News Briefs about Special Ministry Activities of HNP Friars

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

Vincent Cushing, OFM, and Joseph Nangle, OFM, will be lecturers at the annual Franciscan Symposium at Washington Theological Union, May 28 to 30.  More information will follow.

Student friar Stephen DeWitt, OFM, has created a blog as a vehicle for reflections and comments about his upcoming trips to Bolivia and Peru. In “A Franciscan Abroad,” Stephen mentions the three Masses at St. Stephen of Hungary Church in New York, at which he recently spoke, making an appeal on behalf of the Washington Theological Union where he is a student.

Based on a recent visit to St. Mary Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., Fred Dilger, OFM, an experienced interior designer, has offered recommendations to pastor Kevin Downey, OFM, of ways to enhance the church’s worship space. The modifications, overseen by Fred, are being made using financial gifts to the parish, according to a letter from Kevin in the March 14 parish bulletin.

Daniel Dwyer, OFM, celebrated Mass on March 13 for the Siena College Gaelic Society. It was followed by a breakfast after which many of the society members had planned to march in Albany’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Francis Gunn, OFM, has been acting as a liaison with the Pompton Lakes community during recent floods in New Jersey. “St. Mary’s Church is the designated shelter serving Pompton Lakes and Wayne, and we have served well over 100 people, many of them eating and sleeping in the Carnevale Center,” Francis said. He has also been providing counseling for families, many of whom have lost everything “and only got out with the clothes on their backs.”

Photos by Daniel Horan, OFM, appear in the current issue of St. Anthony Messenger. The photos accompany an article written by Kelly Zientek, a former Franciscan Volunteer Minister, titled “The Ever-Growing Kurtz family — Busy, Blended and Blessed.” 

Joseph Kotula, OFM, acting guardian of Holy Peace Friary at Mt. Irenaeus, and the other friars of the Franciscan Mountain Retreat — Daniel Hurley, OFM, Kevin Kriso, OFM, and Robert Struczynski, OFM — welcomed the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry last week for its spring retreat March 7 to 11. The FVMs, along with their friar leaders, Michael Duffy, OFM, of Philadelphia and Christopher Posch, OFM, of Wilmington, Del., are pictured in photos on the FVM Facebook page.

Stephen Kluge, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Long Beach Island, N.J., reports that “despite the rain and flooding last weekend, all the Masses went on as scheduled although attendance was light. The Saturday evening St. Patrick’s Day dinner also went on as planned despite the fact that the Irish dancers could not get onto the island. Because of the flooding and the high tides, the police advised that the dinner end at 9 p.m. instead of the scheduled 10 p.m.” 

Franciscan historian Dominic Monti, OFM, and Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, spoke on March 13 at St. Bonaventure University’s Joe Butler Series lecture in Weston, Fla. Their talk was titled “Angels, Demons and Dilemmas: Catholic Life in the 21st Century.” It was the second of three in the series; the first was held in December at the Provincial Office. Information about the series is available on the Alumni page of SBU’s Web site.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, preached and presided at a liturgy for Marymount University in New York City on March 14. On Tuesday, he and the members of the Provincial Council met at the Provincial Office in New York.

An opinion piece by Steven Patti, OFM, appears in the March 17 issue of The Herald Sun of Durham, N.C., where Steven is parochial vicar of Immaculate Conception Church. Titled “There is no ‘Christian’ torture,” the piece examines the new book Courting Disaster: How the C.I.A. Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama is Inviting the Next Attack by Marc A. Thiessen.

An article by Kenneth Pauli, OFM, appeared in the February/March 2010 issue of Momentum, a publication of National Catholic Educational Association. Titled “Catholic Colleges Offer a Purposeful Engagement of the Head, Heart and Hands with the Love of Christ,” the piece was timed for National Catholic Colleges Week at the end of February. 

James Scullion, OFM, of Long Beach Island, spoke on “Preaching Luke — Acts” at last week’s Seaside Conversations at the Franciscan friary in Margate, N.J. It was the third of the Province’s 2010 Seaside Conversations. Boniface Hanley, OFM, provided a report on the event.

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, distributed via e-mail the first issue of his office’s new publication, Be A Franciscan, to friars on March 12. This newsletter, which replaces Insight & Wisdom, will also be available on the HNP Web site. Copies have been mailed to ministry sites for the purpose of vocation promotion.

On March 7, St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., hosted a Spanish-language Lenten mission, presented byGonzalo de Jesus Torres, OFM. “Part of a series of such missions among Latino parishes in Paterson, over 70 participants prayed and shared their faith, led and fed by the inspirational words of Gonzalo,” said Christopher Van Haight, OFM. More people joined in as the afternoon event led into the 5:30 p.m. Sunday Spanish Mass, with more than 150 people celebrating. A lively supper followed which displayed the vibrancy of Hispanic ministry in Paterson, Christopher said.

Robert Struzynski, OFM, of Holy Peace Friary at Mt. Irenaeus in Western New York participated in a panel discussion held by St. Bonaventure University on March 10. It focused on the individual’s spiritual journey and how it develops within a life under vows in a religious community, according to an SBU news release. Robert was one of four participants.

Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, led a Lent Day of Prayer on March 6 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan. It focused on the following questions: What is its dream and its journey? Why is it important today? Am I an evangelist?

Provincial Treasurer Dennis Wilson, OFM, reminds friars that FY2010 budgets are due April 1 to his office. The required forms are available on the HNP Extranet.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by March 24. Topics planned for upcoming newsletter issues include:
· Highlights of recent friar trips
· A profile of former novitiate director Peter Sheridan, OFM, who is commemorating 75 years as a friar 
· Ecumenical Advocacy Days
· Special Lenten events
· Young adult programs around the Province

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas