Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

2014friarnewsbriefsThe updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring 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 report on the Provincial Council’s most recent meeting, held Oct. 24 and 25 in New Jersey, was distributed to friars on Oct. 28. It provides an update from Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, about his canonical visitation as well as information about the Restructuring and Revitalization Process of the U. S. provinces, the new interprovincial postulancy program that will begin in Silver Spring, Md., next year, initiation of a new fraternity-in-mission in Orlando, Fla., reports by regional councilors, the 2017 Chapter Planning Committee, personnel issues, and findings of a study conducted by the National Religious Retirement Office. Two attachments mentioned in the meeting summary report were also emailed: (1) the OFM study guide on the care of creation from the General Curia and (2) highlights of the Revitalization and Restructuring meeting of the U.S. Provincials, held in early October.

A revised schedule of the Province’s 2017 spring regional days was emailed to friars on Oct. 25.

The fifth in the “Custodians of the Tradition” series offering four-page summaries of aspects of Franciscan heritage is available in the Friars Only section. The Ongoing Formation page contains the November resource “Selected Writings” by Fr.  Zachary Hayes, OFM, as well as the other installments in the series.

►Last week, John Aherne, OFM, joined 24 other men in facilitating a Kairos Prison Retreat at Stateville Correctional Center, in Joliet, Ill. Over the four-day retreat, the Kairos team offered a series of talks, discussions, chapel mediations, and prayer experiences to 42 residents of the prison, many of whom were serving long sentences. “The Year of Mercy inspired me to take part in this ministry,” John said. “I was terrified of the idea of visiting the imprisoned, but Pope Francis’s vision of Church during this jubilee year pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was also inspired by the witness of Michael Johnson, OFM, and Abraham Joseph, OFM, both of whom participated in this ministry in years past and found it as rewarding as I did.” Information about the ministry is available online. John lives in Chicago at Blessed Giles Friary, about an hour’s drive from Joliet. He professed his final vows as a Franciscan in August.

►On Oct. 17, the novices at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis., received the Rule of St Francis and the General Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor in a special ceremony. A photo of James Bernard, Steven Kuehn, Nicholas Carbuto, and Adolfo Navarro-Blanco was posted on the Be a Franciscan Facebook page.

►Scott Brookbank, OFM, presented the annual Myers Briggs Type Indicator workshop to the postulants of the U.S. provinces in October. A photo showing the 13 postulants as well as Charles Miller, OFM, assistant postulant director for the Province, at St. Benedict Abbey in Wisconsin, was published in the Oct. 25 Around the Province newsletter of Sacred Heart Province.

►The HNP Development Office announced in October that it was launching its #GiveAMealToHeal campaign in anticipation of National Sandwich Day, which is Nov. 3. “Our friars serve hundreds of sandwiches a day, 365 days a year at our soup kitchens and breadlines along the East Coast. Could you imagine if your whole life depended on a diet of sliced cheese, deli meat and white bread?” David said in an email sent Oct. 31. “After kicking off our ‘Give a Meal to Heal’ campaign at the beginning of October, hundreds of FriarWorks supporters have come together to donate and take part in our National Sandwich Day celebration. Now we are setting our goal even higher by aiming to raise 1,200 sandwiches for the people that our friars serve daily in Philadelphia, New York City, Hartford and Tampa.” Donation information is available online.

►Kevin Cronin, OFM, of Butler, N.J., participated in the Oct. 22 reunion in Boston of St. Anthony Shrine’s young adult group. A photo of him with attendees was posted on the Shrine’s Facebook page, which said, “the young adults ministry started in 1975 and they had a reunion this weekend. During the reunion, they celebrated Mass in the friary chapel and had a reception afterwards.” Kevin, one of the founders of the Shrine’s young adult group, said that he recently received a note from Anthony Wilson, OFM, recalling fond memories of the 1970s.

