Ongoing Formation Committee Announces Phone Workshops for Friars

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

NEW YORK — Jewish-Christian relations, leadership development and social media are among the topics planned for a continuing education program for friars that begins this week. The series of conference call workshops — organized by the HNP Ongoing Formation Committee — is being launched June 20 with a presentation on contemporary issues in Muslim-Christian relations byMichael Calabria, OFM.

This new initiative is a response to friars who have requested consultation about specific areas of expertise, according to committee chair Christopher Keenan, OFM. He said that “our rationale for piloting this format” is based on several factors, including low participation at regional workshops due to complex schedules and the need to implement new media options for forums that allow friars to share knowledge and best practices in fraternal life and ministry.

The phone workshops, which will be one hour long, are being held at various times of the day and will cover a wide range of themes. The first begins at 1 p.m. and the second, led by Joseph Nangle, OFM, is scheduled for 11 a.m. on June 28. Joe will address “Where we as a Province find ourselves in today’s Church.”

The topics for future discussions and the friars who have volunteered to serve as resources include:
Celebrating Vatican II with Vincent Cushing, OFM
Ecclesiology with Russel Murray, OFM
Ecumenism with Vincent Cushing, OFM
Finances with Thomas and Dennis
Franciscan life and ministry with Michael Blastic, OFM, and Dominic Monti, OFM
Jewish-Christian relations with David Bossman, OFM
Justice, peace and integrity of creation with Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM
Human resource and personnel issues with Thomas Conway, OFM, and Dennis Wilson, OFM
Homilies for seasons of the year with James Scullion, OFM
Leadership development with F. Edward Coughlin, OFM
Liturgy and sacraments with James Sabak, OFM
Missionary evangelization with Joseph Nangle, OFM
Rights of the laity with John J. Coughlin, OFM
Social media use in ministry with Daniel Horan, OFM

To register for a conference call, interested friars will email the presenter and specify issues they wish to discuss. To participate, friars will simply log into the conference call using the phone number and participant code that were distributed to all HNP friars last week through an e-bulletin.

After the inaugural two programs this month, the series will resume in September, said Chris, adding that the committee is exploring the use of other communication tools such as WebEx for this series.

“We would like these calls to be as helpful as possible,” said Chris. “I encourage friars to save the dates June 20 and June 28.”

He invites friars who have questions or who would like to offer to serve as a resource person to email him.Details about the content and presenters of future conference calls will be distributed to friars through the e-bulletin HNP News for Friars.

The Ongoing Formation Committee has set up other initiatives in the past that range from pilgrimages and retreats to providing information about leadership courses.

— Jocelyn Thomas is communications director for Holy Name Province.