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
The Province’s 11 spring regional gatherings, which began last week and continue until April 21, are focusing on the four models for revitalization and reconfiguration of the American provinces, as well as potential new fraternities-in-mission. A list of the dates and locations of the meetings was distributed last month by the Provincial Office.
The HNP Ongoing Formation Committee has is providing a series of resources to friars on a bi-monthly basis. The resources, called “Custodians of the Tradition,” comprise four-page summaries of aspects of Franciscan heritage. The goal of this initiative is to offer information and ideas that will generate discussion at meetings and that will assist in the formation of partners-in-ministry. Friars can find the resources on the Ongoing Formation page of the Friars Only section of

Photos of Lawrence Anderson, OFM, and Dennis Tamburello, OFM, are included in a photo collection called Siena College Spring Break 2016 published March 3 on the home page of the Times Union newspaper’s website. The images include scenes of the friars and students at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia and in Raleigh, N.C.

Last week, Michael Calabria, OFM, gave two talks — at St. Leo University and the Franciscan Center in Tampa, Fla. — titled “In the Footsteps of St. Francis and the Sultan: Franciscan Foundations for Christian-Muslim Relations.” Both were on March 1. This Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12, he plans to give a program at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., titled “Understanding Islam: a Catholic-Franciscan Approach.” Michael is director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York.

►George Camacho, OFM, Julian Jagudilla, OFM, Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM, Ramon Razon, OFM, and Christian Seno, OFM, participated in a silent walk for peace and justice on March 3. As they walked from St Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in New York City through Times Square to Columbus Circle on 59th Street, they displayed signs with text saying: “Christians Build Bridges, Not Walls,” and “When I was an Immigrant, You Welcomed Me.” The impromptu event “emerged out of a desire to express solidarity and support on behalf of the many individuals who are on the receiving end of so much violence and persecution as a result of the increasingly polemical political dialogue in this country,” said Christian, who is stationed in Maryland. “It is my hope that this prayerful, silent witness served to express solidarity with those who are marginalized and oppressed in our society, while also building bridges of loving reconciliation to those who have been hurt by us.” Comments from other participants were compiled by Christian in a reflection that he submitted to the Communications Office. Photos of the Thursday evening walk can be found on the Province’s Facebook page.

On Feb. 28, a Mass in memory of the late Angelo Gambatese, OFM, was celebrated at St. Stephen of Hungary Church in New York City where he was stationed for 12 years before retiring in 2013. A scholarship to assist young people in attending St. Stephen School was announced that morning. Information about the Father Angelo Gambatese Scholarship Fund can be found on the Saint Stephen School website.

Last week, Daniel Horan, OFM, announced “that today Now You Know Media has released my DVD course ‘The Saint and the Pope,’ which is available in both video and audio formats! They’re offering an extra 10 percent discount to my Facebook followers if you use the code ‘DH2016’ at checkout.” A link was provided on Dan’s Facebook page. Dan’s latest column in America magazine, for which he has written since 2013, is titled “It’s Been a Privilege.”

St. Bonaventure University’s student newspaper, The Bona Venture, highlighted Kevin Kriso, OFM, in its “Franciscan Features” series. Published on Feb. 25, the article describes Kevin’s life before and after joining the Order. “While attending Siena College, Br. Kevin said he was amazed by the ‘down to earth’ nature of the campus’s friars, seemingly removed from the stereotypes often associated with ordained religious figures. Br. Kevin added that these men changed his perception of the road ahead, making religious life a clearer avenue for his future.”

Artists Robert Lentz, OFM, and Michael Reyes, OFM, are scheduled to speak at a retreat next month at Danville, Calif. The April 22 to 27 program is titled “Praying with Icons,” according to the newsletter of the San Damiano Retreat Center.

Franciscan historian Dominic Monti, OFM, gave a presentation about the history of Holy Name Province to the postulants earlier this month. This is a regular component of the postulant program, he said, adding that Ron Pecci, OFM, director of the HNP Postulancy Program, “has had me present the history of our Province to the postulants every year. We prefer doing it in the spring semester, as by this time, the postulants have heard about most of the places I talk about, and, in fact, visited some of them. I generally do it in two ‘installments.’ I gave presentations to the postulants on Friday and Saturday. We got up to World War II. I will have another two days coming up later this spring that will bring us up to date.”  He traveled to Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md., from St. Bonaventure University where he has been stationed since 2014.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, is a member of St. Bonaventure University’s recently formed presidential search committee. He is one of 10 people who will lead the process of searching for and making recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding the selection of the 21st president of St. Bonaventure University, who will succeed Sr. Margaret Carney, OFS. She announced her resignation in January.

►Christopher Posch, OFM, was featured in two newspaper articles last month that described the impact he has had on the Wilmington, Del., community during his 18 years there. The News Journal published an article titled “Friar Brought Hispanics into Church’s Mainstream” on Feb. 24 that said: “The friar, who has a warm smile and a laugh to match, has been instrumental in helping Latinos arriving from other countries feel welcome in their new diocese.” It also described the friar who is coming to take the position that Christopher has held at the Archdiocese of Wilmington’s Office of Hispanic Ministry – Emerson Rodriguez, OFM. On Feb. 25, the El Tiempo newspaper published an article on a similar theme. Chris marked his 25th anniversary as a Franciscan friar in 2015. 

Last week, through a parish e-newsletter, Michael Reyes, OFM, was introduced to the parishioners of Sacred Heart Church, Tampa, Fla., where he was assigned last month. Through a series of questions and answers, Michael described his art background, his favorite story of St. Francis, and his first impressions of Sacred Heart Parish, his first assignment after ordination in January.

March 4 was the 50th anniversary of ordination of Ronald Stark, OFM. St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, recognized the occasion by posting a photo on its Facebook page and by thanking Ron for his dedication to the church.

►Allan Von Kobs, OFM, reminds friars that applications for the Benevolence Trust are due no later than April 1. “Kindly review the guidelines and forms found on the HNP website. You will note that the Benevolence Committee has provided an entirely new format. Applications should be sent electronically to” Questions should be referred to Allan in the Provincial Office.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by March 16, 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 in HNP Today include:

  • Profiles of Vianney Justin, OFM, and other friars commemorating jubilees of profession
  • A migration conference being planned for May 21 in New York City

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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