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


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 5/25/2014


Patti, Dre, & me: a friendship & spiritual bond that spanned over 15 years.

Our monthly prayer meeting this past Sunday for Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group proceeded despite the really bad weather we were having all over the island: heavy rain, lightning, and loud thunder. And because of the terrible climate, just four of us braved the storm to come together to pray the Holy Rosary, but the wonderful thing was... we were unexpectedly joined by a new participant - a former coworker of our host and me - who we hadn't seen in a very long time.  So our prayer meeting turned out to also be a happy reunion of some sort, as we caught up afterwards on what was going on in our busy lives.

Prior to our catch-up session, we prayed together and venerated our Saint of the Month - St. Leopoldo Mandic (d. 1942) - a Capuchin Priest (see below).  He was small in stature (only 4.5' tall) but was a giant of a priest who often heard confessions up to 12 hours a day and was a consolation to countless people who came to him! His presence with us, through his relic (in left photo), served as a reminder that we need more dedicated priests like him; that our priests today require our supportive prayers.

"A priest must die from apostolic hard work; there is no other death worthy of a priest."

~ Words of St. Leopoldo Mandic

I also want to mention that our group celebrated a small milestone with this last gathering since it marked the 2nd year that we've been meeting consistently each month. Time really does fly when you're enjoying yourself with good friends, good food, and the good Lord!

And speaking of good food, the spaghetti dinner that followed our prayer time was just awesome.  It was a warm, welcomed meal in the cold weather... and the dessert of wine and Red Velvet ice cream was the perfect ending to the evening.  I am looking forward to spending another prayerful year with this special group of people who make up Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group.  Thanks be to Jesus and our dear Blessed Mother for having brought us all together!


O Saint Leopold, who always had so much
compassion for the suffering mankind, come to our aid,
do not abandon those who are in desperation caused
by sin, but bring them to the heart of God.
Saint Leopoldo Mandic, pray for us!

(Taken from a longer prayer to St. Leopoldo)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: May 2014


Dear children...

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on May 25th:
   "Dear children! Pray and be aware that without God you are dust. Therefore, turn your thoughts and heart to God and to prayer. Trust in His love. In God’s spirit, little children, you are all called to be witnesses. You are precious and I call you, little children, to holiness, to eternal life. Therefore, be aware that this life is passing. I love you and call you to a new life of conversion.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on May 2nd:
   "Dear children, I, your mother, am with you for the sake of your well-being, for the sake of your needs and for the sake of your personal congnition. The Heavenly Father gave you the freedom to decide on your own and to become cognizant on your own. I desire to help you. I desire to be a mother to you, a teacher of the truth – so that in the simplicity of an open heart, you may become cognizant of the immeasurable purity and light which comes from it and shatters darkness, the light which brings hope. I, my children, understand your pain and suffering. Who could understand you better than a mother? And you, my children? Small is the number of those who understand and follow me. Great is the number of those who are lost - of those who have not yet become cognizant of the truth in my Son. Therefore, my apostles, pray and act. Bring the light and do not lose hope. I am with you. In a special way I am with your shepherds. With a motherly heart I love and protect them, because they lead you to Heaven that was promised to you by my Son.  Thank you."

Friday, May 16, 2014

Saints & Holy Relics Presentation/Visitation: Cathedral School, 5/16/2014


Holy Remains from the above Saints & Blesseds graced us at my latest speaking presentation, conducted at
the Cathedral School in Honolulu: (from left) St. Bernadette of Lourdes, Bl. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, the 51 Blessed Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Pope John Paul II, & Bl. Maria del Carmen.

Early this afternoon, I again found myself at the Cathedral School where I gave another speaking presentation about Saints & Holy Relics.  This time, rather than presenting for the students, my presentation was given for the Faculty and Staff of the parochial school.  I was invited by one of the teachers who has since become a friend... and I spoke about several deceased holy individuals whose Causes are currently active in the Sainthood Process, as well as the individuals pictured above who have already been Beatified and/or Canonized. 

Since my audience was composed of the Laity, I chose mostly the Causes of Lay people - young and old - to share about in the course of my talk; individuals who overcame many obstacles in their personal lives through the practice of heroic faith and virtue.  From what I gathered from feedback I received, the school appears to be going through some major changes... so many of the staff are naturally anxious for the future, which I can appreciate.  But I also sensed, that the spiritual presence and faith-examples of the Saints and Blesseds (whose relics I brought), helped to instill in some of the audience members a measure of Peace and Hope.

   
The display altar with several 1st and 2nd Class Relics of Saints and Blesseds...
and teachers venerating the Saints after the presentation ended.

After my presentation, a small group stayed behind to pray with the relics... and then we enjoyed ice cream and pumpkin pie, while having an impromptu faith-sharing session in the classroom. A few of us shared personal experiences about the intercession of the Saints in our lives, and it was a joy for me to hear others share their personal stories and comments.

