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, October 30, 2016

Speaking Presentation & Holy Relics Exhibit: St. Anthony of Padua Church, 10/30/2016

The 2016 Patron Saints Celebration & Relic Exhibit at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua

With the Feast of All Saints being just two days away on November 1st, my parish of St. Anthony of Padua Church again enlisted my saints and relics ministry to assist in planning something special for a Family Sunday event to especially honor our spiritual heroes - the Saints. This is something that I particularly enjoy about this parish - the fact that it's very open and enthusiastic about promoting devotion to Our Lady, the Holy Rosary, and the Saints. So although I now live in Honolulu, I continue to come to this Kailua parish regularly and volunteer my services in the planning of devotional events for our parishioners.

Over 200 parishioners gathered in our parish hall to learn about various Saints
& Blesseds during our Patron Saints Celebration & Relic Exhibit.

So this year, we decided on another relic exhibit for today's religious education event. With the success of last year's exhibit, and the feast coming up, it was a no brainer; we had to do it again. But this year, I put a twist in the presentation we conducted prior to the exhibit - rather than going over the Sainthood Process that I normally cover, the majority of my talk was instead focused on simply telling short stories and showing slide images of how certain Saints/Blesseds became designated "Patron Saints" of certain vocations and/or situations. I wanted the people to learn the reasons behind the patronage of popular Saints such as our very own St. Anthony of Padua (Patron of Lost Items); St. Christopher (Patron of Travelers); St. Francis of Assisi (Patron of Animals/Nature Lovers); St. Gerard Majella (Patron of Expectant Mothers)... and 25 other Saints/Blesseds. It turned out to be a true celebration, indeed, of Patron Saints in Kailua!

Interest was high with 200+ parishioners - parents and their children - coming to listen to the 45 minute talk. Immediately after, the relic exhibit was opened to them, allowing everyone the opportunity to walk around three long display tables on which the sacred remains of the Saints/Blesseds I discussed were displayed for veneration. Many people stayed and small, square pieces of blessed fabric were freely handed out to interested parishioners so they could make their own personalized 3rd Class Relics by touching the cloth to the reliquaries of the Saints/Blesseds who impressed them the most.

Parishioners - young & old - of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua venerating
the holy remains of 29 Saints & Blesseds, plus a True Cross Relic, at three different
relic display stations during our Relic Exhibit.

Judging by the many positive feedback I received, the majority of the people who came had deemed the presentation edifying and/or highly interesting. What was particularly rewarding for me was to see many, many parents and children standing patiently in line with their pieces of fabric, while the kids did most of the asking as to where they could find certain relics to touch. It showed me just how much the kids actually pay close attention when you tell them amusing stories of the Saints.

One little girl, whom I recall clearly, asked me where she could find St. Peregrine because she wanted to touch her cloth to his relic then give it to an aunt who was suffering from cancer. How awesome is that? It's moments like these that make my sometimes-challenging, one-man ministry well-worth the effort that goes into putting on a big presentation like today's one.

Some of the Sacred Relics that were on public display during today's exhibit.
Among the 30 relics were those from St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Germaine Cousin,
St. Martin de Porres, St. Catherine of Bologna, & St. Rose of Lima.

With this year's Patron Saints Celebration & Relic Exhibit being successfully concluded, I now face a new challenge - how do we top this event next year?

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