News Briefs About Special Activities of HNP Friars

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

Updates below feature many activities of Holy Name friars, including their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, contact the friars by phone or email, or connect with the HNP Communications Office.

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

John Anglin, OFM, led a retreat in Kingston, Jamaica, last month for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. He wrote several posts describing his experiences for his blog, The Wandering Friar. “The convent is on a beautiful piece of property that was once the Constant Springs Hotel when Jamaica was a British colony. It is part of the campus of Immaculate Conception High School begun by Scottish Franciscans in the 1800s and later given to the care of the Allegany Franciscans,” he wrote. “I have been very well received here and look forward to venturing out and seeing the rest of the country.”

David Bossman, OFM, participated in a Dec. 11 panel as part of a colloquium at Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J., whose theme was “what religious communities can do to help inner city schools in dealing with issues of racism, violence, gangs, prejudice, and bullying.” The interreligious event included Muslims, Christians and Jews, according to David, who has served as a professor for 28 years in the graduate program of Jewish-Christian studies at Seton Hall. David said he hosted the colloquium with “my graduate students in Jewish-Christian studies, and with a group of invited religious leaders, including three friars, Christopher Keenan, OFM, Neil O’Connell, OFM, and Benedict Taylor, OFM; Imam Deed Shareef; the Rev. Ron Christian; and Dr. Neely Hackett, superintendent of Irvington, N.J., public schools.”

Michael Calabria, OFM, served as principal presenter at the Province’s annual formation intersession this week in Marriottsville, Md. His topic was “Approaching Islam: Grounds for Dialogue.” Michael is a doctoral student in Arab and Islamic studies with the University of Exeter, U.K.

Thomas Conway, OFM, and Gregory Day, OFM, of Boston, along with Cidouane Joseph, OFM, of Hartford, and Francis Pompei, OFM, of Buffalo, are among friars in photos recently posted on the home page of the HNP website. The images, changed quarterly, show a variety of ministries and friars.

For two weeks, Kevin Cronin, OFM, is helping at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, N.Y. He celebrated the bishop’s Mass on television on the feast of the Holy Family and has been celebrating the 7:45 a.m. Mass, aired three times per day on Telecare TV. He also celebrated Mass on the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, during which he spoke of Holy Name Province.

Kevin Downey, OFM, in Triangle, Va., was quoted in a Jan. 5 Washington Post article about the environmental efforts of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, which recently was named a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Foundation. This is part of a two-year program to receive certification from Greenfaith, an interfaith environmental coalition. “St. Francis is the patron saint of the environment. I think if we’re preaching protecting God’s creation and being good stewards, well then, we need to walk the talk and lead by example,” said Kevin, pastor.

An article by Daniel Dwyer, OFM, professor at Siena College, titled “Evil in the Family: Mormons and Catholics Struggling With the Dark Side of their Histories,” appeared in the fall 2013 issue of the Journal of Mormon History. Also last fall, he participated as part of a panel at the “Researching New York” Conference with three historians: Dr. Gerrit Dirkmaat, Joseph Smith Papers project, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Dr. Michael Mackay of Brigham Young University; and Dr. Brent Rogers, Joseph Smith Papers project, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I met them when they were the local arrangement committee for the annual conference of the Mormon History Association that met in Layton, Utah, last spring,” said Dan, who is on the book award committee for the Mormon History Association.

John Felice, OFM, reports that St. Francis Friends of the Poor’s residences were mentioned in the Dec. 23 issue of America magazine. The article, “A Home for Christmas,” describes the importance of remembering that those who are without homes are human beings and deserve care. In writing of the value of local, private, volunteer and public initiatives to provide this care during the past 40 years, the piece said, St Francis Residences’ “award-winning methods have been imitated throughout the country.” John, John McVean, OFM, and Thomas Walters, OFM, established the first of three residences for poor, mentally challenged adults in 1980.

Thomas Gallagher, OFM, served as spiritual leader of last month’s retreat for grieving parents hosted by St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford. The pastor was one of several people who helped lead the program created by the Emmaus Ministry for parents who have lost children. Andrew Giardino, OFM, and John Leonard, OFM,joined the 18 participants for dinner in the friary. The Emmaus Ministry’s Connecticut retreat team parent companions are working to establish the ministry at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish. A similar retreat was given in the fall by the Emmaus Ministry, founded by Diane and Charley Monaghan, who know the friars from St. Anthony Shrine, Boston.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan OFM, reports that the Memorial Days of the Deceased Friars 2014 booklet is in the process of being designed and printed and will be distributed to friars before the end of January. This is one of several resources produced through his office.

The current installment of the “Franciscan Minute” series in the Bonaventure magazine was written by Daniel Horan, OFM, of Boston. In the winter 2013-14 article, titled “Visiting the Real ‘Merton’s Heart,’” Daniel summarizes the life of Thomas Merton and describes his connection to St. Bonaventure University, which is kicking off a yearlong commemoration of Merton’s birth with a three-day conference in June. Daniel graduated from SBU in 2005.

David Hyman, OFM, chair of the African Ancestry Committee, encourages friars and partners-in-ministry to recognize the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. by holding commemorations at local ministries for the upcoming holiday. The Provincial celebration of the civil rights leader is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Jan. 19 at St. Joseph Church in Wilmington, Del.

Brian Jordan, OFM, asks friars living and ministering in New York to contact their elected officials and ask them to support the Education Investment Tax Credit. Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers are considering approving legislation that would generate an additional $150 million in scholarships to help families pay tuition. If passed, this bill would be an asset to Catholic grammar schools and those who attend them. More information and ways to take action are available on the New York State Catholic Conference’s website.

Kevin Kriso, OFM, made Christmas blankets for the graves at St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany, N.Y., of three friars: Daniel Hurley, OFM, who died in 2010, Harry Monaco, OFM, who died in 2011, and Robert Struzynski, OFM, who died last month. A photo was posted on Mt. Irenaeus’s Facebook page.

Last month, Kevin Mackin, OFM, participated in a program at Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., at which more than 30 employees were recognized for their service to the college. In this photo provided by staff member Janet Gianopoulos, English professor James Finn Cotter, 50 years of service, stands in the center next to Kevin, president since 2008. Cotter is holding the plaque indicating that the college renamed its Villa Library the James Finn Cotter Library in honor of his service.

Jim McIntosh, OFM, director of information technology for St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, recommends the article “Francis Tells Religious to ‘Wake the World,’ Outlines Modern Struggles for Church,” published last week in National Catholic Reporter. He distributed the story to the Arch Street friars, who were “glad to hear” the news about Pope Francis telling a meeting of general superiors of religious orders that they should be “real witnesses” who are not afraid of making mistakes or committing sins. According to the pope, “A religious who recognizes himself as weak and a sinner does not negate the witness that he is called to give, rather he reinforces it, and this is good for everyone.”

Daniel McLellan, OFM, reports that the HNP Chapter Planning Committee, of which he is chair, is meeting on Jan. 15 by conference call. Discussion topics will include (1) details of the fraternal gatherings, focusing on participation by members of the HNP Lay Advisory Board, (2) logistics of the chapter at Siena College and (3) design ideas for the chapter logo.

In his message in the winter 2013 issue of Siena magazine, Kevin Mullen, OFM, president, wrote of the importance of educating the entire person. “We try to connect the head and the heart, the mind and the body, the intellect and the affect, the theory and the practice. We speak of a Siena education as ‘the education of a lifetime,’ and by that we mean a whole life, not half a life, a life in which our students don’t simply explore the truth; they do the truth.” The magazine and other publications can be found on the college’s website.

Several seasonal reflections by Daniel Riley, OFM, have been posted recently on Mt. Irenaeus’s website. Their topics include Christmas, the feast of the Holy Family and the Epiphany.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Jan. 15, always the Wednesday before a publication date.Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues include:
Profiles of friars marking 25, 50, and 75 years of profession
Go Down Moses retreat
Formation intersession
March for Life on Jan. 22

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas