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. 

The newest entry on Be A Franciscan, blog of the Franciscan Vocation Ministry, is “A Year Unplugged: A Reflection on my Novitiate Year” by John Aherne, OFM. In the post, John reflects the challenges and rewards of giving up regular access to email, Internet and cell phone in exchange for more time spent in prayer. Last month, the blog included an entry from Tampa, Fla., friar Sean O’Brien, OFM.

Todd Carpenter, OFM, celebrated a Mass last night for pilgrim runners bearing a torch honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Paul Church in Wilmington, Del., where he is pastor. The same torch that passed through Wilmington passed through Durham, N.C., stopping at Immaculate Conception Church last week, according toWilliam McIntyre, OFM, who notified the HNP Communications Office of coverage in the News Observernewspaper. The pilgrimage started Oct. 3 in Mexico and ends Dec. 11 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Monthly reflections by David Convertino, OFM, can be found on the website of St. Anthony’s Guild.

On Dec. 1, George Corrigan, OFM, presided at the annual Red Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Tampa, Fla., blessing judges, lawyers and clerks in the area.

John J. Coughlin, OFM, is the focus of an article in the December 2011 issue of Catholic Digest titled “A Priest Who Changed My Life.” The writer, Luzanne Otte, whose piece appeared in the Letters section, describes the compassionate and generous spirit of the professor of law at University of Notre Dame, whose “reputation and accomplishments  preceded him.” In an email to the HNP Communications Office, Otte said that John had “more degrees than any other ND professor — Niagara, Princeton, Columbia, Gregorian, and Harvard universities. This objective aptitude is exactly what over-eager law students need in order to believe faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. Fr. Coughlin could have done anything in the world but chose to dedicate his life to the Church and promoting her teachings.” Otte’s classmate, Elizabeth O’Neill, who notified the HNP Communications Office of the article, said, “This priest is one of my all-time favorite people. In his time at NDLS, he has won the Professor of the Year award two times. It is probably difficult to live independently from his Franciscan community, but many lives are better for his presence at Notre Dame.”

An October workshop on the new Roman Missal, given by liturgical specialist Daniel Grigassy, OFM, is featured in the Nov. 27 issue of The Carpenter, newsletter of St. Joseph Catholic Church and School in Anderson, S.C. In “The New Roman Missal: A Deeper Meaning but the Same Mass,” Dan said: “Change in the missal is a blessing and brings about an opportunity for all Catholics to deepen, nurture and celebrate their faith through the renewal of worship and the celebration of Sacred Liturgy.”

Kevin Mackin, OFM, accepted a Distinguished Service Award on behalf of Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., at the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center’s 12th Annual Pillars of the Community Gala, held Nov. 5. Kevin has served as president of Mount St. Mary College since fall 2008.

John Maganzini, OFM, of St. Anthony Shrine, has been invited to give a day of prayer and reflection to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in North Providence, R.I., on Dec. 8. The theme of the day is “Mary and the Advent Journey … The Journey to the Heart … LISTEN!”

Last month, Russel Murray, OFM, traveled with eight Siena College students to Washington, D.C., to protest the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. A description of the Nov. 6 event was written by a Siena student for publication in The Promethian, the college’s student newspaper. The essay, “What Democracy Looks Like: Siena Students Participate in XL Pipeline Protest,” was written by sophomore Alana Strassfield. The pipeline, an issue that has caught the interest of the Province’s JPIC Directorate, was featured in the August 24 issue of HNP Today. On Dec. 5, Russel led the friars at St. Anthony Shrine in an Advent day of prayer and reflection. Its theme was “Hold Back Nothing Of Yourselves: An Advent Retreat With St. Francis of Assisi.”

A Christmas message from Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, and Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, was distributed this week to all HNP friars. It highlighted the need to live the Gospel message. A photo of John appears in the Christmas 2011 newsletter of the Poor Clare Nuns of Delray Beach, Fla.

Ronald Pecci, OFM, and the HNP postulants recently returned from a 12-day retreat at Mount Saviour Monastery near Elmira, N.Y. Information about this and other recent postulant activities can be found on postulant Casey Cole’s blog, Breaking in the Habit. They are currently participating in a workshop at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis.

Daniel Riley, OFM, participated in a “Mountain in the Home” last week in Buffalo, N.Y. On Dec. 8, he and the Mt. Irenaeus team will be in Rochester, N.Y., for a similar program.

Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of the Order’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, reports that the group of JPIC directors for the Franciscan family, Romans VI, invites JPIC animators and other interested people “to share information about what happened in your entities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Spirit of Assisi.” The blog for the Spirit of Assisi contains instructions about how to share this information. “We also invite you to reflect on how the Spirit of Assisi might become a permanent part of our JPIC work. Peace building and reconciliation are important aspects of our Franciscan charism, and celebration of the Spirit of Assisi is a concrete way to promote these values of the Kingdom of God.” Joseph also confirmed that the next JPIC course at the Antonianum will take place April 17 to 27, 2012; the theme will be “Peace and Reconciliation.” He asks that friars share the date with local Franciscan families and with the laity with whom they work.

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, has distributed information about the upcoming National Vocation Awareness Week — Jan. 9 to 14 — to pastors, recommending that they publicize the information to their parishes.

Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, of St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, will lead an Advent Day of Prayer titled “Let’s go to Bethlehem: Meditations on the Word,” on Dec. 10. The program will be held in San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Dec. 14 (always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date). Updates about the friars and their ministries can be found on the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province Facebook page.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
· commemorations of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12
· the 40th anniversary of the St. Francis Community Center on Long Beach Island, N.J.
· Provincial commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
· ways to promote the 2012 National Vocation Awareness Week
· The visit of William DeBiase, OFM, to Tokyo for the 25th anniversary of the Rice Patrol

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas