Friar News Briefs

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

John Anglin, OFM, presented a retreat earlier this week to the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y., at their motherhouse. On Friday, he posted a new entry on his Wandering Friar blog, “Reflecting on God’s gift of mercy that we celebrate this Sunday,” he said.

Todd Carpenter, OFM, pastor of St. Paul’s Parish, Wilmington, Del., commemorated the April 27 canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II at all weekend Masses. “We displayed two photos of the new saints in our sanctuary, and I spoke about the life and legacy of each in my homilies,” said Todd. “However, we commemorated their canonization in a special way at our 10:30 a.m. Spanish Mass. While many parishioners have a devotion to Pope John Paul II, it was John XXIII we highlighted because of the presence of the John XXIII Movement.” Founded in Puerto Rico in 1973, the international lay evangelization movement offers weekend conversion retreats throughout the year and meets weekly. “The movement is very large and active at St. Paul’s and throughout the Diocese of Wilmington,” said Todd, who added that St. Paul’s is the founding parish for the movement in the diocese. “On Sunday, we invited all members throughout the diocese to the Mass. We had about 200 people who came from other parishes to celebrate with us. At the Mass, I recognized the movement, blessed a new portrait of Saint Pope John XXIII and presented it to the group. I purchased the photo of Pope John XXIII for the movement. This will be displayed in the parish meeting room where they meet weekly.”

Francis Di Spigno, OFM, will participate in St. Bonaventure University’s Blessing of the Brains prayer service on May 1. SBU’s executive director of university ministries started the blessings two years ago when he came to the Allegany, N.Y, campus. Friars, sisters and campus ministers “will be on hand at 9 p.m. to bless not only students, but even faculty brains,” according to a recent St. Bonaventure announcement. This study break is scheduled before final exams begin.

Daniel Kenna, OFM, pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in New York City, is pictured on the cover of the April 17 “Faith Lives” issue of Catholic New York, the newspaper of the archdiocese. The photo was taken on April 5 during a pilgrimage to Franciscan sites in the city.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, kicked off Mount Saint Mary College’s recent Relay for Life that raised $47,300 for the American Cancer Society. “A diagnosis of cancer can be a very scary thing,” he said. “As we seek to balance our lives, our health, and our families and friends, in contemplating challenges and tests we face, I think of this saying: ‘I shall pass through the world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.’” Kevin applauded everyone in the Relay for Life, according to Janet Gianopoulos who submitted a photo taken by Lee Ferris.

Daniel McLellan, OFM, chair of the HNP Chapter Planning Committee, has distributed an update to friars about the agenda for the Provincial Chapter June 1 to 6. His report, based on the most recent committee meeting, described the opportunities that the participating friars will have “to refresh fraternity and mission by recalling the Rule and form of life we’ve vowed to live.” After reminding friars of the significance of this chapter “given the proposed realignment of U.S. provinces,” he shared some highlights planned for the chapter, in addition to the elections of provincial leaders. Presentations will be given by the General Visitor and Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, as well as “fishbowl discussions” by several friars about their experiences of “being who they say they are.”

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, visited Burlington, Wis., April 25 to 27 for the spring meeting at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate with the secretaries of the seven U.S. OFM provinces. The agenda included a discussion to decide on a candidate to present to the U.S. provincials as a member of the team, replacing a friar who is leaving this summer.

Richard Mucowski, OFM, pastor of Assumption Parish, Wood-Ridge, N.J., invites friars to the 11 a.m. Mass of Thanksgiving on June 1 celebrated by Fr. Matt Janeczko, OFM Cap. Fr. Matt grew up in Wood-Ridge and is grateful to “many friars spread throughout HNP who had a great influence” on him during his childhood.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, recommends an article in last week’s National Catholic Reporter about Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez attending the April meeting of the English-speaking Conference. This week, John is attending the fraternal gathering in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., the last gathering in the spring series.

On April 29, Daniel Riley, OFM, celebrated a Mass in New York City for alumni and friends of St. Bonaventure University. A reflection by Dan titled “Finding Our Way” is included in the April issue of the Mt. Irenaeus e-newsletter. Dan’s photos and podcasts can be found on the Mt. Irenaeus Facebook page.

Patrick Sieber, OFM, joined activists on Good Friday at Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, Pa., to protest U.S. policies on defense spending. The Philadelphia-stationed friar participated in a similar demonstration on Martin Luther King Day.

The restoration of the stained glass windows of St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., is nearing completion. The project, which began in 2008 and consists of 29 windows, will be completed by the end of the year. Some of the techniques used in the stained glass suggest that the windows were made by an Austrian or German studio that exported the glass to the U.S. in the late 1800s. An article about the windows and the company that is doing the restoration appeared in the April 17 issue of The Beacon. “The company does a great job,” said pastor Christopher VanHaight, OFM. “While they clean the windows and make them brighter, the work that you can’t see is most important to the preservation of the windows, such as repairing small cracks.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by May 7, 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:
•   Profiles of silver jubilarians Thomas Conway, OFM, Francis Kim, OFM, Patrick Tuttle, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM
•   Update from Christopher Dunn, OFM, in Lima, Peru, about new fire equipment 
•   Dedication and blessing of new chapel and labyrinth at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C.

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas