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, June 25, 2017

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: June 2017


Medjugorje, June 2017 ~ 36 years of grace!


Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on June 25th:
   "Dear children! Today, I desire to thank you for your perseverance and call you to open yourselves to profound prayer. Prayer, little children, is the heart of faith and is hope in eternal life. Therefore, pray with the heart until your heart sings with thanksgiving to God the Creator who gave you life. I am with you, little children, and carry to you my motherly blessing of peace.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady's Message to Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez during her annual apparition on June 25th:
   "Little children, pray, pray, pray."

Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on June 2nd:
   "Dear children, as in the other places where I have come to you, also here I am calling you to prayer. Pray for those who do not know my Son, for those who have not come to know the love of God, against sin, for the consecrated - for those whom my Son called to have love and the spirit of strength for you, for the Church. Pray to my Son, and the love which you experience from His nearness will give you the strength to make you ready for the works of love, which you will do in His name. My children, be ready. This time is a turning point. That is why I am calling you anew to faith and hope. I am showing you the way by which you need to go, and those are the words of the Gospel. Apostles of my love, the world is in such need of your arms raised towards Heaven, towards my Son, towards the Heavenly Father. Much humility and purity of heart are needed. Have trust in my Son and know that you can always be better. My motherly heart desires for you, apostles of my love, to be little lights of the world, to illuminate there where darkness wants to begin to reign, to show the true way by your prayer and love, to save souls.  I am with you.  Thank you."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Feast Day Celebrations: St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua, 6/13/2017


Happy Feast Day, St. Anthony of Padua! And congratulations to all fellow-devotees of this most wondrous of Saints (learn more about him by clicking here).

St. Anthony of Padua,
our beloved Patron,
pray for us!
Tonight, our parish of St. Anthony of Padua Church celebrated the feast of our illustrious patron in the usual awesome manner - first with a meaningful Mass and a relic-veneration service... followed by a big potluck party, as only our Kailua residents can do it - with lots and lots of diverse ethnic food, and family-friendly fun and entertainment!

I can't express enough how much I enjoy this particular annual parish celebration because it's almost like going to a Baby Luau or a wedding. I run into friends I haven't seen in a while and we all get the chance to catch up and re-bond... and even make new friends.  So not only do we get blessed in the spiritual sense, but we also get blessed in the social sense through the fellowship and joy that's shared within our faith community; a feeling of belonging or, as we locals like to call it - "Ohana"... and tonight's Feast Day celebration was no different.  It was just a great night and a fitting way to honor our Saint, who we are so proud of. Again, congratulations, St. Anthony... hope you enjoyed our celebration for you!

        

Above-Left:  Our priest, Fr. Exse, prays a healing blessing over the congregation, as our parish's 1st Class [bone] Relic of St. Anthony is displayed on the altar.  Above-Right:  Immediately after, people lined up to kiss and venerate the relic of our Patron Saint (click on each photo to view larger images).

video

Above Video:  This is how my island parish celebrates a Feast Day... with
beautiful Hawaiian music and impromptu hula dancers.  Beautiful!

Below Video:  And because we have three priests, all from the Philippines,
they couldn't let the night pass without representing the Filipino culture,
as well, with their own traditional dance.

video

... until next year's celebration, St. Anthony of Padua, pray and watch over us!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 6/3/2017


St. Juliana Falconieri,
the Handmaid of the Eucharist
It was nice to see this month's First Saturday Rosary event exceptionally well-attended... and there were many new people who came, which is always a welcomed sight! I always feel the more people praying, the better... and I particularly enjoy seeing what the "newbies" look like when they first arrive, compared to their appearance when they leave the chapel after. Most look relieved; lighter and brighter.  I'm not making it up.

So before beginning our Rosary for Peace, I first introduced our June Saint (and accompanying relic) - St. Juliana Falconieri - to our parishioners. I shared that, in a nutshell, Juliana is best remembered for the Eucharistic Miracle that happened at the very end of her life. Unable to receive Viaticum because of constant vomiting, the Host was instead laid on a corporal that was spread over her chest. St. Juliana died peacefully soon after but the Eucharist went missing... only to be found mysteriously "imprinted" onto the skin over her heart! It was then evident that Christ had satisfied the Saint's desire for Holy Communion at a time when she really needed His comforting presence; just in manner that was unconventional and obviously miraculous.

So what was the moral of the story? A. Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist... and B. He'll always pull through when we need Him the most; we just have to have faith. That was the dual-message I wanted to illustrate through the life of St. Juliana Falconieri and I think the parishioners were encouraged by it.

After the Rosary Prayer ended several people went up to the display altar to view and venerate my Fatima pilgrim statue and the 1st Class (bone) Relic from St. Juliana that I had brought to the meeting. As I might have mentioned in a previous posting, I can always gauge how much a Saint or Blessed's life had impressed the attendants by the number of people who stay to venerate a relic before leaving to attend the Mass next door. More people than usual lined up to view St. Juliana's relic; say a short prayer; take pictures; etc...

