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, September 28, 2014

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 9/27/2014


In just six days, the USA will have a new Blessed; one of the few American-born Servants of God to reach this significant stage in the Canonization Process.  The Blessed's name is Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich... and our group celebrated her, venerated her, and reflected on the message of her life and writings: Holiness is possible for all!

   
Our group especially invokes the intercession of Our Lady and Bl. Alexandrina of Balazar
during our prayer time.  Last night, we also commended our petitions to Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich,
whose 2nd Class [clothing] Relic was displayed on our host's home shrine during our prayer.

For those not familiar with Sr. Miriam Teresa, she was a member of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth in New Jersey who died in 1927 at the tender age of 26-years-old.  She was, apparently, a mystic-soul who suffered invisible stigmata, and her edifying and practical spiritual writings are compiled under the title of Greater Perfection.  I encourage readers out there to get to know Sr. Miriam Teresa - click here to start learning more about her.

We also had the joy of hosting two young adults last night - brother and sister - who came with their parents who are regular participants of our monthly prayer.  The siblings participated actively as one read the day's Scripture Passage (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10) and its accompanying reflection; the other read the September 25th Medjugorje Message.  Coincidentally (or more like providentially), everything - Sr. Miriam Teresa, the Scripture Reading, and the Medjugorje Message - all came together harmoniously as a message aimed primarily at the youth... so it wasn't surprising that our Lord lead these two young people to our prayer meeting last night.  Hopefully, they got His message.

Reaching out to our young people through Love,
Respect, Prayer, & Christian Fellowship.

Let us always remember to include the spiritual well-being of our young people in our prayers and devotions.  The youth will one day be running the show so we really need godly ones.

The rest of the evening was topped off by a beautiful Rosary Prayer, meaningful petitions, and of course... an awesome potluck - Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rosa Mystica Pilgrim Visitation & Speaking Presentation3: Young Residence, 9/25/2014

 
Last night, I was re-invited to the Young Residence in Hawaii Kai to give another faith-sharing presentation to their Basic Christian Community (BCC) cell group.  The topic was on the Rosa Mystica Devotion - as revealed in the Montichiari-Fontanelle apparitions - since it was their group's turn to host the BCC Rosa Mystica pilgrim statue (the smaller image pictured at right).  The evening turned out to be a great night of grace and  spiritual edification, as  participants welcomed Our Lady's message with enthusiasm, faith, and their own personal insights into Marian Apparitions.
 
For those not familiar with the Rosa Mystica apparitions, which occurred in Italy from 1947 to the 1980s, Our Lady delivered a series of messages to a woman named, Pierina Gilli, that were heavily focused on praying and making sacrifices for priests and other consecrated religious.  It was a message that was highly prophetic in light of what's happened in past years concerning decreased vocations and the many priest-abuse scandals.  The devout audience easily understood the urgency of the message and seemed to take it to heart, too, which left me with a sense of satisfaction knowing that I had successfully passed on Mary's requests.
 
Before concluding this posting, I have one quick testimony to share in regards to the evening... and it concerns me, personally.  I had fractured a toe on my right foot almost two weeks ago and it's been a painful healing process, but throughout yesterday I felt spiritually urged to bring my own large Rosa Mystica statue to the presentation.  So prior to leaving my home, I debated on whether, or not, I would bring the heavy statue (pictured above) since I would have to hand-carry it, and my foot was giving me problems.  In the end, I followed my soul's promptings, and I'm glad I did, because many people were very touched by Our Lady's aura of presence through the statue.  But that wasn't the end of it...
 
During the talk, I was unexpectedly "slain in the spirit" and awoke from it to find myself lying on the floor.  I picked myself up and continued with the presentation with no other apparent manifestations from the Holy Spirit.  What I did realize after the talk ended was that the pain in my foot had gone!  I was able to pack-up my electronic equipment and carry my statue with no discomfort.  It was a remarkable blessing and I give complete credit to our dear Blessed Mother, the Rosa Mystica.  It all just goes to show what a loving and caring mother we have in Our Lady.  Thanks and praises be to God for her!
 
With that said, my gratitude and prayers also goes out to the Young's and their BCC members.  God bless them all... and may the Rosa Mystica continue to guide, bless, and inspire them.
 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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


O Mary, Queen f Peace, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on September 25th:
   "Dear children! Also today I call you to also be like the stars, which by their light give light and beauty to others so they may rejoice. Little children, also you be the radiance, beauty, joy and peace – and especially prayer – for all those who are far from my love and the love of my Son Jesus. Little children, witness your faith and prayer in joy, in the joy of faith that is in your hearts; and pray for peace, which is a precious gift from God. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Ladys' Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on September 2nd:
   "Dear children, I, your mother, am coming anew among you out of love which has no end, from endless love of the endless Heavenly Father. And as I am looking into your hearts I see that many of you accept me as a mother and, with sincere and pure hearts, you desire to be my apostles. But, I am also the mother of those of you who do not accept me and who, in the hardness of your hearts, do not desire to come to know the love of my Son. And you do not know how much my heart suffers and how much I pray to my Son for you. I pray to Him to heal your souls because He can do so. I pray to Him to illuminate you with the miracle of the Holy Spirit so that you may stop, always anew, betraying, cursing and wounding Him. With all my heart I pray for you to understand that only my Son is the salvation and the light of the world. And you, my children, my dear apostles, always carry my Son in your hearts and thoughts. In this way you are carrying love. All those who do not know Him will recognize Him in your love. I am always beside you. In a special way I am beside your shepherds because my Son has called them to lead you on the way to eternity. Thank you, my apostles, for your sacrifice and love."
 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A beautiful, must-read message from a dying man...


A friend of mine recently emailed me the awesome message included below and asked me to post it on my blog.  I agreed because I firmly believe that it's a message that every Catholic should read, plus I wanted to contribute to its promotion... but before you proceed to it, please know that the entire body of the text actually came from another blog called, A Humble Servant's Catholic Blog (a link to it is at the bottom of this post).
 
So I hope you read up and become inspired by Danny Manthei's heartfelt words.  May he rest in God's Divine Peace.
 
 
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The Dying Wish of My Brother, Danny Manthei
 
My brother died on Sunday, August 10, 2014. Just a week prior, on the feast day of St. Alphonsus Liguori (August 1 or 2, depending on the Liturgical calendar you use), he wrote a letter which he intended for all the Catholics in his area to read or hear from their respective Priests.
 
Part of his dying wish was that all Catholics would be encouraged to learn their faith more deeply and thoroughly in order to grow closer to God and prepare for our eternal destination. By this time, he had held a catechesis meeting with the local parishes, and led a discussion with a local Confirmation class, which I had the honor of sitting in and listening to. Shortly after writing this, on Tuesday, August 5, he had a friend record a video message in which he delivered a catechesis/apologetics lesson, followed by a Q&A session.

I made minor edits [in brackets] to this letter, but the message was not changed in any way. This is my brother's death-bed letter:

[Recipients' names redacted]

It is my dying wish that your parishioners will either read this letter in the bulletin or hear it from the pulpit. I give you full permission to edit this document so that it would be suitable to you and give you complete freedom to make necessary changes.
 
As I lay here dying from Stage IV cancer, I am going over the shortcomings in my life, knowing that I will soon stand before my just judge.

One major regret I have is the fact that I never shared my gifts that God gave me. God gave me the great gift of being able to store and recall information and regurgitate every Catholic book I’ve ever read. I know how to prove from history alone that we belong to the original Church and that none of our teachings have ever changed.

In the past I was too much of a coward to evangelize and now I will soon stand before my Lord. When I found out I was dying, I got a small group together at my house, averaging two parishioners per parish at each of the three parishes here in [name redacted] County. We have only had one meeting and these people are pumped up and notice some of the same things I do.

1. To me it seems we view our Church as a democracy instead of what Christ truly established (Matthew 16:18). Many times I have heard of complaints against our priests over small and insignificant matters, such as not being able to understand the accent of the priest during a homily, or the priest exercising his proper authority over his parish. To this I say, without a priest you cannot go to heaven. Not even the Blessed Virgin Mary can consecrate the Eucharist or hear your confession. St. Alphonsus says that the priest has a dignity higher than the angels because only he can bring you Jesus in the Eucharist, which John 6 tells us is necessary for our salvation. All the Saints gave the utmost respect to their parish priests, and I, all to often, see people wanting to run the parish and push the priest out of the way.

2. While I am certainly no one to judge, I do notice that in Mass the communion lines are always full, but the confessional lines are always empty. This tells me there are two possibilities: either you don’t know what sin is or you no longer believe in the true presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In John 6, Jesus makes it crystal clear that it is not a symbol. St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:29 that we damn ourselves by taking communion without discerning whom it is we are receiving. My own opinion is that most of us have forgotten that the piece of bread actually becomes Christ, and that when you receive Him, you become one with Christ. Do you not realize that when you walk out of Mass you are a living, breathing tabernacle with Jesus' DNA in your blood? The greatest gift Christ gives to us is Himself at every Mass, and only the Catholic Church does and believes this. If you don’t believe that it is truly your Lord, then why receive Him? Why are you Catholic?

3. Something I have heard continuously from fellow parishioners is the idea of universal salvation, which is basically the idea that everyone gets to heaven as long as you are a good Christian, and that it doesn’t matter which denomination you belong to. I don’t know about you, but I am grateful for the grace of being Catholic. We should all be so grateful of the grace to belong to His church. We are the only one, true Church with all the tools that Christ gave to us in order to be saved. We are not a denomination! Read Matthew 16:18, where God the Father selects Peter to be the first Pope, and Jesus ratifies this decision. Jesus calls us, “My Church”! He doesn't say “a church” or “churches”, but “My Church”. Jesus doesn’t claim ownership in many things, but He does establish His Church. While the various 40,000+ denominations have some truth, we have the fullness of it.

Allow me to share with you some of the rich history of our faith that makes me so proud to be a Catholic. For instance, did you know we put the Bible together in 382 AD at the Council of Rome and finished defining the New Testament Canon in 397 AD at the Council of Carthage. We told the world which books were the inspired scriptures by comparing them to our oral traditions handed down from the Apostles. Jesus gave us the authority to do this. Today 40,000+ denominations all have 40,000+ different interpretations of the Bible.

Also, the first time the word “Catholic” was used was all the way back in 107 AD by St. Ignatius of Antioch. He does not explain what the term means, which leads one to assume that everyone already knew what it meant.

There is evidence of Papal Authority being exercised in writing as far back as 90 AD by our 4th Pope, Clement. St. John the Apostle's Revelations and the 4th Gospel had not even been written at this time. There was a rebellion against the bishop of Corinth and St. John happened to be within walking distance to this area. Instead of St. John the Apostle reprimanding the people of Corinth, the letter comes from Pope Clement, in Rome.

In the year 150 AD, Justin Martyr describes the Mass word for word in writing to the Roman Emperor. And, again in 215 AD, Tertullian describes the Mass just as we have it today. Everything we believe now can be seen in the first 50 - 100 years of Church history written and defended by the Church Fathers. There is not a shred of evidence supporting rumors of protestant beliefs until Martin Luther comes along 1500 years later. And even Martin Luther believed in the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

I want each and everyone of you to be proud to be Catholic: to learn your faith, know your faith, and live your faith. Look at the state of our world: abortion, euthanasia, wars, etc. Do you want to reclaim our country? Only the Catholic Church can change the world. That is why Jesus established it. Don't wait until you are on your deathbed [to act].

With deepest love for all of Christ’s flock,
On the Feast Day of St. Alphonsus of Liguori, 2014,

Danny Manthei
 
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(click here if you'd like to visit A Humble Servant's Catholic Blog)
 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 9/6/2014


  
St. Padre Pio was in the limelight this month at our Rosary for Peace, as relics from his
stigmata bandage & a large piece of gauze that had covered his face in death were displayed in
our day chapel (click each photo for larger views).

Today's First Saturday Rosary for Peace completed the 4th year that our dedicated group of parishioners from St. Anthony of Padua Church, in Kailua, have been coming together to offer the Rosary Prayer for World Peace.  I can't believe this monthly devotion has lasted this long... but then again, I am looking forward to continuing this prayer meeting for at least another year; positive spiritual fruit have been many, as far as I can personally tell... and also based on testimonies I've received from several regular participants who have since become dear friends of mine.

This September meeting's featured Saint was none other than St. Padre Pio (d. 1968), the Franciscan Capuchin priest from San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, who bore the Sacred Stigmata of Christ on his limbs for over 50 years. In fact, a few of today's participants were very happy and excited when they learned who the Saint of the Month would be.  Padre Pio apparently has die-hard fans in our Rosary Group.
 
A group photo of some of us who regularly participate in the
monthly rosary devotion at St. Anthony of Padua Church
 
So as we reflected on the life of this great holy man who was a living replica of the Crucified Christ, we were reminded that our own trials and sufferings have value if we just learn to unite them prayerfully to the Holy Cross... and it was also fitting that we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary; offering to our Heavenly Father our prayers, united  to the merits of the Passion of Christ, for grace and peace to descend from Heaven onto the world; upon the United States of America; upon our communities and homes; and finally... into our hearts.
 
"Pray, hope, and don’t worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful and will hear your prayer."
 
