This update is the second in a series of updates from John O’Connor, OFM, in which the Provincial Minister provides an overview of what he has been doing, sharing both personal reflections as well as observations about ministries and Provincial developments.
This summer has been rather busy so far with more time on the road than usual. As reported by Larry Hayes, OFM, in HNP Today, several of us from the Provincial Council had a very enriching week in Malibu, as we participated in the first ever interprovincial retreat for Provincials, Vicar Provincials, and council members of the English-speaking Conference provinces. It was a very good prelude to a meeting scheduled for next December in Milwaukee, Wis., when we will once again gather, this time with the Minister General, to discuss the possibility of further collaboration among U.S. provinces and the possibility of merging provinces.
After the gathering in California, I flew to the Midwest, where I had several meetings and also visited our friars at the interprovincial novitiate in Burlington, Wis. Our novices told me that they had a very worthwhile and productive year in the novitiate. They are very appreciative of Fr. Ralph Parthie, OFM, and the novitiate team. I also spoke with Scott Brookbank, OFM, who is excited about beginning his new ministry as a member of the novitiate team. In between my visit to the novitiate and meetings, I was able to take a few days off to visit friends.
This week, I am in Denver, Colo., for the annual extended Council meeting. At the end of the week, I fly back to Wisconsin to receive the first profession vows of our novices John Aherne, OFM, and Jeff Upshaw, OFM. After that, it’s on to Washington, D.C., for meetings and then on to Buffalo for the installation of the new bishop of Buffalo, Bishop Richard Malone.
I hope you are all doing well and finding some time to slow down from your normal responsibilities and get some time off. I look forward to seeing many of you at the solemn profession on August 25.
— Fr. John, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the 15th friar to serve as Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province. Reelected in January 2011, he originally assumed the role in summer 2005.