►Christopher Dunn, OFM, chaplain to the Peruvian Fire Corps, in Lima, Peru, is asking for prayers for three volunteers ­– Lt. CBP Alonson Salas Chanduví, 25, Sub-Lt CBP Eduardo Porfirio Jiménz Soriano, 26, and Sub-Lt CBP Raúl Sánchez Torres, 35 – who died Oct. 18 in the line of duty. Christopher provided this description: “On Tuesday night, there was a big fire in an industrial zone in El Agustino, an area toward downtown Lima. The fire started around 7 p.m. in a shoe factory and spread to adjoining buildings: the Ministry of Health warehouse for medicines, and some other structures. During the initial search and rescue operation, three firefighters from the company Roma 2 died in an explosion around 11 p.m. The commander of the Central Lima fire division was the incident commander. His nephew was one of the firefighters who died. The Peruvian Fire Corps has not had an incident with multiple line-of-duty deaths since 1931. I was on stand-by at the San Juan de Miraflores station, which is in a fire division on the south side of the city, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Then I went home – another 30 minutes to the south. The fire department called me at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday to inform me they had three firefighters ‘lost’ in the fire. So, I went to the station and then to the fire. I was able to attend to family members and firefighters at the scene. The bodies were found in the rubble around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and we were able to remove the bodies around 2 p.m., after the police and coroner finished their investigation. I did a brief blessing before the bodies were moved to the morgue.”

►Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, a member of the board of directors of The Dwelling Place of NY, served on the organization’s 2016 Gala Committee for its annual fall fundraiser, held on Oct. 20 in Manhattan. The Dwelling Place of NY is a privately-funded transitional residence for homeless women, providing food, shelter, and supportive services in a safe, healing and structured environment. “This year’s gala fundraiser, titled ‘An Enduring Light’ was dedicated to the memory of Sr. Margaret Boyle, PBVM, a staff member for over 23 years, who died this past year,” said Michael. “The evening was a great success, bringing together many generous and faithful friends, with much joy and enthusiasm to support the mission of a special haven for women in NYC.” The Dwelling Place, a sponsored ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017.

►Last month, Kenneth Himes, OFM, gave a talk at Boston College, titled “The Catholic Voter and the Signs of our Times.” In it, he explored various social issues that Catholics should consider as they prepare to vote. Ken’s talk was videotaped and distributed by the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry where he is a professor of theological ethics.

►A video of the talk, “A Franciscan Response to Racism and Fear of the ‘Other’ in Today’s World” given in September by Daniel Horan, OFM, at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa., has been posted on the Holy Name Province JPIC Facebook group. “The Catholic response throughout the eruption and normalization of racism as language and approach this year has been very scarce,” said student friar Romancito Razon, OFM. “Dan tackles racism and the fear that fuels it, thereby filling in a vacuum that would have otherwise been a space for implicit complicity and covert reluctance to dismantle racism.” The JPIC Facebook group provides links to information about and serves as a forum to discuss a variety of social justice issues.

►David Hyman, OFM, and the HNP African Ancestry Committee which he chairs, are planning a retreat for Black men considering life as a Franciscan friar. The event is scheduled for Feb. 10 to 12, 2017, at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md. The gathering will be similar in format and theme to the retreats held in the past.

►As we approach the 20th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, Brian Jordan, OFM, shared a reflection on how the cardinal’s famous talk “The Seamless Garment: The Consistent Life Ethic” inspires Brian’s life as a Franciscan priest. Brian expressed his appreciation to the cardinal by dedicating his participation in the Chicago Marathon in 1996 to “Joseph” after the cardinal was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “Joseph taught us all how to accept death with dignity and his teachings of ‘The Seamless Garment — the Consistent Life Ethic’ are immortal and will live on forever,” Brian said.

►Christopher Keenan, OFM, asks that friars who are interested in living at the new friary at the College of Mount Saint Vincent New York City to contact him. The residence was described in an e-bulletin sent to friars on Oct. 7.

►On Oct. 4, a video reflection by Francis Pompei, OFM, of Buffalo, N.Y., was posted on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Francis describes how “to experience the Lord like St. Francis.” This and other reflections can be found on the Daily Reflections Video page of the USCCB website. Francis is founder of the Franciscan Mystery Players.

►James Vacco, OFM, served as retreat director for a recent overnight of the lay students enrolled at Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo, N.Y. Thirty students took part in the overnight whose theme was “The Canticle of Creation: A road map to ministry.” The retreat began at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 and ended at 5 p.m. on Saturday. James lives in Allegany, N.Y., where he is pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Nov. 9 — always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s 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:

  • Formation updates about the HNP postulants and novices
  • Dedication by several friars of a chapel in Peru

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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