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

As reported in the Nov. 11 issue of HNP Today, Michael Blastic, OFM, made his solemn profession to observe the Rule of St. Francis in the Order of Friars Minor on Nov. 2. F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, recently submitted photos of Michael’s solemn profession to the Communications Office. The photos were takien by Sr. Pat Reid, OSF, a Franciscan Sister of Allegany, N.Y.

F. Edward Coughlin was featured in the Fall 2009 issue of the newsletter of the Franciscan Federation, Tau Times. It described his presentation at the Oct. 20 day of spiritual renewal and sharing. He spoke on “Generating a Future of Mutual Love.” The publication also included the HNP Today story about the Province’s April 25 Franciscan Family Study Day. 

Mathias Doyle, OFM, Michael Harlan, OFM, and Kevin Mullen, OFM, appear in a photo on page 9 of the Fall 2009 issue of Siena magazine. The article is titled “Franciscan Center Celebrates 10-year Anniversary.” The issue also includes a photo and story about Kevin Daly, OFM, who left Siena this summer to become pastor of St. Joseph Church in East Rutherford, N.J. 

Michael Duffy, OFM, reports that the St. Francis Inn team was given a bouquet of flowers on Dec. 16, the 30th anniversary of the opening of the inn. “A guest discovered by looking at our Web site on a computer in the library that it was the inn’s anniversary,” Michael said.

A homily by former Provincial Minister John Felice, OFM, is mentioned in the Dec. 13 bulletin of St. Mary Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Kevin Downey, OFM, said in his Pastor’s Desk column that John gave a “very moving homily at his last Mass as our Provincial.” In it, John said, “First of all, take care of the people that God has entrusted to you. Protect them from the institutions, including our own, that can grind them down and treat them as less than human beings. They are God’s greatest gift to us. Stand by them — especially the least of them — and they will stand by you.” Kevin said he has never forgotten those words.

Provincial archivist Vincent Grogan, OFM, reports that an organ concert was held in memory of Stephen Hartdegen, OFM, at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington D.C. The Nov. 15 event, called “A Celebration of Lives,” which also honored Anthony DelPopolo, SFO, included in the program a biography of Stephen, who died in 1989. His 63 years as a friar included receiving the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal from Pope Paul VI and the Presidential Award of the National Catholic Education Association. Stephen, a native of Philadelphia, was the youngest of seven children, five of whom became Franciscans.

David Haack, OFM, is featured in the current issue of Bonaventure magazine. He is one of two SBU faculty members in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts who reflect on the inspiration behind their artwork. The article can be found online, on SBU’s Web site. 

An article by Daniel Horan, OFM, titled “Thomas Merton’s Vernacular Franciscan Theology,” was published earlier this month in The Merton Journal, vol. 16 (2009): 26-36. The Merton Journal is a British publication printed twice yearly and contains articles and book reviews on Merton scholarship. In addition to Dan’s piece, the issue contains an article by Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury. 

The December 2009 newsletter of Mt. Irenaeus includes a photo of Daniel Hurley, OFM, welcoming guests to the liturgy during the Oct. 17 anniversary celebration of the Franciscan Mountain Retreat. It also includes a description, written by Daniel Riley, OFM, of the commemoration, attended by more than 220 guests, on a snowy Saturday, as well as a group photo of the six friars based at the mountain retreat.  

Claude Lenehan, OFM, Jeremiah McGinley, OFM, Ronald Pecci, OFM, and John Pierce, OFM, attended the recent Mass at St. Anne’s Church commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Fair Lawn, N.J., parish. They are among the 70 friars who served at St. Anne’s during the 95 years that Holy Name Province staffed the church. 

Mt. St. Mary College president Kevin Mackin, OFM, hosted a President’s Roundtable at the Province’s San Damiano Hall in Midtown Manhattan on Dec. 8. During the dinner for college alumni, Kevin spoke about future plans for the college including enhancements to the library and the athletic program.

On Dec. 7, the friar and postulant community of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston gathered for its annual Advent Day of Prayer. The day began with a breakfast prepared by the shrine kitchen staff. At 10 a.m., the community gathered in the friars’ chapel for morning prayer prepared by John Maganzini, OFM. Hugh Macsherry, OFM, gave an Advent reflection. This was followed by quiet time and lunch. At 1:30 p.m., Gene Pistacchio, OFM, led a “lectio divina” session on the third Sunday of Advent readings. At 4 p.m. Charles Finnegan, OFM, celebrated the closing Mass. Music was provided by Gene, Hugh and Barry Langley, OFM. Following the Mass, the friars and postulants enjoyed a dinner at Antico Forno in Boston’s North End. They were joined by friars from St. Anthony Residence, across the street from the shrine.

The friars of St. Francis Friary in New York City, where Jerome Massimino, OFM, is guardian, participated in a tree-trimming party on Dec. 17. Thomas Walters, OFM, arranged the festivities. Earlier that week, many participated in an Advent day of recollection, led by William Beaudin, OFM. It was “extremely well done,” according to vocation director Brian Smail, OFM 

St. Bonaventure University’s alumni gathered on Dec. 11 in the Province’s San Damiano Hall in New York City for a talk by SBU president Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, and Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM. The event, titled “Angels, Demons, and Dilemmas: Catholic Life in the 21st Century,” was built around the recent writings of Dan Brown.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, joined the residents of St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., for a Christmas party on Dec. 18. This week, he visited the friars and Poor Clares of Greenville, S.C.

Christopher Posch, OFM, chair of the HNP Hispanic Ministry Committee, encourages friars and their partners-in-ministry to participate in the immigration reform campaign being conducted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Information was e-mailed to HNP friars on Dec. 18.

John Quinn, OFM, designed the current issue of the newsletter of St. Anthony of Padua Church, Camden, N.J.Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor, is pictured in a photo on the cover of the quarterly publication. The newsletter, whose content is supervised by Lori Springer, the parish’s director of development, was launched in August 2008.

Christopher VanHaight, OFM, reports that on Dec. 20, St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, N.J., held its first “Posada,” re-enacting the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. “We processed around the inside of the church, praying the rosary and singing the traditional ‘Las Posadas,’” he said.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Dec. 30.

Topics that will be featured in January issues of this newsletter include:
· Commemorations of Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
· Radio program of St. Anthony Shrine
· Secular Franciscan Order fraternities
· Anniversary of the Poor Clares of Chesterfield, N.J.
· St. Bonaventure University news
· Update on the Province’s postulants
· Books recommended by HNP ministries and affiliated organizations
–  First Holy Name Franciscans in China

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas