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 Aherne, OFM, Peter Chepaitis, OFM, Daniel Dwyer, OFM, Stephen Kluge, OFM, Kevin Mackin, OFM, and Andrew Reitz, OFM, are among the friars pictured in the new rotating photos on the home page of the Province’s website.

Thomas Conway, OFM, the Province’s director of post-novitiate formation, invites friars to the Sept. 1 diaconate ordination of Br. Sungho Damian Park, OFM. “Br. Damian is a member of the Korean Province of the Order of Friars Minor, and is a long-time member of the community at Holy Name College. Presiding will be Bishop Barry C. Knestout, Washington Archdiocesan Vicar General. This Mass takes place at the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on Saturday at 10 a.m. A reception will be held afterward at Holy Name College, 1650 St. Camillus Drive in Silver Spring.”

George Corrigan, OFM, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, appeared in an article in the Tampa Tribune, titled “Faith Community Gears Up for Republican National Convention” earlier this week. He and other Tampa religious people spoke about how the flood of protestors in town for the GOP convention would affect the everyday operations of faith communities in the area. George was stationed at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston during the Democratic National Convention in 2004. “It was basically a non-event,” he said. “Protestors don’t usually mess with us.”

Photos of Michael Duffy, OFM, Christopher Posch, OFM, and the other friars involved with the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry appear in the photo album of the 2012 to 2013 opening retreat on the FVM Facebook page.

Kyle Haden, OFM, successfully defended his thesis at Fordham University on Aug. 21 and now has a Ph.D. in historical theology.  Kyle will begin teaching at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York this semester.

On Aug 19, Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, attended the 50th anniversary celebration of religious profession for Fr. Fred Link, OFM, the former provincial minister of St. John the Baptist Province and visitor to Holy Name Province in 2010, in Cincinnati. It was a joyful celebration, said Michael, “especially with the way representatives of Fr. Fred’s three families — the province, his parish and his biological family — were at the Mass and reception to support him.”  Notes of congratulation can be sent to Fr. Fred at St. Clement Friary, 4536 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45217. A feature about Fr. Fred appears in the Aug. 23 issue of St. John the Baptist Province’s newsletter.

Michael Johnson, OFM, led a recent trip to Trinidad and Tobago as part of the St. Francis Builds ministry of St. Camillus Parish, where he is pastor. A slideshow was posted on the parish’s Facebook page.

Last week, Stephen Kluge, OFM, participated in a prayer service to show support and appreciation for the nuns and sisters of the United States. It was held Aug. 22, on the memorial for the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Brant Beach, N.J., where Steve is pastor. A photo was provided.

Karl Koenig, OFM, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, Juan Turcios, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM, are featured in a video about St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Camden, N.J., that was released last week on Facebook. Its title is “Who Would Go Into Camden?”

A bereavement group, led by Paul Lostritto, OFM, will begin Sept. 5 at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City. Those interested should contact Paul at 212-736-8500 or at

On Aug. 25, Kevin Mackin, OFM, welcomed the class of 2016 to Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., where he is president and teaches a course on the history of Christianity.

A report on the HNP Fraternal Life in Ministry Directorate, of which David McBriar, OFM, is chair, was distributed this month by the Provincial Council. It summarizes the friars’ feedback on 2012 spring fraternal gatherings, presenting “a snapshot of the state of the friars at this moment in our province’s life and history,” according to a letter from the directorate. Not only will the report give friars “a good idea of what we as a province are feeling and thinking, it may also provide you with some indications of the direction in which our collective spirit seems to be moving us.”

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, was mentioned in a presentation given earlier this month by the director of the Franciscan Mission Service to the Conference of Major Superiors of Men.  In her report, Kim Smolik said, “His schedule as a provincial is booked months out, but he still makes time to meet with me, as a lay woman working at a Franciscan organization. In the course of one meal, I feel included, invigorated, and somehow more connected with the hierarchy of the Church.”

Paul O’Keeffe, OFM, has announced the opening of a counseling practice, Soul Therapeutics, and the launch of its website. “I am still working full time for the Franciscan Mission Service, but have started a practice to provide counseling for the poor who don’t have access to these services. The office is at Holy Name College Friary, Silver Spring, and I see clients on weeknights and some weekends.” Both the office and website opened about a month ago.

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, is finalizing the Province’s “come and see” events for fall 2012.Information is available on the Join Us page of the HNP website. Next week, he is attending the diaconate ordination of Francis Critch, OFM, in Canada.

Siena College is celebrating the 65th birthday of Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, with a reception on Sept. 8 at St. Francis Friary in Midtown Manhattan that will raise money for the recently endowed scholarship at Siena. Information about the event is available on the college’s website.

James Vacco, OFM, pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany, N.Y., was among the people who greeted Bishop Richard Malone, the new bishop of Buffalo, at an Aug. 26 Mass and reception at St. Mary’s Church in Olean, N.Y.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Sept. 5 (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:
•  Renovation of the Province’s retirement residence in Butler, N.J.
•  Installation of Christopher VanHaight, OFM, as pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish, Paterson, N.J. 
•  Justice and peace program on Sept. 22 at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas