Update: Summer at Holy Name Friary

Philip O’Shea, OFM Friar News


RINGWOOD, N.J. — The summer has been quite active here at Holy Name Friary because of the peculiarity of this presidential campaign. There is great concern about its outcome and about how we, as Catholics, can choose (as we must) between two candidates, neither of whom express a worldview that is entirely keeping with the heart of Christian thought. The fate of many people who are refugees is also of great importance to us who want so much to live the good life that God wants us to live.


Author Philip O’Shea

Sandra, our tireless director of activities, and Kathi and Greg, have provided a most interesting and varied program of events that help us to have fun and do some serious thinking at the same time. Among the events of the summer are fun and fitness programs, yoga moves, discussion groups, ice cream socials, a variety of movies, games that keep us on our toes and up-to-date and marvelously creative drinks and foods. Hats off to the dietary staff for the delicious foods served at our weekly barbecues.

When possible, we bring the activities to the rooms of those friars who find they’re more comfortable in their rooms to meet their individual needs or interests. Recently the music duo – “Brothers Music” — was a real hit and received great applause. For special holidays, we have special entertainers, from accordion to guitar and sing-alongs. Once a month, we bring the keyboard into the dining room and Janet Spirko plays during the evening meal. We all sing along with the songs, many of which are requested by us.

Thanks to Fr. Richard “our chaplain” at Holy Name Friary, we have a series of Holy Hours on Thursdays before evening prayer, where we try to fulfill more perfectly our role as a “House of Prayer.” The Province should be well aware that we take our responsibility seriously and dedicate our prayers in whatever form they may take especially to the Province and its needs.

All of this makes it quite clear that we are a community of purpose fulfilling as best we can the role given to us, through our assignment to this friary. Whoever comes here comes here to cooperate in the full life of the community, a life that brings us into wonderful cooperation with the various apostolates that fall on the work of the Province.

We are here, and we are at your service.

— Fr. Philip, a native of Massachusetts, has lived at Holy Name Friary, the Province’s skilled nursing facility, since summer 2015.

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