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. They include personal news as well as developments at their ministries. 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 communications office.

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

John C. Coughlin, OFM, Stephen DeWitt, OFM, Daniel Horan, OFM, Erick López, OFM, Dominic Monti, OFM, and Kevin Mullen, OFM, are among the friars who currently appear in the rotating photos on the home page of the Province’s website.

William DeBiase, OFM, is excited to announce the publication of his first e-book. “Hoping With God” is a series of short reflections on God and is available on for Kindle e-readers. “In a world full of injustice and violence, it is easy to despair,” reads the description. “But Fr. William assures us there is hope — hope in God.”  More of William’s reflections can be found on his blog, Franciscan.

Michael Duffy, OFM, Hugh Macsherry, OFM, and Christopher Posch, OFM, are in Western New York this week participating in a retreat with the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry at Mt. Irenaeus. 

The Federation of Fire Chaplains awarded its annual Chaplain of the Year award to Christopher Dunn, OFM, for his work translating their chaplain’s training manual into Spanish over the last three years. The Federation authorized the Peruvian General Volunteer Fire Corps to translate the manual, which is protected by copyrights. The translated material served as a basis for the statutes for the establishment of a formal chaplains’ program within the Fire Corps of Peru, which now has five chaplains. The federation hopes the material will serve other Spanish-speaking countries and Latino areas within the USA. In addition to being pastor in Lima, Peru, Chris serves as a voluntary chaplain to the 24th Division Lima South and Company 120. The Federation of Fire Chaplains has over 800 members in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Peru.

John Frambes, OFM, reports that the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha was celebrated at the 11 a.m. Mass on Oct. 21 at St. Joseph Church in Wilmington, Del., where he is pastor. Approximately 30  Native Americans were in attendance at the Mass with Bishop W. Francis Malooly presiding, John said. “The Mass began with a traditional smudging ceremony with prayers in the Sioux language by natives of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Representatives of the First Peoples brought up gifts symbolizing important elements of St. Kateri’s life. Bishop Malooly blessed the congregation at the end of the Mass while holding an eagle feather. The Wilmington Diocese Gospel Choir and First People sang hymns in English and native languages.” John, who gave the homily, said, “St. Joseph’s is the designated parish for Native American ministry in the Diocese of Wilmington.”

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, is preparing the seventh  fraternal gathering in the fall series. It is being held at Siena College on Friday. Like the others in this series, the focus of the friar discussion will be three topics: the current vision of the Province, criteria for assessing HNP ministerial commitments, and feedback from a June meeting of the Province’s lay advisory board. This weekend, he will travel to St. Petersburg, Fla., for the Province’s annual guardians’ meeting.

Daniel Horan, OFM, delivered a public lecture Nov. 4 titled “The Basics of Franciscan Spirituality: Prayer as Relationship” as part of the Conversations at the Center series at the Assumptionist Center in Brighton, Mass. The monthly series brings in a variety of speakers for public presentations and discussions. On Friday, Nov. 9, Dan will lead a daylong parish retreat at St. Mark’s Church in Fallston, Md., titled “Franciscan Spirituality in Our Everyday Lives: ‘Dating God’ and Christian Living Today.”

David Hyman, OFM, chair of the HNP African Ancestry Committee, encourages friars to display the flyer about the Dec. 27 to 30 Go Down Moses retreat for young men of African-American background. It was distributed in the Nov. 5 HNP News for Friars e-bulletin.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, traveled to several states for meetings this week. In Burlington, Wis., he met with the Secretaries of Formation with the formation team at the Interprovincial Novitiate. While there, he met with provincial vicars from the American provinces to plan the December meeting of the U.S. provincial councils in Milwaukee.  In Cincinnati, Dominic spoke at a meeting of the Plenary Council of St. John the Baptist Province. Afterward, he traveled to Berkeley, Calif., for a meeting of the Board of the Academy of American Franciscan History, of which Brian Belanger, OFM, and Daniel Dwyer, OFM, are also a part.

Russel Murray, OFM, director of Siena College’s Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy, returned recently from Istanbul, where he lectured “as part of the OFM International Course in dialogue” after accepting the invitation of Fr. Ruben Tierrablanca, OFM, guardian of the OFM community in Istanbul. There he met the Ecumenical Patriarch and spoke on the anthropological foundations for dialogue, citing 2 Corinthians 1: 19-20. “In addition to its being a common point of reference for most ecumenical documents, I thought it appropriate for the course participants who, by and large, are engaged in what are called the ‘dialogue of life.’” Russel said. “I am always thrilled to speak about ecumenical and interreligious dialogue with fellow Franciscans. On this occasion, I was also profoundly humbled by the friars, sisters and dedicated laity with whom I was speaking. They are doing some of the most amazing things on behalf of the Gospel, and more than a few of them in some of the world’s most dangerous settings. What is more, they are doing so in ways that truly give life to the spirit of fraternitasand minoritas that lie at the heart of our Franciscan tradition. It was a true blessing to be with them.” Video of the event was provided by Fr. Dominico Ko, OFM, of Istanbul. Russel also said he would like the HNP community – both friars and friends – to know about the Facebook page of the FCSA. “Our students have done a great deal of work both redeveloping and promoting it,” he said.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, is attending the Franciscan Action Network’s five-year anniversary commemoration on Nov. 9 in Washington, D.C.

A. Francis Soucy, OFM, director of Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., attended the annual convention of Leading Age, a national association of homes and services for the aged, held in Denver this year from Oct. 21 to 25. “My contribution was a paper titled ‘Palliative Care: Pain Pills Plus.’ I was part of a three-person panel on end of life,” he said.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Nov. 14 (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:
•   Secular Franciscans 
•   Food programs around the Province
•   Retreat being organized by the HNP African Ancestry Committee 
•   Young adult ministries of HNP parishes

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas