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 at

John Aherne, OFM, George Camacho, OFM, Frank McHugh, OFM, Alan Thomas, OFM, and Patrick Tuttle, OFM, are some of the friars who appear in the current set of photos on the home page of the Province’s website.

Scott Brookbank, OFM, of Burlington, Wis., led a retreat last month for St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Raleigh, N.C., titled “Pecefully Rising Above and Beyond: Getting Past the Chaos in Our Lives to Grow in Holiness.” The Sept. 13 to 15 gathering was held in Salter Path, N.C., and was designed for the LGBT community, said Scott, a team member of the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate in Burlington, Wis.

In a recent post in his blog, The Wandering Friar, John Anglin, OFM, wrote about his thoughts on Pope Francis. “The first thing that we need to understand is that Pope Francis is not changing any core belief of the Church,” the Ministry of the Word friar wrote. “What he is doing is offering us a new vision of Church, a new way — actually a very old and traditional way — of living as the people of God, the body of Christ.”

Michael Calabria, OFM, spoke about Christian-Muslim relations and dialogue on Oct. 7 at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn. His presentation, “A Great Reverence: A Franciscan Reflection on Christian-Muslim Relations and Dialogue,” included his experiences of traveling, living and ministering in the Islamic world over the past 30 years. Michael shared his own “great reverence for Islam, provided principles and practices for Christian-Muslim relations and dialogue and spoke of the challenges ahead,” according to an e-newsletter. When publicizing Michael’s lecture, the Hartford parish provided a link to the “Franciscan Journey” story by Michael that was published in The Anthonian magazine. 

Michael Carnevale, OFM, attended a reunion on Sept. 14 of the class of 1963 from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. The festivities included a 4 p.m. Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City and a dinner in the Clare Room at the parish, followed by a Sunday brunch. Paul Erhardt, brother of Joseph Ehrhardt, OFM, and his wife did most of the planning, according to Andrew Reitz, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi. The reunion was attended by 20 graduates and five spouses who came from as far away as Japan and California, said Paul McAuliffe, a member of the reunion class.

Thomas Cole, OFM, HNP mission promoter, was at St. Francis Center, Caledon, Ontario, Canada, from Sept. 20 to Oct. 2 preparing for and participating in the meeting of the Order’s International Commission on the Missions and Evangelization. Delegates from each conference, along with the Executive Committee for Missions and Evangelization met to discuss the state of the missions and evangelization efforts around the world. In addition, the commission began planning for the first Intercontinental Congress for the Missions and Evangelization, to be held in Rome from May 18 to 28, 2014. Tom served as coordinator of this meeting, and Gilles Bourdeay, of the Canadian province of Saint Joseph, was the delegate for the ESC. Joseph Rozansky, OFM, was also present to “give some valuable input on the place of JPIC in the context of the missions and evangelization,” said Tom. “He also did a great deal of work in the translating department, too. St. Francis Center is a beautiful facility operated by the friars of Immaculate Conception Province, who were wonderful hosts. I recommend it as a place for retreat or vacation for all friars. In addition to the work we did, we took a day to visit Niagara Falls and another day to visit a parish run by the IC Friars — St. Peter’s Parish, in Vaughn, Ontario.”

David Convertino, OFM, the Province’s director of development, announced in the last in a series of emails about St. Francis’s prayer for peace, the creation of the Holy Name Province Office of Development Facebook page. He and his staff members are now using social media, David said, as a means to tell people about the ways the friars minister to a variety of people.

Mathias Doyle, OFM, participated in the September conference of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility in New York City from Sept. 23 to 27. The conference addressed social issues regarding food safety, human trafficking and modern slavery, water, climate change, and global and domestic health. The meetings concluded with a forum titled “Breaking the Bonds: Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking.”

John Felice, OFM, was featured in the Oct. 3 issue of Catholic New York, the newspaper of the New York Archdiocese. The story, titled “Friar Finds Community in Outreach to Homeless Mentally Ill,” describes John’s more than 30 years of helping the marginalized in New York City through the St. Francis Residences that he andJohn McVean, OFM, established in 1980. They and Thomas Walters, OFM, continue to minister at the residences today. The article ran as part of Catholic New York’s annual jubilarian issue featuring members of religious communities marking major milestone of profession.

Thomas Gallagher, OFM, will play a major role in the upcoming Emmaus spiritual retreat being held at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church, Hartford, Conn., where he is pastor. He will lead the hour-long morning service and celebrate Mass at the daylong retreat on Dec. 7 for parents whose children have died. The event, whose goal is to focus on the spirituality of the grieving process, is being held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the church. Information about the retreat is available from Thomas at 860-756-4034.

David Haack, OFM, has created a new business called Haack Studiolo, located at St. Bonaventure Friary on the St. Bonaventure University campus in Western New York. A studiolo is a room for meditation and study, in this case, that of painting, according to David. “The primary purpose of this venture is producing Franciscan inspired paintings for the home, office, chapel — anywhere,” he said. “The mission is to re-introduce religious imagery to the common marketplace. Another aspect of the studiolo is the ‘Studiolo Ministry of the Image.’ Weekend visits, one per month, to parishes, schools, or any other venue will offer an exhibit, or gallery talk, and/or Franciscan art historical talk. Haack Studiolo would like to bring its products to your medium, to a large space, gallery or room for the purpose of viewing, purchasing, or commissioning works of Franciscan and secular themed paintings, or Franciscan inspired note cards, to all. The venue will be offered 10 percent of all proceeds.” Information and visual examples of many of David’s works can be found on or Order forms for Franciscan notecards (blank inside) are available by email. Those interested in more information about Haack Studiolo or the Studiolo Ministry of the Image can email David at to obtain a brochure or general information.

Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, is developing the agenda for next month’s guardians meeting. Among the discussion topics during the Nov. 18 to 21 gathering will be managing transitions, personnel (working with volunteers), and a progress report on the planning of the 2014 Provincial Chapter.  Michael asks that guardians email the meeting registration forms to him by or on Oct. 11. Also, Michael reminds each HNP friary to complete the assessment criteria of their ministries for submission by Nov. 10.

Joseph Hertel, OFM, represented St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg, Fla., last month at a presentation of an award to the friary for its “outstanding achievement in the area of landscaping, unique garden design, water conservation and maintenance.” The award was presented on Sept. 17. “Mayor Bill Foster as well as most of the city VIPs made appearances at the event, acknowledging how important this city views keeping up the beauty of St. Petersburg with its prize-winning bay-front parks, other waterside parks, its lakes, wide landscaped avenues and boulevards, as well as the thousands of privately groomed properties, such as St. Anthony Friary,” said Roy Gasnick, OFM, staff member of the St. Petersburg friary. “The award itself is a personalized plaque, 12 inches by 9 inches, divided into two sections: the upper half displays a colored picture of our courtyard garden with its palm trees, other tropical bushes and flowers accenting a statue of St. Francis.”

Information about hotels near Wood-Ridge, N.J., for those attending the ordination Mass for Paul Keenan, OFM, on Nov. 9 can be obtained by contacting Kathy Savino at the Assumption Parish office at 201-438-5555. Discounted rooms are available at a Holiday Inn in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., said Paul, who is being ordained at the 5:30 p.m. Mass.

Stephen Kluge, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Long Beach Island, N.J., and his colleagues at the St. Francis Community Center received an automated external defibrillator from AtlantiCare Heart Heroes and AtlantiCare representatives on Sept. 30. Heart Heroes is a volunteer group that raises funds for the Heart Institute at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center and the AtlantiCare Foundation to place AEDs in the community. “The Heart Heroes funded a portion of the AED and Long Beach Township Police PBA #373 and Fraternal Order of Police provided the remaining funds,” according to the community center’s Facebook page, which provided photos. “AEDs can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest.”

Artist Robert Lentz, OFM, was recognized last week at several events in Houston, Texas. On Oct. 5, icons of eight saints were unveiled and blessed at All Saints Catholic Church. As part of this event, Robert, a resident of Silver Spring, Md., spoke about the Holy Icons of Saints project as a whole, describing architectural considerations, the composition of the screen and the reason for the ceiling design, and about what makes icons different from western art. On Oct. 3, Robert spoke in a less formal way, giving an explanation of each of 12 icons in the wall, as part of his lecture titled “A Conversation with Our New Saints.” In early 2009, Robert celebrated the completion of most of a major artistic commission at the same church.

Daniel McLellan, OFM, is leading a conference call meeting of the HNP Chapter Planning Committee on Oct. 9. Participants are discussing logistics for the Province’s chapter, which will begin June 1, 2014 at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y. The 10 committee members are working to develop a slogan and logo for the assembly and to determine the themes, dates and locations of the Province’s spring fraternal gatherings.

Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, was in California this week participating in the English-speaking Conference meeting at which proposals developed by the Interprovincial Collaboration Commission, of which he is a member, are being discussed.

Vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, distributed the third issue of the Be A Franciscan e-newsletter last month. It featured three formation events — the reception of the largest postulant class in 10 years, the reception of novices to the U.S. interprovincial novitiate in Wisconsin, and the simple profession of four NP friars — as well as a blog post by a student friar preparing for a future as a brother. The newsletter can be found in the Join Us section of the HNP website.

Members of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, where Jud Weiksnar, OFM, is pastor, recently celebrated the results of their community organizing with “a triumphant march in the streets,” according to a Catholic Star Herald article. The activists toured improvements that have been made to the area thanks to their efforts, including the completion of a bridge and the removal of garbage and debris from an empty lot. In the future, the group plans to rehabilitate 15 homes and address flooding in a local park.

News for the next issue of HNP Today is requested by Oct. 16, 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: 
•   Autumn meeting of provincial minsters of the English-speaking Conference
•   Provincial Minister’s meeting in Peru 
•   HNP Chapter Planning Committee
•   Participation by friars in the Oct. 18 to 20 PowerShift event in Pittsburgh, Pa.
•   Dates of the 2014 friar retreats

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas