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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Saints & Holy Relics Presentation/Visitation: St. Stephen Church, 10/27/2013

Holy Relics on display at St. Stephen Church in Honolulu, Hawaii
It has definitely been a busy and stressful week for me and my little ministry...  I spent the last few days preparing for three Holy Relic visitations - two of which were speaking presentations I was invited to conduct on October 27th at the neighboring parish of St. Stephen Church in Honolulu... while the other was for our monthly Fatima Group Prayer Meeting at the Gruber Family residence; all of which I had to accomplish in between spending lots of quality time with a sister who vacationed from California with her husband.
Thanks to God and his sustaining grace, I managed to get all the tedious preparations completed and the presentations turned out better than I expected.  The two speaking presentations consisted of the following:
St. Damien of Molokai Children's Presentation (for CCD students, Kindergarten to 5th Grade)
 CCD students learn about St. Damien of Molokai and enjoy doing it, too!
For my first presentation I came up with the idea of keeping the youngsters entertained and engaged by incorporating a giant jigsaw puzzle, picturing St. Damien one side and Jesus on the other (pictured above).  I had the children piece the Fr. Damien puzzle together after which I shared some basic information with them about his life and work in Kalaupapa, Molokai.
Next I had the children undo the puzzle, flip the pieces over, then assemble the Jesus-side of the puzzle.  When they finished with the second image, we discussed each of the virtues spelled-out around the face of Jesus and how St. Damien lived each one to become holy and Christ-like; a worthy Saint  we can look up to as a hero.  The children were thoroughly entertained while learning many valuable spiritual lessons.

Saints & Holy Relics Presentation (for older teens and the rest of the parish, in general)
Opening up the presentation with a prayer to the Holy Spirit
For the second presentation, I was invited to speak to teen and adult parishioners about the Church’s teachings about the Cult of the Saints, the Sainthood Process, and Holy Relics.  As with similar presentations I’ve conducted in the past, I brought along several genuine relics for the audience to view and venerate.  The Blesseds and Saints who were spoken about, and represented by their respective relics, were: the Blessed Maria Stella & 10 Companion Martyrs of Nowogrodek, St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Bl. John Paul II, Bl. Margaret of Citta-di-Castello, St. Peregrine Laziosi... and the Blessed Virgin Mary, via her "Ex Velo" relic.
 Parishioners of St. Stephen Church viewing and venerating the Holy Relics of the
Saints & Blesseds after the presentation
Whenever I do these speaking presentations, I try to incorporate modern holy people so that the audience can view their true features via actual photos, know for a fact that these Blesseds and Saints really did exist, and hopefully make a personal connection with them.  I also make it a point to include a mix of holy people – men, women, young, old, religious, laity – so the audience will get the clear message that holiness is possible for ALL.
A table with free devotional items and literature about various
holy persons for the parishioners to help themselves to
All in all, I was deeply relieved and at peace once my second presentation ended.  Everything had gone extremely well, judging by the positive and encouraging feedback I received from some of the CCD teachers and several parishioners... and even from Fr. Khanh, the parish priest, who also sat through the second presentation.  I trust that many faith-seeds were planted that day, which I pray will bear much fruit for the parishioners of St. Stephen Church and their beautiful community.  In all things, may God be always praised and glorified.

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