~ Words of Wisdom from St. Padre Pio

St. Anthony of Padua Church's next First Saturday Rosary for Peace will be prayed on Saturday, October 4th. ALL are more than welcome to participate in this beautiful and grace-filled devotion!
 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Saints & Holy Relics Presentation/Visitation: Young Residence, 9/4/2014


Rare relics from 7 Saints & Blesseds graced the Young Residence
in Hawaii Kai, along with the BCC Rosa Mystica pilgrim statue.

Last night, Thursday, 9/4, I had the privilege of again sharing the inspirational lives and message of our dear Saints in another private home.  This time around, I was invited to the Young Residence in Hawaii Kai to conduct my Saints & Holy Relics Presentation for the Basic Christian Community (BCC) cell group that meets in their home every week.

From personal experience, I know that committed members of the BCC (a diocese-approved evangelizing ministry), are usually very strong Catholics... and so it was with this particular cell group.  I felt the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit in their midst, and the message of the Saints and their respective relics was readily welcomed by the group members.

Cell group members venerating the relics
I have no doubt the holy persons I spoke about, and whose hallowed physical remains were in the home, were also present with us in a powerful spiritual manner; interceding before the Lord for each person, beyond our earthly understanding.  Among the Saints whose precious relics were present were: St. Bernadette of Lourdes, Bl. Carlos Manuel RodriguesSt. Damien De Veuster, Bl. Maria Restituta Kafka, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. Peter To Rot, and the Carmelite mystic, St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart.

And you wanna know something?  I've done many of these presentations since I first started doing them about five years ago and I am still learning new faith-lessons, myself, each time I do a talk... so I truly believe we were all made a little richer in the spirit by the time the evening ended, and I am very appreciative of the Youngs and their cell group for allowing me to share and fellowship with them last night.

So God bless the Hawaii Kai BCC cell group... and above all things, thanks and praises be to God Almighty for His unending Love, Mercy, and Generosity!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Saint of the Month: September 2014


Blessed Kaspar Stanggassinger
Apostle to the Youth ~ Memorial: September 26th

This Blessed came into the world in 1871 in the little town of Berchtesgaden, southern Germany.  His family was very large, with Kaspar being the second oldest of 16 children!  From a tender age he seemed destined for religious life - his favorite game was pretending at being a priest and preaching improvised ‘sermons’ to his younger siblings and the neighborhood kids.  It was a common sight to see little Kaspar leading the other children in ‘processions’ around his family home, and also teaching other children their basic prayers.

The young Kaspar
Stanggassinger
Late in his teen years, Kaspar announced his intentions to enter the priesthood but his father resisted the idea.  Rather, he was pressured by his parents into assisting with the family’s successful stone quarry business.  With determination, diligent study, and lots of prayer, Kaspar overcame all obstacles and entered the Munich seminary in 1890.  He was ordained a priest on June 16, 1895,  as a member of  the  Redemptorist Congregation.  He joined this particular congregation after having been inspired to do so while on a pilgrimage to the famous shrine of Our Lady of Altotting during his formative years in the seminary.

As a priest, Fr. Kaspar distinguished himself through his humility and affable nature. He was hoping to be a part of missionary group that traveled to Brazil, but instead was assigned as a teacher in a minor seminary run by his congregation in Durrnburg; he was reported never to have displayed harshness or impatience with those who came to him for help, despite long hours of combined teaching and his demanding priestly duties.  Many also remembered the young priest for his special love of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and his continued recommendation of frequent Eucharistic Adoration as a remedy for various problems.  Fr. Kaspar's students and parishioners held him in high esteem for the holy example he set and for the selfless dedication with which he served them.

The shrine of Bl. Kaspar
where his earthly remains lay.
In 1899, Fr. Kaspar was appointed as director of  a newly established Redemptorists seminary in Gars.  There, one evening in September 1899, Kaspar was awakened from sleep by a sudden pain in his abdomen, which turned out to be acute appendicitis.  The condition quickly deteriorated into peritonitis to which he unexpectedly succumbed; he was only 28-years-old.  When news of his death was announced, the locals mourned him greatly and many voiced their opinion that Fr. Kaspar had been a true Saint in their midst.  His reputation for holiness was confirmed by the many healings that were reported at his tomb.

After a successful investigation into his heroic virtues and the validation of a healing miracle worked through his intercession, the Church Beatified Fr. Kaspar Stanggassinger on April 24, 1988.  His hallowed remains are venerated in an ornate chapel within the parish church of Gars, Germany (left photo).

A Reflection:
Actions speak louder than words.

A Short Prayer:
Lord, as with your faithful servant, Bl. Kaspar, help us to touch the lives of our youth through the active examples of Faith, Love, and Charity.  Amen.