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
 Friars involved with or interested in being involved with Hispanic ministry are invited to the Juntos Conto Hermos 2018 gathering, being held Sept. 17 to 20 in Washington, D.C.   Details can be found on an informational flyer provided by Edgardo “Lalo” Jara, OFM, who is accepting registrations until Aug. 31.

► Friars in the Northeast gathered at Holy Name Friary on June 16 to celebrate the jubilees of Martin Bednar, OFM, and Charles Finnegan, OFM. Martin is marking 60 years of profession and Charlie is marking 60 years of ordination. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, celebrated the jubilee Mass, after which the friars enjoyed a meal on the beautiful grounds of the Ringwood infirmary.

► Michael Calabria, OFM, director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University, has contracted with London-based academic publisher I.B. Tauris for a book titled “The Language of the Taj Mahal: Islam, Prayer, and the Religion of Shah Jahan.” The book will comprise an analysis of the Qur’anic texts of the Taj Mahal, investigate how they relate to the personal faith of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, and how they relate to the contemporary religious climate of South Asia. Michael is also the author of a recently-published article in the 2018 issue of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies titled “The Unorthodox Orthodoxy of Shah Jahan: a Reassessment of his Religiosity.”

► Kevin Cronin, OFM, gave a day of recollection to the Secular Franciscans at Tabor House, Oceanside, N.Y., on June 16. He presented two talks – the first called “The Prayer Book of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” focusing on the psalms, which he gave at the LA Congress, and a new talk on “St. Sara Tonin, Ireland’s Newest Saint (the Patron Saint of Laughter).” Her name is a play on the word “serotonin” – the talk focuses on the benefits of laughter and humor for one’s overall health and spirituality.

► An article about Michael Duffy, OFM, and St. Francis Inn was recently published by Titled “Father Mike, a Staple at a Kensington Soup Kitchen, Reflects on 30 Years in the Changing Neighborhood,” the article focuses on the Inn’s mission in a neighborhood whose people have experienced a shift in drug use habits – from cocaine in the 70s to the opioid crisis of today – and is currently seeing the beginnings of gentrification.

► Michael Harlan, OFM, has been appointed to a second three-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of The Dwelling Place of NY, Inc. The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany are grateful for his participation in extending the mission of The Dwelling Place, especially in the tradition and vision of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, according to a letter from Sr. Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF, congregational minister of the Allegany Sisters.

► Daniel Horan, OFM, served as a keynote speaker at the New Zealand Catholic Education Conference, held June 13 to 15 in Wellington. The conference, which brings together roughly 1,000 teachers and administrators from Catholic primary and secondary schools across the country, is held once every three years. The title of Dan’s talk, given June 13, was “The Joy of Christian Foolishness: Responding to Christ’s Call to Discipleship in the Age of Pope Francis.”

► This past Sunday, the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Edgardo Jara, OFM, preached on the issues of family separation and migration during the 10:30 a.m. Mass that he celebrated at St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring. “I had one of those beautiful and blessed moments that a priest can have as a server of God and our Church,” he said. “During the homily, I spoke from my heart and shared my concern about the migration situation we are living with today in the United States. I encouraged our people of God to live our baptism and prepare ourselves for heaven by practicing love, peace and justice in our world. At the offertory time, I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to call children forward and be with me around the altar. This was a beautiful and powerful moment. Thank you God for using me so that you can increase and grow in our lives.” Parishioner Karen Simon shared a photo of the children on the altar.

► June has been a busy month for Brian Jordan, OFM. On June 3, he presided and preached at a well-attended alumni Mass at the Grotto of St. Bernadette at Siena College during the 2018 reunion weekend. This year marks the 40th anniversary of his graduation from Siena in 1978. Three days later, Brian participated in the 50th anniversary memorial service for Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated on June 6, 1968 in Los Angeles. Brian sat next to Ethel Kennedy and other members of the Kennedy family. He befriended the Kennedy and Shriver families during the 1990s when he was pastor of St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Md. On June 13, he presided at the annual St. Anthony of Padua Mass at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., a tradition that he started in 2012 when he was appointed college chaplain. The Franciscan Brothers, faculty and staff participated in the Mass. One week later, on June 20, Brian underwent a double knee replacement at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. “After completing 61 marathons through 33 years of training, I required new knees,” he said. “No more marathons.”

► John Leonard, OFM, of Hartford, threw the opening pitch at the Yard Goats game on Fathers’ Day. A group of parishioners attended the game as part of a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the merging of St. Patrick and St. Anthony Churches. Photos were posted on the parish’s Facebook page.

► Anthony LoGalbo, OFM, of Boston, recently traveled to Brazil for the closing Mass celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Franciscan presence in that country. Tony served in Brazil from March 1983 to April 1986. “I studied Portuguese at CENFI, the Brazilian bishops’ school for foreign missionaries to study the language and Brazilian culture, from March to June 1983,” he said. “I served in two places: Paróquia Nossa Senhora da Piedade in Porangatu and Paróquia Sagrado Coração de Jesus in Pires do Rio, both in the state of Goiás. The bishop was the late James Schuck, OFM. He granted me permission to do communion services, administer the sacraments of baptism and matrimony, anointing of the sick and to conduct services for the dead. Since there was a shortage of priests, he granted me permission to do those pastoral duties.” Photos from the closing Mass are available on the Facebook page “Frades Franciscanos OFM.”

► John O’Connor, OFM, was appointed to the board of directors of St. John Paul the Great High School, the newest high school in the Diocese of Arlington, Va. Located within the parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Triangle, where John is pastor, the school enrolls just under 800 students. It is the first Catholic high school in Northern Virginia to offer a speciality in bio ethics. “We have received word that potentially there are three rising seniors who are interested in St. Bonaventure University,” John said. “The associate director of recruitment at St. Bonaventure will be coming to Virginia in July to meet with me and the head of the guidance department.”

► On June 7, the Mt. Irenaeus community celebrated the more than 50 years of Daniel Riley, OFM, more than 50 years as a Franciscan with a gathering in Buffalo. At the celebration, the Mountain community shared a short video with current and historical footage of Dan telling the Mountain’s story.

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

  • Circus chaplaincy of Ross Chamberland, OFM
  • The 75th anniversary celebrations of the Provincia del Santísimo Nombre de Jesús in Brazil
  • Mt. Irenaeus’s popular podcast, “Clouds and Sun”

Compiled by Maria Hayes and Jocelyn Thomas

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