The Provincial Council met Jan. 9-11 in Margate, N.J.
The Council devoted Jan. 9 to a discussion of some current issues in the Order, the wider Church, and U.S. society. Our discussion stemmed from background reading that each member of the Council did over Christmas vacation.
On Jan. 10, the Council turned to business items, both routine and some special topics mentioned here:
Plan for Fraternal Living and Personal Life Plan
In order to follow up on two proposals accepted at our Chapter in June, Edward Coughlin presented drafts of two documents: one to assist communities in drawing up and revising their Fraternal Life Plans, the other to assist individuals in drawing up their own Personal Life Plans. The Council gave preliminary approval to these documents; Ed will re-work them in light of suggestions made and present them to the fraternal life directorate for feedback and eventual dissemination in the Province.
Report on Clemson, S.C.
Andrew Reitz reported on a visit to Clemson, S.C., that he made with Frank Sevola of the ministerial development directorate, and with Russel Murray and Patrick Tuttle for the purpose of assessing the ministries in that area currently served by the Paulist Fathers. The Paulists will be withdrawing from these ministries this summer, and the Diocese of Charleston has invited the Province to consider staffing them. These include a parish in the town of Clemson, which also serves as Campus Ministry Center for Clemson University (approximately 1,200 Catholics out of 16,000 students), as well as two mission churches several miles out of Clemson. The Council accepted the committee’s positive recommendation to continue discussions on accepting this ministry with the diocese and interested friars.
Kevin Mullen submitted a proposal on the Provincial celebrations of jubilees, which flowed from suggestions made at the Guardians’ meeting in November. The Council accepted these proposals. Beginning with fiscal year 2006-07, the Province will celebrate the 25th and 50th anniversary of the profession of first vows at a common celebration, organized by the Province in consultation with the jubilarians, ordinarily at St. Francis Church, 31st Street, New York. Ordination anniversaries will continue to be individual or class celebrations. Financial arrangements and vacation time for the jubilarians were also discussed. A full report of these policies will be distributed in the near future.
Hispanic Ministry Proposal
The Council discussed and accepted a proposal from the Hispanic ministry committee to actively promote opportunities for friars to take Spanish language courses and cultural immersion programs in order to respond to ever-increasing needs in this area.
Finances and Properties
The Council discussed at length a number of financial reports, including the yearly summaries of Provincial income and expenses. John O’Connor also reported that the sale of our present property in Providence has been negotiated and is presently in the final stages of closing. Discussions are progressing with the diocese with regard to relocating the friars’ ministry there.
The following personnel assignments have been approved by the Provincial Council:
- Stephen Doyle, Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J. (effective immediately)
- Richard Flaherty, St. Bonaventure Parish, Allegany, N.Y. (effective in February, duties split between the parish and the University)
- John Heffernan, Peru mission (effective in February)
- Ronald Pecci, Director of Pre-novitiate Formation, Holy Cross, Bronx, N.Y. (effective in June)
The following men have withdrawn from the formation program:
- Thomas Crisinati has withdrawn from the novitiate in Wilmington, Del.
- Andrew Kneller has withdrawn from the pre-novitiate program in the Bronx. He will be living and working in Utica or Binghamton, N.Y.