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
A report on the Provincial Council’s October meeting was emailed to friars on Oct. 23. It contains information about the autumn English-speaking Conference meeting, the R+R initiative, an update about the care of elder friars, implementation of the strategic plans for the 31st Street and Arch Street ministries, agenda for the Nov. 13 to 16 guardians and pastors meeting, the possibility of a SPUTY gathering before May 2018, updates about initial formation, the two HNP-sponsored colleges and the assessment being done of provincial ministries, and an extensive discussion about the book “Everyone Leads – How to Revitalize the Catholic Church” by Chris Lowney.
Schedule: The Provincial Office will be closed on Nov. 10 for Veterans Day.

An announcement of the sale of St. Clare Church in Buffalo, N.Y., was published this week on Buffalo Rising. Jud Weiksnar, OFM, who is stationed in Buffalo, noticed the article, saying the information might be of interest to the Province and friars who served in the church at 197 Elk Street. Holy Name Province friars withdrew from St. Clare Parish earlier this year.

A video featuring student friar Angel Vázquez, OFM, was posted on the Mt. Irenaeus Facebook page last week. In it, the student friar shares thoughts about the time he spent  this summer at the Mountain in Western New York.

► As National Vocations Awareness Week began, Basil Valente, OFM, vocation director, and the friars in St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fla., hosted five men for a discernment retreat. Hailing from Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Florida, the candidates brought experiences from various fields, including health services and medical research, culinary arts, information technology, and business management. The participants were particularly grateful to spend time in community with the Franciscans, who noted the young men’s enthusiasm and vibrancy as they integrated into the life of the community for the weekend. “We continue to pray for these men and the six men who will be joining the friars at Arch Street in Boston the first weekend of December for the Vocation Ministry’s next Discernment Retreat,” said Basil, adding “Thank you to all the friars who continue to encourage and support vocations to the Franciscan life.” Photos were posted on the Be A Franciscan Facebook page.

► Joseph Rozansky, OFM, and Fr. Marcus Heinze, OFM, invite friars and laypeople to the Mass and reception being held by Franciscans International on Nov. 18. The liturgy is scheduled for 5 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.

►  The annual Mt. Irenaeus online auction is being held from Nov. 10 to 19. Daniel Riley, OFM, animator of the more than 30-year-old Franciscan Mountain Retreat, invites all to participate in this fundraising initiative, one of several ways that the ministry in West Clarksville, N.Y. works to support its programs. Last year, the Daniel P. Riley, OFM, Mountain Sustainability Campaign was relaunched which, according to Mike Fenn, executive director of Mt. Irenaeus, is meant to sustain the ministry for generations to come by providing an endowment for the future, facility improvements, financially supporting the Franciscan community and land acquisition.

A guest blog entry regarding the Church’s role in protecting the future of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) initiative, by Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., was published recently on the blog of the Washington, D.C., branch of Catholic Charities. The piece, titled “Advocacy in the Church,” can be found on the organization’s website.

On Nov. 12, Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the 40th anniversary of The Dwelling Place of NYC. The liturgy, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at St Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, will be followed by a reception at San Damiano Hall. This is one of the several events being held this year to mark the anniversary of the ministry to the homeless, which was established in 1977 by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y.  On Oct. 19, friends and supporters – including Michael Harlan, OFM, who is on the board of The Dwelling Place – gathered for the organization’s annual gala in New York City. In February, a reception celebrating the 40th anniversary was held at the Province’s San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street. Information about the Dwelling Place can be found on its website.

A review of the second book written by Brian Jordan, OFM, “The Heroic Priesthood of Father William B. Farrell,” was published in the Oct. 21 of The Tablet, the newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn. “If you love local history in our Brooklyn neighborhoods and parishes, you will love this book,” said Msgr. Martin Geraghty, pastor emeritus of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Bayside, N.Y. “If you are ready to be surprised by the anti-Catholicism right here in New York City a hundred years ago, the book will get you angry.”

► Gregory Day, OFM, of St Anthony Shrine, Boston, was recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Award for his work at St. John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester, Mass. He was one of eight to receive the award, which was granted on Oct. 26 by the Yakwkey Foundation.

► Peter Chepaitis, OFM, shared on Facebook a summary of events with which he and Sr. Anna Tantsits, IHM, who operate Bethany Ministries, have been involved this  year. “The summer was full of travel for weddings, retreats and covering for the local pastor in Middleburgh, N.Y. We are traveling to two college campuses this semester for six Sunday evening Masses – three at SUNY Albany and three at SUNY Oneonta,” he said. Peter has been operating the program with Sr. Anna since 1995. Information about their activities can also be found on the organization’s website and the annual Bethany Ministries newsletter.

Members of the Academy of American Franciscan History held its semi-annual board meeting at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 27. Holy Name friars who serve on the Board who participated were Brian Belanger, OFM, vice-chair Daniel Dwyer, OFM, and Dominic Monti, OFM. As an interprovincial board, one friar each from the provinces of Assumption, St. Barbara, St. John the Baptist, Sacred Heart, and Our Lady of Guadalupe also serve. “The purpose of the academy is to promote and support scholarship on the history of Franciscans throughout the Americas through its sponsorship of the journal ‘The Americas,’ as well as through various publications, books, videos, and conferences,” said Brian, who – like Daniel – is stationed at Siena College outside Albany, N.Y. “Its significant archival and library resources are housed at the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, and at the University of San Diego.” Last year, the AAFH presented a two-day seminar on Franciscan missiology. Friars interested in the work of the academy are invited to contact Dan Dwyer.

Topics that will be included in future issues of this newsletter include

  • Profiles of Vianney Justin, OFM, and other retired friars
  • Investiture of novices on Nov. 14
  • News from Lima, Peru, from Christopher Dunn, OFM
  • Ministry of the Word update from John Anglin, OFM

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas  

Editor’s note: The format of Friar News Briefs lists, in alternating issues, 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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