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


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Holy Relics Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 8/30/2014


Martyrs took the spotlight at last night's prayer meeting:  St. Dorothy (left), St. Pancras (right),
& St. Peregrine (not pictured).  Bone relics of all three Saints were present as we prayed.

Our menu at this month's prayer meeting of Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group read like a Summer Picnic:  Chili, Fried Chicken, Cole Slaw, Potato-Mac Salad, Banana Lumpia, and the popular Lemon Crunch Cake from Aiea Bowl! Everything was super tasty and how appropriate since the summer season is almost at an end.

More importantly, though, our Rosary and prayer intercessions were deeply inspired by the presence of 1st Class [bone] Relics of three Martyrs from the Early Church:  St. Dorothy of Caesarea (d. 311), St. Pancras (d. 304), and St. Peregrine (d. 192, not "Peregrine Laziosi", the Patron Saint of Cancer Patients).  These Saints heroically witnessed to their faith in Jesus Christ, and willingly died in testimony of Him, at the time of the Roman persecutions.  Their lives reminded us that, disturbingly, history appears to be repeating itself, with the execution of Christians occurring with more frequency throughout the world at the hands of radical religious groups; the brutality of these heinous killings mirror that of the ancient Romans, as Christians are again being beheaded and even crucified!

"Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

~ 2 Timothy, 3:12

So with all due seriousness, we prayed for the protection of Christians throughout the world and invoked the intercession of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints for our suffering brethren around the globe. We also had immense hope in knowing that the Church has countless new intercessors in Heaven - glorious modern Martyrs! - who are certainly praying for us in the very presence of God! The Bible promises that in the end we will prevail... but in the meantime, we - as believers in Christ - need to continue to pray for each other and hope; emanating the LOVE of God in order to be a light in the midst of darkness.  St. Dorothy, St. Pancras, and St. Peregrine, pray for us!

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven;
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely
on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven, for so they persecuted the
prophets who were before you."

~ Words of Jesus, Matthew 5:10-12

Monday, August 25, 2014

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


Mary, Queen of Peace, pray and intercede for us!

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on August 25th:
   "Dear children! Pray for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan which I have here and to steal your peace. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray that God can act through each of you. May your hearts be open to God's will. I love you and bless you with my motherly blessing.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Ladys' Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on August 2nd:
   "Dear children, the reason that I am with you, my mission, is to help you for 'good' to win, even though this does not seem possible to you now. I know that you do not understand many things as I also did not understand everything, everything that my Son explained to me while He was growing up alongside me - but I believed Him and followed Him. I ask this of you also, to believe me and to follow me. However, my children, to follow me means to love my Son above everything, to love Him in every person without making differences. For you to be able to do this, I call you anew to renunciation, prayer and fasting. I am calling you for the Eucharist to be the life of your soul. I am calling you to be my apostles of light who will spread love and mercy through the world. My children, your life is only a blink in contrast to eternal life. And when you come before my Son, in your hearts He will see how much love you had. In order to spread love in the right way, I am asking my Son, through love, to grant you unity through Him, unity among you, unity between you and your shepherds. Through them my Son always gives Himself to you anew and renews your soul.  Do not forget this.  Thank you."
 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hawaii needs prayer...



As I write this blog, Hawaii is preparing for an unprecedented back-to-back hit by two hurricanes: Iselle and Julio.  'not sure why, but I'm not so much worried about Iselle... rather, I am having some weird sense of foreboding about Julio.  So I ask my friends out there who regularly visit this blog, as well as newcomers, to please kindly say a prayer for us in Hawaii.

Iselle is scheduled to hit us some time tomorrow in the late afternoon; Julio will arrive sometime on Sunday, the Lord's day.  I know we'll be in for some high winds and the usual flooding in some areas, but may God be merciful and spare us from any severe devastation from these storms.  Thanks in advance for your prayer.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 8/2/2014

 
The Saint we honored during the August First Saturday Rosary for Peace was a great Marian Saint; an example of someone who allowed Our Lady's holy influence in his life guide him in attaining exceptional virtue.  That Saint was St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe.
 
For those not familiar with St. Maximilian, in a nutshell, he was a Polish Franciscan Priest who devoted his life to evangelizing for the Catholic Faith, via a written publication apostolate he founded called the "Militia Immaculata".  As a child, he had a powerful spiritual experience during which the Blessed Virgin appeared to him holding two crowns: a white one representing Purity; a red one for Martyrdom.  Our Lady invited him to choose a crown and the future priest asked for both
 
The prophetic symbolism of the two crowns was later fulfilled by the edifying manner in which St. Maximilian lived and by the admirable manner in which he died.  You see... he was executed in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp by the Nazis, in August 1941, after he willingly switched places with a family man who was condemned to die.
 
There are so many "layers" of faith-lessons to be gleaned from the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe, but the points I chose to emphasize to the people who came to pray this month was the Saint's love for Mary and his heroic spirit of charity; that we, too, through our personal devotion to the Holy Virgin, could attain a measure of holiness and increase within ourselves, through her guidance, the virtue of Charity.  So as we prayed the Holy Rosary this evening, we did so in the spirit of sincere giving... offering our prayer for the entire world to find the Peace that only God can give us.
 
  
An actual photograph of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, a "Martyr of Charity"... and rare
relics from the Saint's beard & habit that we had the privilege of venerating tonight.
 
Our next monthly gathering at St. Anthony of Padua Church will be held on Saturday, September 6th, beginning at 4:25pm in the parish's Day Chapel.  Mass follows in the main church at 5:00pm.  All are welcome to participate.
 
"Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
  
~ Words of Jesus Christ, John 15:13
 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Saint of the Month: August 2014


Saint Jeanne Jugan
Silent Bearer of the Cross ~ Feast: August 30th
 
Jeanne Jugan was born on October 25, 1792, to a poor family from Cancale, France. Her father, a fisherman, passed away when she was only 4 and her mother supported the family through farming. When she was 16, the young maiden began work as a maid in the home of a very devout woman, who took Jeanne with her on errands of mercy and charity. Her mistress’ pious example, together with her own worthy upbringing, influenced her deeply, and ingrained in her a desire to serve those who were less fortunate than herself.
 
At 25, Jeanne left her mistress to follow an inner calling from God… she worked odd jobs to support herself and volunteered her spare time at local hospitals. Whatever earnings she made, she kept enough that was necessary and used the rest for her personal ministry with the poor. At this time, Jeanne also made a private vow of chastity as she felt an inner conviction that married life was not her vocation... and that the Lord had other plans in store for her. Life went on for Jeanne in a relatively routine manner until she was about 45-years-old when she finally discerned the Lord’s call to found a new religious congregation.
 
A beautiful icon showing various scenes from the life  and
works of St. Jeanne Jugan.

Her various charitable works had attracted several young women and she organized them into group that came to be called the "Little Sisters of the Poor". The sisters went door to door begging for food, money, and used goods, which they in turn distributed during their visits to the sick and to the poor. The apostolate proved to be extremely successful and the congregation grew quickly under Jeanne's administration - she took the name “Sr. Mary of the Cross“, to honor her devotion to Our Lady and to Christ Crucified.
 
The founder served the Little Sisters as superior until she was forced to retire in 1852 by a misguided priest. The unfortunate man wanted credit for the success of her work and he did his best to distort the history of the congregation. He went so far as to have Sr. Mary of the Cross transferred in order to lessen her influence with the older sisters. During this period of personal trial Sr. Mary of the Cross maintained admirable patience and silence, edifying her spiritual daughters with her humility and resignation to God's plan for her.
 
After Sr. Mary died of natural causes on August 29, 1879, the truth could no longer remain hidden - the history of the congregation eventually surfaced bringing to light her sanctity and crucial role as the true founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Jeanne Jugan (a.k.a. Sr. Mary of the Cross) was declared a Saint of the Church on October 11, 2009.
 
A Reflection:
Our daily crosses, if accepted with faith and resignation, can serve to bring us closer to Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
 
A Short Prayer:
O Lord, grant us the faith, patience, and fortitude that we need to embrace and carry life's little crosses.  May our crosses - big and small - serve to make us holy.  Amen.
 

Welcome home, St. Marianne!

Yesterday, 7/31, the Church in Hawaii had the joy of welcoming "home" the sacred remains of St. Marianne Cope.  We actually already had a small 1st Class [bone] Relic of our Saint enshrined in our Basilica of Our Lady of Peace (formerly the Cathedral)... but due to the upcoming relocation of the headquarters of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities (St. Marianne's congregation) to another part of Syracuse, New York... it was decided by these nuns that the Saint's entire skeletal remains would be returned to Honolulu for permanent enshrinement.  So beginning at 10:30am, yesterday, a beautiful welcoming ceremony and Thanksgiving Mass was held in our Basilica to honor Hawaii's second Saint.
 
      
Sisters of St. Francis carrying the casket containing the relics of St. MarianneCope...
and locals venerating the relics after the welcome ceremony.
 
The ceremony was held with the usual Hawaiian flair... with Hawaiian-language chanting; hula dancing; dozens of fragrant leis; and with the small casket enclosing St. Marianne's entire skeleton and her habit being draped in a traditional Hawaiian quilt incorporating the Hawaii flag design.  Local members of the Sisters of St. Francis even carried the casket into the church on a canoe-shaped bier.  I wasn't able to attend the ceremony, due to my work schedule, but a few friends who were there informed me that it was a very moving and powerful event.

       
The casket of relics enshrined in the Reliquary Shrine of St. Marianne in
the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu.
 
I was able to visit the Basilica today and venerated St. Marianne's relics after the Noon Mass.  By then the metal casket had already been encased in the large Koa wood shrine, along with the original monstrance-reliquary that holds the smaller bone relic.  The church was packed again, as many people continued to view and venerate the holy remains.  Below is a short snippet taken from www.catholicnews.com of our Bishop Larry Silva's beautiful words concerning the presence of St. Marianne's body in our Cathedral Basilica:


According to a friend who works in the diocesan office, the Honolulu Diocese is expanding the Basilica with the addition of a small, attached chapel that will enshrine both the relics of St. Marianne and St. Damien.  It will be a few more years before the planned renovations are realized, but below is a preview of what the outside of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace will look like with the newly constructed reliquary chapel attached to it.  'can't wait to see it finished.

 A sketch of our Honolulu Basilica showing the exterior with the small chapel
(center) that will enshrine both the relics of St. Marianne and St. Damien.