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 summary of the September meeting of the Provincial Council meeting has been distributed to HNP friars. It contains information about the presentation by two sisters representing Pax Christi, USA, about issues of systemic racism as well as updates and discussions about the Revitalization and Restructuring Process, the Provincial task force on elder care, finances, properties, and assisting immigrants, among other topics.

► Basil Valente, OFM, offered the opening and closing prayers during St. Bonaventure University’s 58th Annual Mark Hellinger Awards Luncheon on Oct. 2 at Hearst Tower in Manhattan. The award honors an extraordinary student from the Russell J. Jandoli School of Communication. This year’s honoree was Ethan Kibbe. Byron Pitts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline,” served as keynote speaker and gave a talk titled “Changing Attitudes in Media.” Basil taught at St. Bonaventure for more than 23 years before being named the Province’s vocation director in 2014.

► Siena College is working to strengthen the faith of its students by displaying the first handwritten and illustrated Bible of its scale created since the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, The St. John’s Bible. It is display at the Loudonville, N.Y., campus thanks to Mark Reamer, OFM, Siena’s mission director, who facilitated the procurement of the historic book after hearing about it in three years ago while attending a meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. “’There’s something simply beautiful about it,'” he told The Evangelist, the newspaper of the Albany Diocese. He believes that being able to offer students and faculty the opportunity to read the handwritten work would “enhance the Catholic identity of Siena.”

► The residences in New York City for financially and mentally challenged adults founded more than 30 years ago by John McVean, OFM, and John Felice, OFM, were described in an article published bv the Supportive Housing Network of NY on Sept. 18. In “Residents of Supportive Housing,” several residents describe their experiences at St. Francis Residences. “Supportive Housing provides our most vulnerable neighbors a life of dignity and support. The St. Francis Residences were founded in the early 1980s by the Fathers John who found a way to house and provide care to homeless New Yorkers who were suffering from mental illnesses.”. In October 2016, John and John were honored by the Supportive Housing Network of New York among a group of pioneers of the supportive housing movement in New York City.

► On Oct. 4, Thomas Kornacki, OFM, will be receiving an honorary doctorate from the theology faculty of St. Paul in Bolivia, where he has been a member of the faculty for the last 14 years. “This is one more honor for the Holy Name Province Mission here (1957-1984) and for the actual St. Anthony OFM Missionary Province in Bolivia,” said Tom, who provided a copy of the announcement.

► The late Mychal Judge, OFM, and others who died on Sept 11 were commemorated last month at several locations. On Sept. 9, roughly 1200 participated in the annual 9/11 Walk of Remembrance in New York City. An article published Sept. 30 by mentions Christopher Keenan, OFM, who took the position of FDNY chaplain after Mychal died. In Totowa, N.J. Daniel Grigassy, OFM, pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish in nearby Paterson, was pictured in The Beacon in a story titled “Never Forget: On 9/11, Father Mychal Judge and All Those Lost are Remembered.” Mychal is registered as the first official victim of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack on the World Trade Center.

► On Nov. 10, Kenneth Himes, OFM, a professor of theological ethics at Boston College, will be speaking in New York City at a presentation sponsored by Franciscans International. All are welcome to the event taking place at 11 a.m. at the Capuchin Church of St. John the Baptist on West 31st Street, across from Pennsylvania Station. Joseph Rozansky, OFM, president of the International board of directors, and Fr. Markus Heinze, OFM, executive director of Franciscans International, invite all to the Saturday event that will include a reception. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by emailing

► The summer issue of The Anthonian, distributed last month, contains information about a variety Holy Name Province’s friars and ministries – from Virginia through the Carolinas to Puerto Rico. The cover shows Henry Fulmer, OFM, at Francis House in Triangle., Va.., which was established 25 years ago by John O’Connor OFM. Also featured in this issue is St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Anderson, S.C., which is marking its 75th anniversary, St. Peter Claver Parish in Macon, Ga., and an update about how the people of Puerto Rico are coping after Hurricane Maria. The magazine is produced by St. Anthony’s Guild under the direction of Octavio Duran, OFM.

► An article by Octavio Duran, OFM, of Butler, N.J., titled “Oscar Romero: Pastor, Peacemaker, Saint” was published in the October 2018 issue of St. Anthony Messenger magazine. It relates a conversation Octavio had with Bishop Joseph Gregoria Ros a Chavez just before Romero’s beatification in May 2015. Octavio, who is art director of The Anthonian magazine, will be attending the canonization ceremony of Archbishop Romero on Oct. 14 in Rome with Juan Turcios, OFM. Octavio lived in the seminary where Romero resided and accompanied him on the many trips through the towns of San Salvador. He says that both he and Chavez, who is cohost of a radio program, were “inspired to live our vocations to the Church through the media.”

► On Sept. 27, Javier Del Angel do los Santos, OFM, received his master of arts degree in theology with a concentration in Sacred Scripture from Catholic Theology Union in Chicago. He is moving to Silver Spring, Md., where he will begin an internship at St. Camillus Parish.

► George Corrigan, OFM, was interviewed last month about the history of Sacred Heart Church in downtown Tampa, Fla., in a piece titled “Sacred Heart Catholic Church Built in 1905” shown on the Fox13 television channel. In a related piece, staff member Sean Fitzsimmons-Brown spoke about the historic organ at Sacred Heart Church. Recently, Sacred Heart Parish, where George is pastor, welcomed a friar “guest worker” who is discerning whether or not to join Holy Name Province. A photo of Fr. Salim Joseph, OFM, a native of India was posted on the parish Facebook page.

► Scott Brookbank, OFM, of Beach Haven, N.J., led a workshop last week for the postulants at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md. From Sept. 26 to  Sept. 28,  he presented  “The Franciscan Postulants Personality Preference MBTI Workshop”, using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator based on Carl Jung’s personality theory.  “This workshop is designed to help the postulants become aware of their personality preferences and that of their fellow brothers and to see their personality preferences has a gift that they bring to the community,” Scott said, “as well as to see how these different personality preferences can work together to build a Franciscan community.  It is is always a highlight of  my year to lead this workshop for men in formation.” Twelve men joined the interprovincial Franciscan postulancy program in August.

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

  • Presentations of the HNP Francis Medal
  • Investiture of novices on Oct. 16

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Related Links