Friar News Briefs

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name Province friars, featuring 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 The next issue of the HNP Today newsletter is scheduled for publication on Nov. 13.

From the Administration
Provincial leaders are preparing for Holy Name’s annual guardians and pastors meeting, scheduled to take place from Nov. 18 to 21 in St. Petersburg, Florida, near St. Anthony Friary. Friars planning to participate have been asked to return their completed registration forms by Oct. 11.

The Provincial Council members held their last meeting on Sept. 18 and 19 in New York City. Their discussions focused on compliance issues, reports on the HNP Fraternal Ecology process, gifts to ministries and Franciscan organizations, the theme for the 2020 Provincial Chapter (Prophets of Hope: Listening, Discerning and Going Forth), schedule of the general visitor, priority projects of the Council, and a conversation about the summer 2019 edition of C21 Resources magazine on “Revitalizing our Church.”

► Before kickoff of the Notre Dame-University of Georgia football game on Sept. 21, a Mass was celebrated at a high school near UGA in Athens, Georgia. The liturgy was led by Bishop Joel Konzen of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and concelebrated by Casey Cole, OFM, and Frank Critch, OFM, of the UGA Catholic Center, and the Rev. Mark Thesing, the Irish’s team chaplain. Articles about the event were posted on the website before and after the Mass.

► Siena College held a memorial celebration of the life of its beloved president F. Edward Coughlin, OFM. Approximately 2,000 attendees – students, staff members, and family, friends and friars – filled the ARC for the late afternoon liturgy on Sept. 17, the Franciscan feast of the Stigmata. Ed died on July 30 due to complications from heart surgery. He had served as president of the Loudonville, N.Y., college from summer 2014 until June 2019, when he began a medical leave. Mark Reamer, OFM, Siena’s vice president for Franciscan mission, welcomed the attendees and gave opening remarks. A video of the memorial Mass, which was celebrated by Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, can be found on Siena’s website. In his homily, Kevin commented on what St. Paul had to say on the phenomenon of death. “On July 30, all of us in this room were touched by the death of Ed Coughlin. July 30 was not the end of Ed’s life. It was a passage, a transition,” Kevin said. In an interview with Siena’s communications office, Mark said that he was “grateful to all who made the day of remembrance a great celebration of the life and legacy of Ed, our brother. “At the end of the day, I couldn’t help but wonder if the celebration of Ed’s life might inspire some of our own students to see their own vocation or calling to serve others and make a difference in the world as Ed did – and consider if God might be calling them to religious life as a Franciscan friar or sister,” Mark said.

Larry Hayes, OFM, participated in a program about immigration last month at St. Mary Church, Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, where he is parochial vicar. The Beacon, the local diocesan newspaper, published a nearly full-page article about the event, quoting part of Larry’s talk. In his remarks, Larry quoted from and reflected on Pope Francis’ message for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2019. According to Larry, the pope said that “when we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays.” He went on to say that Pope Francis said “by welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants in the immigration process, we help build the city of God and man.”

► The October issue of St. Anthony Messenger includes information about a presentation given this summer by Kenneth Himes, OFM, a moral theologian from Boston College. He spoke in June at “Laudato Si and the US Catholic Church: A Conference Series on Our Common Home,” which took place at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Approximately 250 people attended the four plenary talks, each of which was followed by breakout sessions. Ken used the Good Samaritan parable to explain four ways to love one’s neighbor: doing no harm, preventing harmful evils, moving a threatening evil, and promoting a person’s good while limiting harm threatened. According to the magazine, Ken noted that for Pope Francis, authentic development requires justice. St. Anthony Messenger’s information appeared in the Franciscan World section that Patrick McCloskey, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province, writes each month.

Jacek Orzechowski, left, and Erick Lopez, right, with some of the students who participated in last month’s climate strike in the nation’s capital. (Photo courtesy of Jacek)

Erick Lopez, OFM, Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, and Christopher Posch, OFM, as well as postulants from the interprovincial postulancy in Silver Spring, Maryland, and other friars joined thousands of participants worldwide in the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20 to demand that world leaders take action on climate change and end the status quo of complacency, inaction and injustice. Erick participated in an event in Washington, D.C., and was quoted in an article published by Catholic News Service, which read, “The Order of Friars Minor member at Saint Camillus Church said he was heartened to see so many young people at the protest.” The article quoted Erick saying, “I love the fact that there are so many young people here, because they are the present, and they are the future. We owe it to them to do something now.” Students from St. Francis International School in Silver Spring, and others from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, also participated in the climate strike. Jacek was quoted in an article published by Crux, titled “Activists Say the Church Needs to ‘Scale Up’ in Face of Climate Emergency,” in which he assessed the U.S. Church’s response to Laudato Si by saying, “Overall, the Church in the United States has been anemic and inadequate to say the least. We have a heightened responsibility to lead and provide moral leadership on this most pressing, social justice and pro-life issue that we face, yet we have done little to follow in the example of Pope Francis to make this issue a priority.”

Frank McHugh, top center behind his brother, and the two others who recently professed their vows as Secular Franciscans at Capuchin College — Christopher Grubach and Toby Harkleroad. (Photo courtesy of Toby)

► On Sept. 21, two people with close ties to Holy Name Province professed their final vows as secular Franciscans. Joseph McHugh, twin brother of Frank McHugh, OFM, and Tobias Harkleroad, principal of St. Francis International School in Silver Spring, Maryland, made their profession to live a life more fully committed to continued conversion to the Gospel according to the rule of the Secular Franciscan Order. Their vows were professed during a Mass at Capuchin College in Washington, D.C., celebrated by Frank, who is stationed in Paterson, N.J., and concelebrated by Chris Posch, OFM, pastor of St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring.

Jim McIntosh, OFM, participated in the 2019 meeting of the English-speaking Conference Communicators Committee, which took place from Sept. 16 to 20 at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Jim is webmaster for the US Franciscans website as well as a part-time communications assistant for the HNP Communications Office. The annual meeting was led by Jocelyn Thomas, HNP director of communications and chair of the ESC Communications Committee. It included the participation by representatives of U.S. provinces, as well as provinces from Canada and Ireland. Participants discussed a range of topics including crisis communications and effective use of social media. An article about the 70-year-old Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre, written by St. John the Baptist Province’s communications director Toni Cashnelli, was published in the Sept. 26 issue of SJB News Notes.

Kevin Mullen, OFM, is traveling to Malta this week to meet with the provincials of the English-speaking Conference for their fall meeting, which runs from Oct. 14 to 18. He will meet prior with the leaders of the US-6 provinces – the OFM communities participating in the Revitalization and Restructuring Process.

Mark Reamer, OFM, officiated at the nuptials of a Siena College staff member who was featured in the Sept. 22 edition of the “Vows” section of The New York Times. The story – titled “The Coaches’ Game Plan: Beat Cancer, Get Married” – describes the courtship and wedding of Siena women’s basketball head coach Aloysia (Ali) Jaques to Marc Rybczyk, former assistant men’s head coach for Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y. They initially had to put their wedding plans on hold after he was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma, the most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After she helped him beat the cancer, Mark presided at the couple’s wedding.

Joe Rozansky, OFM, is helping plan a Nov. 8 event in New York City that will commemorate the 30th anniversary of Franciscans International. He invites everyone to a presentation by Ambassador Luis Gallego of Ecuador scheduled at 11 a.m. in San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street. Details are available on a save-the-date flyer. Joe is stationed in Chicago, Illinois, where he is guardian of St. Joseph Friary, the interprovincial post-novitiate formation house. He has served as president of the International Board of Directors of Franciscans International since spring of 2016.

James Vacco, OFM, reports that St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, N.Y., where he is pastor, is undergoing a substantial and much-needed renovation. For the next three months, parishioners will worship in the parish hall while the church is being refurbished – a project that includes an internal face-lift, with new pews and kneelers, new flooring in the nave and sanctuary, new spot lighting and electrical circuitry, painting, installation of a new public address system, construction of a handicap bathroom, widening of the existing entry and exit ramp, and the reconfiguration of the sacristies. James said that the tiles beneath the rug in the nave must be removed because of asbestos before the new surface can be installed. One of the unique and exciting features of the update, James reports, is the installation of statues of Mary and Joseph that had been in the former Christ the King Seminary chapel (now known as San Damiano Hall) at St. Bonaventure University. The statues were not being displayed by SBU, so James said he inquired about bringing them to the parish. The renovation should be completed at some time during the Advent season.

► An article about Angel Vázquez, OFM, was published in the Sept. 19 issue of The Bona Venture, the student newspaper of St. Bonaventure University. It begins: “I don’t know about you, but for me, after I get a haircut, I look good, I feel good, everything is right in the world,” said Angel, a student friar on campus.” Vazquez said in the article that “A couple of years ago, a hairstylist who gave monthly, free haircuts to people living on the streets of Manhattan was featured in a New York times article This article and the words of the hairstylist would come to inspire Vazquez to offer his barber services on campus in an effort to connect with students on a more relational level that he find to fall in line with Franciscan the mission.”

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

  • Investiture of novices on Oct. 16
  • Holy Name Province’s Fraternal Ecology initiative
  • Release of a book about the history of the Franciscans in the United States
  • A list of upcoming events taking place around the Province

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas