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. 

In his first letter to members of St. Anthony’s Guild, David Convertino, OFM, introduced himself and gave biographical information, saying he “deeply loves both the Convertinos and the Franciscans” and thanks God for giving him “these two great families to belong to and to love.” David, who became SAG director earlier this summer, also described how Franciscan friars open their arms to thousands around the world who are in need of a warm embrace.” The Aug. 26 mailing included a pamphlet about the feast of St. Francis that describes the importance of preaching “a message of caring, justice and of God’s unconditional love for every single person.”

Thomas Conway, OFM, HNP director of post-novitiate formation, has joined the board of trustees of St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y. He will serve a three-year term.

Butler, N.J., retiree Hugh Eller, OFM, commemorated his 85th birthday on Sept. 11. Other Holy Name Province friars marking milestones this month include William McConville, OFM, of Raleigh, N.C., and Karl Koenig, OFM, of Camden, N.J., who turned 65 and 70 respectively on Sept. 18.

Patrick Fitzgerald, OFM, was featured in “Remembering Father Judge,” a news piece that aired on Albany’s Fox TV channel the evening of Sept. 11.

William Fitzgerald, OFM, of Falmouth, Mass., hosted a workshop for the postulants and simply professed friars of Immaculate Conception Province at Quam Bonum, the Province’s house on Cape Cod the week of Sept. 12. Fr. Thomas Washburn, OFM, IC Province’s director of vocations, and Fr. Mike Mac Innis, OFM, director of postulants, directed the workshop. On Wednesday, James Sabak, OFM, presented a session titled, “Rock Around the Clock with Francis: Liturgy of the Hours” and another “Behind the Veil: The Liturgy of the Eucharist.”  Fr. Primo Piscitello, OFM, provincial minister of IC Province, celebrated the closing liturgy. “The students were very impressed with the workshop as well as the location here on the Cape. Due to a conflict in schedules, the postulants of HNP were not able to attend the workshop,” William said. “We will look into the possibility of having more interprovincial gatherings in the future.”

On Oct. 8, Daniel Grigassy, OFM, will be giving a workshop on the New Roman Missal at St. Joseph Church, Anderson, S.C. Paul Williams, OFM, and Henry Fulmer, OFM, invited Daniel, who is pastor of St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., to lead the session for the Catholic community. Details about the workshop and information about Daniel are available on an event flyer.

Kenneth Himes, OFM, submitted to the HNP Communications Office a document about a former friar who teaches at Boston College, where Ken teaches. “I think many older friars would appreciate reading about the following. It concerns the publication of a festschrift — a book of essays written in a scholar’s field of expertise by colleagues who wish to acknowledge and celebrate the achievement of a major academic figure — that was done to honor Stephen Brown, a former friar who now teaches at Boston College in the theology department. At a party among the department faculty to begin the school year, it was announced that Steve had been the recipient of a festschrift over the summer. One of his younger colleagues, Boyd Taylor Coolman, another teacher of medieval thought, offered a tribute to Steve and explanation of the book. Steve may not be known to many younger friars, but the friars of my generation and older knew him as a friar and would enjoy hearing of this honor given to him.”

A photo of Brian Jordan, OFM, appeared in a Sept. 8 story in the Huffington Post titled “September 11 photos: Portraits of First Responders, Then and Now.” It shows a photo of Brian taken in 2001 and one in 2011, taken in a New York subway car.

Christopher Keenan, OFM, reports that the College of Mount St. Vincent, where he is chaplain, is the “only school in the New York area that did not close during Hurricane Irene last month.” Chris was with 200 students during a 21-hour evacuation, he said.

Members of the HNP Fraternal Life in Mission Directorate met Sept. 21 in the Provincial Office. The group is chaired by David McBriar, OFM, of Raleigh, N.C. On Friday, two HNP directorates will be meeting in New York City:  the Formation and Studies Directorate and the JPIC Directorate.

Joseph Nangle, OFM, celebrated a Mass on Sept. 16 for candidates of the Franciscan Mission Service and gave a presentation called “St. Francis and the Foolishness of God.” News of the FMS can be found on its website and on its Facebook page.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, is meeting Sept. 21 and 22 with the Provincial Council members. On Thursday, he departs for Washington for a meeting of the Washington Theological Union Board of Trustees.

Mark Reamer, OFM, reports that The Franciscan School, a ministry of the Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi in Raleigh, where he is pastor, has been named a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School of Academic Excellence. The announcement was made Sept. 15 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who said: “Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to academic achievement and to ensuring that students learn and succeed. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and must receive a quality education.” The Franciscan School is an important and vital ministry of the Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi, which exists to form disciples of Jesus Christ, Mark said. Beginning with our pre-school celebrating 20 years in 2011-2012, our parish schools provide our children with an opportunity not only for an academically-excellent education, but also, integrated throughout the curriculum, a faith formation that will serve our students for the rest of their lives. I value the strong partnership with parents, parish and faculty that exists here at St. Francis.”

Information about the Sept. 21 International Day of Prayer for Peace was publicized by the Order’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, directed by Joseph Rozansky, OFM.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Oct. 5 (always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date). Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
· The 25 years of service of Provincial Office staff member Erlinda Martinez 
· Commemorations of the Spirit of Assisi held in 1986
· Updates from the Franciscan Vocation Ministry
· Provincial Council meeting highlights
· The next Franciscan Encuentro being planned by the HNP Hispanic Ministry Committee

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas