Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below feature many activities of Holy Name friars, including their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, contact the friars by phone or email, or connect with the HNP Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

In a recent letter, John Anglin, OFM, thanked the friars of Immaculate Conception Province for inspiring his vocation. The letter, which appears in the May 2 issue of the province’s e-newsletter, is addressed to Provincial Minister Fr. Primo Piscitello, OFM. “On Aug. 16, 1964, I professed my first vows in Catskill,” John wrote. “This year will mark 50 years since that wonderful day. I am writing to you… to express my gratitude to you and all the friars in your province for inspiring my vocation at Columbus High School and for nurturing that vocation during my years of formation. As the years have gone by, I have come to realize what a good education I received at Troy even amidst the chaos that was going on in our country and in the Church at that time.”

William Bried, OFM, announced to parishioners last week that he will remain the administrator of St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City after the Provincial Chapter, until September 1. He also reports that “there was a tragic accident on the East Side last week involving our school bus with our kids on the bus.” William provided consolation to the students following the accident. An article in the New York Daily News provides the details.

Last week, Scott Brookbank, OFM, and the friars of the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate welcomed the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation animators of the English-speaking Conference for a presentation and for the annual meeting of the JPIC directors.

Development director David Convertino, OFM, participated last month in the annual meeting of the English-speaking Conference development directors. Holy Name Province hosted this year’s gathering, which was held in St Petersburg., Fla., from April 28 to 29. The two-day meeting “was very successful, resulting, for the first time, in two collaborative efforts by the U.S. provinces,” David said. The group began two initiatives: (1) The development of a document that describes fundraising from a spiritual perspective in terms of receiving and giving the gift from a Franciscan point of view and (2) the production of an Advent reflection booklet that will be distributed to all constituents for use as a collaborative Franciscan piece. David also gave a presentation that focused on change and how to move through periods of transition effectively. “The topic was discussed in a variety of ways regarding development, as well as the conversations around re-configuring the U.S. provinces,” he said.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, reminds friars of two deadlines related to the chapter: May 16 to register and May 21 for submission of reports by HNP offices and directorates.

Gerald Hopeck, OFM, co-principal of St. Francis International School, reports that the students’ high math scores have made their school the #1 First in Math school in Maryland and #24 in the country. A press release from the school provides details about the recognition.

Julian Jagudilla, OFM, director of the St. Francis Migrant Center in New York City, announces a May 17 workshop about law enforcement and migrant rights. The event, called “Stand Up Forum,” is scheduled for 12:30 to 4 p.m. in San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street. It is open to the public and free of charge.

Jim McIntosh, OFM, of St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, recommends an article published May 6 in The New York Times that he calls an “important one for friars to read.” Titled “Hispanic Growth is Strength but Also Challenge,”the article summarizes a study based on surveys of parishes with Hispanic ministries. Jim calls attention to this quote from the article: “Were it not for immigrants, Catholicism in the United States would be dwindling as non-immigrant Catholics draft away from the Church.”

Daniel McLellan, OFM, and the members of the Chapter Planning Committee, which he chairs, met on May 14 to finalize the agenda and other details for the Provincial Chapter.

Neil O’Connell, OFM, is helping organize a celebration of friars marking 50 years since their priestly ordination. The commemoration includes a 5:30 p.m. Mass on May 23 at St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York City, followed by a dinner in San Damiano Hall, West 31st Street, open to all friars. Neil asks that those who plan to attend the dinner RSVP to him by May 19 by phone (212-678-0940) or email at

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, returned May 12 from a visit to some of the Province’s southern ministries. He is currently preparing his Chapter report, scheduled for presentation on June 2, and preparing for the May 21 meeting of the Provincial Council, the last of his administration.

Mt. Irenaeus was recently featured in the Olean Times Herald. The Franciscan mountain retreat is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its founding this fall. “For me, this has become more than a retreat house or retreat center,” said Daniel Riley, OFM, director. “It’s become a benefit to a great many people from great distances away. Out in the woods, God has accomplished a place of rest and peaceful re-creation.”

Last week, vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, reminded friars and friends of the Province that May 11 was World Day of Prayer for Vocation. On the Be A Franciscan Facebook page, he asked for prayers for vocation to the priesthood and religious life.

Earlier this month, as part of the celebration of the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, students from St. Joseph Catholic School in Greenville, S.C., assisted Patrick Tuttle, OFM, with projects at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School and Church, Greenville, where he is pastor. Sixty students spent the morning on projects that included painting playground equipment, power washing the friary and the front stairs leading up to the church, weeding and landscaping the church and school grounds, repainting the parking lot lines, washing and cleaning the school bus, and lawn work on several neighborhood houses.” A photo of the collaborative project was posted last week on Facebook.

On May 12, the 50-member University of Mount Union Choir from Alliance, Ohio, gave a concert at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J. The choir, under the direction of Dr. Grant Cook, “not only filled our ears with joy, but our hearts and souls as well. It was a real gift to have them come and inspire all of us,” stated Christopher VanHaight, OFM, pastor.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by May 21, always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues include:

  • Reflection by Stephen Kluge, OFM, about the impact Hurricane Sandy had on him and the community of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J.
  • Commencement ceremonies at St. Bonaventure University and Siena College
  • St. Francis Springs Prayer Center dedication

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas