This Month in Provincial History

Maria Hayes Features

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

One Year Ago
Dec. 13, 2011 — The Washington Theological Union board of trustees voted to cease regular WTU operations as of May 2012, a year earlier than previously announced. (The WTU is currently considering offers for the purchase of the building.)

Five Years Ago
Dec. 2, 2007 — The newly-formed St. Clare Parish community in Buffalo, N.Y.,celebrated its opening Mass. St. Clare Church consisted of five merged parishes in Southeast Buffalo, including Sts. Rita & Patrick Parish, which had been staffed by the friars for many years.

Dec. 9, 2007 — Pope Benedict XVI awarded Paul Williams, OFM, then-pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish in Columbia, S.C., with the Pro Ecclesa et Pontifice Cross, the highest award a friar can receive from the Holy See. He was the first African American to receive the medal in the Diocese of Charleston. (Today, Paul is pastor of St. Joseph Church in Anderson, S.C., a parish that the Province began staffing in 2011.)

10 Years Ago
Dec. 2-7, 2002 — Dominic Monti, OFM, and Russel Murray, OFM, participated in an ecumenical gathering with representatives of Franciscans from Anglican and Lutheran churches, held under the sponsorship of the General Minister at Rome and Umbria. (Next week, the General Minister will meet with Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, and other leaders of the English-speaking Conference in Wisconsin).

Dec. 22, 2002 — A new hall and all-purpose facility at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Chorillos, Peru, was dedicated by Christopher Dunn, OFM, pastor.

20 Years Ago
Dec. 21, 1992 — Ten inches of water flooded the lower chapel of St. Francis Chapel, Providence, R.I., after a water main break next door. The chapel had been renovated less than a year before. (Last fall, the chapel was closed because of financial problems.)

30 Years Ago
Dec. 8, 1982 — A departure ceremony was held at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City for the friars leaving for the new Africa project. (Now known as the Africa Vicariate of St. Francis, Franciscans of a variety of provinces celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008.)

50 Years Ago
Dec. 10, 1962 — Rayner Dray, OFM, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Americus, Ga., welcomed the Most Rev. Thomas McDonough, bishop of Savannah, the Provincial Minister and guests to the blessing of the church, which took place indoors due to heavy rains.  (The Province staffed the Americus parish until the late 1970s.)

 Compiled by Maria Hayes