Joseph Nangle, OFM, has the distinction of being Holy Name Province’s most senior friar celebrating a birthday in July – his 91st on July 20. Joe, a co-founder and resident of the Assisi Community in Washington, D.C. – an intentional community of ordained, vowed, secular and lay persons who live a simple lifestyle – has been a longtime advocate for social justice issues. The group recently initiated a program that welcomes refugees into their home.
Joe is among a group of 30 HNP friars observing their birthday this month, including seven octogenarians. They are Bernard Splawski, OFM, his 89th on July 4, who lives at St. Lawrence Friary and Retreat Center in Beacon, New York; Louis McCormick, OFM, his 88th on July 29, a member of the friar fraternity at Mt. Irenaeus, the Province’s mountain retreat in West Clarksville, New York; Edward Flanagan, OFM, his 86th on July 20, a resident of St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Florida, who spent two decades giving parish missions and retreats throughout the Southeast, and places like Mississippi, Iowa and Nevada, as a member of the Ministry of the Word team; Sebastian Tobin, OFM, his 85th on July 27, a leather artisan and HNP’s full-time sandal-maker for nearly five decades who, although living in retirement at St. Anthony Friary at the Shrine on Arch Street in Boston, Massachusetts, can still be found at his workbench of the leather shop plying his craft, making by hand sandals, belts, and other goods for the friars; John Alderson, OFM, his 84th on July 8, who serves in pastoral and sacramental ministry at St. Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey; Emeric Meier, OFM, his 83rd on July 20, who lives at the Shrine friary in Boston and who, during the height of the COVID pandemic, recorded a video message posted on social media that encouraged the faithful to join the friars in daily prayer from their own homes at the same times – 8:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. – the fraternity prayed in the friary chapel, and longtime Province historian Dominic Monti, OFM, his milestone 80th on July 11, who lives at the friary – and still works in ministry – at St. Bonaventure University.
Nine friars are celebrating a septuagenarian birthday: John Frambes, OFM, his 76th on July 18, who serves in pastoral and sacramental ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Church and its sister churches on Long Beach Island in New Jersey; Richard Trezza, OFM, a resident of St. Anthony Friary in Butler, New Jersey, also celebrating his 76th on July 26; Eric Carpine, OFM, his milestone 75th on July 29, a licensed clinical social worker who, although living in retirement in St. Petersburg, visits the Allegany Franciscan Sisters retirement house twice a week and a local assisted living facility on weekends to celebrate Mass, prompting him to proclaim, “I am finally getting to minister to my peers;” Kenneth Himes, OFM, his 73rd on July 2, a former associate professor and past chairman of the department of theology at Boston College, and an author whose research and writing has focused on ethical issues in war and peacebuilding, the development of Catholic Social Teaching, the role of religion in American public life, and fundamental moral theology; Thomas Kornacki, OFM, his 73rd on July 12, who recently celebrated his golden jubilee of first profession of vows; John Rudy, OFM, his 73rd on July 28, who also celebrated his 50th anniversary of profession this year; Anthony Wilson, OFM, his 72nd on July 14, pastor of Santa Ana Parish in Lima, Peru, where with help from the generous donations of sister parish St. Francis of Assisi in Triangle, Virginia, he has built a vibrant parish and school; Joseph Cavoto, OFM, his milestone 70th on July 17, and Jose Perez Castillo, OFM, his milestone 70th on July 23, a JPIC animator and member of the Puerto Rico fraternity who is active in vocation ministry.
The group of sexagenarians celebrating a birthday this month includes: Christopher Dunn, OFM, his 69th on July 29, a parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Triangle; Brian Jordan, OFM, his 68th on July 25, a vocal supporter of workers’ rights who is pastor of St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, one of the most culturally diverse parishes in the country; Carlos Sarmiento, OFM, his 64th on July 25, parochial vicar at Parroquia Santa Ana in his native Peru, where he has helped to establish ministry groups and has served communities living in extreme poverty; Thomas Conway, OFM, his 64th on July 31, executive director of the Shrine in Boston; Michael Calabria, OFM, his 62nd on July 11, an associate professor at St. Bonaventure University and director of SBU’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies who has visited and conducted research in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Oman, Turkey and India; and Julian Jagudilla, OFM, his milestone 60th on July 16, executive director of the Migrant Center of New York at 31st Street, which provides outreach, legal, and social services to migrants and refugees.
Rounding out the July birthday list are Christopher VanHaight, OFM, his 58th on July 31, guardian of St. Anthony Friary in Butler; Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, his 54th on July 19, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, North Carolina, who has served as an animator for the Order’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation; Linh Hoang, OFM, his 52nd on July 27, a professor of religious studies at Siena College in Loudonville, New York, who is active in Asian and Pacific Islander Catholic ministry; Erick Lopez, OFM, his milestone 50th on July 22, novice master of the Interprovincial Novitiate at Old Mission Santa Barbara in California; Jay Woods, OFM, his 47th on July 2, director of LGBTQ spirituality ministry at the Shrine on Arch Street; Lorisley Penton Silva, OFM, his 41st on July 9, and the youngest of the birthday friars, Ricardo Ferrer, Jr., OFM, his 34th on July 6, a migrant from Cebu, Philippines, who was a facilities/special projects manager for a parish in San Jose, California, before he joined the interprovincial postulancy program last August, and who spent one year as a Franciscan Volunteer Minister at the St. Francis Inn soup kitchen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Blessings and all good to our brothers on their birthday!