This Month in Provincial History

Rebecca Doel Features

Some notable September events that took place around Holy Name Province:

One Year Ago
Sept. 9, 2010 — HNP leaders John O’Connor, OFM, and Dominic Monti, OFM, released the statement “Reflections Approaching Sept. 11, 2010: Franciscans Lift Voices Against Tide of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric.” The letter was posted on the websites of St. Bonaventure University and Siena College as well as on blogs and Facebook pages of many friars and partners-in-ministry. (Earlier this month, friars from the United States and Great Britain released a collaborative statement on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.)

Sept. 30, 2010 — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recognized the 80th anniversary of the St. Francis Breadline, founded by the late Gabriel Mehler, OFM, just one year after the 1929 stock market crash, by proclaiming the day as St. Francis Breadline Day. The mayor said, “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I am delighted to help celebrate the breadline’s tremendous accomplishments over the past eight decades.”

10 Years Ago
Sept. 11, 2001 — Mychal Judge, OFM, died in the line of duty during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. His official death certificate was the first of thousands to be issued, and his story was headlined on television, newspapers and national magazines.

15 Years Ago
Sept. 23, 1996 — Ronald Pecci, OFM, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the 50th anniversary of Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y. (Ron currently lives at St. Paul Friary in Wilmington, Del., where he is director of postulants.)

35 Years Ago
Sept. 2, 1976 — A new pre-novitiate formation center was opened at St. Patrick’s Friary in Buffalo, N.Y. (Today, men entering the Province spend their first year in discernment as postulants at the Wilmington friary.)

55 Years Ago
Sept. 8, 1956 — St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., opened its doors to its largest number of candidates to date. The late Salvator Fink, OFM, vocation director at the time, said a total of 191 students were admitted, including five from various commissariats. Most young men hailed from New York state (102), among whom 36 came from the Buffalo area and 34 from the five boroughs of New York City. (The minor seminary closed in 1972.)

110 Years Ago
Sept. 16, 1901 — At the General Curia of the Order of Friars Minor in Rome, David Fleming, OFM, General Vicar of the Order, issued the decree establishing the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the northeast United States. This act joined into a single province the English-speaking, mostly ethnic Irish friars of the Custody of the Immaculate Conception and the friars of the American commissariat of the Province of St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, almost all German natives. The Holy Name Province was the first province designated for English-speaking Franciscans in the United States.

— Compiled by Rebecca Doel