ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Most of Holy Name Province’s 36 guardians gathered last week with members of the Provicial administration for their annual meeting here for a discussion of topics affecting local fraternal life as well as the Province as a whole. The friars met at the Heritgage Inn near St. Anthony’s Friary from November 12 to 15.
Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, opened the gathering Monday afternoon with a “state of the Province” presentation, which was followed by discussion. Later that afternoon, Francis DI Spigno, OFM, and Brian Smail, OFM, led the participants in a discussion of how best to animate and encourage vocations to the Order. Tuesday was devoted to a consideration of Province finances, with Kevin Mullen, OFM, leading a discussion of Province-wide fiscal realities and policies, and John Piccione, OFM, presenting the projected provincial capital campaign and details of a recent feasability study.
On Wednesday, the guardians discussed the Province’s new vision statement as part of the Visioning and Planning sections of the agenda. They took part in group discussions facilitated by strategic consultant Dominic Perri and Francis Gunn, OFM, Chair of the Visioning and Planning Committee, similar to those held recently at the five fraternal gatherings held throughout the Province.
The gathering closed Thursday morning, following presentations by Daniel Dwyer, OFM, who updated participants on recent projects of the Province’s JPIC Directorate, and by Andrew Reitz, OFM, who led a consideration of planned initiatives of the Province’s Ministerial Development Directorate.
Attendees said they were pleased with the format and the tone of the meeting.
Angelus Gambatese, OFM, guardian of St. Stephen of Hungary Church in New York City, said that he left with much hope and enthusiasm for the leaders of the Province, on the provincial level as well as the local friaries.
“While there was acceptance of the demographic realities of our present Province, I noticed that there was no pining away for the ‘good old days’ or a ‘circle the wagons’ mentality,” he said. “It was clear that the friars grasped the changing needs of our people, were convinced of our mission to the people of God and were confident that, thinking creatively, we would achieve a vision and plan that would ensure the future of the Province.“
The gathering was enhanced by opportunities for communal prayer, Eucharist and time for fraternity.
“The guardians always seem to look forward to coming to St. Anthony’s Friary where they enjoy the welcoming and hospitable environment there,” said Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, who, with Andrew andChristopher Coccia, OFM, organized the event.
Following the close of the guardians’ meeting, the members of the Provincial Council remained at St. Anthony’s Friary the afternoon of Nov. 15 and the morning of Nov. 16 for their monthly meeting. The council’s final meeting for 2007 is scheduled Dec. 13 and 14 in Manhattan.
Shown in the photo above are, from left, bottom row, friars Ignatius Smith, Kevin Downey, John Piccione, John Mahon, Jerome Massimino, Robert Menard, Aubrey McNeil, Paul Breslin and James Hynes; second row, Francis Di Spigno, Mark Reamer, Robert Sandoz, Todd Carpenter, Brian Belanger, William Fitzgerald, Steven Patti, David Convertino, John Anglin, Francis Gunn, Christopher Keenan, Brian Cullianane, Christopher Coccia, and Andrew Reitz. Back row, Michael Harlan, Michael Duffy, Daniel Riley, Jud Weiksnar, Dominic Monti, John O’Connor, Daniel Dwyer, Steven Kluge, Lawrence Hayes, Daniel Grigassy, Joseph Hertel, Patrick Tuttle, Frank Sevola and Thomas Gallagher.