Friar News Briefs

Johann Cuervo and Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars and feature 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 Administration
At their March meeting, the Provincial Councilors approved for solemn profession in August two friars – Casey Cole, OFM, and Ramón Razón, OFM. The Council also discussed the activities of the HNP Properties Committee, the document regarding the revitalization and restructuring process, a new fraternity-in-mission in Florida, and the issue of poverty in the United States. The next Council meeting is scheduled for April 19 and 20.

► The January 2017 newsletter of Bethany Ministries, led by Peter Chepaitis, OFM, and Sr. Anna Tantsits, IFM, has been distributed. The theme of this past year has been hope, according to a message on the front page. The issue describes their 2016 activities, highlighting the “shift in their lives from traveling to lead parish missions and retreats, toward taking time for prayer, ministering to and with groups centered on prayer, and being present to the local community.” Information about Peter and Sr. Anna’s work can be found on the Bethany Ministries website.

► On March 27, Michael Calabria, OFM, led a presentation on Christian-Islam relations during a Theology on Tap program sponsored by St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va. “Some 200 folks from the parish and area attended,” said John O’Connor, OFM, parochial administrator. “Michael’s topic was ‘Understanding the Muslim Faith as it relates to Christianity.’ It was a great evening with food and a great presentation. We have heard back from folks who attended that said they were grateful to our parish for organizing what they described as ‘a very helpful program, in this difficult time for immigrants here in the U.S.’”

► Casey Cole, OFM, and Javier Del Angel De Los Santos, OFM, led a parish mission titled “Good, Better, Best: A Lenten Call to Be Who We Were Created to Be” from March 20 to 23 at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, N.C. It was presented in English and Spanish.

► Michael Duffy, OFM, Ronald Pecci, OFM, and Christopher Posch, OFM, along with Kevin Kriso, OFM, led the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry Spring Retreat with the community of Mt. Irenaeus from March 20 to 24. The FVMs were “reminded not to be complacent to written laws, but to go beyond in God’s love; to allow love to move us across boundaries into solidarity; to allow our motive to be love; and to realize that is not always well received. God is present through it all.” More information and photos are available on the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry Facebook page.

► Christopher Dunn, OFM, reports that heavy rain in Lima, Peru, has created flooding, mudslides, and landslides. This summer, the rivers have become “raging monsters,” he said. Since December, Peru has been suffering from the effects of a coastal ‘El Niño’ event that have caused roads and schools to be closed for several weeks. Christopher, who has lived in Peru for several decades, said in a March 17 email, “Parts of Lima’s historical downtown area have been flooded and covered with mud. Santa Ana Parish is located high in the hills on the southern cone of Lima and is not in danger of flooding or landslides. Classes at the parish school and technical institute have been canceled. There has been extensive flooding and damage in the Lurín River valley where Carlos Sarmiento, OFM, has been working for many years. The Peruvian Fire Corps is on high alert and has performed many river rescues.” More information will be provided in a future issue of HNP Today.

► Daniel Horan, OFM, was named to the board of regents of the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, Calif., which is committed to embodying Franciscan theology in a religiously and culturally diverse world, according to its website. “In our living, our learning, our relationships, and our community, we address both the head and the heart by integrating the pastoral and academic dimensions of theological study.” Information about Dan’s presentations, as well as photos and videos, can be found on his Facebook page.

► On March 20, Daniel Lanahan, OFM, offered a Lenten reflection on Pope Francis’s vision for the Catholic Church at the University of Georgia’s Catholic Center. He also spoke on the contrasts between Pope Francis and previous popes. More information about Daniel’s presentation and the schedule of Lenten activities can be found on the UGA Catholic Center website.

On March 25t, Richard McFeely, OFM, and Robert Frazzetta, OFM, joined 230 other religious brothers, representing 38 orders and congregations, at a Brothers’ Symposium held at the University of Notre Dame.  Sponsored by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the one-day event highlighted speakers including Br. John Mark Falkenhain, OSB, of St. Meinrad Archabbey, who gave the keynote address, “Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother.” Br. John Mark spoke on the unique and distinct life and mission of the brother, identified by who we are and not who we are not. Responders to the address, as well as a panel discussion including seasoned and millennial brothers and parents of brothers, and small group sharing, followed throughout the day. The symposium concluded with the Eucharist celebrated in the Notre Dame Basilica of the Sacred Heart with Cardinal Joseph Tobin presiding.

