News Briefs About Special Ministry Activities of HNP Friars

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

Below are updates about some of the many activities of Holy Name friars, including their outreach, celebrations, and presentations. More information can be obtained by visiting links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, by contacting the friars by phone or e-mail and by connecting with the Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, e-mail information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas.

The second issue of Crossroads 2011, the e-bulletin of the HNP Chapter Planning Committee, was distributed on Oct. 6. William Beaudin, OFM, committee’s chair, serves as the publication’s editor. Friars who did not receive the bulletin in their e-mail are asked to contact the HNP Communications Office.

Michael Blastic, OFM, is representing Holy Name Province at the Oct. 17 to 18 meeting of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, called the Gift of Religious. Holy Name Province made this important meeting possible, said Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM. This gathering in Denver will include formators, board chairs, deans, presidents, faculty representatives and others associated with the preparation for male religious for ordination to the presbyterate, according to a recent letter from Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv., executive director of the CMSM, who said, “Major funding for the gathering is due to the kindness and generosity of the Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province and the May Bonfils Memorial Fund.”

The friars of St. Paul Friary, Wilmington, Del., participated in a day of prayer last week at the Franciscan friary in Margate, N.J. A photo of the participants can be found on the Facebook page of Todd Carpenter, OFM, pastor of St. Paul Church. This week, Todd is at the International Convention of the Juan XXIII Movement in Orlando, being held Oct. 11 to14. He explained: “I’m representing the Diocese of Wilmington along with two parishioners. There are about 300 in attendance from over a dozen countries. Juan XXIII is a Spanish Lay Evangelization Movement founded in Puerto Rico after the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. It takes its name and inspiration from Pope John XXIII. It’s now represented in many Latin American countries as well as the U.S. It’s somewhat similar to the Cursillo Movement but so far is only in Spanish. Unlike Cursillo, its principal mission is to those alienated from the Church or on the margin of society. One joins the movement by participating in an intense three-day conversion retreat. When he was assigned to Wilmington, the bishop appointed me spiritual director for the diocese for both Juan XXIII and Cursillo.”

Friars Thomas Cole, OFM, Evan Greco, OFM, Daniel Grigassy, OFM, Joseph Hertel, OFM, Daniel Lanahan,OFM, and Richard Trezza, OFM, participated in four of the celebrations in the metropolitan New York area for Mother Celine de la Visitation, PSDP, superior general of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who is visiting the 10 homes for the aged operated by the Little Sisters, in the Province of Brooklyn, during the months of September and October. Evan is chaplain of St. Joseph’s Home in Totowa, N.J., where friars of Holy Name Province have ministered since the 1980s. Mother Celine de la Visitation is also visiting the North American novitiates operated by the Little Sisters, in the Province of Brooklyn, Thomas said.

George Corrigan, OFM, of Tampa, Fla., is being honored by the Franciscan Mission Service at its 20th anniversary celebration on Oct. 23. George served in Kenya with the FMS in the late 1990s.

William DeBiase, OFM, a member of the HNP Ministry of the Word, is leading parish missions in several West Virginia towns. He recently arranged this through the Diocese of Charleston, W.V., after thinking about the need to reach out to people in this region. News and views from William can be found on his blog.

Kevin Downey, OFM, and Charles Miller, OFM, are marking milestone birthdays this month. Other friars celebrating birthdays in October include Todd Carpenter, OFM, Michael Harlan, OFM, Jeremiah McGinley, OFM,Cassian Miles, OFM, John O’Connor, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM.

Christopher Dunn, OFM, Lawrence Hayes, OFM, Jerome Massimino, OFM, Donnon Murray, OFM, Michael Reyes, OFM, Maurice Swartout, OFM, and Alan Thomas, OFM, are among the friars who appear in the new set of rotating photos on the home page of the Province’s website. The images show a variety of ministries, events, and locations.

Angelo Gambatese, OFM, and Eric Carpine, OFM, offered words of gratitude to “the volunteers who helped to make the St. Stephen of Hungary Parish street fair and green market a huge success. Also our thanks go to St. Stephen of Hungary School for providing children’s entertainment and to the Chelsea Band for their music which was enjoyed by all.” The profit for the street fair, held Sept. 25 on East 82nd Street, was more than $19,000, according to the Oct. 10 parish bulletin.

Student friar Daniel Horan, OFM, announced a new format and host for his blog, titled “Dating God: Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century.” He made these changes, Dan said, because of “an increasing number of readers and the desire to incorporate options for people to comment, forward posts, and share information.” His recent themes include a candidate for New York governor, importance of Catholic education, suicides by teenagers who feel hated, recent conference for Catholic media, religious freedom, Thomas Merton, St. Francis, and books on theology. Dan, a graduate of St. Bonaventure University in Western New York, is currently teaching at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y. This Sunday, he will be speaking in Chicago at the International Merton Society. Dan’s lecture is titled “Thomas Merton the ‘Dunce:’ Identity, Incarnation and the Not So Subtle Influence of John Duns Scotus.”

Richard Husted, OFM, mentioned in the Oct. 3 parish bulletin of St. Bonaventure Church, Allegany, N.Y, where he is pastor, the contents of two HNP publications — the fall issue of The Anthonian, the quarterly magazine of St. Anthony’s Guild, and Be a Franciscan, the newsletter of the Franciscan Vocation Ministry. He describes the articles in The Anthonian about “Franciscan ministries in Western New York: Cephas is a program for ex-offenders in Buffalo coordinated by Michael Oberst, OFM; and Canticle Farm is a project led by the Allegany Franciscans and the thrift store of this parish called The Bridge is also featured.” Richard draws attention to the lead article in “Be A Franciscan” by Roy Gasnick, OFM, about St. Francis and the “short piece about Michael Reyes, OFM, who spent last summer with us.”

John Maganzini, OFM, reports that Boston’s St. Anthony Shrine friar community continued celebrations for St. Francis on Oct. 7 with “a wonderful evening aboard the yacht Secret Love. The evening was sponsored by Terry and Cheri Kirkman who regularly attend the shrine. A bus took the group to Boston’s waterfront area, where they were warmly greeted by Terry, Cheri and the crew. The evening included drinks, appetizers, dinner, and desserts. After a wonderful sail around Boston Harbor, the boat made its way back to port. Everyone agreed, the outing was a wonderful way to complete our week of celebrations.”

Michael Jones, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony Church, Butler, N.J., took a group of parishioners from St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn., to Ireland last month as part of 50th anniversary celebration of the Hartford parish, said Patricia Curtis, who participated in the trip. Michael had organized the trip while serving at St. Patrick-St. Anthony before being transferred this summer to the North Jersey parish.

Photos of the hiking trip to Appalachia that Joseph Kotula, OFM, and Harry Monaco, OFM, took this summer appear on the recently-redesigned Mt. Irenaeus website and on Joe’s Facebook page.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor is in Montreal this week at a meeting of the provincials of the English-speaking Conference. Before driving to Canada, he attended a meeting of the Siena Board of Trustees in Loudonville, N.Y.

A letter by David Phan, OFM, appeared in the Oct. 10 bulletin of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. It and other recent letters by parish friars are posted on the recently-redesigned website of the Long Beach Island, N.J., parish.

Ronald Pecci, OFM, represented Holy Name Province at a visit last month to St. Francis Friary in Burlington, Wis., the possible site of a proposed combined novitiate for all the provinces of the English-speaking Conference. A committee of novice directors, chosen by the ESC Formation Committee, visited the friary near Milwaukee that is owned by Assumption Province, and prepared recommendations about the possible use of the facility for review by the provincials of the ESC at their October meeting. Information about the visit was provided in the Oct. 7 issue of Assumption’s Provincial Newsletter.

Daniel Riley, OFM, and the friars of Mt. Irenaeus hosted a dinner for members of St. Bonaventure University’s National Alumni Association Board earlier this month who gathered for their fall meeting the weekend of Oct. 2. Over the weekend of Oct. 9, the friars, including Joseph Kotula, Kevin Kriso, OFM, and Robert Struzynski, OFM, welcomed volunteers who helped on the retreat property.

Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, organized the recent gathering of the traditional Cardinal Bernadin Series for Clergy of New York City. The 15-year ministry of the friars of 31st Street to clergy of the metropolitan New York area meets quarterly. The speaker for the autumn program was Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem, a monk of St Norbert’s Abbey, DuPere, Wis. He spoke about the nine signs of renewal of the Roman Catholic priesthood which he identifies in a recent book. He exemplified these signs in terms of Cardinal (Blessed) John Henry Newman, Mychael Judge, OFM, and the late Cardinal Joseph Bernadin, said Kevin of St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York. Roughly 40 clergy members attended the Sept. 27 event and shared prayer and lunch together, Kevin said, adding that “any interested clergy can contact me at: for information and to be added to the program’s mailing list.” The next presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 7, with Fr. Mark Hession, past president of the National Association for the Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Oct. 20 (always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date). Updates about Province ministries and friars can be found on the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province Facebook page. 

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
· Biographical information about Donan McGovern, OFM 
· Annual HNP guardians meeting
· Franciscan Mission Service 2010 benefit and celebration
· Music ministries Around the Province
· Recent trip to South Korea taken by Vincent Laviano, OFM, and Jerome Massimino, OFM

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas