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 friars by phone or email and by connecting with the Communications Office.

To provide news for future issues of HNP Today, readers should email information to communications director Jocelyn Thomas at

Michael Carnevale, OFM, would like to invite friars and former friars to a Friars’ Family Reunion on April 20 at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City. “Why? We miss you!” reads a flyer created by Michael. More details will be announced soon.

Thomas Cole, OFM, Bernard Creighton, OFM, and Leon Ristuccia, OFM, are among the friars featured in a musical video distributed in an e-letter from the Province’s Development Office, signed by David Convertino, OFM. The video shows friars in two friaries — St. Francis in New York City and St. Anthony in Butler, N.J. — singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Francis Di Spigno, OFM, Gregory Jakubowicz, OFM, and Mark Reamer, OFM, are some of the friars who appear in the new rotating photos on the home page of the Province’s website.

The November pilgrimage through Italian cities led by Henry Fulmer, OFM, is featured in the Dec. 23 issue of the newsletter of St. Joseph Catholic Church and School in Anderson, S.C., The Carpenter. The article shows a group photo of the travelers and includes comments from Henry.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, attended the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, on Dec. 28 at the New York Public Library.

Richard Husted, OFM, led sessions of the recent video series at St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J., called “Catholicism: A Journey of a Lifetime.” A report on the program, “Delving Deeper into Faith”, was included in the Dec. 27 issue of The Beacon, the newspaper of the Diocese of Paterson, N.J.

Gerald Hopeck, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., co-chaired the Dec. 27 to 30 Go Down Moses retreat in Washington, D.C., planned by the HNP African Ancestry Committee. Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM,attended the opening session of the gathering for young men of African descent, which was set up as a way to discuss and strengthen the participants’ appreciateion for their spiritual background.

For the 12th year in a row, Brian Jordan, OFM, celebrated Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at Ground Zero in New York City. When asked by media outlets why he was doing this after announcing that 2011 would be the last year he would celebrate the Mass, he replied that he was urged to do one more because the 9/11 museum is still incomplete. “These are people I never knew before Sept. 11, 2001, and they have become very poignant, deeply meaningful friends,” Brian told WCBS 880.

Nine weeks after being evacuated because of Hurricane Sandy, Stephen Kluge, OFM, reports that the St. Francis Parish offices and most St. Francis Community Center programs — counseling, educational support, senior services, and children’s services — have returned to Long Beach Island, N.J., as of Jan. 2. Family services and the food pantry are still located in Manahawkin, N.J., according to Stephen.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, received news last month that the Dominican Center of Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., where he is president, will receive $1 million in Empire State Development Grant funds, via the regional economic development council process of consolidated funding application. Kevin said the Dominican Center capital project is a “flagship project, to transform a 1927 structure and grounds into a 21st century living and learning center.” He praised Governor Andrew Cuomo for recognizing that “Mount Saint Mary College is a regional economic engine.” This fall, Mount St. Mary College launched the public phase of a $10 million campaign by announcing it was nearly two thirds of the way toward its goal.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, has been appointed Holy Name Province’s representative on the new Interprovincial Commission formed at the December gathering of the OFM Provincial Councils of the U.S. The seven members were announced in a Dec. 31 letter signed by the provincial ministers of the participating provinces.

The late Jude Murphy, OFM, is featured in a Christmas appeal letter from the Province’s Office of Development. These letters offer the biographical information of friars, which David Convertino, OFM, director, has learned are of much interest to potential donors.

Robert Sandoz, OFM, sent a New Year’s appeal to friends and alumni of Christ the King Preparatory School in Newark, N.J., where he is president. In it, he described the school’s experience with Hurricane Sandy. The majority of the school remained dry and intact, according to Robert. “As I made my way through the building, I was blessed with an overwhelming feeling of peace and security,” he said after the storm. 

James Scullion, OFM, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, gave a talk on Dec. 29 about the Lord’s Prayer as an invitation to contemplation. The next in the series is on Jan. 26, according to the parish’s Facebook page.

St. Francis Xavier Friary in Narrowsburg, N.Y., where William Scully, OFM, lives, was burglarized on Christmas Eve while William, the pastor, was celebrating the 8 p.m. Mass. William said that unopened donation envelopes as well as some personal items were taken from his home. “Fortunately, no one was hurt. The difference in time between them leaving and my arriving at the friary was no more than 10 minutes,” said William, adding, “Thank God, I preach too long.” Reports about the break-in were published in several area newspapers, including theSullivan County Democrat, which titled its article “Grinch Steals Fr. Scully’s Christmas.”

Benedict Taylor, OFM, attended the Dec. 24 children’s Christmas party for St. Benedict’s Day Nursery of CREATE Inc. in Harlem, N.Y., the social services agency that Benedict helped establish in 1970. An article about the event was included in the Dec. 20 issue of Harlem News.

Basil Valente, OFM, director of St. Bonaventure University’s Integrated Marketing Communications program, said that he “is a better Franciscan” because of knowing Jerry Lee, the student speaker at SBU’s December Recognition Ceremony on Dec. 15. “As I conducted exit interviews with the graduate students, many of them shared with me how helpful Jerry has been to them, especially with his strategic professional counseling and genuine interest in their lives and their futures. Jerry’s work with everyone at SBU is directly aligned with our mission and his actions are rooted, dramatically, in the Franciscan and Bonaventure traditions. I have not known someone, in my 20-plus years of teaching, who has taken the mantle of learning and worn it in a more other-centered and inspired way,” said Basil.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Jan. 9, 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:
•   Participation in the Jan. 25 March for Life
•   Social media use by Provincial ministries
•   2013 gathering of friars solemnly professed fewer than five years

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas