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

Russell Becker, OFM, spent the weekend of May 15 preaching at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston for the Franciscan Missionary Union. On May 16, he was a guest speaker at a Eucharistic Congress for the shrine’s lay ministers. On the morning of the 17th, he presented a workshop to the friar community called “The Liturgy … Where We Are … Where We Are Going.”

F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, and James Scullion, OFM, have been appointed to the board of trustees of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.

Photos of Fred Dilger, OFM, and Michael Duffy, OFM, were included in the May 14 issue of SJB News Notes. They accompanied an article about a recent visit that Fr. Fred Link, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province made to St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, as part of his general visitation. 

Kevin Downey, OFM, pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Pompton Lakes, N.J., conducted a blessing of the bicycles on May 16 that was followed by a group ride to nearby Ringwood Manor.

The friars of St. Francis Friary in New York City celebrated the birthdays of four of their brothers on May 12. Two of the honorees reached milestones; Charles Gilmartin, OFM, and Felix McGrath, OFM, turned 80 years old. Other HNP friars commemorating milestone birthdays recently include Michael Carnevale, OFM, of New York who turned 75 on May 21, David Convertino, OFM, who turned 60 on May 23, and Philip Nielsen, OFM, of Ringwood, N.J., who turned 90 in April. A celebration for David was held last Sunday by employees, friars and friends of St. Anthony Shrine, where David is director.

Boniface Hanley, OFM, of Margate, N.J., was featured in the May 14 issue of the Catholic Star Herald, the publication of the Diocese of Camden, N.J., in an article titled 2010 Jubilarians. A photo of Boniface, who in June marks his 60th anniversary of ordination, with brief biographical information is included on page S3. Boniface reports that his latest book, The Last Human Face: Franz Stock, A Priest in Hitler’s Army, is being printed by Amazon as a follow up to orders placed on

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, was among the many who attended the May 24 Mass of Christian Burial for Sr. Maureen Joyce, former head of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany. Also at this funeral wereKevin Mullen, OFM, and Ken Paulli, OFM, of Siena College, where Sr. Maureen had a long affiliation. Sr. Maureen, a 49-year member of the Sisters of Mercy, was known for her service on both a local and state level, according to an article in the Troy, N.Y., Record. The Record reported that Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany said she “had an insatiable thirst for social justice.” Michael said the funeral was “very moving.”

Joseph Hertel, OFM, attended the annual meeting of the development directors of the OFM English-speaking Conference. They gathered April 18 to 21 at Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, Calif. Joseph is director of St. Anthony’s Guild, a partner of Holy Name Province.

Brian Jordan, OFM, collaborated with Richard Shierer and Muhammed Luquman for an opinion piece called “Welcome a mosque near sacred ground: A Jew, Catholic and Muslim say we must support the center” that appeared in the May 23 issue of the New York Daily News. In the piece, the three wrote, “Islam did not bring down the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001. What brought the towers down were 19 men who were deeply misguided and brainwashed by an ideology that is not blessed in the teachings of the prophet Mohammed in the sacred Koran. To believe otherwise is to equate Catholicism with the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 by Irish American Catholic Timothy McVeigh or to connect Judaism with the 1977 Son of Sam murders with a Jewish American, David Berkowitz.”

Walter Liss, OFM, has joined the HNP implementation team, part of the HNP Communications Advisory Committee that is launching the Province’s new e-mail option for friars. The team’s chair, Jim McIntosh, OFM, is providing usage information to a third test group this week as part of the roll-out of

Kevin Mackin, OFM, president of Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., recognized 695 degree candidates at the college’s May 15 commencement.

Jerome Massiminio, OFM, guardian of St. Francis Friary, New York, asks that friars wishing to reserve a guest room at the friary contact him until further notice.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, was the featured speaker at Felician College in Lodi, N.J, on May 19 as part of an annual retreat day on Franciscan values in education. This year’s theme was “Celebrating Joy and Diversity.” This week, Dominic is preaching a retreat to the Capuchin friars of St. Mary Province at Mount Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. He will leave on May 27 for Chicago to participate in the joint Province Assembly of the friars of Assumption and St. John the Baptist provinces and meet with the provincial council of the Assumption Province to begin to plan his schedule as their visitor general.

Provincial Minster John O’Connor, OFM, will be officiating at the June 5 simple profession of two friars —Michael Reyes, OFM, and Gerald Hopeck, OFM. The ceremony is at St. Paul Church in Wilmington, Del.

A. Francis Soucy, OFM, guardian of Holy Name Community in Ringwood, N.J., attended the recent series of sessions on sustainable development held at the United Nations earlier this month as a member of Franciscans International, a non-governmental organization of the United Nations. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development is one of the UN’s major bodies that incorporate NGOs, Francis said. This year, the commission concentrated on transport, chemicals, mining, waste management and sustainable production and consumption, he said, adding, “FI had much to contribute on these topics in relationship to people living in poverty and commercial enterprises that exploit resources and the citizenry for private gain.” The commission will produce papers containing recommendations for policy. This was the second time Francis has attended this UN commission gathering; he provided a photo.

On May 11, Christopher VanHaight, OFM, of St. Bonaventure Parish, Paterson, N.J., gave a presentation titled “God’s Creation and Saint Francis” to patients at the Doctors Subacute Care facility in Paterson.

James Vacco, OFM, arrived in Sydney, Australia, last week to begin his summer as assistant at a parish of Holy Spirit Province.

An article by Jud Weiksnar, OFM, titled “My Wonderful Franciscan Journey” appeared in the April 23 issue of Catholic Star Herald as part of a vocations supplement.

Dennis Wilson, OFM, was elected chair of the OFM English-speaking Conference Treasurers at a meeting in early May. Fr. John Puodziunas, OFM, from Assumption Province had served previous to the election for two years. The treasurers meet annually to assist each other through mutual exchange of ideas, policies and practices and to engage in any projects or requests from the ESC provincial ministers.

Information about the friars can also be found on the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province Facebook page.    The number of people who “like” this page has grown to 297, as of Wednesday morning. A link to the page can be found on footer of the Province’s website.

News for future issues of HNP Today is requested by the Wednesday before each publication date. Future issues will include information about:
· Simple profession on June 5
· Romuald Chinetsky, OFM
· William DeBiase, OFM
· Michael Putich, OFM
   · Hispanic Ministry and Latino friar gathering
· The jubilee celebration at Holy Name Community in Ringwood, N.J.
· Friars’ milestone birthdays in June

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas