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 their 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.

Russell Becker, OFM, has created a daily Bible reading guide for Lent 2013 as a resource for friars and their partners-in-ministry. He distributed the guide in an email last month.

David Convertino, OFM, the Province’s executive director of development, has emailed the third installment of the Office of Development’s Lent in Your Pocket series. The Feb. 24 email addressed the question: “Where is God?” in times of tragedy and offered words of encouragement for those who may be suffering. It also included prayers and reflections for the second week of Lent.

Andrew Giardino, OFM, returned home to the St. Patrick-St Anthony Friary in Hartford, Conn., earlier this month after having spent several weeks in a hospital recuperating from a stroke. On Feb. 15, the parish shared a video showing a reunion with his beloved dog Hunter.

Julian Jagudilla, OFM, visited students in the religious education program at Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J., yesterday to talk about heaven. “The children enjoyed an afternoon with Fr. Julian who answered hundreds of questions posed by the children on Mass, death, dying, heaven and guardian angels. It was a great afternoon and a real testament to how much our kids think about heaven, right, and wrong on a daily basis,” read a message posted on the parish’s Facebook page.

Last week, Christopher Keenan, OFM, chaplain at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx, N.Y., took several students to St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia for a service trip. One of the students made a video of the trip.

A photo of Richard Husted, OFM, distributing ashes at St. Mary’s Church, Pompton Lakes, N.J., appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of The Beacon, the newspaper of the Diocese of Paterson, N.J.

Stephen Kluge, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J., said that the recent program called “I Am With You On The Journey” was very well received. The Feb. 16 event was a morning of reflection and sharing through the spiritual lens for those who experienced the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, he said, adding that it was “very emotional.” The St. Francis Community Center is offering disaster relief assistance to people affected by the Oct. 29 storm. Those interested are asked to phone the center at 609-494-8861 ext. 106.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, reports that two of the cardinals who have been rumored as possible successors to Pope Benedict XVI have visited Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., where he is president. They are Cardinal Timothy Dolan, of New York, who was made an honorary alumnus during the college’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2009 and Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, who addressed the graduates at the May 2012 ceremony. Last year’s commencement video with Cardinal Turkson can be viewed on the college’s website.

Jim McIntosh, OFM, communications director of St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, traveled to Rome earlier this month to assist Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of the OFM Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office, in setting up a website for resources about mining. The project is meant to be used by JPIC coordinators of various religous orders and congregations based in Rome, said Jim, adding that Joe and members of an ecology committee have developed a survey to see how mining is affecting people around the world.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, participated in the Feb. 17 to 19 meeting of the members of the Interprovincial Collaboration Commission that was established after the December gathering of provincial councils of the seven U.S. provinces. The group discussed the three tasks related to increasing collaboration among the provinces and possible restructuring. Details about the discussions were included in a letter summarizing the meeting, held in Chicago, emailed on Feb. 22 to all OFM friars in the United States.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, participated in the Feb. 15 closing settlement of the Washington Theological Union at which the documents officially selling the WTU building were signed. “The successful transition of the WTU administrative offices to the Carmelite Whitefriars Hall took place last week,” according to a Feb. 20 message from the WTU’s chief academic officer posted last week on the school’s website. Photos of John and the others at the Feb. 15 meeting were included. “The contents of the building have all been dispersed to various locations. The library holdings are headed for Tangaza College in Nairobi, Kenya, the Mexican American College in San Antonio, Texas, Villanova University, Franciscan communities and other smaller schools determined by the Theological Book network, per their mission.”

The late Reginald Redlon, OFM, was featured in the winter 2012 issue of Bonaventure magazine. Its article was titled “Fr. Reginald Redlon: University’s 15th President Remembered For His Integrity, Faith and Scholarship.” 

Andrew Reitz, OFM,  pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, reports that “Feb. 19 was a historic day here at St. Francis with the visitation of the relics of St. Anthony of Padua,” according to this week’s parish bulletin. “Crowds filled the church throughout the day to venerate the relics, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan made the day even more special with his presence.” Photos of the event were posted on the Facebook page of St. Anthony’s Guild. Andrew, Christopher Coccia, OFM, and David Convertino, OFM, are among the friars pictured.

Daniel Riley, OFM, invites friars to participate in four contemplative days at Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat this summer. The June 24 to 28 program will offer discussions, meals and common prayer. “Knowing that all of us are called in different ways to review our lives, and our provinces are in a time of special conversation about the future, we welcome you to join us for some contemplative days at Mt. Irenaeus in southwestern New York,” Dan said. “Our time is meant to be reflective but also conversational. Most of each day will be open for participants to read, rest, and roam about Mt. Irenaeus, which has more than 400 acres of trails, woodland, ponds and open spaces.”

Paul Santoro, OFM, campus minister at Santa Fe High School in Lakeland, Fla., was one of two keynote speakers at two conferences sponsored by the Diocese of Orlando on Feb. 25. The daytime session included all of the juniors from the Catholic high schools in the diocese — nearly 500 students. The evening session was for young adults, ages 18 to 30. About 45 people were in attendance, mostly college students. “I shared with those present my journey that led to my becoming a Franciscan some 30 years ago,” Paul said.

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, attended the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress from Feb. 22 to 24, joining 37,000 people from every state in America, as well as people from countries around the world. The Religious Education Congress is billed as the largest annual gathering of Catholics. “Some of the highlights among the 185 speakers were well-known spiritual figures Timothy Radcliffe, Ronald Rolheiser, Richard Rohr, John Allen and James Martin,” Brian said. “There were a total of 310 workshops covering everything from ministry and young adults to faith formation and spirituality. Closing Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Jose Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles.” He continued, “I have never seen such a powerful celebration of our Catholic faith. The spirit and enthusiasm of the attendees was everywhere. With all of the issues facing the Church these days, this gathering was both moving and uplifting, and demonstrated a resiliency in the Church that gives me great hope.”

A photo of Dennis Tamburello, OFM, appears in a story on the Siena College website about the study tour in which he participated earlier this year. The article, titled “Students Treasure Italy Study Tour,” described the historic sites the 22 students visited. “Students left Italy with a better understanding of the culture and of the Franciscan values that are so prevalent on the Siena campus,” said student Kristen Bossio, who wrote the story.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by March 6 (always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date). Updates about the friars and their ministries can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
•   A recent trip by Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, to South Africa 
•   Friar family reunion on April 14
•   Updates from Peter Chepaitis, OFM, about Bethany Ministries
•   Opening of new St. Anthony of Padua school building in Greenville, S.C.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas