Province Celebrates Anniversaries of Franciscan Life

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

NEW YORK — Friars from around the Province gathered last month for the annual jubilee celebration of profession of vows in the Franciscan Order. Fifteen friars were honored at a June 24 Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street.

“The liturgy was magnificent,” said golden jubilarian William DeBiase, OFM. “There was a superb unity evident so the various parts of the Mass were melded into one. The jubilee made me appreciate two timeframes — the past, to celebrate what was and to celebrate God’s goodness in my life, and the future, because He has done marvelous things and will continue to. I thank God not only for what was but for what will be.”

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, presided at the Mass with Fr. Fred Link, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province, HNP’s general visitor, and Bishop Capistran Heim, OFM, a golden jubilarian, and Bishop Philip Dickmans of Miracema, Brazil, concelebrating. Joseph Hertel, OFM, and Kenneth Paulli, OFM, proclaimed the readings. Bishop Dickmans, who succeeded the late Bishop John Burke, OFM, is a friend of the friars in Brazil.

Commitment and Communication
In his homily, John discussed communication, first with humorous bulletin announcements (like these from William’s blog, “Franciscan”). 

He then said how and what people communicate says a lot about what they believe. John described the values of today’s culture (to get beautiful, get connected, get into the latest fad, get rich and famous) that are in contrast to living the values of Franciscan life that “require only to have a trusting heart and a willing spirit.” 

John said the jubilarians are “incredible examples of commitment and service to the people of God,” and that they have “helped others live the authentic life that Christ calls them to.”

The Mass was joyful and the music by Meredith Augustin and her ministry was beautiful, said Rebecca Doel, HNP communications coordinator. She added, “The church was packed with friends and family, and the reception that followed was a nice mix of friars, Provincial Office staff, friends and family all in fellowship with one another for the joyous occasion.”

Celebrating Profession and Ministry
 Friars marking 50 years of profession: Those celebrating 25 years of profession:
John Alderson, OFM, of Butler, N.J. John Heffernan, OFM, of Triangle, Va.
Anthony Carrozzo, OFM, of New York Joseph Kotula, OFM, of West Clarkesville, N.Y.
William DeBiase, OFM, of Philadelphia Kenneth Paulli, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y.
Fintan Duffy, OFM, of Ringwood, N.J. Francis Pompei, OFM, of Buffalo, N.Y.
Capistran Heim, OFM, of Brazil Daniel Sulmasy, OFM, of Chicago
Joseph Hertel, OFM, of East Rutherford, N.J.
Richard Husted, OFM, of Allegany, N.Y.
 John Kull, OFM, of Butler, N.J.
  Miguel Loredo, OFM, of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Ronald Stark, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md.

jubThe honored friars have a variety of interests and ministries. They include art, ministering in parishes, preaching, fundraising, teaching, foreign missions, medicine, service to the poor and youth ministry.

“We friars often take for granted the gifts that we have: to celebrate God’s presence and the gift of genuine hospitality,” said Richard Husted. “Our partners-in-ministry who came to celebrate with us kept remarking, ‘If only everyone could experience a liturgy like that, they would understand the call to active participation.’ It was a wonderful celebration, well thought out and expertly done.”

“I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all who made it such a marvelous celebration,” William said.

The friars pictured on the cover of this newsletter are (front row) Ronald Stark, Fr. Fred Link, John O’Connor, Capistran Heim, Kenneth Paulli, (second row) Joseph Hertel, John Alderson, Joseph Kotula, (third row) John Kull, Richard Husted, William DeBiase, John Heffernan, (back row) Bishop Philip Dickmans, Anthony Carrozzo and Daniel Sulmasy.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province. She reminds readers that profiles of the 2010 jubilarians can be found in past issues of the newsletter, beginning in February.