News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

NEW YORK — Below are updates about some of the many activities of Holy Name friars, including their presentations, outreach and celebrations. More information can be obtained by visiting links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, by contacting the friars by phone or e-mail, and by connecting with the Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, e-mail communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

Paul Breslin, OFM, reports that the president of Peru, Alan Garcia, honored the Franciscans on the 800th anniversary of the Order with the country’s highest decoration. Paul provided a link to a television broadcast, which aired shortly before Christmas.

In a recent blog post by John Anglin, OFM, the beauty of the Christmas decorations at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., was attributed to vicar John Capozzi, OFM. In his blog, titled “The Wandering Friar,” John Anglin said, “The beautiful tree is the work of John Capozzi who works hard to keep our place looking great year round. He had the help of several friars in this effort, completed at the house tree-decorating party.” His blog also includes a photo of three paintings by artist Miguel Loredo, OFM — of saints Anthony, Clare and Francis — that are displayed in the friary. 

The Province’s student friars are gathered this week for the annual HNP Formation Intersession. This year’s event is at Holy Name College, outside Washington, D.C., where Francis Di Spigno, OFM, is guardian.

Francis Gunn, OFM, is leading a retreat on Jan. 23 titled “A Peace of Winter: Bereavement Retreat” for those who have lost loved ones. It is being held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Carnevale Center of St. Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes, N.J. 

A schedule for the 2010 visitation by Fr. Fred Link, OFM, was distributed last month by Provincial SecretaryMichael Harlan, OFM. In his Dec. 30 memo, Michael said all friars are expected “to see the visitator prior to the next Provincial Chapter, Jan. 3 to 7, 2011.” A letter from Fr. Fred accompanied the schedule. After meetings this week with friars at  St.  Anthony Friary in  St. Petersburg, Fr. Fred will travel to Tampa, Fla., and then in early February he will go to Lima, Peru. 

St. Anthony’s Guild director Joseph Hertel, OFM, tells readers of The Anthonian that the Winter 2009  issue offers “many instances where the light of Christ has dispelled darkness.” The magazine cover story is “Bienvenidos a los Latinos” about the Province’s Oct. 24  Encuentro Franciscano; Joseph’s letter appears on the inside front cover. Photos of Brian Jordan, OFM, Daniel McLellan, OFM, John O’Connor, OFM, Christopher Posch, OFM, and many other friars are included in this issue.

An article about Daniel Horan, OFM, appears in the Fall/Winter 2009 issue of Bonaventure magazine. In “A Call from God,” Dan, a 2005 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, describes how he felt the God’s call early in his life.

Stephen Lynch, OFM, provided to the HNP Communications Office a description of the Province’s pioneer missionaries in China. His piece, titled “First Holy Name Franciscans in China,” offers a look back at the “remarkable missionary work of Holy Name Franciscans accomplished in China before the Communists took over and expelled all foreign missionaries in the late 1940s and early 1950s.” Since their founding 800 years ago, Franciscans have always been “on the cutting edge when it came to promoting peace and justice in the world,” Stephen said. “I believe China’s role as a world power is going to take on broader dimensions in the next five or 10 years, especially in the fields of finance, education and manufacturing. Through the written word, I would like to encourage our friars, especially the younger ones, to think about bringing the Christian message to China once again. In this way, we can help keep China as a friend, not an enemy.”

The nursing programs at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., where Kevin Mackin, OFM, is president, received 10-year accreditation last month from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Kevin congratulated Debra Hrelick, chair of the Mount’s Division of Nursing, at a reception celebrating the accreditation. “We are honored to receive a 10-year accreditation for our nursing programs,” said Hrelic, adding, “This accomplishment is the result of the dedication and teamwork of the nursing faculty and our support staff.”

Jerome Massimino, OFM, guardian, and the friars of St. Francis Friary on West 31st Street, New York, hosted the priests of the New York Archdiocese West Side Vicariate on Dec. 28.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, shares with the friars an interesting piece in National Catholic Reporter. On Dec. 30, it posted a story titled “The biggest Vatican stories of the decade.” 

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, reports that a feature about the St. Francis Breadline appeared on a newscast in Ireland last week. John received a link to the program on Dec. 30 from Fr. Caoimhn O’Laoide, OFM, provincial minister of the Province of Ireland.

“The Birth of Jesus: A Franciscan Christmas” by Francis Pompei, OFM, was performed on the four weekends of Advent by the Clayton, N.Y., Franciscan Mystery Players, comprised of 18 teenagers and six adults. The play, which Francis said is his favorite, was performed in Clayton as well as in three other Upstate New York cities — Buffalo, Utica and Watertown. It offers the “heart and soul of Christmas,” said Francis, adding that “people tell me they have a great experience from participatng in this Mystery Play.”

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, is leading a Franciscan Experience Weekend Jan. 22 to 24 at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. Guests invited to attend the weekend participate in conversatons with members of the HNP vocation team regarding their call to Franciscan life. Qualified candidates are offered a formal application to enter initial formation to the Province. Brian also reports that the Vocation Office’s  Facebook page, Be A Franciscan, has nearly 100 fans.

Ignatius Smith, OFM, pastor of Holy Cross Church in Callicoon, N.Y, is providing information about the annual March for Life, set for Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C. He is one of nearly two dozen contacts listed in the Dec. 31 issue of Catholic New York, publication of the Archdiocese of New York, which reported: “The march is held to proclaim the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and to call for legal protection for life at every stage.”

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, reports that the community garden of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J., is featured, in print and pictures, in the current Robert Wood John Foundation literature. “The photo on the page is one of our students, Alex, with a bumper crop of carrots,” Jud said. 

Paul Williams, OFM, pastor of St. Martin de Porres Church in Columbia, S.C., has been re-appointed as a dean for the Diocese of Charleston, S.C.

Provincial treasurer Dennis Wilson, OFM, has announced that fiscal year 2011 operations budget forms are now available online in the HNP Extranet. Copies of the budgets were e-mailed in early January, he said.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas, who reminds readers that news for HNP Today is requested the Wednesday before each publication date.