News Briefs About Special Activities of HNP Friars

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

Updates below feature many activities of Holy Name friars, including their celebrations, presentations, and ministry events. For more information, visit links to the parishes and organizations mentioned, contact the friars by phone or email, or connect with the HNP Communications Office.

To provide news briefs for future issues of HNP Today, email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

Scott Brookbank, OFM, Abraham Joseph, OFM, and the friars of the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate sent a Christmas card to friends and family, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas from the Burlington, Wis., community.

John Capozzi, OFM, reports that after a year of renovations following Hurricane Sandy, the friary in Margate, N.J., is nearly ready to reopen. He welcomes friars to contact him to make reservations to visit. Between Christmas and mid February — when the new carpet will be installed — a limited number of bedrooms will be usable.

Brian Cullinane, OFM, dressed as Santa Claus and entertained families at St. Anthony Shrine’s Kids program holiday celebration on Dec. 7. “When you bring together nine elves, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and, of course, Santa, what a wonderful day helping 175 children with all of sorts of special gifts. What a great Saturday at the Shrine!” he said. The children visited the Enchanted Village, accompanied by Santa’s elves, Frosty, Rudolph and several reindeer. In addition to a selection of Christmas treats, each child was given a hand-knitted scarf plus a hat or mittens, according to Joyce Lonergan, director of the Franciscan Food Center, who said: “Our joyous celebration was made possible thanks to the generosity of the shrine’s Giving Tree donors, volunteers from the 20s/30s program and donations by a variety of local knitting groups throughout the year.”

Provincial archivist Vincent Grogan, OFM, of Butler, N.J., reports that Fr. Joseph Kopacz of Scranton, Pa., a 1977 alumnus of Christ the King Seminary, has been named bishop of Jackson, Miss.

Daniel Horan, OFM, of Boston, delivered a reflection on “The Call of Samuel,” the first in the “Seeing the Word” Advent 2013 series sponsored by Liturgical Press and St. John’s University. On Dec. 7, Dan was a guest on the “Drew Marshall Show,” a Canadian radio program that is the country’s most listened to spiritual show. Dan’s article, “A Rahnerian Theological Response to Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age,” was just published in the January 2014 British journal of theology, New Blackfriars, vol. 95 (2014). Dan’s latest book, his fifth, titled The Last Words of Jesus: A editation on Love and Suffering (Franciscan Media) is being released this week. Dan will be speaking at the Oratory Church of St. Boniface in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 11 and 12. The first event is a retreat, for which information and registration details can be found online. The second is a lecture titled “Faith and Spirituality in the Digital Age.”

David Hyman, OFM, chair of the HNP African Ancestry Committee, reminds friars of the location of the next Provincial celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. — St. Joseph Church in Wilmington, Del. The special Mass is set for 10 a.m. on Jan. 19.

Two friars were recently appointed as spiritual assistants to local fraternities of Secular Franciscans. Michael Joyce, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y., was named spiritual assistant to the St. Bernadine of Siena Fraternity. Jim McIntosh, OFM, of Boston, was appointed Spiritual Assistant for La Fraternidad de San Francisco y Santa Clara at St. Anthony Shrine.

A farewell Mass and reception were held Dec. 15 to honor Stephen Kluge, OFM, who, after more than a dozen years at the Long Beach Island, N.J., parish, is leaving. After serving as pastor since 2006, Stephen is taking a sabbatical before receiving his next assignment following the 2014 Provincial Chapter.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, president of Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., praised TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year: Pope Francis. In a Dec. 11 interview, he talked about the pope’s influence on both the world and Kevin’s campus community.

Daniel McLellan, OFM, chair of the HNP Chapter Planning Committee, reports that details for the Province’s 2014 spring fraternal gatherings are being finalized. Much of the discussion at these friar gatherings will be about the theme planned for the 2014 Provincial Chapter: “Are we who we say we are?”

Robert Sandoz, OFM, president of Christ the King Prep School, Newark, N.J., was quoted and pictured in a Dec. 3 article in the school’s e-newsletter “It’s All about Relationships: CKS 2013 Gala a Complete Success” focused on the annual fundraiser in October. In a holiday message distributed by email on Dec. 14 to friends of the school, Robert spoke of hope being important to education.

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, hosted a “Come and See: Meet our Student Friars” weekend Dec. 6 to 8 at Holy Name College, Silver Spring, Md. Five men from New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia attended the event, which gave them an opportunity to meet the postulants and student friars. The men joined the friar community for prayers, Mass, and meals. On Saturday, the postulants and several student friars gathered with the guests to share their vocation stories, as well as their experiences in ministry and fraternal life. In turn, the guests were able to ask questions to assist them in their discernment. Saturday afternoon was free for a tour of Washington. On Sunday, the group attended Mass at St. Camillus Parish, where Erick López, OFM, introduced them to the assembly to loud applause. Brian said, “The guests were very impressed with the warm welcome they received by the Holy Name College community. The postulants and student friars made themselves available throughout the weekend for informal conversation and questions. Having vocation events at Holy Name is particularly valuable, as it gives candidates an opportunity to experience the community where they would begin their friar journey as postulants.” The next “Come and See” weekend is scheduled for March 21, 2014.

On Dec. 13, James Vacco, OFM, led a day of reflection for the faculty members of St. Francis Prep and St. Anthony’s High School at the latter, located in Huntington, N.Y. This was the first joint retreat for the faculty and staffs of both schools, run and sponsored by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, N.Y. “The theme of the retreat was: ‘Because of your love…The Franciscan Paradigm of Education,’” said James, an instructor at St. Bonaventure University. “The presentations focused upon the filial connection inherent in St. Francis’s spirituality as evident in the Canticle and the Testament, and how that defines how one is a Franciscan educator, and the point of reference for what it means to be a Franciscan school.” Close to 300 faculty and staff took part in the Day of Reflection. On the parish front, James said: “During Advent, St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany had a special four-week drive collecting basic clothing items, bedding, and Crock-Pots, among other household and personal items. These went to assist local charities, such as Genesis House, a shelter for homeless families, and Weston Manor, a recovery facility for those dealing with issues of addiction. For Thanksgiving, the parish assisted 78 families with baskets of food.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Jan. 2. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
•   Friars marking major anniversaries of profession in 2014
•   HNP’s annual formation intersession in January
•   Social justice programs at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va.

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas