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

Saturday, August 6, 2016

7/30 to 8/6/2016: A Week of Prayer with Saints

What a fruitful week of prayer it has been, thanks to our friends from Heaven - the Saints; praying with them and through their intercession; being encouraged by rich spiritual lessons from their lives...

Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 7/30

The August meeting of Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group.

It all started last week Saturday with the monthly meeting of the prayer group that gathers at the Gruber Home in Mililani.  Our close-knit prayer ohana got together again for the Holy Rosary, general prayer intercessions, and Christian fellowship.  The holy person we reflected on - Bl. Angelina of Marsciano - lived an extraordinary life of faith that consisted of trustful surrender to God in all things.  It really appeared that she dealt with her personal moments of adversity by first commending herself to God, through prayer, before "going with the flow" and simply trusting in God's plan for her.  Things worked out.  So the lesson for us was clear - pray and trust in God.  You can read a little bit more about Bl. Angelina here.

First Saturday Rosary for Peace, 8/6

Today's First Saturday Rosary for Peace at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua was again well-attended.  The weather was somewhat bad, which had me worried a bit in regards to this month's attendance, but shortly before the meeting was to begin, the regulars began streaming in and taking their usual spots in the Day Chapel.

The Saint we venerated and contemplated this month was none other than the illustrious Cure of Ars, St. John-Marie Vianney, who exemplified the ideal for parish priests; dedicating himself completely to his vocation and flock, most notably through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  This holy man was known to sit in the confessional for up to 16 hours a day(!), for nearly 40 years, reconciling sinners to Christ.  Thus, countless souls were lead to a life of Sanctifying Grace with its accompanying positive fruits of Peace, Joy, Love, Healing, etc.  Because of his huge success in converting souls, St. John-Marie drew upon himself the wrath of the devil, who often physically assaulted him during the night when he attempted to take some rest.  Learn a little more about the Cure of Ars here.

After meditating on the life of this tireless modern apostle, I was reminded of the sublime role of priests in our Catholic faith-lives and the urgent need to spiritually support them with prayer, as all priests throughout the world are subjected to Satan's malice in one form or another.  That was St. John-Marie's message to me.  Consequently, I was prompted to dedicate this month's Rosary Meeting for the sanctification of our local priests and I asked the participants to spiritually "carry" our Bishop Larry and all our Hawaii priests within their hearts, as we offered our Rosary for their sanctification and protection against the snares of the devil.

Parishioners venerating St. John-Marie Vianney's relic and
discussing his life.  One person had even gone to Ars on pilgrimage.

So who knows?  Perhaps one day, our Hawaiian islands, too, will be blessed with its own version of the town of Ars; complete with a long line of penitents waiting for their turn to confess to a "super-priest"; another St. John-Marie Vianney.  It seems far-fetched, but hey - with prayer, anything is possible, right?

The next First Saturday Rosary for Peace at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua, will be offered on Saturday, 9/3.  All are welcome to participate.

Visit of the Hawaii Pilgrim Relic of St. Junipero Serra, 8/6

A group selfie with the St. Junipero Serra reliquary (center).

Lastly, the 1st Class [bone] Relic of St. Junipero Serra, that was brought by the Serra Club to Hawaii to promote prayers for religious vocations, is visiting St. Anthony of Padua Church over this weekend.  It was exposed in our Day Chapel for public veneration and prayer immediately after today's 5:00pm evening Mass... and will be exposed for veneration after every Mass tomorrow (Sunday, 8/7).

It just so happened that the Serra Club member who is the acting custodian for the relic during its visit in Kailua is also a parishioner and friend of mine so several of us regulars from the First Saturday Rosary meeting were treated to a personal visit with St. Junipero's relic... and were allowed to hold the reliquary, bless ourselves with it, and take photos.

Kailua Parishioners paying their respect to the relic of St. Junipero Serra.

What was extra-special about today was the fact that without any prior knowledge and coordination between myself and the Serra Club, we had two relics of two great priest-saints present in our Day Chapel, at the same time - a special privilege!  With St. John-Marie, we were inspired and called to pray for the sanctification and protection of priests; through St. Junipero, we were reminded about the urgent need of praying for increased vocations, which was the final lesson from the Saints this week.  I really believe today was providentially arranged by our Lord and Our Lady for the good of priests - truly, with our prayers, we help them.

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