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 Communications Office.

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

Russell Becker, OFM, of Tokyo, and Thomas Cole, OFM, of New York, participated in the weeklong meeting of the International Council for the Missions and Evangelization, or CIME, in Rabat, Morocco, earlier this month. The choice of venue was to emphasize the importance of the beginning of the mission of the Order and the remarkable response of the new missionaries to the letter of the General Minister to all entities last year, which created a great interest to the new Custody of the Protomartyrs, according to a report on Russell is pastor of Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo and Thomas is director of the Province’s Franciscan Missionary Union.

David Convertino, OFM, director of the HNP Development Office, welcomed friars and staff members of the Provincial Office to open houses earlier this week at its new location, 144 W. 32nd St. in New York.

Bernard Creighton, OFM, and Hugh Eller, OFM, of Butler, N.J., both formerly at St. Bonaventure University and the Franciscan Institute, are rejoicing over the good fortunes of the SBU women’s basketball team. “Bona’s is ranked No. 19 in the NCAA national poll this week with a 27-2 record. Notre Dame, with the identical record, stands at No. 3 behind No. 1 Baylor,” said Cassian Miles, OFM, former HNP communications director. Another resident of the Butler friary, Alan Thomas, OFM, has been instructing the first through eighth grade students at St. Anthony’s Parish School in sign language. “They have found it challenging yet quite enjoyable,” Alan said. Area parishes have welcomed the assistance of several priests in the community with Lenten Masses and confessions. Cassian said he plans to provide this “Butler Buzz” for future issues of HNP Today.

Kevin Cronin, OFM, of Butler, N.J., reports that the friars in the HNP Ministry of the Word began their Lenten journeys last weekend. Details about the schedule are available on the MOW website. Kevin has already led two pre-Lent missions; one in Florida from Feb. 4 to 8 and another in Wayne, N.J., Feb. 11 to 15.

Gregory Gebbia, OFM, helped cook food for a pancake breakfast at Christ the King Prep School in Newark, N.J., where he is associate principal for student affairs. Gregory appears in a photo in the school’s Feb. 20 e-newsletter.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, is finalizing logistics for the Province’s spring fraternal gatherings. The first program is March 14 in Florida.

Daniel Horan, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., has been signing copies of his book, Dating God, at various sites and events. Most recently, he was at the HNP Ministry of the Word meeting in Florida, St. Bonaventure University and University of Buffalo. On Feb. 26, Dan spoke at the Franciscan Mission Service’s Sunday Soup Symposium.

A photo of John McDowell, OFM, appears on the weekly e-newsletter of St. Andrew Campus Ministry at Clemson University. He is shown in a group photo in the Feb. 19 Weekly Update. St. Andrew’s Catholic Student Center offers retreats, intramural sports, Theology on Tap, Tuesday night dinners, a weekly Breaking Open the Word discussion and sacraments of initiation.

Kevin Mackin, OFM, president of Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, N.Y., presented Danielle Kearns, a senior English/education major from Norwalk, Conn., with a $1,000 check from the Franciscans for the March 22 to 23 Relay for Life on campus. Kearns, local relay chairperson and campus president of the Colleges Against Cancer club, said the college raised nearly $30,000 last year for the American Cancer Society, up from $16,000 the year before. Three hundred students participated in 2011; this year’s goal is to have 350 sign up. Donations can be made online.

The most recent HNP News for Friars, the Province’s internal e-bulletin, emphasized the importance of sharing information. Friars were encouraged to send updates by email or traditional mail to Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, and communications director Jocelyn Thomas. The Feb. 22 e-bulletin also notified friars that an updated edition of the HNP Directory had been posted on the Extranet.

Siena College president Kevin Mullen, OFM, traveled with staff members to Florida to visit alumni, parents and friends of the Loudonville, N.Y., college. The group gave presentations about Siena’s strategic plan.

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, visited Siena College on Sunday, Feb. 26, to preach on vocations and invite men to consider Franciscan life. Upcoming vocation events include “Spend a Day with the Friars” in Raleigh on March 17 and a “Come and See Discernment Weekend” in New York City from April 20 to 22.

An article by Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, of St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York, was published in the March/April 2012 issue of The Pastoral Review. Its title is “The Church in the Tradition of the Casta Meretrix.”

Christopher VanHaight, OFM, has notified the Communications Office that the pilgrimage to Ireland planned by St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, N.J., has been cancelled.

Jud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., reports on “the success we’ve had with our sixth to eighth grade students” at St. Anthony’s School. The children have been doing community organizing around issues in Von Nieda Park. He recently shared the news with the director of the Camden Churches Organized for People. Jud is pleased with the contributions that students at St. Anthony’s School are making to Von Nieda Park. He and five students attended a Feb. 17 meeting with city and county parks officials, offering ideas about how to clean up the park. Having students make the requests “seems to be very effective,” Jud said. “This has been great follow up to the Martin Luther King Day of Community Organizing for Students.”

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by March 7 (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:
· The HNP Development Office
· Groundbreaking of new building for St. Anthony of Padua School in Greenville, S.C.
· Seasonal reflections by friars
· Annual meeting of the HNP Ministry of the Word members

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas