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.

The Provincial Office has been notified that the email accounts of Russell Becker, OFM, and David Hyman, OFM, were recently hacked. Both friars are in the process of reclaiming their accounts. Email address updates are communicated to friars through “HNP News for Friars” e-letters. A link to the most recent e-letter can be found on the Extranet landing page under “New and Noteworthy.”

Michael Calabria, OFM, and Anthony Wilson, OFM, are commemorating milestone birthdays this week. Michael turned 50 on July 11 and Anthony turns 60 on July 14. Last week, Charles Finnegan, OFM, turned 80, and on July 17, Blaise Reinhart, OFM, will turn 85 years old.

John C. Coughlin, OFM, Richard Husted, OFM, Cidouane Joseph, OFM, Erick Lopez, OFM, Patrick Tuttle, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM, are some of the friars who appear in the new rotating photos on the home page of Holy Name Province’s website. These photos will be on the site for the next three months.

Francis Di Spigno, OFM, officially became guardian of the St. Bonaventure University friary last month in a “changing of the guardians” ceremony. A photo of Francis and Xavier Seubert, OFM, the previous guardian, taken on June 29, was posted on SBU’s Facebook page.

“Digital Natives and Franciscan Spirituality,” an article by Daniel Horan, OFM, published in the Summer 2010 issue of Spiritual Life, recently took first-place as “Best Feature Article” in the “Prayer and Spirituality” category for the 2011 Catholic Press Association awards. According to a CPA press release: “This piece sets itself apart through its timely and relevant topic, provocative quotes, strong lead and voice. The author intelligently weaves together reflections on Millennials, the instant gratification of technology and the essence of a spiritual quest.” Dan also contributed a chapter to the new book, Franciscan Voices on 9/11, edited by John Feister. The e-book, which also includes a contribution from Joseph Nangle, OFM, can be purchased on Amazon. 

Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, led the first of four pilot Franciscan mission retreats last weekend for the staff and administrators of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., where he is chaplain. The “Living Our Tradition” retreat focuses on Siena’s Franciscan identity and how Siena’s community of administrators and staff work to integrate and support the college’s Franciscan mission, said Greg. “About 40 Siena staff and administrators are participating in this program. After this pilot version of the retreat is completed, the retreat will be evaluated. The intention is to expand the program during the academic year to allow for more administrators and staff to attend. Additionally, on-going discussion groups are being planned to continue the conversation and Franciscan formation for those who participated in the retreat.” Siena president Kevin Mullen, OFM, offers a welcome at the beginning of each retreat and provides the framework for “Living Our Tradition” — which is also the title of Siena’s Strategic Plan. “I present on the life of St. Francis of Assisi as well as leading a conversation with the participants in how we can continue to integrate our Franciscan mission into our various responsibilities and relationships at Siena,” Greg said.

Michael Johnson, OFM, pastor of St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Md., announced last week on the church’s Facebook page that he has launched a blog, Reflections of a Franciscan Gardener.

The first meeting of the Province’s 2011-2014 Franciscan Life in Mission Directorate, chaired by David McBriar, OFM, was held July 1 at the Provincial Office. It is one of more than a dozen HNP committees and directorates.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, served as chaplain for the Catholic community at the Chautauqua Institution, west of Jamestown, N.Y, from July 2 to 9. Besides celebrating weekend and weekday liturgies, Dominic also gave a public lecture sponsored by the Catholic community on “The Common Good in Catholic Social Teaching.” This was to fit in with the overall theme of the week at Chautauqua: “Applied Ethics: Government and the Search for the Common Good,” he said. Plenary speakers during the week included such figures as James Carroll, E. J. Dionne, David Gergen, Theodore Olsen, and Katherine Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. On July 15, Dominic will preach the homily at a 5 p.m. Eucharistic liturgy at St. Bonaventure University in honor of the feast of St. Bonaventure.

The June 26 farewell Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in East Rutherford, N.J., presided by Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, was featured in a July 7 article in the South Bergenite. During the weekend of July 9, John assisted with Masses at the Province’s St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J. He is currently on a retreat.

The Hispanic Ministry Committee, chaired by Christopher Posch, OFM, met June 28 at the Provincial Office in New York City for the first time since the 2011 Chapter. Friar members were joined by two new lay members: Milagros Santos from St. Mary’s Church, Pompton Lakes, N.J., and Carlos Velasquez from St. Camillus, Silver Spring, Md. The meeting included an exchange of ideas on faith and evangelization followed by a discussion of individual ministerial experiences. After a review of the committee’s mission statement, a brainstorming session lasted for most of the afternoon, yielding, among other ideas, the desire once again to organize a Province-wide Franciscan encuentro to bring friars and lay partners together to pray, celebrate, learn and engage in civil dialog.

Andrew Reitz, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York, reminds friars and partners-in-ministry that July 15 is the deadline to register for the pilgrimage to Italy that he is leading this fall. Those interested should contact Sarah Valdes (813-871-5623) at Que Pasa Travel.

Daniel Riley, OFM, is leading the third Evening of Re-Creation tonight at Mt. Irenaeus, where he is director. The balance of this year’s Re-creation Evenings at the Franciscan mountain retreat in Western New York will be presented by Kevin Kriso, OFM, on July 20, Robert Struzynski, OFM, July 27 and Joseph Kotula, OFM, on Aug. 3. These weekly programs begin at 6 p.m. with an evening meal and conclude at 9 p.m. Details about this annual series and other events are posted on the Mt. Irenaeus website as well as on its Facebook page.

Twenty friars who are solemnly professed under five years gathered last month at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., for their annual meeting. These SPUFY gatherings offer support to friars by providing an opportunity to share with one another the joys and challenges of living and ministering as solemnly professed friars. “The group explores various topics of specific relevance to SPUFY friars and to the Province as a whole,” saidChristopher VanHaight, OFM, of Paterson, N.J. Christopher professed solemn vows in 2007. The group’s spiritual mentor, David Hyman, OFM, facilitated the June 20 to 24 gathering.

The University of Georgia Catholic Center in Athens — where Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, is director — was the topic of a profile that won first place at the Catholic Press Association conference. Reporter Andrew Nelson wrote on the UGA Catholic Center’s Facebook page: “The center is a great place for college students to stretch their faith.”

Some of the friars and topics being featured in upcoming issues of HNP Today include:
· The first graduation at Christ the King Preparatory School, where Robert Sandoz, OFM, is president
· Brian Belanger, OFM, and Siena College’s Franciscan Summer Experience
· Aug. 15 reception of novices

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas