Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name friars, featuring their 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 Provincial Administration
A report on the September meeting of the Provincial Council was distributed Sept. 18 to friars. The document, prepared by Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, contains information about last month’s meeting about the restructuring of the U.S. provinces, the relocation of the Province’ post-novitiate formation program, healthcare needs and policies as well as reports from committees and directorates. Last week, information from the Province’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office was provided to friars and JPIC contacts. It recommended, on the request of the Provincial Council, that ministries distribute on the feast of St. Francis a document titled “Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis: a Perfect Way to Celebrate the Feast of St. Francis.” Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, also wrote about the refugee crisis in a letter that was sent to friars on Tuesday. He encourages the friars to share this message with their partners-in-ministry.

Peter Ahlheim, OFM, Michael Harlan, OFM, and Thomas Hartle, OFM — attended the 100th anniversary celebration of the Poor Clare presence in the Archdiocese of New York. The Saturday morning Mass, held Sept. 19 at St. Mary’s Church in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., was celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York.

Michael Calabria, OFM, has started a blog on timely issues related to Islam. His first post addresses Islamophobia and the presidential campaign. The CAIS blog is available on the website of the St. Bonaventure Center for Arab and Islamic Studies on which the inaugural issue of a newsletter can also be found. To commemorate the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, which occurred during the week of Sept. 21, Michael held a program titled “The Hajj: Journey of a Lifetime.” A description can be found on St. Bonaventure University’s website.

Regional vocation director Ross Chamberland, OFM, reports that last Sunday evening the men’s discernment fraternity at St. Bonaventure University gathered for the first time this academic year. “Ten men came for an evening of prayer, conversation and a meal,” he said. “We gathered in the friary gazebo from 8 to 10 p.m. We then went as a group over to the university’s astronomical observatory to witness the “Blood Moon” and eclipse. The event was a great success and we will be gathering several times a month.”

Kevin Downey, OFM, of Triangle, Va., is one of the new members of the board of trustees of St. Bonaventure University, from which he graduated in 1973. An announcement was published Sept. 24 on the Potomac Local’s website.

A Eucharistic liturgy to commemorate the golden jubilee of four friars will be held Oct. 4 at Visitation BVM Church in Philadelphia. The friars marking their 50th anniversary of profession are Xavier De La Huerta, OFM, Thomas Ennis, OFM, Karl Koenig, OFM, and Patrick Sieber, OFM, all of whom have connections to Philadelphia.

On Sept. 26, the community of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish where Thomas Gallagher, OFM, is pastor, commemorated the 25th anniversary of the friars’ presence in Hartford. Details about the party will be provided in a future issue of HNP Today.

A course by Brian Jordan, OFM, on “Laudato Si’” is being offered at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City. Information about the class, which runs from Oct. 7 to Nov. 11, can be found on the parish website.

The friars of Mt. Irenaeus — Joseph Kotula, OFM, guardian Kevin Kriso, OFM, Louis McCormick, OFM, and director Daniel Riley, OFM — welcomed friends to the Franciscan Mountain Retreat on Sept. 19 to celebrate the ministry’s 30th anniversary. Photos can be found on the Mountain’s Facebook page. Several articles about Mt. Irenaeus appeared this month in The Bona Venture, the university’s student newspaper.

On Sept. 16, Mark Reamer, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y., participated in an event at a Catholic school in Yonkers, N.Y., at which he told his audience about Pope Francis. The event was covered by a Westchester County station with the headline “School Receives Medals in Anticipation of Pope’s Arrival.”

Michael Reyes, OFM, will be ordained a priest on Jan. 16, 2016 in New York City. The 11 a.m. Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street will be celebrated by Roberto Gonzalez, OFM, archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Allen Weber, OFM, was honored Sept. 20 with a Mass and reception at Church of the Assumption in Wood-Ridge, N.J., in celebration of his 50th anniversary as a priest. Allen retired in 2014 from St. Bonaventure University.

An editorial by Jud Weiksnar, OFM, was published Sept. 21 in the Buffalo News. In “Pope Francis is an Inspiration for the New Buffalo,” Jud describes the services to the poor and disadvantages provided by the Franciscan Ministry of Buffalo. We’ve been blessed with support from neighborhood businesses that recognize that amid the boom, there’s still a tremendous need, even an obligation, to help the less fortunate,” wrote Jud.

News for the next issue of HNP Today e-letter is requested by Oct. 7, 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:

  • Mass of Belonging being held by Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa, Fla.
  • Inauguration on Oct. 2 of F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, as Siena College’s 11th president
  • Irish American Heritage Museum’s Hugh Carey Gala on Oct. 17 that is honoring Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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