► Earlier this month, the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y., announced that St. Mary of the Angels Church in Olean, N.Y., would be named a minor basilica. “This marks only the ninth time in his papacy that the Holy Father has granted this rare honor to a site in the United States,” according to an article in Western New York Catholic. “They did a beautiful job restoring the church building for its 100th anniversary,” said historian Dominic Monti, OFM, who lives at St. Bonaventure University in nearby Allegany. “The small Catholic community in Olean was organized into a mission church by the friars when they arrived in Western New York. Fr. Pamfilo da Magliano, OFM, the superior of the mission and founder of St. Bonaventure University, built a church in honor of St. Mary of the Angels in 1858. The friars remained in charge until 1876, when St. Mary’s became an independent parish and the diocesan clergy took over. The first diocesan pastor was Fr. John Hamel, an alumnus of the seminary at St. Bonaventure University. The friars from St Bonaventure have continued to help out on weekends in the parish since then.” The friars from SBU take turns celebrating mass, usually two Sundays each month, said Dominic, a member of the Academy of American Franciscan History.

► Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, participated in the March 27 installation ceremony of five student friars to the ministry of reader – Javier Del Angel De Los Santos, OFM, Aaron Richardson, OFM, Roberto Serrano, OFM, and Jay Woods, OFM, as well as John Boissy, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province. The student friars were pictured with Kevin and Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of post-novitiate formation, on the Facebook page of the Franciscan Interprovincial Post-Novitiate in Chicago. The friary also welcomed a visit from the novices who are living in Burlington, Wis. This weekend, Kevin is traveling to Dublin, Ireland, for the spring meeting of the English-speaking Conference of which he is vice president.

► A new edition of “A Pater Noster Psalter: Praying the Psalms in the Light of the Lord’s Prayer” by Thomas Murphy, OFM, and Pamela C. Nagle, OFS, has been produced. It is an updated edition of a book first published in 1993. According to Thomas, who lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., “to my knowledge, this book is probably the first in the history of the Church to present all 150 Psalms, the primary prayer of the Hebrew Scriptures, fully correlated with the seven phrases of the Lord’s Prayer, the primary prayer of the Christian Scriptures. Today, this insight could contribute to a rejuvenation of our appreciation of both the Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer.” Thomas served as the regional spiritual assistant for more than 800 members of the Secular Franciscan Order within the 40 fraternities of the Five Franciscan Martyrs Region in Florida, South Georgia and Lower Alabama from 1991 to 2013, according to information on the book’s back cover. The project is dedicated to the “five Franciscan Martyrs of La Florida who in September 1597 gave up their lives in witness to the sanctity of Christian marriage in the coastal region of present-day Georgia.” Information about the book is available through Thomas or his co-author at 727-821-1090 and at

► On March 23, Charles O’Connor, OFM, pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Callicoon, N.Y., was one of four honorees who received the 2017 Catholic Charities ‘Caritas’ Award from Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan County, N.Y. It recognizes those who have contributed to Catholic Charities in their ministry and outreach.

► Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, spoke at the “Peace Requires Encounter” interfaith summit held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., on March 18 and 19 by the Franciscan Action Network, Unity Productions Foundation, and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Jacek is chair of the Province’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate. Updates about the Province’s JPIC initiatives can be found in the Justice and Peace section of

► As he has done in the past, Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., will throw the first pitch at the St. Anthony School Family and Friends Night at Fluor Field, home of the Greenville Drive, the Boston Red Sox Class A minor league affiliate. Throughout the April 11 game, according to the parish bulletin, “the Greenville Drive will be highlighting the people, programs and accomplishments of St. Anthony School. This will include a national anthem performance by the school’s mixed choir; concourse exhibits showcasing student achievements, on-field recognition of St. Anthony teachers and staff, etc. Tickets to the game and all proceeds will benefit St. Anthony School.” Information about the event – including how to purchase tickets – can be found on the parish’s website and on the school’s Facebook page.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by April 5 – always the Wednesday before publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage in HNP Today include:

  • The experiences of two friars serving as general visitors
  • Profiles of Russell Becker, OFM, Anthony LoGalbo, OFM, and other friars marking anniversaries of profession

Compiled by Johann Cuervo and Jocelyn Thomas

Related Links