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.

The ministry of postulants Dennis Bennett and Casey Cole, at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark, Del., was featured in “Aspiring Franciscans Learning From their Elders,” which appeared in the March 16 issue of The Dialog, newspaper of the Wilmington Diocese. According to Sr. Jeanne Ries, the facility’s administrator, “The residents really respond to the two postulants, and they really enjoy the time spent with them. If there’s a week when they’re not here, the residents miss them.”

Louis Canino, OFM, and his team at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C., hosted the second of the Province’s spring fraternal gatherings, held March 21 to 23. The next gathering will be April 11 to 13 at St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, Pa.

John Capozzi, OFM, expects that the Margate, N.J., friary will be open by April 2. News of the friary being closed appeared in the previous issue of HNP Today and also in the March 26 “HNP News for Friars” e-bulletin.

Ross Chamberland, OFM, and Michael Reyes, OFM, prepared a Franciscan Family Gathering March 18 at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md., which was attended by 70 friars and sisters from the Washington, D.C., area. They “spent several weeks planning the event, making sure there would be adequate space and food for all,” said Robert Lentz, OFM, of Holy Name College, who submitted a report to the Provincial Office. The Lenten gathering included a “simple meal and conversation” and tours of the sandal shop of Sebastian Tobin, OFM, and Robert’s painting studio. “Hopefully, this will be the first of many similar gatherings at Holy Name College, strengthening the bonds between the different branches of our Order and easing our transition from the (Washington Theological Union) to (The Catholic University of America),” said Robert, who has lived at Holy Name College since last year.

The late Leo Clifford, OFM, was featured in a March 20 letter distributed by the Province’s Office of Development. The letter described a new program called Transitus, through which David Convertino, OFM, director of the office, “will be distributing the biography of any friars who have recently died.”

Thomas Conway, OFM, guardian of Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md., invites HNP friars who are attending the Province’s ordination Mass to contact him about overnight accommodations. “We have a few guest rooms at Holy Name College and a number of Washington-area religious houses have volunteered their guest rooms to friars in connection with this event,” he said. Friars needing accommodations should email Tom by May 3. “Someone from Holy Name College will let you know which local religious house is expecting you,” he added. The Mass is being celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on May 19, at St. Camillus Church.

Sacred Heart Academy, the parish school of Sacred Heart Church in Tampa, Fla., announced last week that it will close the doors of its elementary school program at the end of the academic year. According to a letter from pastor George Corrigan, OFM, the decision was made “after consultation with the parish councils, community leaders and the diocese.” George closed the letter by noting: “Know that I have kept our school family in my prayers this entire academic year, praying to know God’s will and to know what was mine to do. I reluctantly know what is mine to do — and I trust it is in keeping with God’s will. That is what it means to live a faithful life and to take the path not of your own choosing.”

Last weekend, Steven DeWitt, OFM, Joseph Kotula, OFM, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, and Jim McIntosh, OFM, were among the representatives of HNP ministries who participated in the 10th annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. The theme of this year’s event — which included a presentation by Russell Testa, director of the Province’s JPIC Office — was “Is This the Fast I Seek? Economy, Livelihood and Our National Priorities.” Some 30 people from various HNP ministries including four St. Bonaventure University students were at the EADs, said Jim.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, returned this weekend from the second of seven HNP fraternal gatherings. On March 20, he hosted a luncheon commemorating the 60th anniversary of his alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas College. The school had inducted Michael into its Alumni Hall of Fame in January 2008.

Daniel Horan, OFM, gave a Lenten day of reflection on March 18 at Church of St. Andrew on Staten Island, N.Y. Next month, he will preach and sign copies of his book, Dating God, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Dan’s schedule can be found on

The Province’s African Ancestry Committee met this month, via conference call, to discuss a variety of projects. Among them, according to chair David Hyman, OFM, were a retreat for young African American men, the 2013 celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the National Black Catholic Congress to be held this summer in Indiana.

Christopher Keenan, OFM, led a meeting last week of the HNP Ongoing Formation Committee whose members are working on gathering and providing information about educational and leadership development programs for the friars.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, returned to New York on Monday from Washington, D.C., where he attended the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Last week, he was at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York for a meeting of the SBU Board of Trustees. While on campus, he blessed an addition to the Friedsam Memorial Library that holds the Franciscan Institute’s rare book collection. The addition, which opened in 2008, is now known as Holy Name Library for the Franciscan Institute. John also participated in the groundbreaking of the William E. & Ann L. Swan Business Center, a new home for the school of business that is expected to open in fall 2013, according to a recent news release from SBU.

Pius Liu, OFM, of Taiwan, contacted the HNP Communications Office last week with a reflection about the Province’s ministry in Providence, R. I. “With emotional feelings, I read your fine report of Feb. 29 about the departing liturgy of the friars at St. Mary’s in Providence, R.I. My first trip to Providence was in spring, 1955, visiting the parents of a Salvatorian brother whom I had met in Macau. My second trip was for my assignment at St. Francis Chapel on Page Street in September 1956, and found out my assignment had been changed to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. In the winter of 1958, a second assignment called me from Rye Beach back to the Chapel on Page Street, until April l965, when I was told to come to Taiwan. Yet, during the summer and fall in 1970, 1973; then from 1976 to 2002 every other summer, St. Francis Chapel became, except only one in New Bedford, my temporary residence while making Mission Appeals on weekends for our Franciscan Missionary Union. I still consider Providence my second home. The people there were wonderful, and it was hard for me to leave in 1965! But God has been so good to me all these years here in Taiwan. I am on the way to be 92 next January, yet I am still driving, saying Mass for the Sisters of the Society of Sacred Heart from Monday to Saturday, and the Sisters of Franciscan Missionary of Mary on Sunday. ‘Things change and we go on.’”

The spring 2012 issue of the Mt. Irenaeus newsletter includes a reflection by Daniel Riley, OFM, director of the Franciscan mountain retreat, describing the history of some of the buildings on the Clarksville, N.Y., property, the way “the Mountain has always been a sort of colony of care,” and other aspects of the more than 25-year-old ministry. The articles and photos in this issue feature Joseph Kotula, OFM, Kevin Kriso, OFM, and the late Harry Monaco, OFM.

Paterson, N.J., Bishop Arthur Serratelli has appointed Christopher VanHaight, OFM, of St. Bonaventure Church, to the Diocesan Presbyteral Council as the representative of Religious Order Priests. This new position is effective through June 2013.

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J., reports that students at the parish school gave two workshops on March 23 about “Community Organizing — You’re Never Too Young” at the Romero Lecture at Rutgers-Camden. “Only two people showed up at the first workshop, but in the 15-minute break between sessions the word spread, and we had about two dozen at the second workshop,” Jud said. “The students represented St. Anthony’s, the Partnership, and CCOP very well and were in command of their facts. They also gave stirring personal testimonies about how community organizing has changed them as residents of Camden, not just in Cramer Hill but in their North Camden and South Camden neighborhoods as well. The reactions of the people who came ranged from impressed to awestruck.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by April 4 (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:
· Ecumenical Advocacy Days
· St. Bonaventure University’s Fr. Mychal Judge Center
· Visit by Siena College president Kevin Mullen, OFM, to Boston’s St. Anthony Shrine
· Spring meeting of the OFM English-speaking Conference
· Commemorations of Earth Day
· Siena College’s video about Catholic education
· Internships of student friars

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas