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

John Alderson, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J., has announced that the parish will be adding a fourth Mass to its Sunday schedule to accommodate the growing Hispanic community. Beginning April 11, the noon Mass will be offered in Spanish and celebrated by a visiting priest who helps regularly at both the Butler and Pompton Lakes, N.J., parishes.

David Convertino, OFM, and several friars at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, where he is director and guardian, participated in the Pieta Ministry II for grieving parents this month. Twenty-eight people from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut attended the March 19 to 21 retreat directed by David with assistance from John Maganzini, OFM.

John J. Coughlin, OFM, professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, was quoted in a recent Associated Press article titled “Scrutiny of Benedict’s Scandal Role” about the former archdiocese of Pope Benedict XVI disclosing that while he was archbishop, a suspected pedophile priest was transferred to a job where he later abused children. John commented on a 2001 Vatican letter that the pope sent all bishops advising them, among other things, that all cases of sexual abuse of minors were to be subject to pontifical secret, saying that “a general principle of moral theology to which every bishop should adhere is that Church officials are obliged to follow civil laws where they live.” The article appeared in the March 12 issue of the Staten Island Advance.

Francis Critch, OFM, and Dwayne Fernandes, OFM, students at Washington Theological Union, spoke at Masses during the weekend of March 21 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan, encouraging contributions to the WTU.

Kevin Downey, OFM, pastor of St. Mary Church in Pompton Lakes, N.J., reports that the parish, which is the official evacuation site for the towns of Pompton Lakes and Wayne, is continuing to help people affected by flooding in Passaic County. He said the parish is fortunate that “our property is high up enough.” Kevin said that with the hectic schedule for Holy Week, the community is “holding its breath and preparing to help more, making necessary accommodations. Francis Gunn, OFM, serves as the official liaison between the parish and community of Pompton Lakes, which is near the Ramapo and Wanaque rivers. 

Patrick Fitzgerald, OFM, is among many friars who appear on the Province’s home page, as part of the rotating images showing varied scenes of Franciscan life and ministry. Other friars pictured include Mario Gomez, OFM, Linh Hoang, OFM, Khoa Nguyen, OFM, Christopher Posch, OFM, and Juan de la Cruz Turcios, OFM. New photos will be posted on the Web site in early April.

Lawrence Ford, OFM, and Michael McDonnell, OFM, spoke last month at Holy Name of Jesus Parish’s Friars’ Forum. Lawrence’s talk, on March 18, was titled “What is the Church Saying Today about the Sacrament of Reconciliation” and Michael’s March 4 talk was called “St. Francis and Suffering.” The next Friars’ Forum, on April 20, will be presented by Cidouane Joseph, OFM.

St. Stephen of Hungary Church, where Angelo Gambatese, OFM, is pastor, launched a Facebook page this month. It is managed by Jayne Porcelli, director of faith formation for the church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Daniel Grigassy, OFM, pastor of St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., helped served lunch on the feast of St. Joseph at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly in Totowa, N.J. Two photos of Daniel appear in the March 24 issue of The Beacon, publication of the Paterson Diocese.

Kyle Haden, OFM, will offer a reflection titled “Modeling the Faith through Service” on April 11 at a Communion breakfast held at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish for its Eucharistic ministers, lectors and ministers of hospitality. 

Boniface Hanley, OFM, reminds friars that the last of three “Seaside Conversations” at the friary in Margate, N.J., is April 22 to 23. Daniel Grigassy will be the speaker.

The Provincial Office announced this week that the interment of the cremated remains of Gerald Hudson, OFM, will take place April 6 at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Butler, N.J. Gerald died March 2 at St. Anthony of Padua Friary in Camden, N.J.

Daniel Hurley, OFM, Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, Jaceck Orzechowski, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM, are among the friars who appear in photos on the “Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province” Facebook page, which had more than 230 fans as of March 30.

Guardian Jerome Massimino, OFM, and the friars of St. Francis Friary in Manhattan welcomed Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, General Vicar of the Order, this week.  He is staying at the friary while attending meetings. 

St. Camillus Parish, where Michael Johnson, OFM, is pastor, held its 13th annual Noche de Martires March 20 at the church in Silver Spring, Md. Representatives of other Provincial ministries, including St. Anthony of Padua in Camden, N.J., participated in the service that remembers Archbishop Oscar Romero and the others who died with him in 1980.

Immaculate Conception Parish where Daniel McLellan, OFM, is pastor, created a blog in mid-January. “IC Durham Parish Blog” includes news and reflections as well as the mission statement and strategic plan of the church.

Daniel Nelson, OFM, co-chair of the HNP Wellness Committee, led a meeting of the committee on March 29 at the Provincial Office in New York.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, is in Triangle, Va., for Holy Week preaching at the Triduum of St. Francis of Assisi Church. Last week, he participated in the Province’s fraternal gatherings at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York and Siena College outside Albany.

Mark Reamer, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, N.C., reports that several new buildings will be dedicated April 25 by John O’Connor and Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh. Among the buildings are the Assisi Community Center, which includes a full-size gymnasium, youth and senior centers and a large gathering area with coffee bar; St. Mary of the Angels Chapel; and Elizabeth Hall, which houses the parish’s preschool.

Physician Daniel Sulmasy, OFM, gave two talks last month at University of Georgia’s Catholic Center. The first, on Feb. 20, discussed embryonic stem research with faculty. The following day, a discussion on end of life issues was open to all. The presentations were well received, said Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, director of the Catholic Center.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by April 7. Topics planned for upcoming newsletter issues include:
· Participation of Julian Jagudilla, OFM, in a recent medical mission trip of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh
· Franciscan Volunteer Ministry news 
· Pilgrimages offered by HNP ministries
· Renovations made by St. Mary Church in Pompton Lakes
· Franciscan Mission Service

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas