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 communications director Jocelyn Thomas.

Dennis Bennett, Casey Cole, Edgardo Jara-Araya, and Ramon Razon are professing their first vows as Franciscans on Aug. 2 before Provincial MinisterJohn O’Connor, OFM, at a ceremony at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis., where they lived this past year. Earlier this month, they and the other novices participated in a retreat at the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Oconomowaoc, Wis.

David Convertino, OFM, executive director of the Province’s Development Office, Daniel Horan, OFM, of the HNP Vocation Committee, David McBriar, OFM, chair of the Province’s Franciscan Life in Mission Directorate,Brian Smail, OFM, the Province’s vocation director, Dennis Wilson, OFM, Provincial treasurer, participated in a branding workshop on July 17. It was led by Emily Sinsabaugh, vice president for university relations at St. Bonaventure University, and arranged by Jocelyn Thomas, the Province’s director of communications. Most of the participants are members of a recently-formed committee that will be called Franciscan Identity, and will evaluate and make recommendations regarding the communication by Provincial members and ministries of the HNP image. Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM — who also attended the presentation — will share with Council members a report on the workshop at next week’s meeting.

F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, led a program on July 24 for staff members of St. Bonaventure University where he is vice president for Franciscan mission. The event, titled “On Juggling Life’s Challenges: Lessons from Francis,”was part of the university’s mission-tradition in-service program.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, returned last week from New Orleans, where he and three other friars from Boston— Gregory Day, OFM, Thomas Donovan, OFM, and John Maganzini, OFM — attended the Religious Brothers Conference. Earlier this month, he distributed to friars the official visitation schedule for 2013-14. Fr. Melvin Jurisich, OFM, will begin meeting with HNP friars on Aug. 22.

The late James Hynes, OFM, and John Murphy, OFM, have been given a permanent tribute by Hartford’s St Patrick-St. Anthony Parish. Two benches showing their names were installed outside the Connecticut church and were dedicated on July 28. Photos are posted on the parish’s Facebook page.

Gerald Hopeck, OFM, reports that the date of the next Go Down Moses retreat has been set by the HNP African Ancestry Committee. It will be Dec. 27 to 31 and will take place in New Orleans. The venue is being finalized, Gerald said. The previous retreat for young African-American men was held in Washington, D.C., in December 2012.

Stephen Kluge, OFM, announced in the July 21 bulletin of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J., where he is pastor, that St. Francis Gift Shop is closing. “Over the years as the shop grew and became more complicated, and as Internet shopping increased, it became increasingly difficult for the shop to cover its expenses, not to mention to support the parish. In fact, it was often the case that the shop was being subsidized by you the parishioners.” The shop had been closed since Hurricane Sandy flooded the island last fall.

A reflection by Joseph Kotula, OFM, in the recently released spring issue of the Mt. Irenaeus newsletter, describes the time he spent in Vermont in May when Daniel Riley, OFM, was given an honorary degree from St. Michael’s College. “What a gift! Our Gospel manner of life and ministry was acknowledged through Dan Riley,” said Joe. “I was blessed to be there as we celebrated this great gift.”

Last month, Kevin Mackin, OFM, welcomed more than 70 scholars from Europe and the United States to Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., where he is president, to explore the nature of freedom according to St. Thomas Aquinas at a workshop titled “Free Will and Virtue.” “If we argue the importance of tradition, it is not to retreat into the past, but to enrich the thought of the present and provide a living matrix,” said Kevin, who has been leading the college since 2008.

Daniel McLellan, OFM, was quoted in the July 22 issue of the Anderson Independent in an article titled “A Good Problem: Upstate Catholic Churches Enjoy Steady Growth” that appeared in the Faith and Values section of the newspaper. Daniel, who has been pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Clemson, S.C. since December 2012, described the need for more building space for the increasing number of people who attend Mass in the sanctuary that was completed 34 years ago. “We’re in expansion mode, but we’re really just starting the process,” he said of the addition recently of more Sunday services, an expanded viewing area and the purchase of property adjacent to the church.

Charles Miller, OFM, has moved from New York City to Durham, N.C., where he will be stationed at Immaculate Conception Parish. A farewell message was included in the July 21 bulletin of St. Francis Parish in New York City.

Russel Murray, OFM, has been appointed as a special delegate to the Plenary Council of the Order, to meet in Warsaw, Poland, in November. On July 26, he offered a presentation titled “Remembering the Bond: The Impact of the Shoah on Catholic Teaching on Judaism and the Jewish People” at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, where he is participating in a conference. It was delivered to participants in the annual International Seminar for Educators and the annual Catholic Institute for Holocaust Studies, jointly sponsored by the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem and the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pa. “My presentation was the second of a two-part lecture with Sr. Gemma DelDuca, director of the NCCHE, who presented on the contemporary history of relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish People, concentrating on the period from the late 19th century until the beginning of Vatican II.”

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, reports that Br. Bill Short, OFM, of St. Barbara Province, has been elected by the Order’s General Definitorium to serve as secretary of the General Chapter in 2015. An article on Br. Bill’s election was posted on the English-speaking Conference’s website.

Daniel Riley, OFM, director of Mt. Irenaeus, reports that Fr. Cyprian Consiglio, OFM, has been elected the seventh prior of Sacred Heart Hermitage of the New Camaldoli Benedictine Community of Big Sur, Calif. “Founded in the late 1950s and thriving on the California coast, this community has been a welcomed home for myself and other friars of Holy Name Province,” said Dan in a recent email. “Fr. Robert Hale, OSB, Cam., noted scholar and former prior, as well as others in leadership and in the community, have fostered a special spirit of ecumenism as well as prayer and study in the contemplative tradition.” Next summer, Dan said, “We expect a few of his community with us at the Mountain for our ‘Contemplative Days.’”

A program developed by Paul Santoro, OFM, for students at Santa Fe Catholic High School in Lakeland, Fla., where he serves as campus minister, was featured in a Florida Catholic article. The week-long “Sharing God’s Love” community service program gives students an opportunity to learn about the poor in their area and work to make a difference. Students begin the day with morning reflection and prayer at the school campus before going to various sites throughout Polk County to put their faith in action. In the afternoon, they return to the school to share their experiences. “I hope they are able to see that right here in their own backyard there is great need, and I hope to instill in them a desire to continue to serve beyond this program,” Paul said. “I want to open their eyes to what is happening in Polk County. After all, charity begins at home.”

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, returned earlier this week from Brazil, where he participated in World Youth Day at events hosted by the Brazilian friars, as well as the National Religious Vocation Conference. He plans to write about his experience for the Be A Franciscan blog. This Friday, Brian will attend the simple profession ceremony in Burlington, Wis. Brian and his assistant Carolyn Croke have begun publicizing fall 2013 vocation events. Details can be found on the Join Us page of the HNP website.

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Camden, N.J., was interviewed for a story about Camden County’s new police force that was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 29. Jud said he was “torn” initially about the new police force, because the city police union was sidelined in the process, but after touring the new force’s real-time information center, he is encouraged by its commitment to using technology to fight crime.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Aug. 7, always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication date. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
 Reception of novices on Aug. 16
 Spanish Vocation Retreat in Washington Aug. 30 to Sept. 1

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas