Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, contact the friars by phone or email, connect with 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 Council encourages friars to be aware of the work that the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. is doing to advocate for an extension to the deadline for non-ordained religious (brothers and sisters) to become permanent residents. A message sent yesterday to friars encouraged them to send a letter to congressional leaders calling for the extension of this legislation. Information about the Non-Minister Sunset Provision can be found on the CLINC website.

The Provincial Administration asks friars to contact the HNP Communications Office if they know of any qualified candidates for the part-time communications assistant position.

A paper titled “Mughal Munificence: Care and Concern for the Poor in Islamic Hindustan from Tuladan to the Taj” by Michael Calabria, OFM, was published in Poverty and Wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, edited by Nathan R. Kollar and Muhammad Shafiq, published by Palgrave Macmillian. The fall issue of Nūr: the Newsletter of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, of which he is director, is now available online on the Center’s website. To receive a paper copy of the newsletter (two issues annually), contact Michael at This issue includes an article by Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, president of St. Bonaventure University from 2004 to 2016, on “Islamic Studies in a Catholic University.” On Sept. 12, Michael was one of 30 scholars invited to the Cleveland Museum of Art for a gathering of experts on the Mughal Empire, held in conjunction with the exhibit Art and Stories from Mughal India. On Sept. 23 and 24, he is giving a program at the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Aston, Pa., titled “Beyond the Veil: Women and Gender in Islam.” Due to recent political turmoil in Turkey, a program Michael was to give in October in Istanbul on Franciscans and Islam has been canceled.

A new book by Daniel Horan, OFM, “God is Not Fair and Other Reasons for Gratitude,” has been published. Its development came about as follows, according to Dan: “In a conversation with my publisher, Franciscan Media, it was suggested that my next book could be a collection of essays. Given that I write regularly for so many magazines and other periodicals, this book brings together something of a well-rounded representation of my writing in recent years on the intersection of culture, politics, scripture, and spirituality.” Information about Dan’s projects and presentations can be found on his website and on his Facebook page.

The recent canonization of Mother Teresa prompted Pius Liu, OFM, to recall a workshop he attended nearly 40 years ago at which she spoke. He said that Fr. Leonard Hsu, the president of the Major Superiors of Men at the time, asked Pius to represent him at a workshop of religious delegates of Asia and Oceania arranged by the Holy See on Feb. 27, 1978. “A cardinal from Rome presided over the workshop and invited Mother Teresa to give us a talk on their charitable service to the sick and dying in Calcutta. ‘It is a wonderful feeling of being accepted’ was the first sentence of her speech, which is the exact outcry of the sick and dying, and the endeavor of the charitable service of Mother Teresa and her sisters to help the sick and dying to feel ‘a little joy of being accepted.’ That sentence is still so vivid in my mind after 38 years.” The 95-year-old year-old friar, who has lived in Taiwan since 1965, added, “It is surely a wonderful feeling encountering Mother Teresa and reading reports of her canonization in my lifetime.”

►Paul Keenan, OFM, of Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J., was recently named volunteer chaplain for the local police department. He was officially installed on July 20 during a borough council meeting. Paul has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Marist College, N.Y., and a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University, N.Y., as well as a master of divinity degree from Washington Theological Union. He served in the U.S. Air Force for six years before joining the Franciscan Order in 2002.

Earlier this month, 13 priests and five diocesan staff members recently visited the site where two Franciscan friars were killed in 1597 on St. Catherine’s Island in Georgia. The group visited the site, which is being considered as a place for a potential shrine to the Georgia martyrs, as part of a pilgrimage of discovery. They listened to Royce Hayes, senior director of development of the privately owned island, present the findings of Dr. David Hurst Thomas, an archeologist who discovered Mission Santa Catalina de Guale in 1982. Following a Q-and-A session, an altar was prepared on the original spot within the bounds of the mission’s historic sanctuary, and J. Kevin Boland, bishop emeritus of Savannah, celebrated Mass. William McIntyre, OFM, preached the homily, saying that the martyred friars were drawn to the Guale because it gave them the chance to “begin again.” Photos from the trip are available on the diocese’s website.

►Richard Mucowski, OFM, and his parish staff are planning a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Church of the Assumption in Wood-Ridge, N.J., for Oct. 9. Renovations were recently made to the parish’s kitchen and bathroom to make it handicapped accessible, said Richard, pastor since 2011. He invites friars and others to the 11 a.m. anniversary Mass. The church’s website provides information about the parish’s history.

The current feature in “The Followers of St. Francis” series of St. Anthony Messenger magazine is about Francis Pompei, OFM, of Buffalo. Titled “A Conduit of God’s Love,” the article describes Francis’ journey to the Franciscans, his creation of the Franciscan Mystery Players and his current work – preaching. “Humor is an essential element of his ministry,” according to the article, “and he says it comes ‘right after prayer— sometimes right next to it. Personally, I not only like making people laugh, but also making the Lord laugh and laughing at myself. It’s many times more powerful than any healing service.’” The article describes Francis, who marked his 25th anniversary as a friar in 2010, as “the whole package – dedicated priest, inspired preacher and accomplished playwright.”

The golden jubilee of Daniel Riley, OFM, was celebrated on Sept. 17 at Mt. Irenaeus by the friars and friends of the Franciscan Mountain Retreat with a Mass and dinner. Photos and several videos were posted on the Mountain’s Facebook page.

A recently published book, “Jerusalem 1000 – 1400: Every People Under Heaven,” includes a chapter by Xavier Seubert, OFM, titled “Franciscans in Jerusalem: The Early History.” The more than 300-page book was published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Another friar who lives at St. Francis Friary in New York City, where he is guardian, Fr. Hiaroutiun Samouian, OFM, also contributed to the book. On Nov. 19, Xavier will present “Franciscan Traces at the Met Cloisters.” The event, sponsored by the museum, will be held at two times: noon and 2 p.m. Information about the parish’s adult education schedule for autumn 2016 can be found online.

On Friday, Sept. 16, the friars of St. Bernardine of Siena Friary in Loudonville, N.Y., gathered to mark the 35th anniversary of the dedication of the friary and the friars’ chapel. Dennis Tamburello, OFM, vicar, celebrated the Mass. In his homily, he reflected on the scriptures in light of the feast of Saints Cyprian and Cornelius and the dedication of the chapel, speaking of how Francis built up the people of God during his time and how we are called to do so today. Included among the friars at the anniversary who were several who were also present in 1981: Dennis, along with Julian Davies, OFM, were professors at the time, and Mark Reamer, OFM, who was a student and who now serves as guardian. “Thanks to the leadership of Dan Dwyer, OFM, regional vocation director, the friars invited several students who are considering a vocation to join the Mass, which was followed by preprandium and dinner ­– just as the original dedication was,” said Mark.

On Labor Day, the friars in Durham, N.C., celebrated a Mass to bless the tabernacle and sacred images in the new Eucharistic Chapel of Our Lady Queen of the Angels, located in the parish offices. The space was donated by the friars. “It shares its name with the Portiuncula, the ‘little portion’ that was one of St. Francis’ favorite small churches which he repaired himself and where he founded the Franciscan order. Our chapel is open during office hours as a space for quiet prayer and reflection,” said Christopher VanHaight, OFM, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Sept. 28 — always the Wednesday before distribution. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage in HNP Today include:

  • An update about the friars in Macon, Ga., who began staffing St. Peter Claver Parish one year ago
  • The Provincial Minister’s schedule
  • The Hispanic Ministry retreat being held in October for friars of all ESC provinces
  • Francis Medal presentations

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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