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 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 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.

David Convertino, OFM, is mentioned in an article titled “Shrine Work Spiritual Experience for Artist” in the Boston Herald . The director of St. Anthony Shrine describes the renovation of the its chapel by Gordon Daugherty, a Maryland-based painter.

Xavier de La Huerta, OFM, of Philadelphia, commemorated his 75th birthday on Dec. 3. Other friars celebrating birthdays this month include Bernard Creighton, OFM, of Butler, N.J., Kevin Mullen, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y., John Anglin, OFM, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and John Felice, OFM, and Thomas Walters, OFM, of New York.

Copies of the recently-released book The Gospels Are Now: Timeless Gospel Themes and Life Literature and the Arts, by Peter Fiore, OFM, can be purchased through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thomas Gallagher, OFM, pastor of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, gave an Advent Day of Prayer on Dec. 7 for the friars at St. Francis Friary in New York City.

Daniel Grigassy, OFM, pastor of St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., gave a lecture titled “Strategic Planning for the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church in the USA” at the Byzantine Spirituality Conference on Nov. 13 at the Cathedral of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Brian Jordan, OFM, wrote a reflection about Nagasaki earlier this week, while visiting Japan. “On the eve of the Dec. 7 anniversary of the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, I am standing in the area in which the second atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. For many World War II veterans and military experts in the United States, Pearl Harbor was the beginning (the alpha) of World War II and the second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was the ending (the omega) of that same war. However, many global experts of the 21st century contend that the bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the beginning— a new alpha of a worldwide nuclear threat and God knows when the ending—the new omega will be or ever be for that matter,” he began. “While I was listening to the English-speaking guides explain to me the importance of both the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Peace Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims, it struck me that on this very day, war games are being conducted right off the very coast of Japan between military forces from the United States, South Korea and Japan in preparation for a possible nuclear attack by North Korea. Has the world forgotten the lessons learned from Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I hope not, for the people of Nagasaki have much to teach us about world peace and global responsibility.”

An Advent Day of Prayer is being given on Dec. 11 by Hugh Macsherry, OFM, of Boston, at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street. The program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Dominic Monti, OFM, has been in the Midwest since last week for his role as General Visitor for the Assumption BVM Province. “I came out to the Provincial headquarters in Franklin, Wis., on Dec. 1 and visited some friars in the Milwaukee area before coming down to Cedar Lake, Indiana on Friday for a Provincial Council meeting and then visitation of the friars in this area.” He returned to New York on Dec 8.

Kevin Mullen, OFM, reports that Siena College, where he is president, is playing a basketball game against St. Bonaventure University on Dec. 28. The winner of the game, being played on the SBU campus in Allegany, N.Y., will be awarded a Franciscan Cup, a new trophy, Kevin said. 

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, is on vacation through Dec. 12 and will be returning to New York on Dec. 15 for the Provincial Council meeting. John’s appointments, through the 2011 Chapter, are listed in the Sept. 29 issue of HNP Today.

A pamphlet titled “Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age,” produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, was distributed to all Holy Name friars by the HNP Wellness Committee, with an accompanying letter fromMatthew Pravetz, OFM, a New York-based physician. “We searched for a user friendly tool that would help you to know what to expect from your health care provider,” Matthew said. “When visiting our physicians, especially for annual physicals, it is better to be an informed consumer of healthcare and management.” 

Francis Pompei, OFM, guardian of St. Patrick Friary in Buffalo, participated in the first performance of the Advent tour of the Clayton, N.Y., Franciscan Mystery Players on Dec. 5 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Ogdensburg, N.Y. The group will present “The Birth of Jesus: A Franciscan Christmas,” Francis’ personal favorite, four more times this month. “I prayed with the players for an hour before the presentation and 20 minutes after. The maturity and depth of faith of these teenagers is incredible. How much they love Jesus and how deeply the Lord affects every day of their lives truly inspires me.” An article about the mystery players will be included in a future issue of HNP Today. 

On Dec. 2, the third anniversary of the creation of St. Clare Parish in Buffalo, N.Y., pastor Michael Putich, OFM, was busy coping with the snowstorm that struck Western New York. “With local New York Thruway and the Expressways closed, traffic snailed past St. Clare Church during the 5 p.m. rush hour due to steady snow in Buffalo. Eighteen-wheelers had to find alternate routes. Some couldn’t make the overpass. By 7 p.m., local traffic cleared, and I went out for the fourth time that day — to clear a path.” The church is just three blocks from Route 190. Michael submitted a photo of the snow.

Mark Reamer, OFM, reported that three new buildings on the campus of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, N.C., have attained LEED gold status for their environmentally-friendly features. The pastor said that a fourth building, the Siena Center for Lifelong Learning, is “also on target to receive LEED certification.”

Mt. Irenaeus, where Daniel Riley, OFM, is guardian, has announced a “Mountain in the Sun” weekend of reflection next month. Information about the Jan. 28 to 31 gathering can be found on an informational flyer distributed last week or by contacting the Mt. Irenaeus office at 716-375-2096.

In the Nov. 28 parish bulletin of Church of St. Mary of Broadway, Frank Sevola, OFM, thanked all who supported the recent silent auction that benefited the Poverello Center. “We raised more $16,000,” he said. The money is being used for holiday food baskets, grocery store gift cards, the Bread & Blessings program and the Wellness Center.

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, and his assistant Carolyn Croke have distributed the winter 2010 issue of Be A Franciscan newsletter, the quarterly publication of the HNP Vocation Office, to friars, Provincial ministries and men interested in joining the Order. This issue includes articles about discernment, “Come and See” weekends, formation milestones and recommended reading, as well as an Advent reflection by John Anglin of the HNP Ministry of the Word.

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, and others from St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Camden, N.J., where he is pastor, were mentioned in the Nov. 26 issue of the Catholic Star- Herald, the publication of the Camden Diocese. “Local Catholics Join Annual Protest at Fort Benning” describes a trip that seven from the Camden parish took to Georgia for the protest at the U.S. Army’s Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The photos show members of Franciscan Volunteer Ministry along with parish staff member Kristen Nalen.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Dec. 15 (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, which has more than 500 followers.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
· Fundraising campaign at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville, S.C.
· Internship experiences of student friars
· Perspectives from partners-in-ministry
· Activities of members of the HNP Ministry of the Word

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas