooting at the nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Among them are St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, which is offering a Mass at 5:15 p.m. on June 16, and St. Patrick St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn., which celebrated a Mass on June 14. In an announcement, Thomas Gallagher, OFM, pastor of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish, said “Please keep all those who have been touched by this experience in prayer — the deceased, the wounded, the hostages, the shooter, the families and the gay community. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.”

On June 18, St. Patrick-St Anthony Parish is celebrating the anniversaries of profession of three of its friars. All are welcome to the 5 to 7 p.m. party on Church Street commemorating the 60th anniversary of profession of Andrew Giardino, OFM, the 10th anniversary of profession of Cidouane Joseph, OFM, and the 25th anniversary profession of John Leonard, OFM

A piece by Archbishop Roberto González, OFM, titled “Congress Can Solve Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis but Colonial Status Remains a Problem,” was published June 7 in The Hill, a news outlet about Congress. In it, the archbishop of San Juan said, “In Puerto Rico our economy is worsening, our people are fleeing and a humanitarian crisis continues to unfold. We are running out of time and my people are suffering. Current Puerto Rico legislation pending in the U.S. Congress is the only immediate solution we have at our disposal. I support the current legislation because it gives Puerto Rico breathing space — so the payment of pensions and social services are made first, before debt payments. In this sense, the legislation meets the key moral principle of protecting the common good. The legislation stops exploitative behavior of so-called vulture funds and has a process to bring our debt back to sustainable levels.”

►Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, attended the recent Kaleidoscope 2016 fundraiser dinner held by Bishop Timon St. Jude High School in Buffalo, N.Y., from which he graduated in 1983. “We expect a net profit of over $100,000 that will provide tuition assistance through the Fr Joel A. Campbell, OFM, Memorial Scholarship to young men at Timon,” said Kevin McLaughlin, president of the school. “Since its founding in 2005, Kaleidoscope has generated well over $1 million. Holy Name Province has been a Green & Gold Sponsor each of the past 12 years.” McLaughlin submitted a photo of Gregory with Bob Maggio, the newly-elected chair of school’s board of trustees, taken at the June 4 event in Orchard Park, N.Y. An email distributed by Timon on June 13 includes information about the Kaleidoscope event, as well as other news. Next week, Greg is leaving for Italy to participate in an internship with Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs. He is working on developing a new pilgrimage for business professionals, he said.

A video in which John Maganzini, OFM, describes “The Meaning Behind St. Anthony’s Bread” was posted on the Facebook page of St. Anthony Shrine. In it, he describes a story about “the bread of acceptance,” a tradition that goes back to 1263. “We pray as we receive bread to become bread and to ask God to transform our hearts,” said John.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, along with Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, are with the Provincial Councilors this week at an interprovincial friar gathering being held at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., from June 13 to 16. It is the second of four such events being held this year.

►Michael Reyes, OFM, is presenting a four-week workshop titled “Spirituality of Sacred Icons” at Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Fla., where he has been stationed since February.

On Good Friday, Patrick Sieber, OFM, joined a group of roughly a dozen people in protesting at the Valley Forge, Penn., site of Lockheed Martin, a weapons manufacturer. “After an hour, our prayer service on Lockheed Martin property was interrupted and nine of us were led away in metal handcuffs,” he said. “We were released after an hour to await a trial.” He summarized the ideas of the group as follows: “Betrayed, denied, tortured, facing death, Jesus knew where he stood and what he faced. He faced the Cross, a means of execution, a symbol of imperial rule, of Rome’s might, an announcement of the empire’s will to maintain itself the only way it can: violence and war. What we see depends on where we stand. We stand before Lockheed Martin and see the cross of empire, war, terror, and human neglect, greed, an environmental time bomb, destruction, drone strikes and a new era of robotic war. We see the corporate cross of war that is Lockheed Martin, the world’s number one weapons manufacturer, and the U.S.’s number one war profiteer. We mourn the absence of economic justice and peace and what that means in real human terms for the vast majority in this country and around world. There is an uncompromising difference between the privileged wealth secured through every weapon built by Lockheed Martin and the faithful’s demands for justice and peace. It is nothing less than the difference between war and peace, crucifixion and resurrection, cooperation and resistance, joy and fear, love and hate. Today, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the hatred of immigrants and the undocumented fuels war profiteers no less than presidential candidates that speak of bigger and bigger walls, unrelenting drone strikes, more bombing, and banning refugees fleeing U.S. wars from Syria to Afghanistan.”

►Patrick Tuttle, OFM, was quoted in a June 6 article in the Greenville Times describing the impact of a recently deceased parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, where he is pastor. In “St. Anthony loses a ‘Beloved’ Founding Member,” Patrick said that Theressa Lockhart “served on the parish council so often that ‘she had a seat with her name on it.’” Lockhart was a faithful member of the church throughout its nearly 77-year-old history. She was baptized as a Catholic in her early teens and was present when the first chapel and friary were constructed in 1939, and witnessed efforts by the Klu Klux Klan to keep black and white parishioners from worshipping together.

From May 25 to June 8, Jud Weiksnar, OFM, attended three justice, peace and integrity of creation gatherings in Italy. The first two, in Verona, were of the European Continental OFM JPIC Committee and the International OFM JPIC Committee. The third, in Monselice, was of the OFM JPIC Animation Committee. The gatherings concentrated on several common themes that have appeared in recent OFM documents coming from the General Chapter and the General Definitorium. They included: using Laudato Si’ as a means to help us toward the ecological conversion Pope Francis has called us to; being attentive to the issue of migration, and its causes; looking at the effects of mining — including fracking — on the earth and on the poor; and the need to examine our lifestyle in light of the current ecological crisis. They also looked at two special aspects of the year 2017. The Order has declared 2017 a year dedicated to justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Also, in 2017 a pilgrimage of the Americas will take place, with two sets of icons of Francis and Clare setting forth from Canada and from Chile, and meeting in Ecuador. The icons will pass through the United States for three months, and the Franciscan family will be transporting them, hosting them, and using them as focal points to draw attention to the Year of JPIC.” Jud said he enjoyed very much spending time with friars from around the world, and was impressed by the depth and breadth of their dedication to JPIC. “And although the gelato and lasagna were to die for, I did miss Monks’ Raisin Bread at breakfast. There will be an OFM JPIC gathering of the Americas in Brazil in September, 2017, but some of the regularly scheduled Animation Committee meetings will now be taking place by Skype to cut down on travel expenses and the use of fossil fuel.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by June 22, 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 in HNP Today include:

  • Profiles of Francis Di Spigno, OFM, and Paul Lostritto, OFM, who are marking silver jubilees of profession
  • Guardians and pastors meeting on June 20 and 21
  • Jubilee celebration on June 23

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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