News Briefs About Special Activities of HNP Friars

HNP Communications 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

John Aherne, OFM, and John Heffernan, OFM, participated in a recent liturgy during a major Irish Dance Competition in Washington. Through his work with the Gaels, the Irish Cultural Club at the Catholic University of America, John Aherne was asked to locate a priest to celebrate Mass for the competition. This drew more than 2,000 dancers from across the South, vying for a chance to compete in the World Irish Dancing Championship. John Heffernan, of nearby Triangle, Va., thought it sounded like fun, and joined in the liturgy for the event at the enormous Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor. Several hundred dancers and their families took part in the liturgy, held in a banquet hall at the end of the three-day long event. The crowd sang robustly under John Aherne’s direction. John Heffernan summed up the energy and spirit of the enthusiastic Advent celebration by commenting during his homily: “This is like being at a Notre Dame post-football game Mass!”

Thomas Conway, OFM, director of St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, hosted a “dinner with the friars” on Jan. 16 for members of the Shrine’s 20s/30s Young Adults group. The ministry was founded five years ago.

F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, reminds friars and laypeople that there is still time to register for the 2014 Franciscan Forum. The event, titled Responding to God’s Love, is being held March 27 to 30 in Colorado. Registration information was provided to friars in an e-bulletin on Dec. 12.

Michael Duffy, OFM, submitted a photo of the HNP friars who attended this year’s interprovincial retreat in Las Cruces, N.M. He said, “It was a wonderful experience. We are feeling very much a part of the whole Franciscan presence in the USA.” The theme of the Jan. 6 to 10 gathering was “Dreams of Francis: Visions for Tomorrow.” Shown in this photo are Raphael Bonanno, OFM, Vianney Justin, OFM, Kevin Kriso, OFM, Louis McCormick, OFM, Howard O’Shea, OFM, Daniel Riley, OFM, and Michael.

An article by Daniel Horan, OFM, of Boston, titled “Daring Peace” was published in the Jan. 20 – 27 issue of America magazine. In the piece, Dan wrote about Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela and other leaders who use nonviolence in an effort to secure peace for all, saying: “Nonviolence is often viewed as impossible, an unrealistic dream of the naïve and foolish, particularly in an age marked by drones, nuclear weapons and diffuse terrorist networks … However, there are prophets who continue to cry out in the wilderness of our 21st-century world on behalf of nonviolence.” Earlier in the month, Dan and Fr. Anthony Andreassi, c.o., led a discussion on faith and technology at the Oratory Church of St. Boniface in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Brian Jordan, OFM, Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum and Maryam Kashmir, president of the Muslim Student Association at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, wrote an editorial for the New York Daily News about the New York City mayor’s plans to ban the horse carriage industry in the city. The article, titled “Leave the Horses and Drivers Alone: A Religious Perspective on the Dignity of Work for Man and Animal Alike,” encourages Mayor de Blasio to reexamine the wisdom of banning the horse carriage industry.

Christopher Keenan, OFM, chair of the HNP Ongoing Formation Committee, asks friars to save the dates of two upcoming phone workshops. His group is continuing to pilot a series of occasional conference calls that allow friars to discuss topics of special interest with a resource person for one hour. This program is being set up as a response to friars who have requested consultation about a specific area of expertise. The dates, leaders and themes of the first two conference calls for 2014 are (1) “Looking Toward Lenten Liturgies” at 1 p.m. on Jan. 30, led by Richard Husted, OFM, and Meredith Augustin of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, New York City, (2) “Looking Toward Holy Week and Easter Liturgies” at 1p.m. on Feb. 13, led by Richard and Meredith. Information with call-in details will be sent to all HNP friars by email before Jan. 30. Friars are encouraged to contact Christopher by email to suggest topics and to offer to serve as a resource for future conference calls which are continuing until Chapter 2014.  The committee welcomes friars to invite their partners-in-ministry to participate in these ongoing formation workshops.

A tribute to the late Conrad Loftus, OFM, (1929 – 2008) was submitted recently to John Heffernan, OFM, who said: “I have known a fellow, William Richey, who coordinates prison ministry in Fairfax, Va. Bill asked me if I knew of Conrad Loftus. I only knew of Conrad by name. Bill sent me this wonderful tribute about our brother Conrad: ‘I knew Conrad after he had retired but stayed on in South Korea to continue serving as the Catholic Chaplain at a small U.S. Army base in Pusan. I was working at the U.S. consulate nearby and attended Mass on the base. There would be 18 people in this obscure little military chapel. Conrad would preach the most amazing sermons I had ever heard. Through him (and reading Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton), I became Catholic. I had grown up Baptist and later spent time as an Episcopalian. But hearing those sermons from such a great Franciscan in that obscure chapel in South Korea, there was no option but to cross the Tiber! He suggested I look into the Secular Franciscans, when I got back to the States.’”

On Jan. 15, Erick López, OFM, of St. Camillus Parish celebrated a rite of Baptism for six Saint Francis International School students. This was the third consecutive year that students and their families have sought out baptism through the school. Photos of the ceremony were posted on the school’s Facebook page.

Robert Menard, OFM, led a discussion with students and campus minsters of varied faiths at Clemson, S.C., University about the relationship of faith and science on Jan. 17 and 18. Robert is campus minister there.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, and F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, attended the annual meeting of the Commission on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition (CFIT) from Jan. 16 to 18 in Denver to map out initiatives for the coming year.

Ronald Pecci, OFM, recently took the Province’s five postulants to various ministries in New York and New Jersey. Photos of their visit to New York City and to Butler and Ringwood, N.J., were posted on the Postulancy of the Franciscans of Holy Name Province Facebook page.

In Mt. Irenaeus’s January 2014 e-newsletter, Daniel Riley, OFM, introduced a new feature, “Voices from the Valley.” Articles, he said “will give readers a glimpse of the impact the mountain and its message has on friends across the globe. Mt. Irenaeus comes into its 30th year of life wishing to listen to voices from over our years together.” The newsletter also includes Christmas photos, information about mountain apparel and ways to volunteer.

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, participated in the Filipino Day of Reflection for Franciscan Vocations on Jan. 18 at St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York City. He and HNP development director David Convertino, OFM,were among friars who spoke to the guests. “I gave two talks, one on discernment titled ‘Everyone Has a Vocation: What’s Yours?’ and one about the processes of inquiry, application and the like for candidates and the process of formation,” said Brian. “The attendees were very much engaged throughout the day, asking a lot of good questions and interacting well with one another and the presenters. Also gratifying for me was the support of the Filipino student friars who traveled to New York to attend and share their vocation stories. Julian Jagudilla, OFM, was present as well. They planned and coordinated this event and worked hard to make this program a success.” Photos of the event are posted on the new Filipino Community — Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province Facebook page.

Dennis Tamburello, OFM, spent six days in Haiti earlier this month. “From Jan. 4 to 10, I chaperoned a group of nine Siena students on a service immersion trip to St. Gabriel’s School in Fontaine, Haiti. We spent the week teaching English, as well as interviewing students in order to get information to share with potential sponsors. St. Gabriel’s is a middle and high school that runs completely on donations. It was founded by a Siena graduate, Pierre-Louis Joizil. He was invited, along with several other Haitian students, to finish his degree at Siena after the 2010 earthquake destroyed his university.”

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, reports that after two years of advocating for lights in “The Nation’s Most Depressing Park,” the Student Leaders Von Nieda Park Task Force in Camden, N.J., learned that the county plans to install lights in the park. An “Un-dark the Park” vigil planned to call for the lighting turned into a celebration after students learned the news.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Jan. 29, always the Wednesday before the newsletter’s publication. Updates about the friars and their ministries can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Topics planned for future issues of this newsletter include:
•   Spring meeting of the provincial ministers of the English-speaking Conference
•   2014 Formation events
•   Ordination anniversary of Pius Liu, OFM

 Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas