The reflection below, the seventh in a series, was written by Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, just before the Independence Day holiday. The previous installment appeared in the April 24 issue of HNP Today after John attended a meeting of Franciscans in Malta.
NEW YORK — Usually things begin to wind down as we get into summer, but these last few weeks have been quite busy. We were fortunate to have our new Minister General, Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, visit us here at 31st Street in New York City three weeks ago. He joined the friars for a festive dinner on June 9.
The next day, Michael met with Fr. Primo Piscitello, OFM, provincial minister of Immaculate Conception Province, and me. In addition to the residents of St. Francis Friary, friars from our other New York houses and several friars from Immaculate Conception Province joined us for Sunday dinner.
I was delighted in May to hear that Fr. Michael had been elected Minister General, especially because, as the former president of the English-speaking Conference of OFM Provincials, I had played a part in helping Michael get elected Vicar General. He is a friar with a solid sense of the needs of the Order and a very good vision for the future.
On June 18, we conducted the second meeting of the Province’s lay advisory board. It was a full day in which the Provincial Council and I shared with the men and women present an update on the Province’s regional days and the latest planning documents. A story about the meeting will be included in a future issue of HNP Today.
The following day we had our monthly Provincial Council meeting in which we discussed, among other issues, next year’s Province Chapter. We appointed a steering committee for the Chapter, chaired by Daniel McLellan, OFM.Fr. Melvin Jurisich, OFM, our Visitator General, joined us for both the Council meeting and the lay advisory board meeting.
On June 20, we celebrated the silver and golden jubilees of 11 of our brothers. The Mass was followed by a delicious dinner in San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street.
Next on the agenda for me is a workshop — at which I will be one of the presenters — being held next week at St Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y. It will focus on the responsibilities of religious serving on the boards of trustees of Franciscan colleges and universities.
That’s it for now. Best wishes to all for a relaxing summer.
— Fr. John, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the 15th friar to serve as Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province. His term concludes next summer at the 2014 Chapter.
Editor’s note: In this reflection, titles of the positions of the Curia leaders are used in the traditional style rather than the more American terms normally used in this newsletter.