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.

John Anglin, OFM, added recent posts to his blog, The Wandering Friar,about several recent feast days. They were titled “Trinity Sunday: A Message from a Little Jewish Boy,” “Pentecost, Happy Birthday, the Story Continues,” and “The Feast of the Ascension – What Does it Mean for Us?”

Raphael Bonanno, OFM, commemorated his 50th anniversary of ordination last month. His two siblings invited 320 people for his golden jubilee of priesthood on May 26 at St Luke’s Church in Belmont, Mass., where Raphael was born and grew up. Raphael said approximately 130 adults attended Mass and 97 adults and eight children came to the banquet. Bishop Capistran Heim, OFM, preached on priesthood in a Votive Mass of Christ the High Priest, with readings from Jeremiah, 2 Corinthians and John 16 on priesthood. There were 18 concelebrants including about eight friars, and Raphael introduced each one. “Jubilees are an excuse to talk of larger issues,” he said. “Today our larger issue is the priesthood, first of Christ and then of these men. For the last 10 years, priests have been a battered lot, some deservedly, many, not so. Today, we celebrate our ancient faith in who priests are and what they do.”

Stephen DeWitt, OFM, and Daniel Horan, OFM, both of Silver Spring, Md., were featured in a story titled “A Different Kind of Brother: Two Friars Ordained Priests in Silver Spring” in the May 30 issue of the Silver Spring Gazette.

The April /June 2012 issue of The Cord, the publication of St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Institute, includes contributions from three HNP friars. William DeBiase, OFM, of Philadelphia submitted “Lady Clare… Not a Was.” Daniel Horan, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., wrote, “The Possibility of Franciscan Presbyters According to Chapter V of the Regulia Bullata: A Reply to Solanus Benfatti, CFR.” Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, New York City, published “Stigmata.”

Andrew Giardino, OFM, Hartford, Conn., was honored last month at a picnic at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish. Photos of the May 19 event, commemorating Andrew’s 50th anniversary as a priest, appear on the Hartford parish’s Facebook page.

HNP alumnus Ignatius Harding, OFM, of Bolivia, has completed his service as a member of the Order’s International JPIC Animation Committee. An email from Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of the OFM Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Rome, thanked Ignatius for his years of service.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, reminds friars to RSVP by June 11 for the annual Provincial Jubilee Celebration of Profession of Vows being held in New York City on June 21. Michael has also completed the last of the seven spring fraternal gatherings. On May 25, he organized a farewell luncheon for HNP Communications Office staff member Rebecca Doel, who left her position after more than three years. Communications director Jocelyn Thomas is reviewing resumes of applicants for the communications coordinator role.

The Province’s Artistic Patrimony Committee, chaired by Joseph Hertel, OFM, of Florida, is meeting on June 7 in the Provincial Office.

An article by Daniel Horan, OFM, Silver Spring, Md., was recently published in The Merton Annual. Titled, “Digital Natives and the Digital Self: The Wisdom of Thomas Merton for Millennial Spirituality and Self-Understanding,” the article discusses the sociological and spiritual contexts of the Millennial Generation, generally those born between 1982 to 2002. The article hightlights the challenges of today’s young adults and explores the insights offered by Merton’s works. More information about Dan’s work can be found on his website

Last month, Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, Siena College, was elected to the board of the Medicus Christi Board of Directors. Kevin Mackin, OFM, of Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., Kevin Mullen, OFM, Siena College president, and Cardinal Peter Turkson also serve on this board. “The cardinal is president of the Pontifical Council on Peace and Justice in the Roman Curia,” said Gregory. “The Medicus Christi organization’s website is: Cardinal Turkson recently celebrated Mass at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y. “It was a real honor to spend time with Cardinal Turkson on Saturday evening, as well as have him celebrate Sunday Mass, along with Bishop Howard Hubbard, in the St. Mary of the Angels Chapel at Siena College,” said Greg. “Cardinal Turkson stopped by our friary at Siena to offer a prayer and to see the facility. He is friendly, down to earth, and easy going. His deep faith and commitment to peace and justice concerns are visibly evident. Knowing that someone like him is in a leadership role in our Church strengthened my sense of hopefulness.”

John Leonard, OFM, of St. Patrick-St Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn., returned recently from Assisi and other Italian towns as part of a pilgrimage that he led with staff member Patricia Curtis.

Russel Murray, OFM, Siena Collage, reminds friars of the Interprovincial Day of Sharing called “To Sit Together” on June 27 at Mt. Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. Friars can register by contacting Fr. Roch Ciandella, OFM, at 845-297-5706. Information about the event is available in the Feb. 29 HNP Todayannouncement. Information about the purpose of the gathering can be found in letters from General Minister Br. Jose Carballo Rodriguez, and Br. Julio Bunander, OFM, president of the Order’s Commission for Contemplation.

Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, Silver Spring, Md., and Christopher Van Haight, OFM, Paterson, N.J., are in Mexico this week for the Order’s Chapter of Mats Under Ten. Photos and information about the event can be found on the OFM website. Information about Paul’s recent trip to Bolivia is featured in the first electronic edition of World Cares, the newsletter of the Franciscan Mission Service.

Andrew Reitz, OFM, New York City, presented information last month about the ministries of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Midtown Manhattan, where he is pastor. It was part of a program called, “Educating Young People in Justice and Peace,” and sponsored by the Path to Peace Foundation in conjunction with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. Forty-seven students from U.S. universities participated in the week-long seminar. “Our session dealt with the outreach efforts of our church here in Manhattan,” said Andrew. “I talked with them about the breadline and homelessness, our immigration center, programs dealing with unemployment, our partnering with Habitat for Humanity, the Meatloaf Kitchen and with other agencies, the Twelve Step Support Groups that we host, and our ongoing discussion about the needs that we respond to every day. Questions asked by the students showed their interest in social issues and their current involvement.”

Daniel Riley, OFM, director of the Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat in Western New York, and other friars at the mountain are hosting HNP friars for a four-day contemplative program of discussion and renewal. The following week, he will be in North Carolina for St. Bonventure University alumni functions. On June 22 and 23, he will be in Charlotte and on June 24 he will be in Raleigh.

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, was appointed last month to the Vocations Council for the Archdiocese of New York. “I think it is important in terms of collaborating with the archdiocese in various projects,” he said. The HNP Vocation Office has also recently added new features to its webpage – — to assist men interested in religious life and to promote vocations within families and the community. Enhancements include prayers for those discerning a vocation, resources for parents and for those who wish to pray for vocations, a listing of recommended resources, and a variety of other materials. Men discerning a vocation can now request a tour of a Franciscan ministry in their area.

William Jud Weiksnar, OFM, Camden, N.J., was mentioned in the May 28 issue of The New York Times in an article titled Worshiper Recalls Admission by Patz Suspect Decades Ago.” “It is certainly a tragic story, and as you may have seen, St. Anthony’s played a role in it.“ Jud said, “At the time the confession in the prayer group would have taken place, the friars had not yet even arrived in Camden. But some members of the prayer group back then are still active in the parish.” On Memorial Day, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, appeared in a news clip about the same topic on WABC-TV news in New York City.

Dennis Wilson, OFM, New York City, was elected treasurer liaison to the OFM Interprovincial Novitiate. The position is one of service to the provincials and secretaries of formation who have responsibility for the inter-provincial novitiate in Burlington, Wis., to assist with the annual budget and promote financial transparency. The liaison may be asked to answer questions that arise from the provincials, secretaries of formation, or provincial treasurers, Dennis said.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by June 13 (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:
• The Order’s Chapter of Mats Under Ten
• Province’s annual JPIC local contacts retreat
• Commemoration of the 800th anniversry of the Poor Clares
• Celebrations of the feast of St. Anthony on June 13

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas