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

Sunday, February 2, 2014

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 2/1/2014

It was just a smaller group that came together yesterday evening... but, none the less, our parish's monthly Rosary Meeting was still very meaningful; we prayed fervently, and as we prayed for peace, we couldn't help but think of Russia and threats being made against the Winter Olympics by terrorists.  May there be peace during these international games and we prayed that no harm will come to the athletes and tourists who go to participate in the festivities.

At the same time, we paid special honor to an obscure Beata - Bl. Helena Stollenwerk (d. 1900, left photo) - the German co-founder (with St. Arnold Janssen, d. 1909) of the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit. The lesson we learned from the life of this holy woman was to be open to God's plans for us. In her life, Bl. Helena yearned to serve the Lord by being a missionary in China, but she never got the opportunity. In fact, a few years after she founded her congregation, she was asked to leave it in favor of joining a new contemplative branch of the congregation that St. Arnold also founded - the Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration.

Despite a measure of sadness and disappointment, she bowed to God's Divine Will and did as she was asked; sacrificing her life's dream of becoming a missionary... yet invigorating the fledgling congregation with her deep faith and profound love for our Eucharistic Lord. I think we can all identify to a certain degree with the interior struggle and dismay that Bl. Helena must have gone through. But we can also find hope in knowing that if we trust in God, as she did, all will work out for the good of our souls and others.

In the end, it was encouraging to see several parishioners - including a new participant with a walker apparatus - approach the makeshift display altar to pray to Our Lady and Bl. Helena, whose precious relics were displayed for viewing.  I could sense the faith and the near-urgency that these people gave off as they made their private prayer petitions.  God bless them and may our Blessed Mother and the Bl. Helena intercede for them.

Our next Rosary for Peace Devotion will be offered on Saturday, March 1st, 2014.  All are welcomed to participate.

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