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 HNP Communications Office.

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

Paul Breslin, OFM, participated in a meeting with Sen. Mark Warner to advocate for immigration reform. He and parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va., where Paul has been stationed since September, joined an interfaith coalition.

On May 3, Vincent Cushing, OFM, spoke on “The Church and the World” at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Arlington, Va., where Joseph Nangle, OFM, is director of Hispanic ministry.

David Convertino, OFM, executive director of development, held a Franciscan Challenge last weekend from May 2 to 5 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Greenville, S.C. It was the fifth such event held since September.

On May 1, Francis Di Spigno, OFM, blessed a refurbished statue of the Blessed Mother on the campus of St. Bonaventure University in Western New York, where he is executive director of campus ministries. SBU’s class of 1962 donated more than $30,000 to restore the beloved statue — which has graced the campus since the 1860s — as a tribute to the university’s 20th president, Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF. 

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, has shipped the 2013 jubilarian celebration invitation to HNP friars marking their silver and golden anniversaries of profession. The event will include Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York City, on June 20, followed by a reception for friars and their guests.

An article by Kenneth Himes, OFM, of Boston, was published in the May 4 issue of The Tablet, the international Catholic weekly newspaper published in London. It is titled “Tread Softly in the Moral Minefield.”

This summer, Daniel Horan, OFM, and Susan Abraham, assistant professor of ministry studies at Harvard University, will teach an intensive three-week program — The Franciscan Honors Seminar on Interreligious Dialogue — as part of a collaboration between St. Bonaventure University and the Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, N.Y. Offered in residence at St. Bonaventure from June 23 to July 13, the program is for college students with an interest or academic orientation in the field of interfaith dialogue, theology or religious studies. This is Daniel’s second year with the program.

David Hyman, OFM, reports that the HNP African Ancestry Committee, of which he is chair, is working on several projects. They include a commemoration of the 50th anniversry of the 1963 March on Washington and another “Go Down Moses” retreat for young African American men.

On May 3, Steven Kluge, OFM, was guest speaker at the annual interfaith service with Rabbi Jacob Friedman Memorial Service at the Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island. “Rabbi Jack was a good and holy man who had great respect for our parish community,” said Steven, who, along with Sr. Kate Murphy, OSF, always attended any services at the Jewish Community Center to which he was invited. Prior to Rabbi Jack’s death, Sr. Kate and Steve visited him in the hospital. “We visited for a while and Kate prayed over Jack,” Steve said in the April 28 bulletin. The following week, Steve got word that Rabbi Jack had died. Though Steve and Kate were unable to attend the funeral, the rabbi who presided told the congregation that two 95-year-old nuns had visited Rabbi Jack shortly before he died. “As much as it was not complimentary to me (I don’t think I look 95!), it was a tribute to the relationship we had with the Rabbi that our visit was important enough to be mentioned at his funeral,” Steve said.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, president of Mount St.  Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., congratulated participants in the school’s Relay for Life on their good work. “Let’s give a huge shout out to the Relay for Life committee,” he said. This year’s Relay for Life earned $37,522 for the American Cancer Society, thanks to the efforts of students, faculty, staff and volunteers from the community. Members of more than 30 teams took turns walking laps for 12 hours — from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. — to honor those who have or were lost to cancer, and to raise money for a cure.

Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM, director of service and advocacy at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, invites area residents interested in immigration reform to send him an email message as the Franciscans advocate for the improvement and passage of S. 744 The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

On April 30, Russel Murray, OFM, led a prayer before Siena College’s annual Campus Cleanup Day. Since 2011, Russel has served as director of the school’s Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy.

This weekend, Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, will pay a fraternal visit to Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Md. From May 13 to 14, he will participate in the Province’s fraternal gathering in Easton, Pa.

Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, guardian of St. Camillus Friary in Silver Spring, was pictured last month on the Facebook page of St. Francis International School, blessing the new preschool entrance way.

Photos of Andrew Reitz, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, and other friars appear on the cover of the May 5 bulletin, in a collage displaying scenes from a recent young adult ministry barbecue.

Frank Sevola, OFM, reported in a recent bulletin of St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J., where he is pastor, that the March 15 Franciscan Challenge held in Pompton Lakes, raised more than $100,000 for the Province.

Last week, Vocation Director Brian Smail, OFM, distributed the second issue of the Be A Franciscan e-newsletter. A link to the publication can be found on the Join Us page of the HNP website. Topics include a greeting from Brian, news about the new pope, and a “Day in the Life of a Friar” article featuring Hugh Macsherry, OFM, of Camden, N.J.

An article about Ignatius Smith, OFM, appeared in the April 21 issue of The Carpenter, the newsletter of St. Joseph Catholic Church and School in Anderson, S.C. It focuses on his life and ministry prior to his assignment as pastor, which began last month. “Fr. Ignatius has thoroughly enjoyed his time so far at St. Joe’s as the parochial assistant,” according to the article. “His favorite hobby is gardening, which is not very hard to tell, given the beautiful botanical embellishments he has bestowed all around the church itself. Fr. Ignatius also enjoys talking and working with the youth of our church, having had much experience in such fields. Upon taking the lead at St. Joseph’s, Fr. Ignatius says that no adjustments to the church or the school will be necessary. Father describes St. Joe’s as ‘running very well.'”

An article on Robert Struzynski, OFM,  who is retiring this month, was included in the April 26 issue of The Bona Venture, the student newspaper of St. Bonaventure University.

A dedication of the patio at Siena College’s New Hall named for Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, was held May 4. Kevin was stationed at the Loudonville, N.Y., school from 1982 to 1992.

Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., received a surprise on April 18. On behalf of the St. Joseph Catholic School, Anderson, community, headmaster Keith Kiser made “an unexpected presentation” at the school Mass held on April 18, according to a news release from the school. Kiser spoke words of gratitude for all that Patrick has done for St. Joseph’s, highlighting “his manner of educating, disciplining, encouraging, motivating, and most importantly, loving the school community.” A monstrance was presented to Patrick for use in his parish. As Kiser stated, “the gift of a monstrance is symbolic, as it will carry the Body of Christ to others in the St. Anthony’s community, just as Patrick has so diligently done for the St. Joseph’s community.”

On April 10, James Vacco, OFM, celebrated a Mass for the dedication of the statue of St. Pacificus at St. Pacificus Oratory in Humphrey, N.Y. A group of St. Bonaventure University and area residents — including David Blake, OFM, David Flood, OFM, and Francis Di Spigno, OFM — attended the event at this parish, one of the first mission churches founded by Fr. Pamfilo da Magliano, OFM, who helped found St. Bonaventure University.

Christopher VanHaight, OFM, has constructed a labyrinth on the grounds of St. Bonaventure Church, Paterson, N.J. , where he is pastor. “Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one route, usually leading to the center,” Christopher said. “The same pathway is then followed out from the center. Labyrinths date back to antiquity and were often a design element of medieval cathedrals. The Cathedral of Chartres has one of the most famous labyrinths inset into its floor. It is believed that the faithful walked the path to represent their walking toward the heavenly Jerusalem. St. Bonaventure now has a labyrinth in the garden, down by the creek near the statue of St. Francis. You are invited to come and walk the path, perhaps praying a decade of the Rosary as you do so. At the center is a garden seat in the shape of a pineapple, a traditional symbol of welcoming. Come, walk, sit, and be at peace.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by May 15 (always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date). Updates about the friars and their ministries can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
•   Two friars honored by Siena College
•   College commencements
•   Election of new OFM General Minister on May 22
•   Outdoor chapel at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center
•   Special events related to the opening of new school at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Greenville, S.C. 
•   Honorary degree received by a Mt. Irenaeus friar

—  Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas, with research contributed by Maria Hayes