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, December 2, 2017

Saturday, 12/2/2017: First Saturday Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church & Special Parish Advent Event

Happy, Blessed Advent to all!  It was a tremendous First Saturday at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua.  Not only did we have our monthly rosary prayer... but we inaugurated a new event to welcome the start of Advent!  Read on below...

+ First Saturday Rosary for Peace

Despite the cold and gloomy weather all day long, I was surprised by the turnout we had at this month's First Saturday Rosary - many of the regulars showed up and we even had a couple of new faces in the pews.

The faith-lesson I felt inspired to share about this month had to do with steadfastness - steadfastness in following Jesus or in doing something good for Him... and it was inspired by the life of Bl. Mattia Nazarei, this blog's current Saint of the Month (you can read about her life by clicking here).  This particular Blessed was a wealthy noblewoman, who from a young age was unwavering in her desire to give herself completely to God, despite facing temptations and obstacles placed in her path by social status and her family.

A 1st Class Relic of Bl. Mattia Nazarei that was presented in the Day Chapel...
and parishioners lining up to pray before it and get a closer view.

In summary, I encouraged the participants to consider including a spiritual resolution for the Lord, as they drew up their customary lists of New Year resolutions for 2018.  It didn't have to be huge like entering a convent, as Bl. Mattia did... but it could be as simple as saying the Rosary once a week or reading a little of the Bible each day.  The main thing, I emphasized, is that they remain steadfast in keeping their spiritual resolution(s) and not break them, as often the case with other good intentions... such as losing a few pounds (many people giggled).  Bl. Mattia can surely serve as our role model for steadfastness and be our special helper in our efforts to be firm in our new commitment(s) to God for the upcoming year.

Bl. Mattia's life and the accompanying lesson must have made an impression since lots of people made it a point to approach the display altar, after our rosary ended; to pay their respects to the relic - a piece of linen imbued with the Blessed's sacred blood - that I brought to today's meeting.  May Bl. Mattia inspire and motivate us all to live our Catholic Faith in a deeper manner in 2018.

The next Rosary for Peace will be prayed on January 6th, 2018 - all are welcome to usher in the new year with our special prayer for peace!

+ Parish Advent Event

After the 5:00 PM Vigil Mass ended, our parish welcomed the approach of the 2017 Advent Season by celebrating our first ever, "Advent by Candle Light" in our gathering hall.  Several members of our Parish Council and random parishioners signed up to host their family and friends at specially designated tables.  Each table was dedicated to a title of the Blessed Virgin and uniquely decorated by the hosts, while our meals consisted of a potluck of heavy appetizers brought by the hosts and their invited guests.  I got to sit at the Lady of Lourdes Table - one of my favorite apparitions of the Blessed Virgin - with my host and dear friend, Cecelia!

Our parishioners enjoying the Advent Event in our festively decorated parish hall.

Included in the event program was a special presentation about Our Lady's important role in our Catholic faith-life, presented by our own seasoned retreat facilitator, Maxine.  It was a thought-provoking talk, as well as quite an enjoyable one, given our speaker's sense of humor.  Dessert followed the presentation and it was the perfect way to close out the evening's festivities.

Me, with my dinner mates, at the Our Lady of Lourdes Table.

All in all, what a blessed day it has been!  I have to commend our parish priests, the event planners, and all the table hosts for being open to the Holy Spirit's promptings in bringing to completion this new and brilliant idea of an event... and I hope it becomes an annual tradition.  I left for home smiling and contented in stomach and spirit; reflecting on just how good God is.  Again, happy Advent!

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