This Month in Provincial History

Rebecca Doel Features

NEW YORK — Some notable March events that took place around Holy Name Province:

One Year Ago
March 1-10, 2009 — Seven Holy Name friars and several partners-in-ministry took a peace pilgrimage to the Holy Land to commemorate the Order’s 800th anniversary. The trip included visits to Bethlehem. Galilee and Jerusalem as well as meeting with Sheikh Al-Tamimi. (A similar pilgrimage, led by Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, will take place this June. Reservations must be made by March 15.)

March 13-16, 2009 — Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace and Justice were held in Alexandia, Va. HNP friars, including Mathias Doyle, OFM, Louis Canino, OFM, and Jud Weiksnar, OFM, participated in the event. (This year’s EAD, held March 19 to 22 in Washington, D.C., is called “A Place to Call Home: Immigration, Migration & Displaced Persons.”)

10 Years Ago
March 5, 2000 — The new Franciscan Center at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn., was dedicated by Archbishop Daniel Cronin. Then Provincial Minister John Felice, OFM, preached the homily. (According to the parish’s Web site, the center “provides opportunities to promote a living community that improve the life, dignity and rights of all people regardless of religious, social or economic background, especially the alienated and the poor of the city of Hartford.”)

15 Years Ago
March 25, 1995 — John Burke, OFM, was ordained bishop by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick at the Church of St. Peter the Apostle in River Edge, N.J. (John served as bishop of Miracema do Tocantins, Brazil, for almost 10 years, dying March 16, 2006. He was a Franciscan friar for 50 years and a priest for 45.)

25 Years Ago
March 1, 1985 — The Province began serving at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden, N.J., designated America’s poorest city in 2006. (Today, the parish is involved in improving the community of Camden by eliminating abandoned homes and creating community gardens.)

45 Years Ago
March 22, 1965 — Roughly 3,000 assembled at Villa Maria Retreat House in Chaclacayo, outside of Lima, Peru, for a retreat given by Celsus Wheeler, OFM, who traveled from La Paz, Bolivia. According to the Winter/Spring 1965 Provincial Annals, “Twenty of these belonged to four religious orders, i.e. CPPS, OMI, O. Carm., and OFM. The other 2,980 consisted of cackling chickens, quacking ducks, sniffing rabbits and sleeping dogs (except during the night).” Joseph Nangle, OFM, wrote, “Besides a profitable meditation on community life, the chickens also supplied eggs at breakfast and a companion for the rice at dinner.” (Shown in the photo are Celsus, Anselm Donohue, OFM, William Fitzgerald — who later left Holy Name Province — and Joseph. Just under a year after the photograph was taken, Anselm drowned while swimming in Lima.)

55 Years Ago
March 2, 1955 — Archbishop Richard J. Cushing of Boston celebrated Mass at Our Lady of the Airways Chapel in Logan International Airport. Following Mass, four Poor Clares from the Monastery of Saint Clare in Jamaica Plain, accompanied by Provincial Minister Celsus Wheeler, departed for Greenville, S.C., where they would be starting a new foundation. (Their new monastery was dedicated in the following days, and the friars of nearby St. Anthony Friary served as chaplains to the Poor Clares.)

60 Years Ago
March 14, 1950 — After weeks of preparation, the St. Bonaventure Dramatic Club — under the direction of Regis Galvin, OFM — performed “Hamlet” in the Olean High School auditorium. The production, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Olean, N.Y., was shifted from Butler Gymnasium on the university’s campus to the nearby auditorium, which could accommodate 1,200 people. The club also performed the play on March 15 and 16 as well.

— Compiled by Rebecca Doel