Friars Welcome New Leaders to Newark, St. Petersburg Dioceses

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

Jerome Massimino concelebrates Mass with the new bishop of St. Petersburg, Gregory Parkes. (Photo courtesy of Anthony Carrozzo)

Earlier this month, when new bishops were installed in Florida and New Jersey, Holy Name friars were there to welcome them and to celebrate. One friar even found himself appearing in a photo published in a widely-read newspaper.

On Jan. 4, Bishop Gregory Parkes, 52, was officially installed as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla., succeeding Bishop Robert Lynch, who retired after having served the diocese since 1996. Nearly a dozen friars – from St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg and Sacred Heart Church-Friary in nearby Tampa as well as a visitor from Western New York – attended the Mass at St. Jude Cathedral in St. Petersburg. They included: Ross Chamberland, OFM, George Corrigan, OFM, Daniel Kenna, OFM, Kevin Mackin, OFM, John Marino, OFM, Thomas Murphy, OFM, Michael Reyes, OFM, and Alan Thomas, OFM.

“It was a joy to attend the installation of Bishop Gregory Parkes,” said Daniel Kenna, OFM, of Tampa. “The ceremony was uplifting and reflective of the down-to-earth nature of the new bishop. The diocese now has the world’s tallest bishop (exactly 7 feet while wearing his miter) but one that will be close to his flock. It is my hope that he continues serving in the style of our retiring bishop, Robert Lynch, an affiliate of the Province and a humble man close to the heart of Jesus.” ​

A few days after the installation – on Sunday, Jan. 8 – he celebrated Mass at St. Paul Church in St. Petersburg, near St. Anthony Hospital where Jerome Massimino, OFM, is chaplain.

“Jerome assists at St. Paul’s on weekends,” said Anthony Carrozzo, OFM, of St. Petersburg, who submitted a photo. “Jerome is an asset at both places, but most especially to the friars when they need to be in the hospital.”

After Mass, the bishop stopped to take a photo with two members of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany – Sisters Kathleen Stagnaro and Joan Carberry – who included the image in its Jan. 16 newsletter.

In New Jersey, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, 64, was installed on Jan. 6 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart as the sixth leader of the Archdiocese of Newark, replacing Archbishop John Myers. At the Mass were four HNP friars – Gregory Gebbia OFM, Paul Keenan, OFM, Richard Mucowski, OFM, and Robert Sandoz, OFM.

A photo of Richard Mucowski greeting Cardinal Joseph Tobin was published in The New York Times.

“It was a wonderful Mass,” said Richard, pastor of Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J., who said he was surprised to find that “The New York Times took a picture of Cardinal Tobin greeting me as I bowed to him and he thanked me for coming to his installation.”

“It felt so refreshing to be with a priest who can express a love for the people he was sent to shepherd,” said Richard. “Cardinal Tobin is exactly what we need. I’d had a chance to talk with Cardinal Tobin when he was first introduced to the archdiocese, about the fact that he had served as leader of his Redemptorist province. I told him that I’m available to help the archbishop in any way that I can. When he saw me at the Mass, he said, ‘welcome, friar,’ which was very nice. ”

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.
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