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 Provincial Councilors held their October meeting by conference call on the 22nd. Their discussions focused on the guardians and pastors meeting being held Nov. 12 to 15 in St. Petersburg, Fla., as well as updates about the R+R Process of the US-6 provinces, the task force on care of elder friars/Holy Name Friary and the Province’s Fraternal Ecology process.

► Thomas Walters, OFM, represented Holy Name Province at the Oct. 21 Mass at St. George-St. Francis Parish at which the community commemorated the 175th anniversary of St. George Church in Jeffersonville, N.Y., where Franciscan friars were stationed from 1892 until 2003. He served as the main celebrant at the liturgy. “A cold blustery day did not keep the people of St. George’s in the Jeffersonville-Youngsville community home for the anniversary celebration,” said Thomas. “It was truly a festive occasion with many in attendance.”  The event’s program included a 14-page historical sketch as well as a list of the priests who have served the parish. HNP friars served parishes in this rural area of New York for 122 years until 2017, when the Province withdrew from the parish in Callicoon, N.Y. A photo of the clergy who participated in the Mass was provided by Sonya Katcher; Kevin Cronin, OFM, of Butler, N.J., was among them.

► Basil Valente, OFM, encourages friars to utilize the 2018 National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 4 to 10, to preach about Franciscan vocations. “This annual event is a special time for parishes, schools and other ministry sites across the United States to foster a culture of vocations, especially welcoming men to consider the consecrated life with Holy Name Province,” said Basil, who has served as HNP vocation director since summer 2014.

► On Oct, 28, the day after the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Steven Patti, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, N.C., attended a prayer service at Beth Meyer synagogue in Raleigh. “It was a beautiful evening, a packed church,” he said. “I was seated next to Gov. Roy Cooper, purely by chance.” He wrote this description of the event: “I looked around and saw a crowd of more than 1,000 people, a crowd made up of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. We were gathered for a prayer vigil to remember the victims of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. We prayed, we listened, we sang, and, after a time, the lights were dimmed and candles were lit. For a time, on this Sunday evening, there was no talk about what divides us, no threatening words, no talk of doctrinal points, or right or wrong belief. There was only a sense of loss, of lament, and finally, hope in a God who calls to us in our depths to be people of peace and reconciliation. One of the prayers we read together that evening was this: ‘We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to root out prejudice and hatred; for You have already given us eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only care to look for it.’”

►  Last week, Russel Murray, OFM, was in Nagasaki, Japan, for the Assembly of the East Asian Conference. There, he encountered two brothers who spent time in Holy Name Province: Fr. Carolo Ho, OFM, provincial minister of Korea and EAC president who earned a master’s degree in Franciscan Studies at the Franciscan Institute, and Fr. Lam Nguyen, OFM, provincial minister of Vietnam who studied at the Washington Theological Union. They both send their best wishes and blessings to everyone in HNP, said Russel, who provided a photo that shows Lam and Russel at the Shrine of the Japanese Martyrs in Nagasaki.

► A new book by Kevin Mackin, OFM, of St. Petersburg, titled “Enjoying God’s Gifts,” has been published by WestBow Press. This collection of homilies features drama, wisdom, and humor, according to the publisher’s website, and illuminates Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, and “ordinary time” as they prompt the reader to contemplate and celebrate God’s gifts. The book is available in paperback, hardcover and e-book format from booksellers including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and WestBow Press Bookstore. Another book by Kevin, “Integrity: Living God’s Word,” was released early this year.

► St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., announced on Oct. 30 that Brian Jordan, OFM, is leaving his position later this year. The announcement said: “SFC’s favorite priest is leaving the college at the end of this fall semester. In an article published in SFC’s student newspaper, Fr. Brian said that he has enjoyed serving at St. Francis for the past six years.” According to the announcement, Brian will be working with the New York City Police Department on neighborhood coordination efforts in Midtown Manhattan.

► At the 5th Indie and Foreign Film festival held in New York City this month, Julian Jagudilla, OFM, presented a special Migrant Center Award to writer-director Anika Tourse for her film “America: I Too.” which follows three detained and undocumented  immigrants as they navigate the system to fight impending deportation. The festival, held this year from Oct. 15 to 19, was founded in 2014 by Julian, director of the Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. “Five years ago when we opened the Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, we saw the need to raise people’s awareness and keep immigration on their radar,” said Julian in a recent e-newsletter. “We launched forums and seminars to achieve this goal. We also saw film screenings as one of the more potent vehicles to reach the public.”

► On Oct. 18, Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, attended the 2018 Fall Gala of The Dwelling Place of NY. The annual event raises funds for the facility on Manhattan’s West Side that provides housing and social services to women in need. The dinner, held at Saints Cyril & Methodius Hall in New York City, included a silent auction and a program that honors the women served. Michael has been on the organization’s board since 2015 and was part of the planning committee for the gala. He enjoys his involvement, he says, because it enables him to help an organization that was established by five Franciscan sisters more than four decades ago “that is doing outreach for women in critical phases of their lives.” Information about The Dwelling Place can be found on its website and on its Facebook page.

► Seven HNP friars were honored by the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla., at a special Mass on Oct. 14 in recognition of religious jubilees. Celebrating 70 years was Mario Di Lella, OFM; marking 65 years were Thomas Murphy, OFM, and Raymond Mann, OFM; marking 60 years were Edward Flanagan, OFM, Kevin Mackin, OFM, and Neil O’Connell, OFM; and marking 50 years was Glenn Humphrey, OFM.

► Thomas Conway, OFM, was quoted in several articles in the Boston Herald which this month published a series on St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where Thomas is executive director. They include “A Steadfast Symbol of help and Hope for Boston’s Women,”“St. Anthony Shrine Fundraiser Connects the Dots,” and “Dean Regina’s Life of Service Lauded.” Like last year, the articles were published during the week leading up to the Shrine’s gala.

► Ross Chamberland, OFM, wrote an article on the leadership of St. John Fisher – who, he says, is “one of my favorites” – that has been published in the Catholic Social Science Review. The publication is “an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that publishes original articles and reviews in the social sciences and the humanities, with an editorial focus on topics relevant to the social teaching of the Catholic Church.” Ross, who earned a doctorate degree in executive leadership last year from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., is stationed at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., where he is assistant vice president for student engagement.

► Brian Belanger, OFM, and Daniel Dwyer, OFM, attended a meeting of the board of the Academy of American Franciscan History on Oct. 26 at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. The meeting was held in conjunction with a symposium on “Franciscan Florida” held there from Oct. 27 to 28. Dominic Monti, OFM, who was attending the symposium, was named a fellow of the Academy in recognition of his service as a member of the board for 23 years, completed at the board’s spring meeting. “It is a wonderful group of friars to be associated with,” said Dominic. “The academy has been a great support for many worthy historical projects.”

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

  • St. Anthony Shrine’s 2018 gala
  • Franciscan Symposium held Oct. 25 to 27 at Catholic Theological Union
  • Profiles of retired friars

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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