News Briefs

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

NEW YORK — Below are updates about some of the many activities of Holy Name friars, including their presentations, outreach and celebrations. 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 communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

Fred Dilger, OFM, is pictured in the November/December issue of The Pilgrim, the newsletter of the St. Francis Inn Ministries. The photo appears on page 2 with an assortment of scenes of people serving at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, which next month marks its 30th anniversary.

Thomas Gallagher, OFM, pastor of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn., celebrated Mass on Nov. 21 to pray for and with suicide survivors, caregivers and people who struggle day-to-day with thoughts of suicide, those who carry the memory of a loved one who died through suicide, and those joining in support of all those present. Thomas used the words of the psalmist to encourage: “Out of the depths I cry to you. O Lord, hear my prayer. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.”

On Thanksgiving, Angelo Gambatese, OFM, and the parish of St. Stephen of Hungary Church on New York’s Upper East Side are hosting the parish’s first Neighborhood Thanksgiving Dinner.  “It is our way of providing a community feeling to people who are alone for any one of a variety of reasons — being new to the area, having few relatives, not being with family members because of a work schedule, and the like,” he said.

A Christmas letter from St. Anthony’s Guild was distributed recently to its nearly 100,000 members. It was written by Joseph Hertel, OFM, director of the Guild, who also provided seasonal thoughts in a note that accompanied the 2010 calendar mailed to members.

Daniel Horan, OFM, delivered the annual Thomas Merton Society of Washington, D.C., Fall lecture at St. Anselm’s Benedictine Abbey on Nov. 14. The audience of about 70 listened to his presentation on “Freedom That Embraces Everything: The Influence of Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Tradition on Thomas Merton.” Following the lecture, which explored a threefold approach to examining the nexus of the Franciscan tradition in the life and work of Merton (an historical, methodological and praxiological analysis), time for audience questions was offered. The afternoon concluded with a dessert reception where those in attendance were able to speak with Dan and one another about the talk. Several friars from Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md., attended, including David Schlatter, OFM, Ronald Stark, OFM, David Phan, OFM, Fr. Lam Nugyen, OFM, and Paul Keenan, OFM. 

Dan, a member of the International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS) and a former ITMS Daggy Scholar, has presented academic papers on Merton in both the United Kingdom and United States. His article “Revisiting the Incarnation, Why the ‘Franciscan Thesis’ is Not so Franciscan and Why it Does Not Really Matter” was published in the Oct./Dec. 2009 issue of The Cord.

Richard Husted, OFM, pastor of St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, N.Y., recently sold some of his liturgical memos to Ministry Resources as a way to make useful the many writings he has compiled. “They are pieces that can be used in parish bulletins,” he said. “Each Sunday has a different theme.” Ministry Resources can be found online and in print.

Charles Miller, OFM, reports that St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va., has about 300 gently used  Glory & Praise hymnals available for the price of shipping. An interested church or group should contact Charles.

Neil O’Connell, OFM, led a dance vespers service celebrating all Franciscan saints on Nov. 21, held at All Saints Church in New York, where Steven Pavignano, OFM, is pastor.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, was mentioned in an article titled “Paterson parishioners among 650 taking part in Franciscan Encounter” that appeared in the Nov. 19 issue of The Beacon, newspaper of the Paterson, N.J., Diocese. The article discussed the success of the Province’s first Encuentro Franciscano last month at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md.

Kenneth Paulli, OFM, chief of staff at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., was quoted in a news release from the college saying the ground-breaking of a new upperclassman residence hall is “great news for the college and great news for the local economy.” The new hall will be a four-story facility with Dutch detailing, 264 beds, a residence director suite and a resident friar suite.

Christopher Posch, OFM, chair of the HNP Hispanic Ministry Committee, reports that feedback about the Oct. 24 Encuentro Franciscano has been “very positive in relation to the content, speakers, wide-spread participation, generosity with diverse gifts, cheerfulness, spirit, delicious food, friar presence and Mass.”

Paul Santoro, OFM, campus minister at Santa Fe Catholic High School in Lakeland, Fla., along with theology teacher Mary Redman, took eight SFC students on Nov. 14 to work on a Habitat for Humanity project in Lakeland. Four students worked with Paul installing insulation in one house, while another four worked with Redman hanging dry wall. The students were excited about being a part of this project in their local community, Paul said. Ana, a senior, noted: “It’s good to be able to give back to the community. This has been a great opportunity for me.” Andrew, a freshman, said: “I’ve been involved in all kinds of service over the past few years. This has been the most meaningful.” Paul and Redman will lead another group in the next semester. Paul said, “We are trying to do more service projects as a school rather than singularly. This was our first attempt, and based on the response it was pretty successful. We will reach out to other agencies as well.”

Xavier Seubert, OFM, director of the visual arts program at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany gave a lecture at The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on Nov. 21. The title of his talk was “The Mary-Eve Parallel in Medieval Art.”

Richard Trezza, OFM, the spiritual assistant for the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO), participated during the weekend of Nov. 13 to 16, in a gathering of the Our Lady of the Angels Region (northern New Jersey, Manhattan, Mt. Vernon and Yonkers) at their Ministers’ Chapter at St. Lawrence, a Capuchin retreat center in Beacon, N.Y. Richard said it was a great venue since the Capuchins recently remodeled their old novitiate — Stigmata Province — with rooms including private baths. During the morning, he spoke about “Profession and Identity in the SFO.” During the afternoon, the region discussed current business (budget passing, etc).

On Monday evening, Nov. 16, Richard was present for the monthly meeting of St. Anne’s Fraternity in Fair Lawn, N.J., which is bonded to HNP even though the friars no longer administer the parish. He volunteered to be their spiritual assistant since “they did not have one for a while and because it is not far from the friary in East Rutherford, N.J., where I live.”

Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville, S.C., was visited by four members of the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry and Jud Weiksnar, OFM, at Furman University where Patrick celebrates Mass on Sunday evenings. Jud and the volunteers were on their way back to Camden, N.J., after a protest against the School of the Americas in Georgia. Octavio Duran, OFM, photographed the protest.

Jud Weiksnar, chair of the Province’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate, is working with the HNP Communications Office to redesign the Justice and Peace page of Jud is pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden.

Friars, ministries and events that will be featured in upcoming issues of this newsletter include:
· Paul O’Keeffe, OFM
· The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
· St. Francis Springs Prayer Center
· JustFaith programs
Conversations on Health Care program in Western New York
· The friars’ SPUFY gathering

Information about many HNP friars and ministries can be found on Facebook. News about the Province can be found through Twitter.

 — Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas