Provincial Council Meeting Highlights

Michael Harlan In the Headlines

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Reports from John O’Connor about the Extraordinary General Chapter, from Daniel Dwyer about the JPIC Directorate, and from Edward Coughlinabout a renewal pilgrimage in May were among the presentations heard by council members at the Oct. meeting. Details about these presentations and other topics discussed by council members at their Oct. 11 to 12 meeting are below.

Extraordinary General Chapter 
John O’Connor shared a presentation and reflection on his experience at the Extraordinary General Chapter, held in Assisi, from Sept. 14 to Oct. 1 focusing on three themes (1) vocation, (2) fraternity and (3) mission.

The Council members reflected on a draft document from the General Chapter, He Speaks To Us On The Road. A final document will be released at a later date.

The council approved a new assignment for Edward Higgins at Holy Name of Jesus Friary on West 96th Street in New York effective Oct. 28.

Dominic Monti reported that Winston Guzman has withdrawn from the post-novitiate formation program in Lima, Peru.

Guardians’ Meeting
The Provincial Council reviewed and approved the final agenda for the guardians’ meeting scheduled Nov. 13 through 16 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Some of the topics for the annual meeting include a report on the state of the Province, the General Chapter, vocations, wellness, Praesidium Compliance, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, fraternal finances, and Visioning and Planning.

Ongoing Formation
Ed Coughlin, chair of the Ongoing Formation Committee, presented a draft proposal for an 11-day pilgrimage of renewal to Rome, Greccio, Assisi, La Verna and Bagnoregio from May 17 to 29 next year. The pilgrimage for the friars of the province was developed as part of the preparation for the eighth centenary of the foundation of the Order of Friars Minor in 2009. The Council approved the proposal for the spiritual renewal pilgrimage. A letter and brochure with detailed information will be mailed to all friars.

Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
Dan Dwyer
, chair of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Directorate, gave an update about the group’s initiatives and efforts:

(1) A report from the Ministry Twinning surveys on best practices is in process; a draft plan of action will be presented at next month’s Guardians’ meeting. 
(2) A series on Franciscan Peacemaking will begin shortly in HNP Today.
(3) A meeting of all Holy Name Province parishes in New York City (and parishes of the OFM – Immaculate Conception Province, Conventuals, Capuchins and Ecumenical Franciscans) with organizers from Picture the Homeless will take place at Holy Name Church on Wednesday, Oct. 18. The meeting is to look at how we can support the efforts of this organization as a Franciscan family to stand in solidarity with the homeless.
(4) In preparation for the 2006 mid-term elections, each ministry in the Province will be receiving copies of a voter guide, Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics, published by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. This is a newly-formed group with which the JPIC office works. 
(5) Russell Testa, director of HNP’s office of JPIC, will lead an advocacy training program for the three North Carolina HNP ministries, Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro, from Nov. 10 to 11. The purpose of the training is to form structured advocacy committees at the three ministries and to serve as an active Catholic-Franciscan presence in the 2006 to 2007 effort to pass the death penalty moratorium in North Carolina.

The Provincial Council reviewed and affirmed a plan to discern a “National Franciscan Presence in Advocacy” process to be held in March 2007 in the Washington, D.C., area. All Franciscan entities in the U.S. will be invited to participate, particularly those involved in leadership and justice, peace and creation ministry. Holy Name Province will serve as a host and will underwrite a portion of the discernment.

Communications Office
Jocelyn Thomas, director of communications, presented a progress report to the Council of the office’s work since she asumed the position in early September.

Jocelyn summarized the objectives of the redesigned Communications Office as (1) to manage the province’s publications, (2) to sharpen the province’s Web site, and (3) to develop the position of the public face of the province, representing Holy Name Province at various events and gatherings.

Jocelyn informed Council members that she is evaluating the resources that are available to achieve these objectives and is reviewing current priorities and procedures. The office’s goal is to strengthen productivity in order to enhance both internal and external communications.

In addition to supervising the province’s newsletter and its quarterly magazine, The Anthonian, Jocelyn’s immediate plans include visiting the friaries and ministries of Holy Name Province, attending province-related functions, and compiling updates for the Web site.

Jocelyn reviewed the status of the HNP Today on-line newsletter with the Council, and recommended changing its frequency from a weekly to a bi-weekly publication. She explained that the additional time gained by expanding the editing and production cycle from five to 10 days would:

– Allow for more in-depth coverage of news 
– Assure that the newsletter’s quality remains high
– Provide the Communications Office the necessary time to balance its attention over all of its objectives

After lengthy discussion and review by members, the Provincial Council accepted the recommendation to changeHNP Today’s distribution schedule beginning this month. They also suggested revisions to consider for the Web site and the HNP Directory.