Some notable December events that took place around Holy Name Province:
Five Year Ago
Dec. 10-14, 2012 — Provincial Councilors and the administration members of the other six OFM provinces in the United States gathered for the first-ever meeting of the entire leadership teams of the OFM provinces to discuss the initiative of restructuring and the future of Franciscan life mission in the U.S.
Dec. 15, 2012 — St. Francis Breadline in Midtown Manhattan dedicated the Franciscans Deliver food pantry. Since 1930, the breadline has served food each morning to hundreds of men and women who line up outside St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street.
Ten Years Ago
Dec. 2, 2007 — The St. Clare Parish in Buffalo, N.Y. celebrated its opening Mass. St. Clare Church community comprised five merged parishes in Southeast Buffalo, including Sts. Rita & Patrick Parish, which had been staffed by the friars for many years. Last year, St. Clare Parish merged with St. Teresa Parish after it was determined that the decreasing Mass attendance and increasing costs made operating St. Clare challenging.
Dec. 9, 2007 — Pope Benedict XVI awarded Paul Williams, OFM, then-pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish in Columbia, S.C., with the Pro Ecclesa et Pontifice Cross, the highest recognition a friar can receive from the Holy See. He was the first African American to receive the medal in the Diocese of Charleston. Today, Paul is pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Wilmington, Del. His appointment there in the spring of 2013 as the first African-American pastor fulfilled a dream expressed by the first pastor, Fr. John DeRuyter. In investigating the parish history and visiting the archives of the Sisters of Saint Francis in Aston, Pa., as well as the Josephites’ archives in Baltimore, researchers found a letter written by Fr. DeRuyter in 1889 to his superiors, advising that the parish could benefit from the assignment of a “colored pastor.”
15 Years Ago
Dec. 2-7, 2002 — Two Holy Name friars — Dominic Monti, OFM, and Russel Murray, OFM — participated in an ecumenical gathering with representatives of Franciscans from Anglican and Lutheran churches, held under the sponsorship of the General Minister in Rome and Umbria. Today, Russel is the general animator for evangelization for the Order of Friars Minor.
Dec. 22, 2002 — A hall and all-purpose facility at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Chorillos, Peru, was dedicated by Christopher Dunn, OFM. Today, Chris — who has served in Peru since 1981 — is chaplain to the Peruvian Volunteer Fire Corps and vicar at Santa Ana Parish, located in the Diocese of Lurin in Lima, Peru. Last month, he shared news of the recent donation of a fire truck donated by a U.S. fire department to the Fire Corps.
35 Years Ago
Dec. 8, 1982 — A departure ceremony was held at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City for the friars leaving for the Africa project. The initiative, also known as the Call to Africa, was the first time that a diverse group of friars from a variety of provinces worked together. The project was unique because friars were inserted into the local community and, from there, determined what ministry needed them the most. Of the initial friars who went to Africa, four were from Holy Name: Joseph Ehrhardt, OFM, Pascal Gallagher, OFM; Finian Riley, OFM, and Conrad Schomske, OFM.
55 Years Ago
Dec. 10, 1962 — Rayner Dray, OFM, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Americus, Ga., welcomed the Most Rev. Thomas McDonough, bishop of Savannah, the Provincial Minister and guests to the blessing of the church. The Province staffed the Americus parish until the late 1970s.
— Compiled by Johann Cuervo
- “This Month in Provincial History” – Nov. 5, 2017, HNP Today
- “Profile: Paul Lostritto Marks 25 Years as a Friar” – July 13, 2016, HNP Today
- “U.S. Provinces Approve Four Restructuring Possibilities” – Sept. 2, 2015, HNP Today
- “Celebrating 750 Years of Witness and Service” – July 8, 2015, HNP Today
- “Charleston Diocese Bids Farewell to Paul Williams” – May 22, 2013, HNP Today