Disclaimer

NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church and our Holy Father. This "little work" is purely a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8/15/2011


Our Lady, the Rosa Mystica, honored in St. Anthony's
Church (Kailua) on the Feast of the Assumption.

Although the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption is normally not observed as a Holy Day of Obligation in America, our new priest, Fr. Clarence, decided to honor the Blessed Mother by celebrating a Mass for her on this evening.  My pilgrim statue was invited to be a part of the special Mass and it was a very meaningful addition to the liturgical festivities.

During the homily, Fr. Clarence spoke briefly about the Church's devotion to Mary and then did something that was different from the norm... but wonderful - he spent most of the time he allotted for his preaching in leading the congregation in various traditional hymns to Our Lady: Hail Mary, Gentle Woman... Immaculate Mary... O Sanctissima... Salve Regina, etc. I thought it was a beautiful and fitting way to honor the sublime virtue of the Holy Mother of God... and I commend our priest for expressing and sharing his heartfelt devotion to Mary with the rest of us.  Ave, Maria!

 
Our Pastor, leading us in hymns to the Blessed Virgin... and parishioners
venerating Our Lady's statue and the relic of her veil after the Feast Day Mass.

"And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon
under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars..."
~ Revelation 12:1

Saturday, August 6, 2011

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony's Church, 8/6/2011


  
First Saturday Rosary Devotion at St. Anthony's Church, Kailua:
The Pilgrim Statue & Our Lady's relics take their usual place in front of the Day Chapel 

This month, our little group of faithful rosary-devotees offered the prayer specifically for FAITH... beseeching the Lord through the intercession of Mother Mary, for increased faith in the world... in our country... in our communities... in our homes... and most importantly, within our own hearts, as that is where it needs to grow first in order to spread outwards. I am a firm believer that we are all called by the Lord to be bearers of the Light of Faith, and that was the essence of our prayer this month.

The next First Saturday Rosary will be on 9/3/2011 at 4:30pm. The regularly scheduled Saturday evening Vigil Mass will follow at 5:00pm in the main church.  We invite you to join us!
  
 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Saint of the Month: August, 2011


St. John-Marie Vianney
Patron of Parish Priests - Feast: August 4th

Born in 1786 to poor farmers in Dardilly, France, John was a pious child who shared his faith with other children by teaching them traditional prayers and basic catechism. In his youth he made up his mind to become a priest and barely succeeded because of his poor learning skills and his inability to grasp Latin… but by the grace of God he was ordained a priest in 1815, and added the name ‘Marie’ to his own in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom he gave credit for his ordination.

When Fr. John-Marie was first assigned to the obscure little town of Ars, Mass attendance was very poor and the parishioners were indifferent to the practice of the Faith, which prompted the new priest to take to the streets to ‘fish’ for souls. He started home visits, especially to the sick and to the poor in the community, and also performed voluntary penances and sacrifices to draw down God’s blessings. He fasted strictly and deprived himself of sleep by praying late into the evening. His diligent prayer and good works bore fruit, as the people began attending his masses in droves to hear his down-to-earth, but inspiring sermons, and to be touched by his gentle goodness.

God rewarded Fr. John-Marie’s efforts by granting him the ability to ‘read hearts’ and to work miracles. Parishioners reported that their priest would often tactfully remind them about specific, hidden sins when they neglected or forgot to confess them… or sometimes tell them of future or distant events that always proved true. His prayers also obtained remarkable favors from God for those who asked for his help, and although he was undoubtedly a holy man, himself, he attributed the graces received to the intercession of St. Philomena to whom he was intensely devoted.

As news of his mystical gifts spread beyond Ars he became a much sought-after confessor. Daily, a long line formed in the streets for at least a couple of blocks leading up to the church, and the poor priest was in the confessional anywhere between 12 to 16 hours a day depending on the season of the year.  The devil, infuriated by Fr. John-Marie’s work, often paid him nightly visits during which he would keep the exhausted man awake by making noises in his bedroom, or by physically striking him. The demonic attacks were especially vicious on the eve of a great sinner’s arrival to Ars, but despite his grueling schedule and his encounters with hellish forces, the priest maintained a heavenly calm. God sustained him and his ministry lasted for almost 40 years through which many, many souls were brought to God's grace.

The main altar of the Basilica of Ars with the shrine-tomb of St. John-Marie Vianney
& a closer view of his incorrupt body 

The Cure’ (parish priest) of Ars died on August 4th, 1859, deeply mourned by all of France. He was worn and thin at the moment of his death but almost immediately assumed a look of majestic beauty and peace after his body was exposed for the funeral. St. John-Marie Vianney was Beatified in 1896 and Canonized in 1905 - not surprisingly, he is the designated patron of all parish priests. The body of the Saint was discovered incorrupt after his burial and can be viewed above the main altar of the basilica dedicated to his honor in Ars.

A Reflection:
One holy priest is worth more than a hundred lukewarm priests.

A Short Prayer:
Dear St. John-Marie Vianney, intercede for our priests throughout the world that they may love the Church and serve her with zeal and holiness.  Amen.