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
Several updates have been distributed to friars in the last two weeks. They include: (1) report on the June 14 to 15 guardians’ and pastors’ meeting, (2) report on the June 17 Provincial Council meeting, (3) a list of men who have been accepted into the Province’s postulancy program, (4) information about the pope’s visit in September to the United States and (5) details about the Oct. 12 to 15 interprovincial gathering for friars interested in Hispanic ministry. Those who have not received these documents are encouraged to talk with their guardians or to contact Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, or communications director Jocelyn Thomas — both in the Provincial Office at 646-473-0265.
The Provincial Office will be closed on Friday, July 3 in commemoration of Independence Day.
Committee Updates
Wellness News Flash — Summertime is here and with it is the need to protect your eyes. Some tips: (1) wear a hat with a brim and glasses with UV protection since cataracts can develop if not protected, (2) watch for golf balls and handballs which can damage eyes, (3) since swimming pool chemicals can be irritating, keep bottled water available for washing, and (4) use caution when near lawn mowers since debris and rocks can damage corneas. The Wellness Committee recommends this link for more information about eyes and vision health. Enjoy seeing the great season of summer!

A collection of reflections by Michael Calabria, OFM, about Ramadan is available on the home page of St. Bonaventure University’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies of which he is director. He wrote them several years ago during Ramadan for the Franciscan Missionary Union. An article by Michael, “A Sign for All People: Jesus in the Qur’an and Islamic Tradition,” appears in the June 2015 issue of Franciscan Connections.

►Todd Carpenter, OFM, pastor of St. Paul Parish in Wilmington, Del., participated in an annual interfaith blessing of the Hedgeville Children’s Community Garden in Wilmington, Del, on June 9. The garden, created more than a decade ago, has become a tradition that involves local children and religious leaders, according to reporter Nichelle Polston who covered the event for NewsWorks. Located just a few blocks from St. Paul’s Church, it is maintained by neighoborhood residents.  On June 21, Todd as well as Paul Breslin, OFM, and William Herbst, OFM,  attended a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by newly-ordained Fr. Robert Perez, OFM Cap., who had been assigned to St. Paul’s for the past year as  a transitional deacon. Also last weekend, the St. Paul’s community welcomed Mario Gomez, OFM, who is assigned to the parish for the summer.

►Kevin Cronin, OFM, was among the 29 priests honored by the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., at a June 2 Mass marking milestone anniversaries. Photos of the event at Notre Dame of Mount Carmel Church in N.J., were published in the June 11 issue of The Beacon newspaper. Kevin, a Ministry of the Word friar based at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., marked 40 years as a priest this year.

►Kevin Daly, OFM, Christopher Keenan, OFM, and Michael Tyson, OFM, participated in the June 14 dedication of the Mychal Judge, OFM, statue in East Rutherford, N.J. “The statue is larger than life, and befitting the legacy of Fr. Mychal Judge, the Franciscan friar who left a trail of acts of kindness and courage, and oversaw the spiritual needs of generations in East Rutherford and beyond,” according to an article in the South Bergenite newspaper. Brian Cullinane, OFM, submitted several photos of the statue.

Two members of Holy Name Province — Robert Frazzetta, OFM, and Paul O’Keeffe, OFM — are on the planning committee of the interprovincial convocation of brothers being held Aug. 10 to 14 in California.

►John Gill, OFM, reports that the first of several St. Francis Inn ministries has moved into a new building. The Thea Bowman Women’s Center moved in on June 16. Throughout the summer, the other ministries will settle into the new facility, which has been named All Saints.

►Daniel Horan, OFM, of Boston, served as keynote speaker at the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., Catechetical Forum on June 10 and 11 at Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Newton, N.J. Next month, Dan will co-lead with Sisters Ilia Delio, OSF and Kathleen Deignan, CND, the 2015 Summer Pastoral Institute at San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, N.J. The theme is “Transforming the Human in Christ: The Wisdom of Teilhard, Berry, and Merton.” Dan’s portion of the program is titled “The Mystical Vision of Thomas Merton.” The following week, he will be directing a retreat titled “The Saint and the Pope: What the Spirituality of Two Men Named Franciscan Can Teach Us About Christian Living” from July 19 to 24 at the Shalom Spirituality Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Information about Daniel’s speaking schedule can be found on his website.

Iconographer Robert Lentz, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., is leading three workshops next month at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City. “Divine Eros and the Experience of Beauty” will be offered on July 28, 29 and 30 in San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, will be celebrating a Mass on June 24 that will honor 18 friars marking major anniversaries of profession. It is being held at 5:30 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.

The Order of Friars Minor has appointed Russel Murray, OFM, its general animator for evangelization. Russel, who will be stationed in Rome, will begin his new role in September.

►Steven Patti, OFM, announced on the website of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Raleigh, N.C., where he is pastor, that the property adjacent to the parish will be sold to a Catholic Vietnamese community, Our Lady of La Vang. The Raleigh parish purchased the property, formerly Bethany Hills Baptist Church, in December 2013. Steven said, “We expect Our Lady of La Vang to take occupancy of the building by the spring of 2016.”

►Matthew Pravetz, OFM, reports that the HNP Wellness Committee, of which he is chair, decided at its June 22 meeting to produce and publish brief updates about health — called Wellness News Flashes — that will be published regularly in the provincial newsletter. “These reports,” he said, “will be short, to-the-point items accompanied by links to more information. These days, most people seem to prefer the ‘bullet point’ approach with easy, user-friendly information, compared to detailed articles.” The first Wellness News Flash appears above in the Provincial Administration section of Friar News Briefs.

On June 17, Gabriel Scarfia, OFM, spoke at the first dinner lecture of the summer of Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y., about “Marriage and the Family: Synods of Mercy and Compassion.” He talked about the issues facing the synod, including the topic of divorced and remarried persons. Information about the synods can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

►Frank Sevola, OFM, concluded his nine years of service on St. Bonaventure University’s board of trustees at its June 11 to 14 meeting. “It was a highlight of my ministry as a friar to serve my alma mater in this way,” said Frank, who served as board secretary for seven years. “St. Bonaventure University really shaped me as a person. It’s the place where I first met the friars and fell in love with St. Francis and the Franciscans. It’s the place I made many of my lifelong friends, and it’s a place that will always have an important place in my life. To be on the board of trustees was an honor. There is no question that at times it was difficult to be at board meetings trying to contribute to a solution to some difficult issues. However, each and every time I was impressed by the dedication of the board, the hard work of president Sr. Margaret Carney and the love everyone displays for the friars. I am happy that there were many more moments of joy and accomplishment than there were moments of difficulty. I am confident that St. Bonaventure University is on the right path and I am grateful that in some small way I was able to contribute to its success.” He graduated from the Allegany, N.Y., university in 1982.

On June 9, Patrick Tuttle, OFM, was a presenter in “Unseen Greenville,” a community forum that explored the challenges facing members of the community that aren’t benefiting from recent economic development and capital investment in the area. The forum “went very well,” according to Susan Cinquemani, a member of St. Anthony’s mission advancement team, adding that Patrick was “a great member of the panel.” An article on Greenville Online reported on the forum and mentions Patrick, who is pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Greenville.

Vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, has announced that seven men have been accepted into the Province’s postulancy program for 2015-16. A list of biographies with photos of each of the new postulants was provided to HNP friars last week. Information about the Province’s application process can be found on

News for the next issue of HNP Today e-letter is requested by June 30, 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 David Blake, OFM, and Kevin Kriso, OFM
  • New postulants
  • Jubilee celebration on June 24

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas