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

Provincial Councilor Thomas Conway, OFM, director of St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, was pictured in an article from National Catholic Reporter about the interprovincial collaboration process among the seven OFM provinces. The article, “Understanding Franciscan Identity Key to US Friars’ Restructuring,” is available online for those who subscribe to the publication.

Julian Davies, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y., asks guardians and directors of HNP ministries to begin gathering information to submit for use in the 2014 edition of The Provincial Annals. “With the 2013 Annals now out, it is time to begin the 2014 issue,” said Julian, who has edited and produced the project for more than 20 years. “Would you please compile an account of your ministry for the year 2013? Be sure to include some photos. A community picture would be a good idea, too. Your report need not be lengthy. We are looking for highlights of friar ministry and life. Please send your material electronically, if you can, including a hard copy. You can send photos electronically, too.” He asks that all material be forwarded to him at Siena College before May 10.

A painting by David Haack, OFM, is being installed in the motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y., which commissioned him to create the large painting last November. The colorful oil-on-canvas work, measuring 8’ x 10’, and titled “Canticle of the Sun,” was completed and delivered by moving van Jan. 25. “The painting depicts St. Francis and all creation, flora and fauna, acknowledging Brother Sun,” said David. “It is currently being framed and installed in the congregation’s newly renovated refectory. The content was determined by several sisters currently in residence at the motherhouse, which is undergoing extensive remodeling.”

Daniel Horan, OFM, is giving a lecture at Boston College on Feb. 20 titled “Dating God: Intimacy, Prayer and Franciscan Spirituality.”  The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The friars of Assumption Parish, Wood-Ridge, N.J. — Michael Jones, OFM, Paul Keenan, OFM, and Richard Mukowski, OFM — participated in the 16th birthday celebration of parishioner Amelia Mastbeth, who has multiple handicaps, according to her father Joseph Mastbeth, who submitted a photo of the friars blessing his daughter on Dec. 15.“She is visited many times during her hospital stays by all of the friars and Deacon Frank. Amelia was baptized in St. Joseph’s Hospital when she was born by James Czerwinski, OFM. She received her first Communion from Brian Cullinane, OFM, during a Mass celebrated by Cassian Miles, OFM.”

In an announcement earlier this month from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., Kevin Mackin, OFM,commented that the college is now taking applications for its three/two physician program, scheduled for launch in the 2014-15 academic year. “At Mount Saint Mary College, more than 37 percent of current first-year students are pursuing health profession careers,” Kevin noted. “Our strong career preparation and reputation in various health fields bode well for this program,” he added. “In addition to the new PA program, the Mount offers nationally accredited nursing degree programs, and also pre-med, pre-veterinary, pre-dental, podiatry, and physical therapy studies.”

Jim McIntosh, OFM, recently completed the launch of a new website design for St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, where he is director of information technology. The new design was created with two web trends in mind: having an adaptive design for desktop computers, cell phones and tablets, and layering clear, concise sections of information on top of each other. The shrine also began using WordPress, a new website platform, to allow the site to adapt easily to mobile communication devices and to institute a system where new posts to the website were cross-posted to Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Jim said, “we made it very easy for people to donate via PayPal and to buy Mass cards and CDs in the shrine’s ‘store.’”

On Feb. 18, the HNP Chapter Planning Committee met at the Provincial Office. Daniel McLellan, OFM, chair, reports that the main topics discussed were the (1) speakers and goals of the upcoming fraternal gatherings, (2) manner of handling proposals that will be submitted by friars, and (3) need at the Chapter to stay focused on the theme, “Being Who We Say We Are.”   Before the spring 2014 fraternal gatherings begin on Feb. 24, a document from the Chapter Planning Committee will be distributed to all HNP friars for their review and reflection.

A Feb. 10 update from Siena College president Kevin Mullen, OFM, describes the progress of “Living our Tradition: the Campaign for Siena College,” as well as news about the college’s men’s basketball team and the recently launched NASA satellite built on the Loudonville, N.Y., campus.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, participated last week in a meeting of the provincial ministers of the English-speaking Conference provinces in the United States. Immaculate Conception Province hosted the Feb. 13 to 15 gathering in New York City. This week, after the Provincial Council meeting, he is traveling to Western New York for meetings in Allegany and Buffalo.

Kenneth Paulli, OFM, Siena College’s vice president and chief of staff and a 1982 graduate of the Loudonville, N.Y., school, recently accepted the Community Partner Award from Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany on the college’s behalf. The diocese’s Catholic schools honored Siena’s commitment to the local community, particularly to Catholic school education. This fall, a $3,000 annual scholarship will be awarded to students from several local Catholic high schools who gain admission to Siena. “I was touched by Bishop Hubbard’s kind words and sincerity as he recognized Siena’s contributions to the diocese and its schools in particular,” said Kenneth. “Siena College remains committed to working with leaders in the diocese and other community partners to support and strengthen all levels of Catholic education.”

Daniel Riley, OFM, director of Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat in Western New York, welcomed St. Bonaventure University alumni to a special Mass before the SBU-Fordham University basketball game on Feb. 12. On Feb. 19, he is hosting a “Bona Evening” in Denver. Other Mt. Irenaeus events can be found on the website of the Western New York ministry.

Frank Sevola, OFM, welcomed David Convertino, OFM, HNP development director, and Michael Carnevale, OFM, to St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., last weekend for a Franciscan Challenge. In a note published in the Feb. 23 bulletin, David thanked the community for its hospitality. “Friars love to visit here because they can feel the love!” said Frank in his pastor’s note.

Patrick Tuttle, OFM, is quoted in an article in the November/December 2013 issue of Momentum: The Official Journal of the National Catholic Educational Association. The piece, titled “Sixty-year old South Carolina School Gets a New Building Benefitting Its Tradition of Excellence,” describes St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School’s new building, dedicated last May. Patrick, pastor of St. Anthony Parish, talks of the fundraising required to construct the new building and of the friars’ presence in Greenville, S.C. “It seems like there was windfall after windfall,” Patrick said of the fundraising process. “God wanted this new school built.”

On Feb. 9, several hundred representatives of dozens of religious communities from across the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., gathered at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Clifton, N.J., for “Evening Prayer with Bishop Arthur Serratelli” in observance of World Day for Consecrated Life. Christopher VanHaight, OFM, pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, preached the homily. A photo of Christopher appeared in the Feb. 13 issue of The Beacon, the newspaper of the Paterson Diocese. On Feb. 15, Chris offered a day of reflection to the Vocationist Sisters and Vocationist students in formation at the sisters’ convent in Florham Park, N.J. His theme, “Francis on Francis,” focused on the life of St. Francis and on Pope Francis’s recent pilgrimage to Assisi on the saint’s feast day.

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., appears in a video titled “PNC Neighborhood Wishlist: Paint = Hope” that was posted this month on YouTube. He describes the difference that a mural created by the Student Leaders of Von Nieda Park Task Force has made in the community. Jud said that after seeing an article written in 2011 about the park with the headline “Is This the Most Depressing Park in America?” the students began working to improve Von Nieda Park. “The PNC grant allowed us to purchase the paint and other materials needed to put the mural on the wall,” Jud said. “Every time somebody walks by the mural, they’re going to have hope. Since the student leaders got involved, the park has become more beautiful — safer, the kind of place where people want to be.” Also appearing in the video are Juan Turcios, OFM, and several members of the task force.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Feb. 26, always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
•   Activities of the residents of St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. 
•   Profiles of friars commemorating jubilees of profession
•   Young adult ministries around the Province

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas