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
A General Chapter prayer card is being distributed with a letter from the Provincial Minister this week to all HNP friars. The mailing included a letter from Kevin Mullen, OFM, encouraging friars to pray together in their friaries before and  during the upcoming Chapter.
The Administration encourages friars and other HNP Today readers to sign up to receive daily email updates during the General Chapter, being held May 10 to June 7 in Assisi, Italy. Information is provided on the Facebook page of the English-speaking Conference.
The Provincial Office will be closed on April 3 and 6 in commemoration of Easter.

►Louis Canino, OFM, is working with staff members and volunteers at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C., to plan a commemoration of the retreat center’s 10th anniversary. It will be held on May 31, according to the founder and director, who invites all to save the date. Photos of the center, located roughly an hour’s drive from Greensboro, N.C., can be found on the SFSPC’s Facebook page. The center, which opened in February 2005, is set on 140 acres and features outdoor trails, Mary’s Garden, labyrinth, outdoor and indoor chapels, meeting rooms, a large gathering room, library, three hermitages, bookstore, meditation room and 18 quiet spacious guest rooms with private baths.

The March 29 issue of News Journal of Wilmington, Del., featured the 10:30 a.m. Palm Sunday Mass celebrated at St. Paul’s Church in Wilmington. The article, titled “St. Paul’s Crowds Wave Palms, Crosses as Easter Begins,” mentioned pastor Todd Carpenter, OFM and deacon Angel Rivera blessing the congregation. “The choir and band strike up an ebullient song as the ministers walk along, and people smile broadly and make the sign of the cross as water hits them. Near the front, Ismael Prado holds up a pair of decorated crosses as he sings and sways to the music. This moment is designed as a reminder of Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem shortly before his crucifixion, welcomed by cheering crowds waving palms. “It is supposed to be a happy day,” Carpenter says after the service. ‘This was their version of a ticker tape parade.’”

Provincial archivist Thomas Cole, OFM, represented the Province at a March 24 exhibition, “African Art and Healing,” at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. HNP was invited by Dr. Kevin Cahill, an affiliate of the Province. “We were invited to represent the more than 7,000 missionaries of all denominations who have been served by Dr. Cahill and his associates at Lenox Hill Hospital,” Tom said. “Also present were representatives of the United Nations, for whom Dr. Cahill and his colleagues have performed the same service. Notable attendees were: Francis Deng, first fmbassador to the United Nations for South Sudan, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, former president of the U.N. General Assembly and Barbara Jones, consul general of Ireland.”

►David Convertino, OFM, executive director of the Office of Development, sent an email to subscribers with information about the Triduum. “The Triduum celebrates the heart of our faith and salvation — the death and resurrection of Christ — and is thus the high point of the liturgical year,” he wrote. “The Triduum is about the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. However, it is also about the suffering, death and resurrection of people all around us, in our daily lives, in our country and in the entire world. As Christians, we are called to bring meaning to the sufferings of so many by doing something to help them reach their own life resurrection.” The complete reflection is available on the Development Office’s website.

►Kevin Cronin, OFM, of the HNP Ministry of the Word, gave missions recently at five parishes — four on Long Island, N.Y., and one in northern New Jersey — that he said set records. The mission at St. Patrick’s Church in Huntington, N.Y., attracted 500 attendees to a 7:30 p.m. mission and “also collected the largest amount of money ever in my 22 years of MOW work — $13,752.” All of the missions at these parishes were well attended, he said, adding that “many people have no idea how large the parishes on Long Island are.”

This week, Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, is visiting the student friars at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis. In two weeks, he will be at Holy Name College, Silver Spring, Md., to witness the renewal of vows of the temporarily professed friars.

►Daniel Horan, OFM, will present the 8th annual John Paul II Social Justice Lecture on April 9 at Felician College in Lodi, N.J. The lecture is titled “A Trip to Foolishness: St. Francis, Social Justice, and the Radical Call of Baptism.”

In celebration of International Women’s Month, The Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, New York City, directed by Julian Jagudilla, OFM, held a program on March 28 titled “Women Rising: a conversation of Equality from Women’s Perspective.” It was a successful event that fulfilled its mission of gathering women of different religious and cultural  backgrounds and creating a network of support and resources, he said.  “We had a panel of speakers representing organizations that provide support and resources to women and then breakout sessions where some of these organizations facilitated workshops and conversation in one of four themes — faith, immigration, labor, and gender violence,” said Stephanie Bello, a staff member.

►Edgardo Jara, OFM, a student friar stationed in California, led several Lent programs in March. They included a mission to 400 people from St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Fallbrook, Calif., from March 9 to 12, and two Lenten retreats at the Old Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside, Calif., one of which was for Hispanic ministers from the Diocese of San Diego. The title of these two retreats was “Jesus, Way, Light and Truth of the Lenten Journey,” Edgardo said.

The late Mychal Judge, OFM, was mentioned by The Beacon newspaper in a March 19 article about the history of St. Joseph Parish in West Milford, N.J. “Back in 1880, before the fire, St. Joseph Parish was considered a mission church, part of St. Anthony Parish, Butler, and was administered by Franciscan friars, who remained at the parish for 120 years. These friars included Fr. Mychal Judge, the former pastor from 1979 to 1985, and chaplain of the New York City Fire Department, who died in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.”

A variety of updates and explanations about the icons of Robert Lentz, OFM, can be found on the artist’s Facebook page. Most are taken from Robert’s website, launched last year, that releases videos and blog posts discussing the friar’s experiences and influences, providing insight into his choice of subjects for his iconography and is home to new artwork releases, event announcements and updates on current and future projects.

►Erick Lopez, OFM, and parishioners from St. Camillus Church, Silver Spring, Md., participated in a rally in front of the World Bank in Washington on March 21 to protest the actions of a gold company that is suing El Salvador for millions of dollars because the government has not granted the company a permit for a gold mine. The gold mine could pollute the country’s major river system, threatening the nation’s fresh water supply. “St. Camillus parish has been very involved in this issue as huge part of our community comes from El Salvador,” said Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, guardian of St. Camillus Friary.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, returned last weekend from Lithuania where he participated in the spring meeting of the provincial ministers of the English-speaking Conference. He and the other provincial leaders met from March 23 to 27 at the Domus Pacis Franciscan Guesthouse in Vilnius. During the meeting, Kevin was elected vice president of the ESC for a two-year term. He and the other provincials had two days of joint meetings with the provincials of the Conference of TransAlpine Franciscans, which includes friars from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Netherlands. Next month, Kevin will be participating in the Order’s General Chapter.

►John O’Connor, OFM, has been invited by the order’s General Definitorium to address the General Chapter in late May on the topic of “A Proposal for Fundraising for the Order of Friars Minor.”  He was appointed last fall as the executive assistant to the General Minister for development and fundraising.

A program about the late Sixtus O’Connor, OFM, chaplain at the Nuremburg Trials, is scheduled for May 4 in Jamestown, N.Y. The talk, to be presented by Fr. Moritz Fuchs based on first-person experiences, will accompany an exhibit at the Robert H. Jackson Center, according to an announcement from St. Bonaventure University, where Sixtus studied from 1926 to 1929, subsequently serving as professor upon his return from Germany. A German scholar, Sixtus joined the Order while a student at SBU and was ordained in 1934. Information about the event is available in the alumni section of

An article by Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, was published on the blog of Sojourners: Faith in Action for Social Justice.​ It is titled “Expanding Clean Energy in Maryland Would Protect the Poor.”

On March 27, students of The Franciscan School in Raleigh, N.C., met a member of the British royal family. Steven Patti, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, said, “We’re pleased that our students had the opportunity to meet Prince Charles in Washington.” The school received national media attention when some of its students met the heir to the British throne while touring Washington, D.C. The principal of the Raleigh school said in a video broadcast on ABC that next year’s trip to the nation’s capital is scheduled for the same time that Pope Francis will be there.

Last month, Dennis Tamburello, OFM, led a group of students from Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., to Philadelphia to serve the poor at St. Francis Inn soup kitchen. “For one week, the students stayed together just a few doors down from the Inn,” according to information on Siena’s website. “They spent each day working at one of several ministries, including the St. Francis Inn, the St. Francis Urban Center, the St. Benedict’s Thrift Store and the Thea Bowman Women’s Center.”

Last week, Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, and the community of University of Georgia’s Catholic Center hosted Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, the Louisiana native made famous by the book and movie “Dead Man Walking,” an account of her work as a spiritual adviser to two convicted murderers on death row. “She gave two wonderful talks about her involvement and advocacy against the death penalty. We had about 200 students and community members listen to her talks,” said David Briones, a Catholic Center staff member.

Earlier this year, Jud Weiksnar, OFM, of Buffalo, received the William D. Reynolds Award from his alma mater, University of Notre Dame. Jud, who served as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., from 2005 to 2014, was recognized “for his years of service and his demonstrated commitment to the welfare and development of young people,” according to the website of the university from which Jud graduated in 1979.

News for the next issue of HNP Today e-letter is requested by April 8, 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:

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas