Provincial Council Approves Budget and Friar Assignments

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

NEW YORK — The Provincial Council’s sixth meeting of the 2011-14 HNP Administration focused on a variety of topics including friar assignments, finances, directorates, and the Washington Theological Union.

The June 29 to 30 gathering began with liturgy, presided by Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, with F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, leading the shared reflection.

One of the major decisions made at this month’s Council meeting was approval of the 2011- 2012 budget, said Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM. There had been a preliminary discussion of the budget at the last meeting. In addition, the council members listened to a presentation by the Province’s investment advisor, Derek Nolan of the Nolan Group of Merrill Lynch, of Albany, N.Y. It was an educational presentation, Michael said, that provided information about the business as well as about the economy, socially responsible investing, and other related topics.

The Council reviewed the sale of the Gemelli House friary on Lorain Avenue in Silver Spring, Md. Originally purchased in 1982 as an alternative living situation for post-novitiate formation, the house was later used as the base for the Franciscan Mission Service from 1987 to 1992. It then became a faculty house and residence for newly solemnly professed friars completing studies for ordination until 2002. The Gemelli House continued as faculty and graduate student housing to the present day. The Conventual Franciscan friars took over the house, effective June 15, said Dominic.

Also at the meeting, Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, notified the councilors that the Washington Theological Union had distributed a news release on June 27 announcing the decision to close the WTU within the next two years. He said the WTU Board would be having a meeting the following week to discuss plans for the “teach-down.”

John also told the council members that he had been in discussions with other religious superiors concerned about the responsible use of social media. Concern was voiced over the fact that some friars have used Facebook in a more casual way than is appropriate for their roles as public figures.

The summer is traditionally a season of transitions for many friars. As six have taken on new pastoral roles and other friars have requested moves to new ministries, the Council discussed and finalized nearly a dozen new assignments for the friars, listed in the July 13 “Transitions.” Last month’s meeting also included a discussion about SPUFY, the Provincial group of friars who are solemnly professed under five years, and other recent events.

Several Council members reported on meetings they attended as liaisons to the Council. They were:

 • Bill Beaudin, OFM, who attended the SPUFY meeting
 • Lawrence Hayes, OFM, who attended the meetings of the English-speaking Conference animators of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation as well as the Province’s Hispanic Ministry Committee
 • Joseph Nangle, OFM, reported on the African-American Ministry Committee’s recent meeting
 • Dominic reported on recent formation developments in the ESC. Plans are moving along well for the opening of the new interprovincial novitiate in Burlington, Wis., on Aug. 15. Meanwhile, the postulant directors of the seven provinces involved in the joint novitiate have “hammered out” a common ratio formation for their postulancy programs.

In addition, David McBriar, OFM, chair of the Province’s new Fraternal Life in Mission Directorate, met with the council to discuss “ways to provide information to all Provincial members about responsible adult living as vowed religious,” Michael said. “We agreed that starting conversations among friars about this issue is important.”

Planning Ahead
Before concluding on June 30 in time for the HNP Jubilee celebration, the Council members discussed the agenda for its next meeting, the annual in-depth planning session Aug. 7 to 10 in Denver.

The photo above shows: (front row) Dominic Monti, John O’Connor, Joseph Nangle, (back row) Lawrence Hayes, Edward Coughlin, Bill Beaudin, Brian Belanger, OFM, Michael Harlan and Thomas Conway, OFM.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

Editor’s note: News about the friars and their ministries can be found on the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province Facebook page.