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
Friars were invited through a letter from Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, to attend the Franciscan Study Day being held in Chicago on Nov. 4. Those interested in attending the event titled “Looking to the Future Together: Beyond ‘Ite Vos’” should contact Joseph Rozansky, OFM, by Oct. 1.

HNP friars have also been asked to notify Kevin by Sept. 18 of their desire to participate in an interprovincial mission-focus or interest-focus group. These groups will meet in the upcoming months to discuss how friars can work together to renew and/or reimagine Franciscan life in the United States.

►Paul Williams, OFM, pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Wilmington, Del., has been elected by the priests of the Wilmington Deanery in the Diocese of Wilmington to serve on the Presbyterial Council for a three-year term. Currently, he is the director of ministry for Black Catholics in the diocese and pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish.

►Jud Weiksnar, OFM, participated in the fifth JPIC Continental Meeting of the Americas, held Sept. 1 to 8 at the Franciscans’ Regina Minorum Seminary in Anápolis, Brazil. The gathering comprised more than 30 people – friars and other members of the Franciscan family from North, Central and South America – and provided them with the opportunity to share their work on JPIC issues. “One of the highlights was a talk by Secular Franciscan Moema Miranda, OFS, a progressive Brazilian thinker who has been interviewed by ‘The New Yorker,’ as well as appeared on panels with Noam Chomsky and was invited to the Vatican when ‘Laudato Si’’ was published,” said Jud. “Two friars from St. Barbara Province and one from Our Lady of Guadalupe Province represented the U.S. among the attendees from 18 provinces. After the conclusion of that meeting, I met with the other three members of the OFM JPIC Animation Committee for four days at the Brazilian Holy Name Province’s Curia in Anápolis. There were lots of photos of the many HNP (New York) friars who served in Brazil. Juvenal Leahy, OFM, and Berard Hanlon, OFM, still live at the Curia. The Animation Committee – with members from Chile, South Korea, Spain and the U.S. – planned a number of JPIC activities for the Order, and had conversations about everything from climate change to the pros and cons of Brazilian pizza.”

Vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, led the annual meeting last week of the English-speaking Conference vocation directors, this year held at the Franciscan Center in Tampa, Fla. The directors held preliminary discussions regarding the creation of an interprovincial application process, as well as the possibility of hosting interprovincial Come and See retreats, said Basil. According to the Be A Franciscan Facebook page, which includes photos of the retreat, the participants discussed “the joys and challenges of vocation ministry and planned a variety of interprovincial vocation retreats for 2018. They challenged themselves and others to continually answer God’s call to live the Gospel life and to bring God’s kingdom to the neediest among us. Please keep them in your prayers, and that many might answer the call to the Franciscan way of life.”

► Frank Sevola, OFM, guardian of St. Anthony Shrine, requests that persons requesting lodging at the Arch Street friary phone Gregory Day, OFM, at 617-542-6440 ext. 141

On Sept. 8, Dominic Monti, OFM, said his day was brightened “with the arrival of a project that has been in the works for the past several years: ‘Bonaventure Revisited: Companion to the Breviloquium.’ I am proud to be co-editor of this volume with Katie Wrisley Shelby of Boston College. I’m very enthused about this book, as it is the product of a four-year project sponsored by the Commission on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition, which operates as a Secretariat of the English-speaking Conference. CFIT is always looking for ways to make our Franciscan worldview better known. Besides our efforts aimed at a more general audience, such as our Franciscan Heritage Series and the resources on our website, we also try to foster contributions to the academic study of our tradition. In 2013, under the leadership of Fr. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., CFIT gathered a group of Bonaventure scholars to discuss what we might do to make Bonaventure’s thought better known. We invited not only established professors but also younger scholars interested in Bonaventure’s theology, to foster conversation and involve a new generation of laypeople in the study of our tradition. At this meeting, we concluded that a good project would be to work on a ‘companion’ to Bonaventure’s ‘Breviloquium,’ his brief summa of theology, to make his thought more accessible to professors and students of theology. The group invited scholars to contribute chapters to a volume on different aspects of Bonaventure’s theology. The working group met in 2014 to discuss possible ways of approaching the Breviloquium and to divide the areas among ourselves. We met again in 2015 to share how we intended to develop our topics, and then in 2016 to share our drafts. This process enabled us to benefit from the insights of the entire group, so it was truly a collaborative effort. Since I had translated the ‘Breviloquium’ into English in 2005, I was asked to serve as editor of the volume, along with Katherine Wrisley Shelby, who is completing her Ph.D. at Boston College. We hope this work will make the desired impact in the world of theology. It was a great experience in collaboration.”

On Sept. 13, Daniel Horan, OFM, of Chicago, launched a new podcast called “Francis Effect Pod” offering commentary on contemporary events from a Catholic perspective. “Francis Effect Pod” is co-hosted by David Dault, a former professor of religious studies and co-owner of Sandburg Media. “Francis Effect Pod” will be available “wherever you subscribe to podcasts,” according to Dan. Information about Dan’s work and presentations can be found on Dan’s Facebook page.

►Ignatius Harding, OFM, has joined the staff of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Triangle, Va. Iggy, who speaks English, Spanish and Aymara, has spent nearly his entire religious life serving people outside of the United States, far from his hometown of Hartford, Conn. This will be the first full-time friar on the parish staff, in a number of years, who speaks Spanish.

On Sept 3, the post-novitiate friar community concluded its orientation week at St. Joseph’s Friary in Chicago. Photos of Javier Del Angel De Los Santos, OFM, Abraham Joseph, OFM, Aaron Richardson, OFM, Roberto Serrano, OFM, and Jay Woods, OFM, settling into the friary and exploring Chicago are available on the Franciscan Interprovincial Post-Novitiate US Facebook page.

►Casey Cole, OFM, has released new segments of “Catholicism in Focus,” a video series devoted to answering often misunderstood or widely unknown questions about the Catholic Church. The first, about the origins of the Bible, explains that “knowing where the Bible came from is critical to being able to interpret it well.” More of Casey’s work can be viewed on his YouTube channel and website,

►Ross Chamberland, OFM, has been named a special assistant to Bernie Valento, vice president for enrollment at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y. Ross will retain his role as executive director of the Lateran Center for Catholic Identity, which was created in 2014 to increase awareness of the Catholic identity and mission at St. Bonaventure. The new position will build on Ross’s work over the last three years to create an on-campus discernment program for undergraduate men considering entering religious life. He will play a leadership role in the university’s efforts to strengthen its Catholic-Franciscan roots through the development and implementation of additional program and initiatives designed to attract, enroll and retain students with Franciscan backgrounds. One new program will launch next month when students from three Franciscan high schools – Oldenburg in Indiana, and Roger Bacon and Padua in Ohio – visit campus from Sept. 30 through Oct. 4. They will participate in Francis Week events, attend classes and student programs, and spend a night at nearby Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain retreat.

— Compiled by Johann Cuervo and Jocelyn Thomas

Editor’s note: The format of Friar News Briefs has been revised to list, 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.

Related Links