Friar News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

The updates below describe activities of Holy Name Province 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 Provincial Administration
The first three spring regional days have taken place. This week, friars will be gathering in New York City and, later this month, meetings are being held in Allegany, N.Y., and in Raleigh, N.C.

All are welcome to the Feb. 18 Mass at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md., at which Mario Gómez, OFM, and Edgardo Jara, OFM, will be ordained. Archbishop Roberto González, OFM, will celebrate the 11 a.m. liturgy.

Like many around the country, the novices had a Super Bowl party on Feb. 5. Photos of Nicholas Carbuto, OFM, Steven Kuehn, OFM, and Aaron Richardson, OFM, were among those posted on the Facebook page of the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington.

►F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, president of Siena College, attended the presentation last month of the Monika K. Hellwig Award to Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, president emeritus of St. Bonaventure University. “I was honored to be there when Margaret was presented with the Monica K. Hellwig Award for outstanding leadership in higher education for her service not only at St. Bonaventure but also for her leadership within the association as board and committee member,” he said. “With her amazing resilience and optimism, Margaret was able to receive the award in person just one year after her cancer diagnosis and six months of intensive treatment after receiving a bone marrow transplant.” Sr. Margaret was one of three individuals recognized by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities for their advancement of Catholic higher education. She received the award for outstanding contributions to Catholic intellectual life on Jan. 28 during ACCU’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. This lifetime achievement award recognizes her as a researcher, teacher, author, practitioner, national spokesperson, learned advisor, mentor and leader in Catholic higher education. A video shown at the event and included in a St. Bonaventure news release includes comments by Dominic Monti, OFM, and others about Sr. Margaret’s accomplishments.

Kevin Daly, OFM, led a prayer before the XVIII SuperPlunge held Feb. 5 on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. Though the ocean temperature was only 42 degrees, hundreds of people ran into the water as part of St. Francis Community Center’s fundraiser. All proceeds benefited the swim teams of the center and the local high school. Photos of the event were posted on the St. Francis Community Center Facebook page.

Julian Davies, OFM, asks friars to send information about 2016 ministry news to him by May 1 for next edition of The Provincial Annals.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, reminds those interested in supporting The Dwelling Place of NY, a residence for homeless women on Manhattan’s West Side, to consider attending the 40th anniversary Founders Day Celebration and Reception on Feb. 23. It is being held at the Province’s San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street in New York City. Michael is on the board of directors of The Dwelling Place, which was founded in 1977 by members of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y. “I’m looking forward to hosting this first event for the 40th anniversary of The Dwelling Place, to honor the founders and to celebrate the legacy of care and compassion,” said Michael.

On Feb. 15 and 16, Daniel Horan, OFM, is delivering the 2017 Faith and Life lectures at Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, Ohio. He wrote about the theme of his presentation, “The Foolishness of Christianity,” on his blog, Dating God.

From Feb. 16 to 19, Julian Jagudilla, OFM, is participating in a meeting of the World Meeting of Popular Movements – a project promoted by Pope Francis that is meant to demonstrate the Church’s closeness to those struggling for human rights and a process for structural change in their worlds. “More than 500 grassroots leaders from across the country are expected to partake in the regional meeting in Modesto, Calif., part of the Stockton diocese,” according to a story in National Catholic Reporter.

►Christopher Keenan, OFM, invites friars – both from Holy Name Province and other provinces – to contact him if they are interested in living at possible new friar residence on the campus of The College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx, N.Y. He can be reached by email at

A new book by Kevin Mackin, OFM, has been published. Titled “Spirituality for Sunday People,” the book offers a collection of homilies that reflects on the Word in today’s life. Kevin, the former president of Siena College and Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., lives at St Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he publishes a blog called A Franciscan Journey.

An op-ed by Steven Patti, OFM, was published Jan. 31 in The News and Observer of Raleigh, N.J. In the piece titled “Sharing Mulch and Planting Mercy and Peace Between Muslims and Christians in Raleigh,” the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh wrote about a discussion that took place at an interfaith prayer service last fall, concluding by observing “sometimes it’s the ordinary things that lead us to encounter, hospitality, and grace.”

On April 2, Xavier Seubert, OFM, is leading an event at the Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He will present a talk titled “Roses for Mary: Boxwood Rosary Beads and Medieval Devotion” that will discuss the exhibition “Small Wonders,” which displays 40 boxwood carvings of the 16th century.  The event is offered at both noon and at 2 p.m. and is sponsored by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two years ago, at the Cloisters, Xavier organized a reenactment of a Palm Sunday procession that took place in medieval France.

Last weekend, the vocation ministry team in conjunction with the HNP African Ancestry Committee hosted a “tremendously successful discernment retreat” for black Catholic men considering a Franciscan vocation, reports Basil Valente, OFM, vocation director. Four aspirants – hailing from Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina – participated in the retreat, held from Feb. 10 to 12 at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md. The guests participated in keynote talks, discussion sessions, Mass, prayer services, and parish orientation meetings, given by several friars, postulants and lay speakers. Among the many speakers and session participants were Abraham Joseph, OFM, Jacek Orzecholwski, OFM, Paul Williams, OFM, and Donna Grimes, the assistant director of African American Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Further details about the retreat will be provided in a future issue of the newsletter. “In the meantime, please note our special thanks to David Hyman, OFM, Joseph Nangle, OFM, Neil O’Connell, OFM, Benedict Taylor, OFM, and Dr. Kirk Gaddy, members of the African Ancestry Committee who worked tirelessly to organize the retreat,” said Basil. “Blessings to you all!” Photos can be found on the Be A Franciscan Facebook page.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Feb. 22 – always the Wednesday before publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future coverage in HNP Today include:

  • Ordination of Mario Gómez, OFM, and Edgardo Jara, OFM
  • Presentations of HNP Francis Medal

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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