New assignment for Vincent Cushing
This installment of Franciscan Influences, a series published by HNP Today since 2010, is written by a former missioner with the Franciscan Mission Service who spent three years living and serving in Africa. The author, who feels grateful to the friars and Franciscan-hearted people who have influenced her faith, family and life and spirit over the past 30 years, reflects on experiences that have inspired her.
The Franciscans recently published the findings of research on exodus caravans migrating to the United States from Central America. In collaboration with the Franciscan Network on Migration, Franciscans International released research data in a booklet called “New Migration Dynamics in Northern Central America, Mexico and the United States – Central America Exodus Caravan, COVID-19 and Serious Human Rights Violations.”
In accordance with the Catholic-Franciscan tradition, which recognizes and celebrates the God-given dignity of every human being, the leaders of six provinces belonging to the Order of Friars Minor in the U.S. added their support to a statement signed by Catholic bishops and dozens of religious orders and institutions that condemns bullying and other acts of violence toward LGBT youth.
In our ministries, we serve people from all different walks of life, and of varied ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds: those who are young and old, rich and poor, liberal and conservative. In my experience as a friar, when you ask those who are Catholic, for example in our parishes, how they understand the season of Lent, a number of them will speak about Lent, as a time to give something up, like a certain food that they really like, or perhaps a certain beverage, like a favorite soda or alcoholic drink.
March 8, 2021 — In accordance with the Catholic-Franciscan tradition, which recognizes and celebrates the God-given dignity of every human being, the leadership of six provinces belonging to the Order of Friars Minor in the United States has added their support to a statement signed by Catholic bishops and dozens of religious orders and institutions that condemns bullying and other …
Friars and their partners-in-ministry around the country are offering an abundance of resources and opportunities to their congregations, supporters and friends during the 2021 Lenten season that go beyond the traditional practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. During the six weeks of Lent, a lineup of diverse and compelling reflections, videos and services will be offered online by Holy Name Province friars, ministries, and a network of Franciscans on websites and social media platforms.
When talk began of unifying the six OFM provinces of the United States, it was the start of a process that developed into a comprehensive plan – over time, gaining momentum and now at the point where the work of two friar leaders is dedicated solely to this initiative. Early discussions that focused on whether to unify morphed into discussions of how to restructure six Franciscan entities, including Holy Name Province, into a strong, singular coast-to-coast province. The Revitalization and Restructuring Process – as it is called – has produced a team that is unified in creating a renewed and energized Franciscan presence.
Updates about recent friar activities include Larry Anderson’s Theology on Tap, participation in a Scout Sunday event by Ross Chamberland, migrant work of Julian Jagudilla, Catholic Schools Week commemorations by Hugh Macsherry and Jacek Orzechowski, creative initiative by Aaron Richardson at St. Francis Inn soup kitchen, prayer service for SBU president led by Greg Jakubowicz, and the JPIC initiatives announced by Erick Lopez, Joe Nangle and Jud Weiksnar.
Providing spiritual, emotional and social support to students at Province-sponsored institutions of higher education in two upstate New York towns during the pandemic – which is now spanning three academic semesters – has come with unparalleled challenges for those in campus ministry. But chaplains Lawrence Anderson and Gregory Jakubowicz – and other friars and lay people serving on the campus ministry teams at Siena College in Loudonville and St. Bonaventure University in Allegany – have not been deterred from carrying out their missions. As one friar observed, campus ministry doesn’t stop during a pandemic, you just have to persevere and find creative ways of doing things differently.
The February issue of Fraternitas, the Order’s international newsletter, features the conclusion of the celebration of the 800 years of the Protomartyrs and other current Franciscan topics of interest. The year-long commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the deaths of the Franciscan Protomartyrs began on Jan. 16, 2020 and ended on Jan. 17. Although the pandemic muted most of the planned activities, a handful of meetings and events took place. As the observance of the Protomartyrs came to a close, the centenary of St. Anthony’s arrival in Italy was just beginning.
The Provincial Administration has announced new roles for three friars — Cidouane Joseph Francis McHugh and Gene Pistacchio – all effective immediately