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.

Francis Critch, OFM, brought to the attention of the Provincial Office an article in the Arlington, Va., Diocese’s Catholic Herald that described the Spirit of Assisi gathering celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va., last month. On Nov. 3, Francis will be ordained a priest at an 11 a.m. Mass at the Virginia church.

The third of eight fraternal gatherings in the fall 2012 series was held on Oct. 23 in San Damiano Hall on the first floor of St. Francis Friary in New York City. Friars with questions about the series are encouraged to contact Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, or Theresa Bartha in the Provincial Office.  Michael is also working to finalize plans for the Province’s 2012 guardians’ meeting being next month in St. Petersburg, Fla.

On Oct. 21, Kenneth Himes, OFM, spoke at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, N.C. A podcast of the talk is available on the parish’s website. On Oct. 18, the Boston College professor spoke at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn., about the values and principles that a faithful Catholic should bring to personal decision-making on how to vote, according to an e-letter from the parish.

Gerald Hopeck, OFM, vice principal of St. Francis International School, in Silver Spring, Md., emceed a ShopRite Sweepstakes on Oct. 12 at one of the chain’s Maryland locations. Four contestants had four minutes to race through a ShopRite grocery store and fill their cart with as many savings as possible. The winner kept the contents of her cart and received $250. ShopRite also donated $500 to St. Camillus Food Pantry.

On Oct. 20, an article by Daniel Horan, OFM, titled “‘Catholic’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does” was published in the Huffington Post. That day, Dan delivered an academic paper titled “Planetarity, Kinship, and Ktiseology: Toward a Constructive and Postcolonial Franciscan Theology of Creation,” at Fordham University during a theology conference at the Lincoln Center Campus in Manhattan. On Sunday, Dan presided and preached at the noon Mass and then presented a talk at St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J., about his book Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2012). It was followed by a book signing.

Richard Husted, OFM, visited St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City on Oct. 12 and 13 to preach about the 50th anniversary of the convocation of the Second Vatican Council.

The HNP African Ancestry Committee has finalized a flyer and registration form to publicize the December Go Down Moses retreat, according to David Hyman, OFM, committee chair. This will be sent to all friars as well as to religious communities and organizations to help publicize the event.

A blog post by Michael Johnson, OFM, titled “Praying With My Left Foot,” was posted on the Facebook page of St. Camillus Parish. In the post, the pastor “reflects on brokenness, therapy and the healing that comes in moving out of ourselves.” This blog is one of several that can be found on the Province’s “Reflections by HNP Members and Ministries” webpage. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, guardian of St. Camillus Friary, said Michael’s blogs are often posted in the parish’s bulletin. “Mike has quite a successful blog that is being read by a lot of people even from outside of the country,” Jacek said.

Christopher Keenan, OFM, reports that the HNP Ongoing Formation Committee, which he chairs, is working on several initiatives. They include (1) publicizing the May 2013 La Verna program, (2) planning the friars’ 2013 retreats in Florida and New Jersey, (3) enhancing the Bernardine lectures that are held in New York City, and (4) notifying friars about a March 2013 Mid-Atlantic Congress for Leadership in the Church program in Baltimore, Md.

Biographical information about the late Thomas Kelly, OFM, is featured in the recent letter distributed by the HNP Development Office.

Former HNP communications director Cassian Miles, OFM, received a visit on his birthday last week from the current staff members of the HNP Communications Office. A photo of him and Maria Hayes, who joined the office in July, was taken at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., where Cassian lives.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, was interviewed on Oct. 22 by James Aroune of PBS for an upcoming documentary on St. Marianne Cope, OSF, a native of Utica, N.Y., who was canonized Oct. 21 in Rome. The documentary will be aired over Thanksgiving.

A video of Sean O’Brien, OFM, blessing animals on Oct. 3 at the Franciscan Center in Tampa, Fla., was posted on the website of the Tampa Bay Times. Dozens of animals were blessed at the annual observance of the feast of St. Francis, according to Sr. Annie Dougherty, OSF, director of the center.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, met with the Washington Theological Union board of trustees. Tomorrow and Friday, he will meet with the Provincial Council.

Christopher Posch, OFM, and the other members of the HNP Hispanic Ministry Committee, which he chairs, organized and hosted the Province’s second Encuentro Franciscano on Oct. 20 at St. Camillus Parish, Silver Spring, Md. An Encuentro Facebook page, created by Juan Turicos, OFM, will be used to share news about the event and the Province’s Hispanic communities.

Joseph Quinn, OFM, is facilitating a six-week bereavement support group at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston. The first session is Oct. 30.

Robert Sandoz, OFM, attended the Oct. 18 gala at Christ the King Prep School, Newark, N.J, where he is president.

A  photo of David Schlatter, OFM, with John Bates, one of the organizers of the annual Fr. Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance, appears in the fall 2012 newsletter of Mychal’s Message. Information on the back page of the newsletter says that David travels from Wilmington, Del., to New York City each year to honor those who were lost on Sept. 11. After attending a memorial service in New York City on the first anniversary of Sept. 11, David “came up with the idea to create and transport the Bells of Remembrance with the theme ‘to honor those who died and to console those who remain.'”

Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, traveled to Western New York on Oct. 19 to meet with St. Bonaventure University students who are members of the vocation group there.  Later this month, he will be attending the semi-annual meeting of the National Religious Vocation Congress in Texas.

At St. Bonaventure Parish, Allegany, N.Y., James Vacco, OFM, began the Year of Faith on Oct. 21 by commemorating the canonization of Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha.  He said he focused his homily “on New Yorkers (or adopted New Yorkers) who have been models of evangelization. My way of giving a focus on the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization called for by the pope will be to focus throughout this year on people and their models of evangelization and their personal example as evangelists. With that direction in mind, I wrote a prayer that I call: “New York Prayer for the New Evangelization.” Copies are being given out this weekend at all Masses here at ‘Little Bona’s.’ The prayer invokes the example of the lives of these five individuals and their modes of being evangelists.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Oct. 31 (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:
•   Retreat being organized by the HNP African Ancestry Committee
•   Encuentro Franciscano
•   New book by Daniel Horan, OFM
•   Ministry of the Word friars
•   Social media’s value to friars and their ministries

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas