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.

John Capozzi, OFM, reports that the friars’ Margate, N.J., house, where he is curator, will be closed starting March 20, until further notice, for repairs.

Lawrence Ford, OFM, will be speaking on “A Walk Through the Mass” on March 18 as part of the Friars Forum at Holy Name Parish on West 96th Street in New York. The talk, being offered at 10:15 a.m., is the third of a six-session series. Information about the dates and topics of upcoming talks by Daniel Kenna, OFM, and Matthew Pravetz, OFM, is available on the parish’s website.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, is at the first of the Province’s seven spring fraternal gatherings, which he is organizing with the Province’s Fraternal Life in Mission Directorate.

A photo of Gerald Hopeck, OFM, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Seuss on Read Across America Day at St. Francis International School, Silver Spring, Md., appeared on the Province’s Facebook page. Gerald is vice principal of the school adjacent to Holy Name College where he lives.

Daniel Horan, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., spoke on Monday at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church, Hartford, Conn., about “Thomas Merton: a Modern Prophet and Model of Contemplation and Action.” Dates of Dan’s past and upcoming speaking engagements can be found on

Since leaving Rice High School in New York City, Glenn Humphrey, OFM, has been looking for a position at another school. Because, as he says, the “employment situation is very difficult now,” Glenn, who was a school psychologist at Rice for six years, is asking friars and other HNP Today readers to let him know of any positions in schools that might be suitable for his background. He provided this description: “I worked for a number of years in the Southwest as a school psychologist with Native Americans. In 1982, I began studies in clinical psychology that eventually took me to New York City and an internship at Bellevue Hospital. I worked in various mental health and school settings in New York with children, adolescents and families, most recently at Rice High School in Harlem, which closed the end of June 2011. Currently, I am on sabbatical studying photography and staying with the Franciscans in Albuquerque. I am pursuing a Level II certificate in digital photography through the Continuing Education Department at the University of New Mexico. I hope to have a ministry site by this summer. I would appreciate any information or leads regarding possible sites where I can apply my training and experience in psychology and/or photography. I can be reached through my email ( or cell phone (917-620-8369).” Glenn said he will forward his resume and a cover letter to any interested individual.

Robert Lentz, OFM, will be speaking at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., at 7 p.m. on March 29. His lecture is titled “Christ in the Margins: a Living Tradition of Art.” The next day, he will speak about “Global Images of Holiness: Fragments of the Face of God” at 1:30 p.m. at Nazareth.

A report on the results of the Province’s fall 2011 house chapters was distributed last month to the friars. The document, produced by the HNP Fraternal Life in Mission Directorate, of which David McBriar, OFM, is chair, describes the friars’ comments about a variety of topics and identifies common themes, including their discussions about fraternity, outreach to youth, the institutional church’s direction, poverty/simplicity, and the future of the Province’s current ministries.

William McConville, OFM, of Raleigh, N.C., led a Lenten parish mission at Sacred Heart Church in Tampa, Fla., last month. He served as homilist and mission presenter during the weekend of Feb. 25 and gave the mission talk for three evenings the following week. The presentations explored the theme of “Be Healthy in God and Robust in Love” by looking at the challenges of the vices and the grace of the virtues. Information about William, including a transcript of a recent talk, can be found on

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, compiled a summary of the Provincial Council’s February meeting that was distributed to the HNP friars last week. It highlighted financial updates, including a proposal to centralize payroll for lay employees of the Provincial offices and friaries, property news, the spring fraternal gatherings, committee reports, an update on the Franciscan Institute and the Washington Theological Union, fraternal gatherings, and a discussion of a lay advisory board for the Provincial Administration.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, gave the invocation for the March 11 dinner and fundraiser at the greater Washington, D.C., chapter of the American Red Cross. He was instrumental in helping the organization revise its disaster response plan for a part of Northern Virginia. Today, he is in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the first of the Province’s fraternal gatherings. He or Dominic Monti as well as a member of the Provincial Council will attend each gathering in this series. This Friday, he will be at the Franciscan Mission Service’s World Care Benefit in Washington, D.C.

Postulant director Ronald Pecci, OFM, and the Province’s five postulants returned to their home in Wilmington, Del., on March 11 after spending six days at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in Garrison, N.Y., for the annual formation gathering. This week, the group is on retreat. Information about these events can be read on postulant Casey Cole’s blog.

A group of Franciscan Mystery Players, the program founded by Francis Pompei, OFM, will present “The Way of the Cross” on March 24 at St. Francis Parish in Brant Beach, N.J. A reflection about what Francis has learned from teenaged Mystery Players appeared in the previous issue of this newsletter.

Matthew Pravetz, OFM, was quoted in “Ham, Holidays and Other Puzzles as Medical College Shifts its Religious Affiliation,” which appeared in the March 5 issue of The New York Times. Matthew has taught anatomy at Westchester Medical College since 1982.

William Scully, OFM, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Narrowsburg, N.Y., was among the attendees of a Feb. 19 presentation by two members of the Archangel Airborne who reported on their humanitarian trip to Haiti that was made possible, in part, by an initiative of this Sullivan County parish. The parish’s Change for Change project raised more than $1,000 said Connie Moser, the St. Francis JPIC coordinator. A press statement — “On the Side of Angels, St. Francis Xavier Parishioners Rally to Support Local Humanitarian Group” — describes the parish’s fundraising efforts.

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, is participating in the HNP Fraternal Gathering this week after having finished, with his communications team, the spring 2012 issue of the Be a Franciscan newsletter, quarterly publication of the Vocation Ministry. The printed version of the newsletter, which he emailed to all HNP friars on March 13, will be available later this month.

Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, conducted the annual clergy day at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City on March 13. He led a Lent Morning of Prayer on March 11 and a meditation on the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter, on March 10 at the church.

Juan Turcios OFM, of Tampa, Fla., gave a Lenten day of reflection on March 10 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., that “went over very well with the parishioners,” according to pastor Jud Weiksnar, OFM. “He also joined us tonight at a rally to counteract the violence in Camden, to which the mayor, police chief and others were invited. More than 100 parishioners of St. Anthony’s were in the audience of some 500 people.” In February, Juan “regaled” the community of Sacred Heart Parish, where he is based, with tales of growing up, his family and his parish life in his hometown in El Salvador at an art show and fundraiser, according to a parish bulletin.

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, attended several games of the St. Bonaventure University women’s basketball team in Philadelphia. While based at the Western New York college, he chose to serve as chaplain for the women’s basketball team. “I enjoyed both the men’s and women’s teams,” Jud said, “but was so impressed with the hustle of the women under Jim Crowley. As chaplain, I would say a prayer for them in the locker room before the game, sit on the bench during games, and accompany them on some road trips until I left Bona’s in 2005.” Jud continued to serve as chaplain for the Bonnies when they played in the Philadelphia area, not far from where he now serves as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J. He said, “Since I was with the team when they were having 6-22 seasons, I have taken great satisfaction in witnessing their accomplishments over the past four years. I admire how Coach Crowley works with the team. Go Bona’s!”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by March 21 (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:
· HNP Ministry of the Word
· College service trips
· African Ancestry Committee
· Russel Murray, OFM
· Ecumenical Advocacy Days