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 February Provincial Council meeting highlights have been distributed to friars. The document contains information about the discussion of an address by Bishop George Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Ohio, about the history of racism in the United States and the American Catholic Church’s response to that sin, as well as updates about the Care of Elder Friars/Holy Name Friary Task Force, formation and studies, Regional Councilor reports, the Extraordinary Chapter, and an update from the JPIC Directorate with information about various timely issues. The Council’s next meeting is March 19 to 21 in Macon, Ga.
An updated version of the HNP 2017-18 Directory is now online. Friars may access the February edition in the Friars Only section of

► John O’Connor, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va., reports that a webinar held on Feb. 8 about human trafficking was successful. Its objective was to highlight various anti-trafficking efforts to build awareness and provide practices for those currently involved in initiatives to end modern-day slavery. The parish was one of four groups selected from across the country to present on its anti-human trafficking activities through a nationally-organized webinar by the US-Trafficking Victims Assistance Program, offered by the Office of Migration and Refugee Services. “It was described as an example of Christian communities involved in important causes,” said John.  Ignatius said, “More than 200 people participated and were informed and encouraged to start or empower their local teams on this important issue,” said Ignatius Harding, OFM. “Here at St. Francis, almost all of our JPIC teams are led by committed SFO sisters and brothers.”  He and Henry Fulmer, OFM are part of the 17-member JPIC Human Trafficking Committee at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle that was invited by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to participate because of its long-standing commitment, said Ignatius.

► An article about published in the Feb. 22 issue of St. John the Baptist Province’s newsletter focused on Jim McIntosh, OFM, the site’s administrator. It describes the content of the site and the objectives of his role as director of US Franciscan communications. In the story titled “Get to Know US Franciscans,” Jim says. “It’s your [the friars] website, so feedback is always welcome. If anybody has suggestions, I’d love to hear them.” The article lists the main items contained in the site, including (1) news about friars in the seven OFM provinces in the United States, (2) justice, peace and integrity of creation information, (3) reflections by friars published on in a weekly series called “Friar Fridays” (4) a history of the friars in the United States, and (5) links to Franciscan resources and provincial newsletters. Jim can be reached at

► David Hyman, OFM, served as master of ceremonies at a Black History Month event at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C., on Feb. 25. The event, which was attended by roughly 40 people, included music, poetry and a history presentation. “Programs like this are particularly important now, at this time in our nation’s history,” said David. This is the fourth Black History Month program to be held at St. Francis Springs. A photo of David and the presenters was provided.

► Michael Duffy, OFM, spoke at a Theology on Tap program on Feb. 26 in Woodbridge, Va., as part of the series organized by St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle. In his presentation, titled “Transformation Through Service,” Michael described his Franciscan journey. “I talked about the service that I did in Jamaica before becoming a friar, and I told stories about the type of people who come to St. Francis Inn,” said Michael who is stationed in Philadelphia. “Because the atmosphere was relaxed, it was a perfect place to bring the Gospel to the people. It’s where people talk and communicate. As Pope Francis has said, it’s important to bring the Gospel outside the church walls and into the world.”

► Kevin Cronin, OFM, is marking 25 years as part of the Province’s Ministry of the Word by reprinting his two books –“Kenosis, Emptying Self and the Path of Christian Service” and “A Friar’s Joy: Magic Moments in Real Life.” Kevin, who professed his first vows as a friar in 1969, is giving four parish missions on Long Island, N.Y. – where, he says, he has given more than 125 missions at 80 parishes since 1993. The upcoming missions will be held from March 10 to 14 at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Hicksville and March 17 to 21 at St Anthony of Padua in East Northport.

► Last month, Siena College announced an expansion of a new need-based scholarship program aimed at helping more families afford what it calls “the education for a lifetime.” “Since its founding, Siena has made a commitment to its students to help them achieve higher education at a college that best meets their needs and interests,” said F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, president. “The college’s mission is rooted in the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, for whom the scholarship is named. Compassion for all and the need to extend a welcoming hand to others are hallmarks of St. Francis’ teachings, our college’s goals, and this new scholarship program.”

► Casey Cole, OFM, and two friars of Sacred Heart Province – Br. Dat Hoang, OFM, and Br. Edward Tverdek, OFM – will be ordained transitional deacons at 10 a.m. on March 10 at St. Peter Church in the Loop in Chicago. Ordaining them will be Bishop Fernand J. Cheri III, OFM, auxiliary bishop of New Orleans, La., who is a member of Sacred Heart Province.

► On March 5, Michael Calabria, OFM, appeared on the local PBS television network in Buffalo, N.Y., to discuss “The Sultan and the Saint,” the documentary in which he provides historical information about St. Francis’s interaction with Sultan Malik Al Kamil. Last month, he traveled to Sarajevo, Mostar and Split, Croatia to participate in a meeting of the OFM Commission on Evangelization, of which Russel Murray, OFM, is chair. The Feb. 18 to 24 meeting was hosted by Fr. Iko Skoko, OFM, who also serves on the Commission for Dialog. “Fr. Iko introduced us to the Mufi of Mostar, Salem ef Dedovic, and a Serbian Orthodox monk, both of whom are dedicated to working with Fr. Iko to heal sectarian divisions in Bosnia,” said Michael, who is director of St. Bonaventure University’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies. “I became painfully aware of the historical conflicts and prejudices that remain in the region, even among the younger generations, and one can still see bombed-out ruins from the Bosnian War, which lasted from 1992 to 1995. But I was very impressed by Fr. Iko’s efforts at peacemaking and the genuine friendships that he has developed that speak so vividly of St. Francis’ own initiatives during the Fifth Crusade.” 

Topics and people being be featured in future issues of this newsletter include:

  • Profiles of Daniel Kenna, OFM, and other friars marking anniversaries of simple profession
  • Lent commemorations
  • Book by Casey Cole, OFM

— 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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