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 HNP Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

The members of the Chapter Planning Committee — which includes Frank Critch, OFM, Robert Frazzetta, OFM, Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, Lawrence Hayes, OFM, General Visitor Fr. Melvin Jurisich, OFM, Erick Lopez, OFM, committee chair Daniel McLellan, OFM, Joseph Nangle, OFM, Christopher VanHaight, OFM, and Dennis Wilson, OFM — held its first meeting today at the Provincial office in New York City. They were appointed to the committee by the Provincial Council, as mandated by the HNP Provincial statutes.

David Convertino, OFM, executive director of development, has distributed a three-part reflection about the Prayer of St. Francis as part of his standard e-mail series to friends and supporters.

Michael Duffy, OFM, one of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry’s site supervisors, commented on the FVMs in a video that was posted recently on the organization’s Facebook page. “For over 25 years now, we’ve had young Franciscan volunteers serving with us, living with us, praying with us. They are an important element in the work that we do in feeding between 300 and 400 people a day at the soup kitchen. This year, my hope is that the young people who are coming to join us will be able to have personal relationships with what other people call the marginalized — people who are homeless, who are addicted, who have to live in the streets. The relationship that FVMs build with them will change their viewpoint forever on our society and perhaps on their opinions, who they vote for, how they raise their children and how they help other people in the world.” Videos of two other friars —Hugh Macsherry, OFM, a site supervisor, and Juan Turcios, OFM, a site supervisor in training — also appear on the FVM Youtube channel.

Andrew Giardino, OFM, celebrated Mass last week for the first time since suffering a stroke in January. He will continue offering the 12:05 p.m. Mass each Tuesday at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn., where he was ministering prior to his illness. Photos of Andrew celebrating Mass are posted on the parish’s Facebook page.

Daniel Horan, OFM, of Boston, will lead a retreat next month for St. Anthony Shrine’s 20s/30s group. Titled “The Franciscan Spirituality of Thomas Merton: Changing Hearts, Living Faith,” the event will take place from Oct. 11 to 13 at Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, Mass.

A photo of three friars at Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J., appears in the September 2013 issue of South Bergen’s The Gazette. They are Michael Jones, OFM, Paul Keenan, OFM, and Richard Mucowski, OFM,pastor. An article accompanying the photo talked about recent changes in friar leadership at the parish, including the departures of Julian Jagudilla, OFM, and Francis Kim, OFM, and the arrival of Michael Jones, OFM, as well as Paul’s priestly ordination in November.

Cidouane Joseph, OFM, is traveling to Haiti next week as part of the Sister Parish Trip of St. Patrick-St Anthony Parish, Hartford, where he is stationed. Cidouane, who was raised in Haiti, and the other five travelers will receive a “going into mission blessing” on Sept 15, the day before they depart.

Christopher Keenan, OFM, chair of the HNP Ongoing Formation Committee, is organizing conference call workshops for this fall, as a continuation to the program that the committee launched last spring. Dates and themes of these workshops will be publicized this month, Christopher said.

Paul Keenan, OFM, was ordained a transitional deacon on Sept. 7 at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Washington celebrated the Mass.  Paul will be ordained a priest on Nov. 9.

Two friars — David McBriar and Mark Reamer, OFM — are mentioned in a National Catholic Reporter article titled “North Carolina Bishop Joseph Gossman Dies at 83.” “Two Franciscan friars also wrote tributes to Gossman published Aug. 25 in the bulletin of Raleigh’s St. Francis of Assisi parish. Franciscan Fr. Mark Reamer, the pastor, told the story of the day in 2006 when local friars had a farewell gathering and meal for Gossman,” according to the Sept. 5 article.

Jim McIntosh, OFM, of Boston, noticed an article in the Washington Post about a community in which he lived before entering the Province’s formation program. The article, titled “D.C.’s Intentional Community Puts Strangers in a House Joined by Core Values,” states,”When four devout, antiwar Catholics bought the row house in 1986 and named it after social justice icon Saint Francis (the pope used the same inspiration), they were driven by the Central American solidarity movement and Catholic efforts for nuclear disarmament and simple living. They purposely picked then-rundown Petworth to live among the poor and disenfranchised.” Jim created the intentional community in 1986 with Joseph Nangle, OFM, who still lives in the Assisi House. “This isn’t just a nice way to live together, or a more convenient way, or even a way to be politically active,” Joe said in the article. “This has to do with the divine, how we’re expected to live.”

Daniel McLellan, OFM, pastor of St. Andrew’s Parish in Clemson, S.C., reflected in a recent bulletin about his time at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., where he began studying 50 years ago on Sept. 8. “For me, it was a unique experience of growing up, something exotic to share with my buddies when home on vacations, and an experience of a tradition I lament that incoming friars today will never know,” he wrote in the Sept. 8 bulletin. “The friars — especially the brothers who ran the farm, baked our bread, and slipped us cigarettes and ice cream — were remarkable men of devotion. But the 245 of us formed one another. It made me appreciate the value of peers to bang you into shape to live a common dream.” The full reflection is available in the bulletin.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, is attending an international meeting of all the Provincial Secretaries of Formation and Studies in Assisi, Italy, from Sept 8 to 22. This is “a gathering of more than 100 friar delegates from the various provinces of the world to discuss the situation of initial formation in the Order, following up on a series of Continental Congresses of formators that was held over the previous two years. The English-speaking Conference held its meeting last August in Colorado,” said Dominic. “Discussions will be in the three official international languages of the Order — English, Italian, and Spanish — although daily liturgies will also be held in Croatian, French, Polish and Portuguese. After the international meeting in Assisi, the secretaries of the ESC will caucus in Dublin from Sept. 23 to 24 for several additional days of meetings, especially to discuss greater collaboration in initial formation here in the USA.”

Siena College president Kevin Mullen, OFM, as well as Brian Belanger, OFM, and Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM,appear in photos in the Summer 2013 issue of Siena magazine distributed recently. An e-version of the publication can be found online.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, encourages friars to consider attending the Sept. 30 church management workshop offered by the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management being held in Philadelphia. Information about the 1 to 9 p.m. program was distributed to friars through a Sept. 6 e-bulletin.

Joseph Quinn, OFM, participated in a project of the St. Anthony Shrine Kids Program, distributing “Back to School Backpacks” for children entering kindergarten through fifth grade this coming school year. A total of 240 backpacks were distributed, said Maribeth MacDonald, the shrine’s director of development, who provided a photo of Joseph with two volunteers from Boston University.

A reflection by Daniel Riley, OFM, titled “Consider the Light,” was posted on the Facebook page of Mt. Irenaeus on Sept. 1. The director of the Franciscan Mountain Retreat said that “while light may fade from our days, it can rise up in our hearts if we take time to consider.”

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, is attending a Franciscan mega-conference of vocation directors this week in Chicago. He reminds ministries to publicize this fall’s vocation events, the first of which is Sept. 20 to 22 at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.

After reading the two articles about the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in the Aug. 28 issue of this newsletter, Benedict Taylor, OFM, founder of Create, the social services agency in Harlem, said he “was very glad to reflect on the words and action of Roy Gasnick, OFM, and of the other friars.” On Aug. 28, 1963, Benedict “was stationed at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, the youngest friar in a house of 60 or more. There was only one TV, in the community TV room,” he said. “The friars had, at that point, a conservative view of civil rights, demonstrations, and the like. With a full day of assignments and no personal access to the TV, I had to wait to read about the march in the papers that evening. I often heard the speech over the ensuing years. It has been a constant inspiration.”

Patrick Tuttle, OFM, will be providing musical entertainment at the fourth annual Heritage Banquet, called A Night in Assisi, on Sept. 13.  This is a joint celebration of  St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Greenville, S.C., where he is pastor, at St. Mary of the Angels Parish in nearby Anderson, S.C.

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, a Buffalo, N.Y., native, recently noted that the Province’s St. Patrick Friary is located one block away from Larkinville, “the hippest new development in Buffalo.” “In the last few years, the neighborhood known as ‘Larkinville’ has emerged as a hub of economic activity,” according to an article Jud provided from Atlantic Cities. “The once devastated neighborhood now possesses a growing collection of public space, mixed-use initiatives and offices. It’s the city’s most unexpected and perhaps most successful urban development initiative in decades.” Several projects are developing in the area, including the renovation of the former Swan Lounge several blocks from the friary and innovative recycling and reuse initiatives, such as turning old filling stations into ATMs. “Also, the president of the civic group Buffalo Rising is now working on an idea I proposed years ago: to run zip lines between the historic grain elevators in the old industrial neighborhood about a mile from St. Patrick’s Friary,” said Jud, who says he offered to take a ride on the completed zip line in his habit.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Sept. 18, always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
•   Anniversary of Roberto Gonzalez, OFM, as Archbishop of San Juan
•   Peruvian Foundation of Holy Name Province
•   Celebration of feast of St. Francis
•   2013 Interprovincial retreat

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas