Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mt. Irenaeus to mark co-founder's golden jubilee Sept. 17

WEST CLARKSVILLE, N.Y. – Mt. Irenaeus, a Franciscan community and retreat situated in Allegany County, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of religious profession of its co-founder, Fr. Dan Riley, O.F.M., with a Mass, dinner and concert on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Fr. Dan will serve as celebrant of the Golden Jubilee Mass, set to begin at 4 p.m. It will be followed by a dinner, for which attendees are welcome to bring a dish to pass. A concert will follow at approximately 7 p.m., given by Kim and Reggie Harris, who will also provide music for the Mass. Reservations are requested; please contact the Mt. Irenaeus office at 716-375-2096 or email
“Approaching this celebration, I continue being amazed to be living further into 50 years of Franciscan gospel life. It has become clearer and clearer that I’m always beginning to live this life and counting on others in community who both are seeking God, finding God and wanting to share gospel life in our world,” Fr. Dan said. “As one who never saw himself ‘being a religious,’ I find it a particular blessing at this time of spiritual search and discovery that we are coming to understand that you and I and all creation are the sacred body of the Cosmic Christ.”
Fr. Dan is a member of the Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor, the largest province of Franciscan friars in the United States.
A native of Rochester, he began his affiliation with St. Bonaventure University when he attended in the early 1960s, intending to study medicine. He switched his major to philosophy, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1964, joined the Order of Friars Minor the following year and professed first vows in 1966.
He continued his study of philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and completed a master’s degree in theology at Washington Theological Union in 1968. He professed final vows on Oct. 4, 1970, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and was ordained a priest in 1971.
Following his ordination, he was assigned to St. Bonaventure University, one of two universities founded by Holy Name Province. He established SBU’s campus ministry program, and worked to convert a garage into the Thomas Merton Ministry Center.
He served as the province’s vocation director and accepted various assignments in Boston, New York City, Portsmouth, N.H., and Washington from 1974-79, then returned to St. Bonaventure to serve as director of its vocation and campus ministry programs.
Long dreaming of a site off campus that would allow students and staff to gather in peace and reflection amid natural surroundings, Fr. Dan founded Mt. Irenaeus in 1984 with the late Fr. Dan Hurley, O.F.M. He now serves the community, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015, as president and animator.