In closing, I firmly believe that Teaching - especially educating children - is an important vocation to be in; the world needs good, dedicated teachers... and that was something I tried to emphasize repeatedly to the group I presented to.  So God bless the faculty and staff of the Cathedral School - I pray them all the very best outcome through the intercession of our Blessed Mother and the Saints.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 5/3/2014


    
My Rosa Mystica statue, adorned with floral leis to pay Our Lady special honor in this Month of both Mary
and flowers... and a closer view of the 2nd Class Relic and statue of St. Rita of Cascia, our featured Saint.

The lesson I tried to convey to our attendants at yesterday's Rosary for Peace was a reminder about FAITH.  Not just ordinary faith, but the extraordinary type of faith described in the Sacred Scripture below, which we carries with it a commitment from Jesus:

"The Lord replied, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to 
this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you!"

~ Luke 17:6

And the Saint I shared about for the month of May was St. Rita of Cascia (d. 1457), who perfectly exemplified the Lord's words quoted above.  Those who are familiar with her life may already be aware that St. Rita overcame extremely difficult circumstances in her life: an abusive marriage; the death of her husband and two young sons; repeated rejections by a neighboring convent (which she wished to enter); and a painful stigmatic wound from an invisible thorn on her forehead.

By practicing unwavering faith in God, St. Rita eventually came to a point in her spiritual life where her faith produced wondrous results: her wayward husband and sons were converted before their untimely passing; she was miraculously transported through the aid of her three favorite Saints into the locked convent where she was finally accepted as a member; and the mystical thorn wound only served to draw her into a profound personal relationship with Christ.  Because of her example of miraculous faith and the efficacy of her intercession, St. Rita has earned the nickname of "Patron Saint of Impossible Cases", a title she shares with St. Jude Thaddeus, one of the original Twelve Apostles of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

So as we offered the Holy Rosary for Peace throughout the world, we also asked the Lord, through both our Blessed Mother and St. Rita's special intercession, for the gift of the "mustard seed-faith" in our lives... and for the grace to truly believe and embody another passage found in the Gospel of Luke, 1:37:

"For nothing is impossible with God." 

The next First Saturday Rosary for Peace at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua, will be prayed on June 7th, beginning at 4:25 pm.  All are welcomed to pray with us, and perhaps in doing so, deepen your own Faith in God.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Saint of the Month: May 2014



Saint Giulia Salzano
Catechist for Glory of the Sacred Heart ~ Feast: May 17th

The daughter of Adelaide Valentino and Diego Salzano came into the word on October 13th, 1846.  Her father was a captain in the Lancers of King Ferdinand II of Naples, Italy, and died when Giulia was only 4-years-old.  The child was subsequently raised and educated by the Sisters of Charity in the orphanage of St. Nicola La Strada, where she lived until the age of fifteen.

The influence of the sisters determined her later choice of vocation as a school teacher and catechist in the town of Casoria. She worked closely with her another religious founder - Caterina Volpicelli (d. 1894, now a Saint) - a close personal friend who strongly encouraged her in establishing a new religious congregation dedicated to the Christian education of the poor.  As a result, the Congregation of the Catechist Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded in 1905.  The foundress emphasized to her spiritual daughters the importance of their educational ministry with the following statement:

“The Sister Catechist must be ready, at every moment, to instruct the little ones
and the uneducated. She must not count the sacrifices such a ministry demands,
indeed she should desire to die while doing it, if this be God's will.”

... and expressed her complete dedication to their congregation's purpose with:

“While I have any life left in me, I will continue to teach the catechism.
And then, I assure you, I would be very happy to die teaching the catechism.”

During her lifetime, Mother Giulia was noted for her great devotion to the Blessed Virgin, as well as to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom she dedicated her congregation. She promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart and achieved a deep union with Christ, which was transmitted in the love she showered on her spiritual daughters and their students. Mother Giulia truly lived her personal motto: 

“Ad Maiorem Cordis Iesu Gloriam.” 
(For the Greater Glory of the Heart of Jesus)

Giulia Salzano died on May 17, 1929, surrounded by her beloved nuns.  She was Beatified in April 2003 and declared a Saint in October 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.   Her charism of Christian education continues today in Brazil, Canada, India, Peru, and the Philippines through the dedicated ministry of her congregation.

The Holy Relics of St. Giulia Salzano, publicly displayed in Casoria,
Italy, during her Canonization Festivities in 2010.

A Reflection:
"All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice..."  ~ 2 Timothy 3:16

A Short Prayer:
Lord, help us to follow the example of Bl. Giulia in teaching the truths of our Faith to those who thirst for your love and goodness.  Amen.