 
Our Lady and the Saints have a way of touching people's hearts before,
during, and after our monthly First Saturday Rosary.

Our next First Saturday Rosary for Peace will be offered on Saturday, July 1st, beginning at 4:25pm in the Day Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua. I actually ran into one of the newbies after and she testified that she had never experienced the Rosary like how she did at today's meeting. She felt that special aura of peace that fills the chapel during our prayer and she'll be coming back next month - Praise the Lord! Come and experience the same peace.  All are welcome!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Saint of the Month, June 2017 - Blessed Joseph-Marie Cassant


Blessed Joseph-Marie Cassant
Priestly Victim Soul for the Church ~ June 17th

"All for Jesus; all through Mary." That was Bl. Joseph-Marie's personal motto, and the holy manner in which he lived his brief life was proof that he meant every word of it.

Born Pierre-Joseph Cassant on March 6, 1878, at Casseneuil, Lot-et-Garonne, France, he was the younger of two boys born to orchard-keepers. As is mostly the case in the lives of our Saints and Blesseds, his family appears to have been pious and sent him to board with the La Salle [Teaching] Brothers where he was further exposed to an excellent Christian education. However, biographers relate that the child's ability to retain information was poor and he struggled with his studies. Nonetheless, the seeds of a religious vocation were sown during his stay with the Brothers and they began taking root in the student's heart.

At 14, Pierre-Joseph came to the realization that he wanted to become a priest, but his learning disability prevented his acceptance into a seminary. He turned to his parish priest, Father Filhol, for guidance who advised him to enter the Trappist Order, given the boy was inclined to silence and contemplative prayer. The teenager, agreeing with the discernment of the priest, applied for admission with the Trappist Abbey of Saint Mary of the Desert in Toulouse. There, after a period of testing, Pierre-Joseph was accepted as a novice on December 5, 1894.  He was only 16-years-old and took the name Bro. Joseph-Marie.

Another photo of Bl. Joseph-Marie,
Trappist priest of Toulouse, France.
The Master of Novices in the abbey, a Fr. Andre Mallet, immediately recognized the latent sanctity present in the ever-smiling novice and said to him, "Only trust and I will help you to love Jesus!" His words gained the boy's confidence, who gave himself wholeheartedly over to Fr. Andre's discipline and tutorship.

Despite being well-liked by his spiritual brethren for his amiable and docile nature, Bro. Joseph-Marie's early years as a religious were not without challenges. His poor learning skills often resulted in misunderstandings and humiliations from his teachers, and was a personal trial for him. But through the formation he received from his mentor, Fr. Andre, his love for Christ blossomed through frequent meditation on the Passion and the Cross. He surrendered everything that he was to the Lord - his strengths and his weaknesses - and simply trusted that God would provide whatever he was lacking. He was also noted for his strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin - hence, his name in religion and his personal motto: "All for Jesus; all through Mary." Bro. Joseph-Marie professed final vows as a member of the Trappists on May 24, 1900, on the Feast of the Ascension.

After his profession, his studies began for the priesthood, which was also marked with difficulties, but Bro. Joseph-Marie persevered and was ordained on October 12, 1902. Sadly, shortly after the ordination, he was diagnosed with advanced tuberculosis. The young priest suspected he was ill, but had never complained of the increasing pain the disease entailed. Instead, he bore everything with patience and his habitual silence. His superiors sent him home for seven weeks in the hopes of some sort of recovery, but he returned to the abbey in a much worse state, spending most of his time in the infirmary.

As months passed and his suffering intensified, Fr. Joseph-Marie's union with Jesus deepened. He bravely accepted his terminal condition and offered himself as a sacrifice to the Sacred Heart on behalf of the Church. Furthermore, the dying priest had registered his name with the Association of Victim Souls, which was inspired by the writings of the mystic-nun, Bl. Marie Deluil-Martiny. In his oblation, and through the grace of the Mass, Fr. Joseph-Marie found profound strength, solace, and purpose before passing to his eternal reward on the morning of June 17, 1903. He was only 25-years-old at the time of his death.

Fr. Joseph-Marie's reputation for holiness only continued to grow after his death, and his Cause for Canonization was opened in Toulouse in 1935. After the Church recognized the miraculous healing of a child with meningitis though his intercession, Joseph-Marie Cassant was declared a Blessed on October 3, 2004. May God grant the Church the gift of his speedy Canonization.

A Reflection:
"The best thing I can hope for is that you ever abide as one in the Heart of Jesus." ~ Words from a letter written by Bl. Joseph-Marie to his parents.

A Short Prayer:
Dear Bl. Joseph-Marie, help us in our every day moments to live fortified by the comforting knowledge that we are loved and affirmed by Sacred Heart of Jesus.  May we dwell in the heart of Christ always.  Amen.