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
The Province’s guardians and pastors are meeting this week in St. Petersburg, Fla., near St. Anthony Friary. This year’s gathering features a presentation titled “Building the Beloved Community: Racism and Beyond,” as well as discussions on topics including the role of the guardian, HNP Office of Health and Wellness, ministerial policies to ensure a safe environment, Revitalization and Restructuring Process of the US-6 provinces, the Order’s plenary council, and the 2020 Provincial Chapter.

The November issue of the Inside-Out Wellness newsletter, the publication produced by Amy Stewart-Wilmarth, was distributed last week to HNP friars. This edition provides important information about reducing the risk for diabetes and lung cancer as well as ways to develop healthy eating habits and increase activity levels.

► A number of friars gathered last week in Chicago to speak with the 11 friars in post-novitiate formation at St. Joseph Friary about the possibilities of future ministry in higher education. Three were from Siena college – Lawrence Anderson, OFM, George Camacho, OFM, and Mark Reamer, OFM – and two were from St. Bonaventure University – Francis Di Spigno, OFM, and Dominic MontiOFM. Also participating were Daniel Horan, OFM, from Catholic Theological Union, and Fr. Garrett Galvin, OFM, a vice president of the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, Calif., who is a member of St. Barbara Province. “Each of the panel’s participants presented our own story of how we came to minister in higher education and shared our thoughts on the value of this ministry to the next generation,” said Francis. “We all readily agreed that this is a vital and worthwhile ministry to young adults and can be quite an effective way to evangelize the Church.”

► Hugh Macsherry, OFM, of Durham, N.C., is featured in a video called “Solidarity, Power and Change,” which follows the community organizing efforts of NCCLO (North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations). Hugh, along with Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, where he is stationed, and parishioners Jonathan Rendon and Mauricio Castro are featured. The video was distributed via email by Ivan Kohar Parma, the lead organizer of Durham CAN (Churches, Associations and Neighborhoods), another local community organizing group whose founder David McBriar, OFM, greatly contributed to the production, according to Hugh. The email contained a message of hope – that despite the fact that “immigrant communities are under attack right now, there are reasons for optimism. Across the South, there are organizations and networks deploying a range of strategies to improve immigrants’ quality of life. One of them is the North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations, a statewide civic engagement network helping ensure fair treatment and equal opportunities for immigrants.” In the video, Hugh talks about the need to help people “find their voice.”

► Next week, John Maganzini, OFM, will be  recognized by the Archdiocese of Boston at a prayer service in Malden, Mass., not far from Boston, where John is stationed. Frank Sevola, OFM, guardian of St. Anthony Shrine, distributed the following announcement to the community on Nov. 10 about the recommendation that he and Thomas Conway, OFM, director of the Shrine on Arch Street, made. “Every three years, parishes and institutions in the Archdiocese of Boston are invited to nominate a person from the ministry for the Bishop Cheverus Medal (named for the first bishop of Boston). The medal is awarded to a person for exemplary service given in the name of the Lord,” the joint announcement said. “When we were informed that this year the Shrine was eligible to nominate someone, Tom and I immediately agreed that our recipient be Br. John Maganzini, OFM. For 22 years, Brother John – ‘Mags’ – has served the Arch Street community in a quiet and unassuming way.” The announcement went on to say, “He is a spiritual director to many people, a friend to countless people, and an eager participant in all our ministries. In many ways, Brother Mags has become the face of St. Anthony Shrine. In addition to his public ministry, Brother John served the friar community as vicar for 12 years and cares for the friars in many ways. Mags embodies the Franciscan spirit and the spirit of the Shrine – All Are Welcome! We know you will join us in congratulating and thanking John.” The medal will be presented by Cardinal O’Malley at a special daytime prayer service at Immaculate Conception Church in Malden on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m.

► This fall, Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, the Province’s secretary for missions in evangelization, led two pilgrimages to Italy that were sponsored by the HNP Franciscan Missionary Union. The participants, who spent most of their time in Assisi and Rome, were from three HNP ministry sites – St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, University of Georgia Catholic Center, and St. Peter Claver Parish in Macon, Ga. “The pilgrims had four days in Assisi and one afternoon in Greccio, where they learned about the lives of Francis and Clare by spending time in the holy places these saints lived and died,” Paul said. “We also spent a free day in Siena and four days in Rome, where we visited the Vatican and St. Francesco a Ripa, a church where Francis stayed when he would come to Rome to see the pope.” The group made time for some local sightseeing as well. A secular Franciscan, Theresa Fugardi, co-led the first trip with Paul, while Frank Sevola, OFM, guardian at the Shrine on Arch Street, joined Paul in leading the second trip. Those interested in participating in a future FMU trip are asked to contact Paul by email at The Franciscan Missionary Union also arranges mission trips to Cuba, Kenya and Morocco.

► A 2019 wall calendar featuring photos by Daniel Riley, OFM, is being sold by Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Community, where Dan is animator and a co-founder. The calendar can be purchased through the Mt. Irenaeus website, which was redesigned earlier this year, as well as at the Mountain office on the campus of St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y. The proceeds of the calendar sales benefit the Mt. Irenaeus community. Funds are also being raised this month through the annual online Mountain Auction live on eBay from Nov. 9 to 18. The October 2018 issue of the Making All Things New e-publication contains information about the calendar and the auction, as well as a video reflection by Dan called ”Embracing Silence,” an article about Joseph Kotula, OFM, and dates of events with which Dan is involved.

► The board of directors of Franciscans International held its annual New York City meeting Nov. 8 to 11. The board, chaired by Joseph Rozansky, OFM, and consisting of representatives from different branches of the Franciscan family, dealt with its normal business, including plans for FI’s 30th anniversary celebration in the upcoming year, according to Joe. “As has become practice over the last few years, the board also sponsored an event for the Franciscan family of the tristate area,” Joe said. “The board members invited Ken Himes, OFM, a professor at Boston College, to speak on ‘Franciscans, Human Rights, and the Common Good.’” The presentation was held at St. John’s Hall, the Capuchin parish on West 30th Street, which also provided lunch for the 40 attendees. Ken’s talk focused on the commitment of all Franciscans to advance human rights, and in particular the mission of Franciscans International to defend human rights on a global scale at the United Nations. “The audience was especially captivated by Ken’s ability to translate the theory of Catholic social teaching into its practical application at the level of the United Nations and into our mission to live out the Gospel values in our daily life,” Joe said.

► Last week, 13 Franciscans met in Dublin, Ireland, for a meeting of the vocation directors of the English-speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor. Friars from all seven OFM provinces in the United States participated, in addition to friars representing Canada, England, Ireland and Malta. “The purpose of the ESC vocation directors’ gathering was to encourage, support and enliven each other in our global vocation work and, at the same time, work to bring about renewal and fresh impetus to the witness of Friars Minor around the world,” said vocation director Basil Valente, OFM. “Tremendous hospitality was provided to our group, as the friars of Adam and Eve Friary, on Merchants Quay, warmly welcomed us for a week of meetings, lectures, ministry site tours, prayer services, Masses and local sightseeing.” Basil said that the group’s host, Pat Lynch, OFM, told them it was his 14th year as a vocational minister for the Province of Ireland. “He offered lots of good advice and a wonderful introduction to Ireland for his brothers in vocation ministry,” said Basil, who noted that Aidan McGrath, OFM, the provincial minister of the Ireland Province, welcomed the group as well. Basil said there were two keynote speakers at the event, including an inspired reflection by Francis Cotter, OFM, titled “Vocations and the Care of Vocation Animators from a Franciscan Perspective.” The other gifted presentation was by Margaret Cartwright, director of Vocations Ireland, who spoke on the topic of “Vocations Ireland and What’s Happening on This Side of the Pond.”

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

  • Profile of retiree Edward Flanagan, OFM
  • Franciscan Symposium held Oct. 25 to 27 at Catholic Theological Union
  • World Day of the Poor
  • Franciscan Volunteer Ministry

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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