News Briefs

HNP Communications 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 Jocelyn Thomas at

Russell Becker, OFM, HNP’s director of evangelization, has distributed his August monthly reflection, “Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels: The Portiuncola,” which begins: “This year the Franciscans are remembering the 800th anniversary of the approval of the First Rule of St. Francis by Pope Innocent III. To celebrate this event, Franciscans from all over the world converged on the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels in Assisi for a Chapter of Mats. In the basilica is the little chapel (St. Francis called it the Portiuncola, the little portion) dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels, where St. Francis gathered his early followers. It was the first motherhouse for his group of followers that were coming to him and is still, to this day, a central part of the life of the Order.” Russell’s reflection can be found on the Province’s Spiritual Resources page.

Michael Calabria, OFM, recently returned from India, where he conducted research on Islamic India and the Mughal Empire. This project was sponsored by a Keenan-Martine Grant through St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., where Michael is a lecturer in Arabic and Islamic studies.

Kevin Cronin, OFM, a member of HNP’s Ministry of the Word, spoke last weekend at Holy Cross Church in Callicoon, N.Y., and St. Patrick’s Chuch in Pond Eddy, N.Y., about the 800th anniversary of the Order of Friars Minor. Kevin traveled to Upstate New York from St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., to share his insights on the feast of the Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula. He discussed St. Francis’ life, along with the founding of the Order.

Francis Gunn, OFM, HNP’s coordinator for strategic planning, provided a status report to the Provincial Council for its meeting this week. The Communications Office also submitted its quarterly report. 

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, represented the Province at the 2009 conference of the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities, held July 29 to Aug. 1 at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., where he served from 1996 to 2005. Its theme, “Cherishing our Traditions, Inspiring our Future,” provided opportunities for participants to share individual histories and common goals. This summer’s conference was meant to “gather us together and celebrate several milestones for the association, as it, too, is inspiring our future,” according to the Web site of the 10-year-old association. Nearly 50 colleges and universities were represented at the event, honoring the 800th anniversary of the Franciscans, Michael said.

Jerry Hudson, OFM, was featured in an article in the Aug. 3 Courier-Post titled “Credit Camden Church for Ugly House Contest.” Details about the project and its publicity will appear in a future issue of HNP Today. Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, has alerted the Communications Office of several articles recently published about the parish.

Joseph Kotula, OFM, presented a talk on Aug. 5 as part of the Mt. Irenaeus “Summer of Re-creation” series. He spoke with Vic Vena, Mt. Irenaeus board member and local businessman, and others about “Community and Nature as Healing Places.”

Jerome Massimino, OFM, has been elected to the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of New York. He received a July 27 letter from Archbishop Timothy Dolan that said, “I look forward to working with you as, together, we do all that we can to support and assist our brother priests and the people of God in the archdiocese.”

Jim McIntosh, OFM, of Bolivia, is travelling by train through Chicago and Washington, D.C., returning from a visit to the West Coast. He will be at Holy Cross Church in Callicoon, N.Y., this weekend for a mission call and next week at St. Anthony Church in Yulan, N.Y. On Aug. 22, Jim will travel to New York City for the solemn profession of vows.

An opinion article titled “Obama a Modern St. Francis” by Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM,  appeared in the Aug. 8 Albany Times Union. It compares the overtures of President Obama to the Muslim world with that of St. Francis’ visit to the Sultan during the Crusades. His piece about the 800th anniversary of the Order, “Challenge to live meaningful life as relevant in today’s world as 800 years ago,” appeared in the Aug. 6 issue ofThe Beacon, the publication of the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., where the Province has four parishes.

Kevin Mullen, OFM, is pictured in the summer 2009 issue of Siena News. He is shown in a photo on page 25 with people involved with WVCR 88.3, the campus radio station. The station dedicated its Internet radio station, Siena Talk 216, on April 7. On the same page is a photo that shows Kenneth Paulli, OFM, the executive assistant to the president. The magazine also features Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, who is Siena’s new campus chaplain, and Linh Hoang, OFM, who was ordained in May. The magazine includes the traditional letter from the president, in which Kevin talks of St. Francis’ instructions for living life. He wrote: “Follow your heart, seek truth, serve each other, always be open to learning.” 

Michael Putich, OFM, and the community of St. Clare Church in Buffalo, N.Y., where he is pastor, participated in a parish picnic on Aug. 8.

During his July 29 visit to Raleigh, N.C., President Obama had “the opportunity to fly over the church of St. Francis of Assisi,” said pastor Mark Reamer, OFM. “You’ll notice him at the window of Air Force One, checking out our construction project.” Mark provided the Communications Office with a photo of the occurrence, taken by parishioner Richard Cox.

Andrew Reitz, OFM, reports that the restoration of Sacred Heart Church in Tampa, Fla., where he is pastor, has been completed ahead of schedule. An update on the parish’s Web site reports, “We didn’t think that the church would be finished until October, but with a lot of hard work by a dedicated group of workers, we are happy to have the job done early. They were very conscientious and thoughtful about their work and how they did it.” 

The friars in Providence, R.I., host the Provincial Minister of the Korean Province, Fr. Francis Ki, OFM, on Aug. 12. He and Fr. Pio Kim, OFM, who lives at St. Francis Friary in New York City, Fr. Francis Li, OFM, and Fr. Joseph Kim, OFM, are visiting the Korean Catholic Community of Rhode Island at St. Mary’s Church. Fr. Kim was hosted by the friars of St. Francis Friary in New York on Aug. 10. Frank Sevola, OFM, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Providence, R.I., was the guest preacher for the Providence Dominican Friars Community celebration of the Feast of St. Dominic on Aug. 8 at St. Pius V Parish in Providence.

Brian Smail, OFM, has launched a blog for the Province’s Franciscan Vocation Ministry. More information about “Be A Franciscan” will appear in the Aug. 26 issue of this newsletter.

Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua in Greenville, S.C., spoke on a local television program recently about the parish’s efforts to build a new school.

HNP’s Communications Office is seeking information about several topics to include in future issues of this newsletter. Friars and staff members with news about the following are encouraged to contact communications director Jocelyn Thomas by phone at 646-473-0265 ex. 321, or email to

· Young adult ministry
· Summer trips (educational, recreational or spiritual)
· Programs to help the hungry and the homeless
· Ways that HNP ministries will commemorate the feast of St. Francis this fall
· Recommended books and articles

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Aug. 19.