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. 

Christopher Dunn, OFM, received notification last month that he was appointed chaplain for the 24th Division Lima South. He provided a document with statistics for the division. “The Lima South Division extends though the wealthiest neighborhoods and municipalities of southern Lima, through the shanty slum area and what were once squatter towns on the fringe of Lima, through the south beach towns and into the southern rural areas,” he said. The appointment was approved by “my Franciscan mission and Provincial administration, the archbishop, the commander of the 24th Division, and the national commander.” The appointment document was signed on Aug. 16, said Christopher, who has been serving the last three years as chaplain for Company 120 in a poor area on the outskirts of Lima. During that time, he has been working with the National Command to establish a more formal chaplaincy program within the Peruvian National Fire Corps. “We hope to expand the chaplaincy program to include at least one chaplain per division.”

John Heffernan, OFM, of Triangle, Va., spent two weeks offering dental care, again, in communities around Tapilula, Chiapas, Mexico. He worked out of a friar parish, San Bernardo, with friars from San Felipe de Jesús Province. “I cared for 100 people, while visiting six remote communities, the parish and the novitiate house, where I saw most of the 16 formation students,” he said.

Erick López, OFM, and Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., joined several thousand people last month in protesting the tar sands pipeline in Washington, D.C. The interfaith, peaceful witness against the Keystone XL Pipeline that, as the participants claimed, “will only help push the world over the cliff of irreversible, catastrophic changes in our climate,” took place on Aug. 29. Jacek said, “Erick and I as well as three other parishioners of St. Camillus Church participated in the rally.” Members of the Franciscan Action Network were present and visible at the event. After a presentation by James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Space Center, who is, according to Jacek, “the most distinguished climate scientist in the world,” Jacek directed a message to the White House: “President Obama, you have promised to turn the page on the policies of the past and to ensure that the rise of the oceans would begin to slow and planet begin to heal. Building the Keystone XL Pipeline will keep us addicted to oil. It’s a choice that will push the world over the cliff of irreversible and catastrophic changes in the climate. Our religious traditions call us to work for justice and peace, to have a special concern for the most vulnerable members of our global community. Our faith compels us to safeguard life on our planet, which is being threatened by the climate change. This is our moment Mr. President. We’re here to help you fulfill the promises you’ve made to the American people and the world.” Jacek submitted a reflection about the protest to Sojourners and photos of the event to the HNP Communications Office.

The blog of Michael Johnson, OFM, pastor of St. Camillus Church, now appears on In addition, the blog of postulant Casey Cole has been added to the Blogs by HNP Members and Ministries page.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, was mentioned in the Aug. 25 issue of Catholic New York in “College Visits.” Written by CNY editor John Woods, the column described his family’s visit to Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., where Kevin is president. After recently returning from a study tour of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, Kevin gave a State of the College address on Aug. 30 that highlighted 15 developments including campus life, educational and spiritual programs and cultural events.

Cassian Miles, OFM, provided a memory about Mychal Judge, OFM, in the Fall 2011 issue of Mychal’s Messenger. Cassian said, “Father Mychal had a practical, down-to-earth approach to life. His last homily goes to the heart of the Christian message about our dependence on God and how we must rely on his love and are to guide us.” In that same issue, Patrick Fitzgerald, OFM, is pictured.

Guy Morgan, OFM, has returned to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., after having helped for several weeks helped at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., during the summer. He is now preparing to move to Butler, N.J., on Sept. 12.

Siena College, where Kevin Mullen, OFM, is president, welcomed its largest class ever — 784 first-year students — last week. The Loudonville, N.Y., college received more than 9,750 applications, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

A message from Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, about the focus of the August Provincial Council meeting was distributed on Aug. 31 to the friars. It described the discussions the councilors had about two questions: “Where are we as a province?” and “Where do we wish to go?” These documents inform the discussions of the Aug. 7 to 10 meeting: an analysis of United States reality today an article by Richard R. Gaillardetz, “The State of the Church, 2011,” and the 2009 article by Michael Blastic, OFM, “Our Franciscan Evangelical Way of Life and Ministry in the Twenty-First Century,” according to John’s letter. The Provincial Council, in collaboration with HNP directorates, proposed a year-long reflective process aimed at addressing “state of the province questions at every level of the Province’s life.” The next Provincial Council meeting is Sept. 22.

Mark Reamer, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Raleigh, N.C., was appointed dean of the Raleigh Deanery of the Diocese of Raleigh last week by Bishop Michael Burbidge. The diocese comprises the 14 parishes of Wake and Franklin Counties. 

In a recent St. Francis of Assisi Church bulletin, pastor Andrew Reitz, OFM, recommended that, in commemoration of Labor Day, prayers be said for those who cannot find work or a decent job. “Let us ask God to help us to be supportive of those who are still without work,” he wrote. Andrew also announced special events planned for Francis week. They include the Sept. 30 Viva Francesco! cabaret to benefit the parish’s St. Francis Breadline.

Daniel Riley, OFM, director of Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat, will celebrate Mass for St. Bonaventure University alumni at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. SBU alumni director Joe Flanagan invites the friars of New York to join the gathering. 

On Sept. 14, vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, plans to attend the Archdiocese of New York Religious Vocation Directors Conference at Dunwoodie, Yonkers, N.Y. The theme of the one-day conference is “Moving Forward in Hope: Strengthening the Witness of Men and Women Religious in the Archdiocese of New York.” Later this month, Brian will host a meeting of the Province’s Vocation Committee in the Provincial Office and attend the mega conference for Franciscan vocation directors in Michigan. He invites men interested in learning more about Franciscan life to “Experience the Transitus” on Oct. 3 in New York. Details about this and other upcoming vocation events can be found in the Join Us section of

“The Eucharist and Drama,” by Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, of New York, was published in the September/October issue of The Pastoral Review.

James Vacco, OFM, pastor of St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, N. Y., reported in a recent bulletin that “you are all going to be pleasantly amazed about the fundraising effects of the 2011 Bonafest.”

St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J., where Jud Weiksnar, OFM, is pastor, held a program on Sept. 6 about Franciscan Spirituality and the Third Order of St. Francis. On his Facebook page, Karl Koenig, OFM, invited people “who want to learn how St. Francis could help their daily lives.” 

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Sept. 14 (always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date). Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
· The Fr. Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance
· Simple profession of Ross Chamberland, OFM
· Sept. 11 anniversary commemorations
· Installation of J. Patrick Kelly, OFM, as director of St. Anthony Shrine
· Celebrations of the feast of St. Francis

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas