News Briefs About Special Activities of HNP Friars

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

Below are updates about some of the many activities of Holy Name friars, including celebrations, presentations and ministry events. More information can be obtained by visiting links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, by contacting the friars by phone or email and by connecting with the Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas.

Peter Chepaitis, OFM, of Middleburgh, N.Y., received an award from Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School near Buffalo, N.Y., last fall. He attended a Nov. 5 reunion of those involved with the high school’s musicals. Peter was awarded for his service as director of the musicals from 1972 to 1977, his first five years of ministry as a priest, he said. “On Nov. 6,” he said, “I celebrated Mass for some of the alumni as well as members of the current cast and their parents.”

Matthew Conlin, OFM, of Ringwood, N.J., was mentioned by Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy at a presentation last month at his alma mater, Siena College outside Albany, N.Y. The author of Chango’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes said he remembers that “after joining Siena’s student newspaper, his first article was “unrecognizable.” “Because his piece was so bad, Matthew Conlin, OFM, rewrote it before the paper went to print,” according to a Siena news release. Kennedy graduated the same year as Siena’s scholar in residence Peter Fiore, OFM, in 1949.

Thomas Conway, OFM, Michael Johnson, OFMKevin Mullen, OFM, Joseph Nangle, OFM, and the late Miguel Loredo, OFM, are some of the friars pictured in the new set of rotating photos on

A dinner for 12 prepared by F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, beer brewed by John C. Coughlin, OFM, and lunch and a Mt. Irenaeus hike with Joseph Kotula, OFM, were among the popular items auctioned at the 2011 Mountain Auction. The event held on Nov. 5 raised $24,000 for Mt. Irenaeus, where Daniel Riley, OFM, is director. “Funds raised at the annual event go toward the Mountain’s operating expenses and its endowment,” said Margaret Bryner, chair of the auction’s organizing committee. “This year’s proceeds bring the 11-year auction to more than $307,000.”

Michael Duffy, OFM, reports that St. Francis Inn was featured in the Dec. 2011 issue of The Catholic Standard, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s newspaper. “Winning team in Kensington serves the hungry” highlighted the “five women whose commitment to the poor makes a beautiful difference.”

An article titled “Father Jim Jones forgave all including his attacker” in the St. Petersburg Times described the 2006 attack on James Jones, OFM, and how the retired hospital chaplain aimed to forgive the men who had put him in the hospital. “The incident typified a man who walked the walk of his Franciscan order,” according to the article that quoted comments made at the Dec. 16 Mass of Christian Burial celebrated for James.

Brian Jordan, OFM, was featured on New York City’s CBS radio news on Dec. 24 in an announcement about Brian celebrating his last Christmas Eve Mass at the World Trade Center site. “It is time to move on,” he said.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, was named among the top 100 Irish Americans last month by the Irish Voice. The president of Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., was described in the third annual special supplement published Dec. 14.

Hugh Macsherry, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM, of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J., preached at Jan. 1 Masses about Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the 45th World Day of Prayer for Peace, “Educating Young People in Justice and Peace.”

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, is travelling south this week for the blessing of the renovated chapel at the University of Georgia’s Catholic Center. He will also be visiting the Province’s ministries in Anderson, S.C.

An article abut the remarkable same-day death of friar twins Adrian Riester, OFM, and Julian Riester, OFM, was among the most viewed stories on, the website of the CBS television affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y.

Robert Sandoz, OFM, spoke in a Christmas message in the Christ the King Prep School e-newsletter on Dec. 21 of the need to change the educational success rate of young urban students. “Through this newsletter, I am inviting you to join me in a very courageous mission: Transform Urban America One Student at a time.’ This is the motto of the Cristo Rey Network of schools, now numbering 24 schools across the United States. … We believe that we do not have to accept the fact that only 10 percent of urban young people complete a college education. We have the courage to change that.” Robert has served as the president of the Newark high school since 2009.

Frank Sevola, OFM, pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Pompton Lakes, N.J., is leading a Franciscan Retreat-Vacation to Rome and Assisi, Italy, from May 23 to June 2. Details about the trip, not limited to parishioners, are available on a flyer and on the parish website.

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, encourages friars to use this year’s National Vocation Awareness Week — Jan. 9 to 14 — to communicate the value of Franciscan life. This weekend, Brian will be at Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville, Md., participating in the Province’s annual formation intersession.

An article by Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, of New York City, titled “Augustine on Friendship” appears in the January/February 2012 issue of The Pastoral Review.

photo of Greenville, S.C., pastor Patrick Tuttle, OFM, appeared in the cover of the Dec. 26 issue of The Greenville News. Parishioner Mary Gorman noted on Patrick’s Facebook page that “it is great” to see St. Anthony of Padua Parish featured on the front page of the newspaper, “especially since Catholics are only 4 percent of the South Carolina population.”

Michael Tyson, OFM, invites friars and partners-in-ministry to participate in the 10th annual Martin Luther King Day Interfaith Peace Walk on Jan. 16. It begins at 2 p.m. at Holy Name of Jesus Church (West 96th Street and Amsterdam Ave.) in New York City.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Jan. 11 (always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date). Updates about the friars and their ministries can be found on the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province Facebook page, which has more than 900 followers.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
· Commemorations of Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
· Internships of two student friars
· Profiles of friars marking anniversaries of profession

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas