News Briefs About Special Activities of HNP Friars

HNP Communications Friar News

The updates below feature many activities of Holy Name friars, including their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, contact the friars by phone or email, or connect with the HNP Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

Thomas Cole, OFM, was a presenter at the annual workshop on mission and evangelization held at the Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis. Other presenters at the March 17 to 20 gathering included Fr. Larry Dunham, OFM of the Custody of the Holy Land, Fr. John Kiesler, OFM, of the Franciscan School of Theology in Santa Barbara, Kim Smolik of Franciscan Mission Service, and Hugh Zurat, OFM, of Assumption Province. “The novices were introduced to the missionary charism of the Order, as well as the various projects of missionary evangelization taking place within the Order and the Provinces,” said Thomas. He is chair of the Interprovincial Secretaries for Missionary Evangelization of the English-speaking Conference.

Thomas Conway, OFM, executive director of Boston’s St. Anthony Shrine, is accepting inquiries from skilled tradespeople interested in helping to install new equipment in the building on Arch Street. Information about the project can be found on the Shrine’s website.

F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, attended last week’s Franciscan Forum in Colorado Springs, Colo., an event he organized as part of St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Institute. This year’s program, titled “Responding to God’s Love,” explored key elements of the Franciscan moral vision.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, is participating in Fraternal Gathering #5 in Tampa, Fla., from April 2 to 4. Three more will be held before the 2014 Provincial Chapter.

Julian Jagudilla, OFM, and volunteers from the Migrant Center of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, NYC visited the Delaney Hall Immigration Center in Newark, N.J., last month. A photo appears in the March 23 parish bulletin. The Migrant Center, which opened last fall, is directed by Julian.

The experience of Brian Jordan, OFM, at last year’s Boston Marathon is described in the April 2014 issue of St. Anthony Messenger. Brian had celebrated Mass with nearly 100 state police, Boston firefighters and Army veterans who were running before heading downtown to watch the race. He was close to the finish line when the bombs exploded. “I knew from previous experience that the Franciscan habit is a sign of compassion and consolation, especially during times of danger and uncertainty,” he said. Brian noted that he told people to remain calm and prayed for “God’s consolation for all who were affected by this terrible tragedy.” Last month, Brian was quoted on CBS radio, speaking about the importance of a cross made of steel debris at the World Trade Center site in New York City. The t-beam from Tower 6 was “a sign of consolation. It was never meant to hurt anyone, hurt the atheists or anything like that,” Brian said. “It is an artifact that should be included in the museum because it’s a history museum. This is a part of the memory of 9/11.”

Novice Abraham Joseph, OFM, was pictured in photos posted recently on the Facebook page of the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis. The page shows images from the Franciscan Missionary Union workshop, as well as the feast of the Annunciation and St. Dismas.

Christopher Keenan, OFM, chair of the HNP Ongoing Formation Committee, recommends to friars a course being offered this summer by the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. The program, “A Toolbox for Pastoral Management,” will be held July 13 to 18 in Baltimore, Md.

Erick Lopez, OFM, and Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, of St. Camillus Parish, Silver Spring, Md., have been advocating for Franciscan values by participating in government events. “The friars at St. Camillus Parish and St. Francis International School have been very involved in lobbying for just laws at the state capitol in Annapolis this year,” said Tobias Harkleroad, principal of St. Francis International School. “Fr. Jacek and Fr. Erick led a large group of St. Camillus parishioners and St. Francis International School families to Catholic lobby night in February.”

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, was honored last month by the St. Bonaventure University Board of Trustees for his many years of service. He has served on the board “for the better part of the years since 1985,” said John, whose last meeting was March 21, the day of the dinner. This week, he is in Florida for the Province’s fraternal gathering and for a visit with the Poor Clares.

Howard O’Shea, OFM, was mentioned in an article about prominent Darwinist and Laetare Medal recipient Ken Miller, who credits Howard as the reason he began attending Mass again as a college student. Described as “a Franciscan monk who wandered among the hippies in his robes and sandals,” Howard was, according to Miller, “the right person for the times” — the times being the late 1960s at Brown University. “He made everyone who went to Mass feel welcome, feel that the Church had something to offer, and feel that the Church was not a nasty mother who wanted to scold us for our sins, but a place where we could be understood, forgiven and given the emotional and spiritual support that everybody needs in one sense or another.”

Ronald Pecci, OFM, and the HNP postulants participated in the Inter-Franciscan Formation Program at Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in Garrison, N.Y., last month. Photos can be found on the Facebook page of the Postulancy of the Franciscans of Holy Name Province. 

William Scully, OFM, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Narrowsburg, N.Y., served as marshal of the town’s St. Patrick’s Parade last month. The parish in Sullivan County commemorated its 150th anniversary two years ago.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by April 9, always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues include:

  • Mass for the Holy Name Society of the Fire Department of New York celebrated by John O’Connor, OFM
  • A profile of Emeric Szlezak, OFM, who is commemorating 75 years as a friar 
  • Spring meeting of the U.S. subcommittee of the English-speaking Conference

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas