Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas 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
An updated set of pages for the HNP Necrology has been produced and will be shipped to the Province’s friaries. It comprises biographical descriptions of the HNP friars who died in 2017.

An enthusiastic group of people from St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., was at the Aug. 31 Greenville Drive baseball game. More than 300 students, staff members, parents and parishioners went to the game to celebrate St. Anthony School Night. The St. Anthony School Mixed Choir sang the national anthem and Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor, began the game with “Play ball!” While at the ballpark, the students participated in a variety of games and principal Mary Margaret Martin was interviewed in the middle of the fifth inning. Photos can be found on the school’s Facebook page.

►Christopher Posch, OFM, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, and Michael Duffy, OFM, welcomed Franciscan Volunteer Ministers to their ministries – St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Md., Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham, N.C., and St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia – where they are FVM site supervisors. Fourteen young adults are serving as Franciscan Volunteer Ministers from 2018 to 2019 according to Katie Sullivan, who is marking her 20th anniversary as FVM’s executive director.

A reflection by Joseph Nangle, OFM, about the current situation in the Church was published last month by Franciscan Action Network on its blog. “It is not too much to say that for the last several decades at least, significant members of the Catholic clergy and bishops have similarly abandoned their sacred commitments. The evidence for this has increasingly come to light. We are overwhelmed by the extent and horror of the harm done to children and vulnerable adults by acts of unspeakable betrayal by these men. In the face of this modern Church crisis, the Franciscan families, whose DNA contains the spiritual heritage of Francis and Clare, have the right and obligation to speak our truth relative to the current state of the Catholic priesthood and episcopacy. But what to say? Surely, we beg God’s forgiveness for this incredibly widespread cancer eating away at the household of faith. We make our own the outrage and deep pain which the ongoing revelations of clergy abuse and episcopal cover-ups are causing. We agree with the demands for total transparency and accountability on the part of Church officialdom related to these ongoing revelations.” Joe, who lives in Washington, D.C., is a founding member of FAN.

The late Mychal Judge, OFM, was mentioned in an opinion piece published in the Sept. 2 issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Remembering Some of the Many Priests Who Did Good, Not Evil” by Christine Flowers describes “the Catholic priest who served as the chaplain for the New York City Fire Department.”

►Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, of Buffalo, N.Y., is being honored next month by the John D. Hillery Memorial Scholarship Foundation at its annual dinner. Greg, who graduated in 1983 from Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School (whose students the scholarship benefits), is one of five honorees. He is receiving the Franciscan Lifetime Achievement Award at the 61st celebration. Information about the event, scheduled for Sept. 27 in Buffalo, is available online and through the high school office at 826-3610, ext. 222.

On Aug. 23, Daniel Horan, OFM, of Chicago, delivered the address at the University of St. Francis Convocation Day: “Respect, Solidarity, and the Franciscan Spirit,” which he said was “an honor and a joy.” Photos are posted on Dan’s Facebook page.

This year’s Blessed Bloomers fundraising project organized by Mychal’s Message is being dedicated to Xavier De la Huerta, OFM, who worked at the St. Francis Inn soup kitchen in Philadelphia for nearly 40 years and who now lives at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J. The fundraiser involves distributing packages of underwear, socks and T-shirts on Sept. 11 to homeless people in New York City.

►Kevin Cronin, OFM, a member of the HNP Ministry of the Word, has helped at the Cathedral of St. Agnes in Rockville Centre, Long Island for the last two weeks. He celebrated the TV Mass on TELECARETV five times. “These Masses are aired three times a day – on Cablevision, channel 137, at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and midnight,” said Kevin. “It’s a wonderful but challenging and nerve-wracking experience to celebrate Mass in a half hour, with music and a brief homily,” Kevin said, adding that he “took the pastor’s place for six weeks at St. Ignatius Martyr Church in Long Beach, Long Island, which is one block from the Atlantic Ocean which – along with the boardwalk that was rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy – I can see from my window.”

►David Convertino, OFM, the Province’s director of development, invites friars and laypeople to A Night of Stars, being held on Oct. 1 in New York City to raise funds for the friars’ outreach programs, the Province’s formation programs, and the care of the elderly friars. The event, being held at 6 p.m., will include performances by four Broadway stars. Tickets are limited in number and are $500 per person, according to an email distributed by David in which he said, “We friars care for all people from cradles to grave and need your help to continue our work. The Franciscan friars serve over two million people each year who are suffering from the obstacles of poverty hunger, homelessness and mental illness, through our services at food center, breadlines, shelters, inner city schools, soup kitchens and residences for the mentally ill.” Tickets can be purchased online at and by phone at 212-564-8862.

►Ross Chamberland, OFM, assistant vice president for student engagement at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York, reports that a Sept. 4 event called “Donuts in the Damietta Center” brought roughly 100 students from across campus to “learn about our new branding initiative and the many programs the center will offer throughout the academic year.” Staff member Parker Suddeth organized the “fine event,” Ross said. The Damietta Center opened in 2006.

►Michael Calabria, OFM, director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University, spoke last month at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York about Christian-Muslim relations. A summary of his presentation was included in the Aug. 22 Chautauquan Daily. Since 2016, Michael has served as the Order’s general assistant for dialogue with Islam.

A photo of John Alderson, OFM, Henry Fulmer, OFM, and John O’Connor, OFM, welcoming St. Francis of Assisi students on their first day of school was published recently in The Arlington Catholic Herald. “It is very much like New Year’s Day at the parish,” said John O’Connor, pastor of St. Francis Church in Triangle, Va. “We don’t have the fireworks, but we do have the level of enthusiasm. It’s a new year with new things, new potential and new possibilities.” St. Francis of Assisi School educates more than 240 students in pre-K to 8th grade.

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

  • Solemn profession of Abraham Joseph, OFM, that took place Aug. 25
  • Food programs at Holy Name of Jesus Church in New York City
  • Profile of Philip O ‘Shea, OFM, and other retired friars
  • Transfer of Jean-Marie Kabango, OFM, to Holy Name Province 

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Editor’s note: The format of Friar News Briefs lists, in alternating issues, shows 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