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. They include personal news as well as developments at their ministries. 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, of St. Petersburg, Fla., will be participating this Friday and Saturday in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser in Wisconsin. His July 31 post on his blog, The Wandering Friar, describes John’s experience with cancer.

Todd Carpenter, OFM, pastor of St. Paul Parish in Wilmington, Del., reports that the building formerly used by the parish school has been rented. “St. Paul’s Parish recently signed a 10-year contract to lease our former school building to the Wilmington Head Start Program,” he said. “St. Paul’s School closed in June 2011 due to declining enrollment and the financial impact of the diocesan bankruptcy. The school building had been on the market for 14 months since we learned of its closing. The leasing of the school building is essential for the future viability of the parish. We are very excited to have Head Start in our building. Not only will the rental income help stabilize the parish, but we are delighted to once again have children in our school. Head Start has various locations throughout the city of Wilmington, and St. Paul’s School will be one location. Starting this September, they will occupy the first floor and then phase in to full occupancy by summer 2013. St. Paul’s Parish will retain weekend use of the building for religious education classes, as well as parish meetings, events and retreats in the school hall. It’s a great arrangement for both St. Paul’s and Head Start, and we are looking forward to this new relationship for many years to come.”

Michael Duffy, OFM, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, and Christopher Posch, OFM, participated in the annual closing retreat of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry last month. It was held at Bethany Spirituality Center in Highland Mills, N.Y.

The July 23 issue of N.Y. Nonprofit News featured a lead article about the groundbreaking ceremony for the Sugar Hill Development in Harlem of the Broadway Housing Communities. John Felice, OFM, chairman of the board of BHC, said his role at the July 19 event was to welcome guests and politicians and to introduce Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The project is the fifth for Ellen Baxter, BHC’s founder and executive director, who he andJohn McVean, OFM, a former chair of the BHC, support strongly. “John and I are her oldest friends and supporters. Our relationships in the city and our experience have been a help to Ellen. Now we are learning from her. She is a fierce advocate for the homeless with a vision that sees the whole person who needs more than just a home. John and I have been on the board for Broadway Housing Communities for at least the last 20 years.  We first met Ellen Baxter when we were planning the first Residence for St. Francis Friends of the Poor and she was a graduate student.”

Daniel Horan, OFM, announced last weekend that he has created a new Facebook page  — one that provides professional updates. His original Facebook page will focus on personal news and observations.

Next month, Christopher Keenan, OFM, a fire chaplain of the Fire Department of City of New York, will participate in the annual Fr. Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance in New York City, which takes on Sept 9.  In a mailing that he periodically sends to friends, Christopher listed the many charities of Mychal Judge, OFM, with which he is involved. They include the six programs of CREATE, All Saints Church’s Food Pantry in Harlem, the Holy Name Province Benevolence Fund, and the FDNY Holy Name Society’s Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, Scholarship Fund.

In June, Pius Liu, OFM, 91, of Taiwan, who is officially retired, celebrated a Mass in honor of the 51st anniversary of the death of Julius Dillon, OFM, of the Shasi Mission of Holy Name Province in China. He was involved in several milestones in Pius’ life. Msgr. Julius Dillon, Fr. Ralph Reilly from Japan, and Fr. Aloysius Reilly were at his simple profession in July 1956 in Lafayette, N.J. From 1956 to 1957, Pius and Julius were stationed at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, and in 1959, Msgr, Julius, on home leave and medical treatment from Taipei, went to St. Bonaventure University for Pius’ solemn profession. He added: “On July 15 of this year, the feast of St. Bonaventure, I was saying Mass for the FMM Sisters at their Provincial House in Taipei, and before Mass I asked them to join me in grateful and loving memory of Frs. Maurice Scheier, OFM, Juvenal Lalor, OFM, Ambrose Buckingham, OFM, Aloysius Reilly, OFM, and all the departed — rest in peace.” In another email, Pius said: “I am grateful to the Lord for the grace of maintaining a childlike heart and not retirement of learning.   I consider the fast and free-of-charge Internet to be a God-sent communicator by which sharing reflections on the current events relevant to faith, hope, charity or Franciscan spirituality with (killing) not only one or two, but decades, even hundreds of birds, with one stone.” Pius said it is very gratifying to see some of his reflections appearing inHNP Today and in other publications around the world.

Provincial Vicar and HNP Secretary for Formation and Studies Dominic Monti, OFM, will speak next week at the meeting of the English-speaking Conference formators in Colorado.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, felt grateful to note that National Catholic Reporter published an article in its July 20 to Aug. 2 issue about the Vatican’s April assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The article, “Bishops lashing out at Sisters is a Distraction,” by Kathy Galleher, said: “Similarly, public statements of support from men religious — notably the Franciscans — are courageous and directly by non-violence. I hope that all of us will follow their lead — speaking our truth with courage and non-violence and, like the sisters, keeping our eyes on the real work we are called to do as a Church.” This week, John is meeting with the Provincial Council members at their four-day gathering in Colorado.

Matthew Pravetz, OFM, chair of the HNP Wellness Committee, encourages friars who are diabetic or pre-diabetic to attend the Province’s Sept. 22 workshop in New York City, being given by specialists in the field. “We believe this program will provide useful hints on how to cope with diabetes and how to live happily with the disease,” Matthew said. The Wellness Committee, which is sponsoring the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. program, encourages participants to bring a support person, such as the guardian or friary cook, to hear the information. Friars are asked to register by Aug. 20 by completing and submitting the form that was emailed last week, and returning it to Theresa Bartha in the Provincial Office.

An icon, Christ Sophia — The Word of God, by Michael Reyes, OFM, has been printed and is for sale on “It is the company that publishes the icons of artists like our very own Robert Lentz, OFM, and other religious people like Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS,” said Michael. “Christ Sophia — The Word of God is an icon I painted here at Holy Name College’s iconography studio for a class that I took at Wesley Theological Seminary. The class is called Art as Worship, Worship as Art and was conducted by Dr. Deborah Sokolove. I just recently heard from John O’Brien, the owner/manager of, that the icon Christ Sophia set a new record for the store for prints being sold just within a few days of its debut on the store’s website.”

The friars of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Midtown Manhattan were mentioned in an article in the July 25 issue of the New York Post titled “Bless me Father for I Have Killed.” It described an Ohio man who “was so desperate to come clean that he grabbed the first priest he could find at a Manhattan church and copped to bludgeoning his girlfriend 500 miles away,” sources told the Post.  “He just grabbed a priest and said, ‘I want to tell you something,’ said another priest at the church, who asked not to be identified.” The confession was not done in the context of the sacrament of reconciliation and, therefore, was not bound by the ‘seal of confession’.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Aug. 8 (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:
• Simple profession 
• A reflection on St. Clare by Michael Blastic, OFM
            • Music ministry of Hartford’s St Anthony-St. Patrick Parish
            • May 2013 pilgrimage to Italy for friars
• Young adult programs around the Province
 — Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas