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 Provincial Administration
 The next issue of the HNP Today newsletter will be distributed in three weeks, on June 6.

►Michael Calabria, OFM, director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University, reports that the spring issue of Nūr, the Newsletter of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies is now available on the center’s website. This special issue focuses on Turkey, both contemporary and historical, and includes articles on a variety of topics including politics, religion and culture, as well as book and exhibit reviews.  To mark the beginning of Ramadan (May 16),  on behalf of the OFM Special Commission for Dialogue with Islam, Michael wrote  a letter addressed to Muslim communities worldwide.  The letter, which specifically addresses the issue of world hunger, can  be found on the Order’s website. Michael invites friars to share the letter with their local Muslim communities.

►Casey Cole, OFM, and Daniel Horan, OFM, are featured in the spring issue of Franciscan Spirit, a publication of Franciscan Media that was launched in October 2017. Published twice a year, Franciscan Spirit features writing from scholars and devotees of the way of St. Francis, striking photography, information on new releases, and special readers-only discounts. The magazine includes excepts from both friars’ recent books – Casey’s “Called: What Happens After Saying Yes to God” and Dan’s “The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering.”

►Frank Critch, OFM, asks friars and laypeople to share information about two openings at the University of Georgia Catholic Center, where he is director. Applications are being accepted for two positions: a part-time director of religious education and a coordinator of the Catholic School Association. Both jobs are located in Athens, Ga.

On the 38th anniversary of the ordination of Kevin Daly, OFM, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Butler, N.J., where he is assigned, shared a video of Kevin reflecting on the importance of fraternity. “I was blessed to be in a good profession class and a good ordination class,” he said. “Even today, we are still close with our classmates. That fraternity is very important. We also have the friary community. I’ve worked and lived with several men in our house, and we share stories, community and our lives. We share the good things and when things aren’t going so well. We provide each other support in all that we do.” Kevin also reflected on the importance of the friars’ relationships with the lay community and with his own family, the Dalys. The full video is available on the Butler parish’s Facebook page.

►Francis Di Spigno, OFM, delivered the opening prayer at St. Bonaventure University’s Gaudete event on May 2 in Buffalo, N.Y. The Gaudete Medal is one of the university’s highest honors and is conferred to exceptional leaders who demonstrate the spirit of joy and service that exemplify the life of St. Francis of Assisi. This year’s ceremony honored Greg Bruno, ’74, Senator Catherine Young, ’82, and Fr. Richard (Duke) Zajac for their good work and selfless commitment to the community.

►Julian Jagudilla, OFM, and Christian Seno, OFM, participated in a May 2 panel discussion about migration titled “The Journey of Migrants in the Americas” and held at the United Nations. It was organized by Scalabrini International Migration Network and Caritas Internationalis in conjunction with Franciscans International, which posted photos on its Facebook page. Julian is director of the Migrant Center of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City and Christian is an intern at FI. An article about the event was published in Commonweal magazine. To learn about this topic,Julian invites “everyone with a Franciscan heart” to attend the Franciscan  Common Ground event on May 19 in San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street in New York City.  Its theme is “Finding a Franciscan Voice to Migration.”  Julian asks those who plan to attend to register by phone (212-736-8500 ext. 328) or email (

Two friars have recently earned advanced degrees. Jeffery Jordan, OFM, received the Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (SSL) from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, graduating summa cum laude. Russel Murray, OFM, received the License in Sacred Theology, granted by the Institute for Ecumenical Studies “San Bernardino” in Venice. His diploma will be issued by the Pontifical University Antonianum.

►Joseph Nangle, OFM, is one of eight Arlington, Va., Diocese priests marking jubilees this year. Joe was ordained on April 25, 1958 at Mount St. Sepulchre Friary in Washington, D.C. His biography was included in a recent article published by The Arlington Catholic Herald.

On May 5, St. Francis of Assisi Parish honored its pastor, John O’Connor, OFM, with a celebration in recognition of his 50th anniversary as a friar. “Fourteen friars and diocesan priests, including the general vicar of the Arlington Diocese, concelebrated the Mass,” he said, adding, “Several hundred folks from the parish attended the Mass and celebration.”

Postulant Richard Phillip will be traveling to the West Bank next month. He will spend close to one month as a pilgrim for peace, living and working at the Tent of Nations Peace Project on the outskirts of Bethlehem. There, he will engage in ministry work with Palestinian Christians in an ecumenical ministry, assist in farm work, and provide other types of assistance. One of Richard’s goals for this trip is to collect funds for solar panels and other needs that will be delivered directly to the people he will serve. Donations can be made online via

Mt. Irenaeus is planning a celebration on June 7 in honor of Daniel Riley, OFM, to mark his 50th anniversary as a friar. All are welcome to the gathering at Acqua, a restaurant in Buffalo. “We will have liturgy at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and drinks,” according to the Mountain’s Facebook page. “This celebration also kicks off our efforts in Buffalo for the Fr. Daniel P Riley, OFM Mountain Sustainability Campaign. You can register for the event on our website. Those who are unable to attend but who would like to support Mt. Irenaeus can submit a donation online.”

While on a visit to Cuba last month, Brian Smail, OFM, of New York City, was invited to meet with Cardinal Jaime Ortega. “He was actively involved in the thaw between the United States and Cuba under President Obama. He arranged three papal visits to Cuba,” said Brian, who provided a photo of himself with the cardinal. Brian, who was in Cuba from April 23 to 30, spent time with a priest friend who is a spiritual director at the seminary. “The cardinal spoke highly of the Franciscans, and we talked about the late Cuban friar Miguel Loredo, OFM, who he knew personally, and with whom I lived at 31st Street in New York City.”

►Juan Turcios, OFM, described the highlights of his visit to the Sea of Galilee in a video posted on the Facebook page of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He and Adolfo Navarro, are visiting the area as part of a biblical study and travel program for students studying for their Master of Divinity. Juan and Adolfo live in Chicago – Juan at Blessed Giles Friary and Adolfo at St. Joseph Friary, the interprovincial post-novitiate formation house.

Over the years, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., has fixed up homes and rent-controlled them, according to a May 7 news report on  WSPA. Now, Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor, says, the church is being outpaced  by development. He was interviewed on the report that says Greenville is the fastest growing city in the country.

Vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, reports that last week, the friars at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston hosted the Province’s first virtual vocation retreat with several men in discernment. “Our brother, and newly published author, Casey Cole, OFM, served as the guest speaker, calling in through Google Hangouts (an online chat and video conferencing service) to discuss his new book, “Called,” and his experiences discerning the religious life. Prior to the event, regional vocation directors Hugh Hines, OFM, Michael Johnson, OFM, and Tony LoGalbo, OFM, distributed copies of Casey’s book to the seven attendees.” According to Mike, “Casey talked about his own vocation journey,” and then opened the session to questions and answers. The topics ranged from joys and struggles of religious life today, to surprises in religious life and a lively discussion ensued. Before they concluded the retreat, the friars asked the guests about other aspects of the Franciscan life they are interested in learning. Several answered, “JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation), especially the friars’ work in the area of climate change,” said Mike, who smiled and said, “It just so happens my classmate Jacek’s (Orzechowski, OFM), passion is JPIC and his current position with the Archdiocese of Washington is animating parishes in that area. Jacek has agreed to be the speaker at our next virtual retreat.” Basil added, “Inspired by St. Francis, the friars are always looking for new and exciting ways to connect with the People of God–from the village square to the online forum.” Information about the Province’s vocation and formation programs can be found on

 Topics that will be featured in future issues of this newsletter include:

  • Profile of silver jubilarian Russel Murray, OFM
  • The circus chaplain work done by Ross Chamberland, OFM
  • The Province’s new health and wellness director

Compiled by Maria Hayes and 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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