Ordination Class of 1971 Gathers at South Jersey Friary

Rebecca Doel Friar News

MARGATE, N.J. — Seven friars marking 40 years of priestly ordination gathered at the Franciscan friary here in the days following the Province’s 2011 Chapter in nearby Maryland.

John Anglin, OFM, Brian Cullinane, OFM, Christopher Keenan, OFM, J. Patrick Kelly, OFM, Dominic Monti, OFM, Richard Mucowski, OFM, and Patrick Sieber, OFM, were joined by Xavier De La Huerta, OFM — a non-ordained member of the novitiate class. They spent the weekend informally catching up and enjoying each other’s company Jan. 7 to 9.

Topics of conversation floated between the past and the present, joys and challenges for the class that was ordained not long after the Second Vatican Council. “We discussed how our years of ministry and our experiences have shaped our vision of the Church,” Dominic said.

“On Saturday, a coastal snowstorm dumped about 5 inches of snow on us,” said John of St. Petersburg, Fla. “We met late in the afternoon and reminisced about the days in formation and the hopes we had as a class — especially the hope for change, much of which has not taken place, that we had as a result of Vatican II.”

John, who was ordained a member of Immaculate Conception Province, describes himself as “the graft onto the tree of the class of 1971.” Ordained on May 22, 1971, John transferred to Holy Name Province later that year. “Chris made sure I was adopted into the class,” he said. His fellow classmates were ordained Jan. 9 in Washington, D.C., by Bishop (later Cardinal) Joseph Bernardin.

“It is significant for our class to remember our ordaining bishop, who played a major role in the U.S. Church and was a model of ministry for us,” Dominic said.

John wrote about the gathering on his blog, “The Wandering Friar.”

Christopher said it was “great” to gather and celebrate “all that we have to be grateful for in our almost 50 years with Holy Name Province.” He added: “The opportunities for personal growth and leadership development for partnerships in ministry are unlimited.”

The weekend also included a celebration of the Eucharist.

Members of the class who did not attend were Gerard Lee, OFM, James Nero, OFM, Andrew Reitz, OFM, and Xavier Seubert, OFM.

In the group photo above are (clockwise, starting from bottom right): Richard, Christopher, Dominic, John, Xavier, Patrick, Brian and J. Patrick.

— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.