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 September edition of Inside-out Wellness, the Province’s Health & Wellness newsletter, was distributed to HNP friars earlier this month. The issue provides tips for healthy living, including a free personal guide for weight loss and nutrition, a recipe for a healthy alternative to pizza, and other resources. This week, Amy Stewart-Wilmarth, director of Health and Wellness, along with several HNP friars are attending an interprovincial conference titled “Aging in Place” that is being held in Albuquerque, N.M.

An article by Octavio Duran, OFM, about Blessed Oscar Romero, who is being canonized next month, was published in Maryknoll Magazine. In “A Franciscan Brother Recalls His Time and Work with the Living Saint,” Octavio wrote: “On March 24, 1980, we Salvadorans wept when a killer’s bullet silenced the voice of the voiceless, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, head of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador. We will cry again on Oct. 14, 2018, but this time, it will be tears of joy in recognition of the priceless and powerful voice Romero became for us, the little people. That day, he will be canonized a saint, not just for the poor and oppressed of El Salvador, but for all who share their suffering.” Octavio, who professed his solemn vows in September 2003, grew up in El Salvador, where he photographed and worked with Archbishop Romero.

On Sept. 5, John Gill, OFM, spoke at the annual Sunset Cruise and Evening of Reflection held by St. Patrick-St Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn. “We had 35 people participate by sailing aboard the Argia schooner down the Mystic River while enjoying dinner,” he said. “During the evening, we also had a prayer service. I gave a reflection from the scripture passage Luke 17:11-19, which is about Jesus healing the 10 lepers. The theme of my reflection was about the importance of gratitude.” John has been stationed at St. Patrick-St. Anthony since 2017.

►Daniel Horan, OFM, opened Catholic Theological Union’s “Sundays@CTU” lecture and liturgy series on Sept. 16 with a talk titled “Pope Francis’s Guide to Holiness: Becoming Friends of God and Prophets.” On Sept. 20, he will speak again at CTU, this time as the keynote speaker for the 14th annual Catholics on Call | Partner Conference. The conference brings together campus ministers, vocation directors, and other young adult ministers to engage in conversation and discuss how to support Catholic young adults as they strive to discover God’s call in their lives and explore a possibility of a life of service with the Church, according to the event’s website. Dan’s talk will explore the upcoming Synod on Young People, drawing on the preparatory document prepared by young adults from around the world. A full description of his talk is available online.

Several articles were recently published about the late Mychal Judge, OFMThe Irish Times discussed his heritage as the son of Irish emigrants, and his ministry to addicts, the homeless and AIDS victims in “Remembering Fr. Mychal Judge, the Irish-American Priest Killed in 9/11,” and The Daily Beast shared the hope that people like Mychal and Steven McDonald can offer the Church during the sex abuse crisis in an article titled “NYPD Officer Steven McDonald and FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge Were New York’s Twin Towers of Faith.”

In a video included in the September issue of the Mt. Irenaeus newsletter, Daniel Riley, OFM, shared reflections about returning to school and the start of the academic year. The e-publication also includes an invitation to complete a survey about the newsletter’s content, a link to the HNP Today article about the Mountain’s podcast, and save the dates for the Mountain’s annual auction, which goes live on e-Bay from Nov. 9 to 18. Interested persons can subscribe to the newsletter on the Mountain’s website.

►James Vacco, OFM, has been appointed vicar forane of the Southern Cattaraugus Vicariate, effective Sept. 6. He will oversee pastoral activity in the vicariate as the official representative of the bishop of Buffalo in rural Cattaraugus County, specifically in southern Cattaraugus County, N.Y. Jim has worked with the Diocese of Buffalo in a variety of ways during his assignments in Allegany, from 1985 to 1992 and from 1999 until now – he currently serves as pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish. His roles include serving on the Diocesan Council of Priests and chair of the ministry committee, a member of the diocese’s strategic planning commission sub-committee, and administrator of St. John’s Parish in Olean and St. Philomena in Franklinville. Jim has worked at St. Bonaventure University, from which he graduated, since 1999. Information about the vicar forane role was published in the Friar’s Notes section of the Sept. 15-16 bulletin of St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany.

HNP vocation director Basil Valente, OFM, led a meeting last week in Chicago of the vocation directors of the US-6 provinces. The meeting’s focus was on strengthening the ties among US-6 provinces and on unifying efforts. Specific topics discussed on Sept. 10 and 11 included creating a common database of inquirers and standardizing terminology used by friars in the US provinces. The meeting participants discussed using the theme of accompaniment as they meet candidates and help them to discern their calling. In November, a meeting of vocation directors from all of the English-speaking Conference provinces will take place in Dublin, Ireland.

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

  • Hillery Foundation’s recognition of Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM
  • Profiles of Philip O ‘Shea, OFM, and other retired friars
  • Presentations of the HNP Francis Medal

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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