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 first in a series of videos about the Franciscans’ initiative to revitalize and restructure the Order of Friars Minor in the United States was distributed last week. Friars who have not received the email may contact their guardians or the HNP Communications Office.

► Basil Valente, OFM, offered the convocation and benediction at St. Bonaventure University’s 57th Hellinger Awards luncheon, held Oct. 10 at the Hearst Tower in New York City. HNP’s vocation director founded the integrated marketing communications graduate degree program and remains a tenured assistant professor in that department. Photos of Basil and others at the Jandoli School of Communication’s event can be found online.

► Christian Seno, OFM, is helping to organize Franciscans International’s Board of Directors Mass on Nov. 18 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. All are welcome to the 5:15 p.m. liturgy and reception with members of the FI Board of Directors that will follow. “This is a great opportunity to share a moment of prayer with and to meet some of the men and women who represent the Franciscan family in advocating for human rights issues at the United Nations,” said Christian, who serves as an advocacy and outreach assistant at Franciscans International. “The board members come from all over the world and bring a wealth of experiences from the ground, as well as from a variety of contexts related to the dignity of our marginalized brothers and sisters, to human rights advocacy, and JPIC. Additionally, the event presents an opportunity to get to know the new team at Franciscans International’s New York office, to hear about their advocacy strategy and areas of focus, as well as to learn about how Franciscans can make a positive difference on at local, national, and global levels through the UN mechanism.” A similar Mass and reception took place last year at Holy Name of Jesus Church in New York City. Christian is also working to organize an event with FI at the Migrant Center of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The program, called “Responding to the Migration Crisis,” is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 17 at San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street.

On Oct. 6, Daniel Riley, OFM, representing Mt. Irenaeus and St. Bonaventure University, delivered a welcome address at Neumann University at the inauguration of a St. Bonaventure graduate Chris Domes as president of the Catholic Franciscan college in Aston, Pa. According to the St. Bonaventure University Alumni Facebook page, “For the first time in 21 years, the Neumann University community gathered to inaugurate a president. In a ceremony awash in academic regalia and medieval symbolism, Chris E. Domes accepted the presidential medallion and looked to the future, declaring ‘It is our destiny as a Catholic university in the Franciscan tradition to respond to the needs of this generation with compassionate hearts. Then, in turn, we will ask our students and our alumni to respond with a compassionate heart to those they encounter in their lives.’ Fr. Dan Riley delivered a rousing welcome, roaring ‘Are we happy?’ and ‘This is a place of celebration!’ to open his remarks. The longtime friend of Dr. Domes described him as someone who ‘walks the Franciscan path and shares it with others.’” F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, president of Siena College and a 1970 graduate of SBU, also attended last week’s inauguration.

► Mark Reamer, OFM, guardian of St. Bernardine of Siena Friary in Loudonville, N.Y., and a member of the college’s administrative team, has been named episcopal vicar of the Beverwyck Vicariate of the Diocese of Albany. N.Y., effective Sept. 29. Last week, in Troy, N.Y., Mark — a 1983 graduate of Siena — accepted recognition for Siena being named Outstanding Community Partner of 2017 by the Food Pantries for the Capital District.

All are welcome to a memorial Mass at noon on Oct. 28 at Assumption Church in Wood-Ridge, N.J., for former friar John Wagenhofer, who died earlier this year. John O’Connor, OFM, is scheduled to speak about his friend.

Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, is in Albuquerque, N.M., this week participating in a meeting of the US-6 provincial ministers regarding the revitalization and restructuring process. He is also leading the semi-annual English-speaking Conference meeting.

► John Maganzini, OFM, Gene Pistacchio, OFM, Joseph Quinn, OFM and other friars who live on Arch Street in Boston are being featured this week in a four-part series of articles in the Boston Herald about St. Anthony Shrine. Monday’s article was titled “St. Anthony Friars Can Deal With it All,” Tuesday’s was “St. Anthony Friar Counsels on Abortions, Marriages,” and Wednesday’s was “At St. Anthony Shrine, battling the Opioid Epidemic.”

► Edgardo Jara, OFM, Erick López, OFM, and Christopher Posch, OFM, were photographed for an article in the Catholic Standard about Masses which were part of the celebration of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. “Cardinal Wuerl celebrated the 8:30 a.m. with our Saint Francis International School family,” reads the post on the St. Camillus Facebook Page, which included the photos.

The fourth Indie and Foreign Film Festival sponsored by the Migrant Center of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City, of which Julian Jagudilla, OFM, is director, was held this week.  Every year, the festival screens socially relevant films aimed at raising the public awareness on issues that affect the human condition like immigration, human rights and environmental justice.

The annual fall gala of The Dwelling Place of NY is scheduled for Oct. 19. All are welcome to the event that will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the residence for homeless women on New York City’s West Side, said Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, a member of the organization’s board of directors. Earlier this year, a Founders Celebration and Reception was held at the Province’s San Damiano Hall in New York City. Information about the autumn events can be found on the website of the The Dwelling Place of NY.

The 2017 edition of The Provincial Annals, edited by Julian Davies, OFM, has been distributed to HNP friaries and offices. It contains articles about events that took place around the Province during 2016 as well as updates about ministry sites.

An article titled “Resisting Islamophobia is a Catholic Thing” by Michael Calabria, OFM, director of St. Bonaventure University’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, was published this week in US Catholic. Earlier this week, Michael finished a weeklong meeting, which he described as “productive,” of the OFM Commission for Dialogue with Islam. The gathering took place in Rome, at the Franciscan Curia near the Vatican.

On Oct. 5, seven novices received the Rule and the Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor. Photos of the rite, which took place at Old Mission Santa Barbara, Calif., can be found on the Facebook page of the Interprovincial Novitiate. Michael Blastic, OFM, a novitiate team leader, said, “In a simple ritual the day after the feast of Francis, the novices received the Rule and Constitutions of the Order of Lesser Brothers. Last month’s ‘Ritual of Divestiture’ prepared them to let go of those things that could get in the way of being lesser brothers and symbolized the freedom needed to be and become themselves, the self that God is calling forth at this moment in their life here in the novitiate. As the novices look forward to Investiture and to receiving the habit on Nov. 14, the ‘Ritual of Receiving the Rule’ symbolizes their willingness to make the Rule of the Lesser Brothers the horizon for their life and identity. Fr. Jeff Macnab, OFM, the novice master, directed these words to them as they came forward to receive the Rule: “the Rule of 1223 is our Rule and Life. It has been the inspiration, the vision, and the challenge for all the brothers who have come before us. It represents the convictions, the insights, and the experience of Francis and the early brothers as they responded to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You, my brothers, are being invited now to embrace the Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers as you continue your journey in the novitiate.”

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

  • Autumn meeting of the English-speaking Conference provincial ministers
  • Profile of retiree Charles Gilmartin, OFM
  • Juntos Como Hermanos V gathering in Albuquerque, N.M.

— 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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