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
The Provincial Councilors met from May 31 to June 1 at Siena College. Their agenda included discussions about reactions to the Extraordinary Chapter and the vote by six U.S. provinces to unify, fraternal ecology, financial matters, the work of the task force on Care of Elder Friars, Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate,” and the approval of the request of Jean-Marie Kabango-Lenge, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., to transfer to Holy Name Province.
 Friars planning to attend the jubilee Mass and luncheon on June 16 at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., are asked to RSVP by June 9 to guardian Richard McFeely, OFM, at

On May 19, James Scullion, OFM, conducted the 11th annual ecumenical blessing of the lifeguards at St. Francis Community Center on Long Beach Island, N.J. The event, held at the St. Francis Aquatic Center, was open to all Long Beach Island and mainland beach and pool lifeguards. Community center staff member Lori Dudek provided a photo.

►Daniel Riley, OFM, presented a talk during the June 1 to 3 alumni reunion of St. Bonaventure University where he is national alumni chaplain. Dan, class of 1964, spoke on “Thomas Merton: His Story and the Bona Story.”

►Steven Pavignano, OFM, and Fr. Luis Aponte-Merced, OFM, were among the 31 parishioners of St. Joseph and St. Maximilian Parish, Orlando, Fla., who accepted the invitation of the American-Muslim Community Center of Longwood, Fla., for the breaking of the Ramadan fast. “On May 17, we joined 150 other guests for a reading of a section of the Quran (with translation), a presentation on ‘Meaning of Ramadan’ by Imam Azhar Subedhar, an original poem by a sixth grader, a time for questions and answers, and prayer, as well as a wonderful meal,” said Steven. “This is the third activity we have shared with members of the American-Muslim Community Center. The first two were through the viewing and discussion of the movie ‘The Sultan and the Saint.’” He and Fr. Luis have been stationed at San Damiano Friary in Orlando since last summer.

►John O’Connor, OFM, has been appointed to the board of directors of Pope John Paul the Great High School in Dumfries, Va. The diocesan high school in the Arlington, Va., diocese, under the direction of the Dominican Sisters, has an enrollment of some 800 students, said John, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in nearby Triangle.

►Richard Mucowski, OFM, pastor of Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J., was chosen as the N.J. State Council Knights of Columbus Chaplain of the Year. He was honored May 18 at the annual convention in Wildwood, N.J. Russ Petrocelli, an Assumption parishioner who is the Knights state membership director, said “Fr. Richard devotes tremendous time and energy to the council and to our order. He regularly attends our council meetings and functions and also opens the door of the church to the Bergen Federation every year for the annual Communion Breakfast. There is no activity in the church that does not have Knights of Columbus involvement because Fr. Richard is always looking out for ‘his knights.’ He holds two degrees and has been the president of two colleges. There is no finer voice for the order in the state of New Jersey than our chaplain, Fr. Richard.” Petrocelli provided photos of Richard receiving the award and of the plaque.

►Kevin McGoff, OFM, invites people to attend the “Icons Singing” art and music event on June 16 at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford. Kevin wrote the music for the special event that will include an exhibit of artwork created by Robert Lentz, OFM, and Michael Reyes, OFM.

►Walter Liss, OFM, guardian of Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md., was pictured in the May 17 issue of SJB News Notes, the newsletter of St. John the Baptist Province. The article, titled “Year of Faith and Discovery,” features two postulants as they prepare to be received into the interprovincial novitiate in Santa Barbara, Calif., on July 15.

►Edgardo “Lalo” Jara, OFM, and a group of parishioners from St. Camillus Parish, where he is stationed, traveled this spring to Houston, Texas, and to the Dakota reservation as part of a St. Francis Builds initiative. He serves as the mentor/advisor for St Francis Builds and participates in most of its trips. “The mission of St. Francis Builds is to help people grow in faith, strengthen personal relationships and engage culturally with under-served communities in the United States and in other countries,” he said. “We do this by emptying ourselves through service to others, as St. Francis of Assisi did, and by building homes, schools and neighborhoods side by side with the people in those communities. Last April we had the opportunity to help rebuild three homes in the surrounding area of Upper Galveston Bay in Houston that were affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. A group of 20 people ranging in age and ethnic origins traveled to not only physically help the residents affected by this natural disaster, but to stand in solidarity with them as well. It was a humbling experience. Last month, St. Francis Builds was in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and next July, we will go to Puerto Rico. Keep us in your prayers.”

Charles Finnegan, OFM, and Edwin Robinson, FOM, were among 22 priests honored during the Jubilee Mass offered on June 5 by the Diocese of Paterson, N.J. Their bios were included in an article in The Beacon, the diocesan newspaper.

A profile of Thomas Conway, OFM, director of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, was published on May 31 by Boston Business Journal. “A Case for Christ: St. Anthony’s Turnaround led to Harvard Business Case Study” reported, “After he took the painful step of laying off 14 people at the St. Anthony Shrine in downtown Boston in 2015, Fr. Tom Conway felt compelled to tell a gathered congregation why the action was necessary. The shrine needed to eliminate its crippling deficit, control costs and find new revenue sources, while maintaining its current programs for the needy and others at the same time, the Catholic priest told parishioners. Little did Conway know that one of the people he was addressing was Ryan Raffaelli, a professor of organizational behavior at Harvard Business School.” The article goes on to describe how, under Tom’s guidance, the Shrine has regained financial stability and become a model for business schools to study.

►Casey Cole, OFM, has begun his summer mission tour. From June 2 through August 25, he is visiting 11 parishes in 10 states. The schedule can be found on his Facebook page. Last week, on the day after the six OFM provinces in the United States voted to unify, Casey posted a video describing his feelings about what took place.

►John Anglin, OFM, announced last month that his blog “The Wandering Friar” will be taking a new direction “I have re-evaluated the purpose and focus of the blog. From now on, I will share about different aspects of my ministry, articles ranging from simple comments about what I am doing to the meaning of different aspects of my ministry.” On June 2, he wrote about the 2018 Extraordinary Chapter.

On May 24, two Holy Name Province friars were among the 80 people representing 21 countries who graduated from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. John Aherne, OFM, received a master of divinity degree and Adolfo Navarro, OFM, received a certificate in pastoral studies. John, who is being ordained a priest on June 23, served as student speaker during the commencement ceremony. Photos of the two HNP graduates was provided by Javier Del Angel De Los Santos, OFM.

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

  • June 21 jubilee celebration
  • Ordination on June 23 of John Aherne, OFM
  • Food programs at Holy Name Parish in New York City

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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