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

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Speaking Presentation & Holy Relics Presentation: St. Elizabeth Church, 3/21/2018

This evening, I shared the lives and relics of a few Saints with a sizable youth group during "Edge Night" at St. Elizabeth Church, Aiea.  A prayer group-sister of mine helps to mentor the parish's children and teens, and she invited me to their weekly youth night after attending a presentation I did for our local Pauline Bookstore.

As the scheduled time drew closer, I was more apprehensive than usual.  Parents and people who work with kids would understand - young people have short attention spans... but through the grace of God, so far things have worked out smoothly each time I've spoken with kids - I manage to get through my talks without passing out, and most of the youngsters end up genuinely enthused by the presentation, if not highly curious. Whatever the case, they sit quietly and patiently listen to what I have to say... and so it was tonight.

Relics of five young holy persons graced tonight's talk with a youth group at St. Elizabeth Church. 

Rather than preaching in any way to the Edge-kids, I told them many short stories, instead, from the lives of five youthful Blesseds and Saints ("young faces of holiness"), and showed them lots and lots of photos on the parish's large screen.  As I shared about each young person's holy life, I wove little themes into the stories so the children had something to think about.  For example:

St. Rose of Viterbo  =  Theme: We are all called to be messengers of God's Word to others.  No matter what age we are, we can lead others to Christ in our homes; in our schools; even in the streets, via our words and actions.

+  Bl. Imelda Lambertini  =  Theme: Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist; what a great joy it should be for us to receive His Body & Blood into our own bodies and souls, each time we go to Holy Communion at Mass.   

+  St. Francisco & Jacinta Marto of Fatima  =  Theme: Devotion to Our Lady and the Rosary is important; putting Our Lady's message into practice is another sure way for us to get to Heaven.

Bl. Rolando Rivi  =  Theme: We belong to Jesus and, as such, must be courageous in openly expressing our Faith in the face of hostility and unbelief in today's world. 

At the end of my presentation I emphasized to the children that the Saints are waiting to be their friends; true friends who will guide them through whatever challenges they'll face as they make their way to adulthood.  Judging by their facial expressions, I believe most of the youngsters got something positive out of the talk; not all, but definitely the majority.  In fact, after I finished speaking, a lot of them came up to the display altar to view the relics I brought for them to see.  Most had a look of wonder as they gazed at the reliquaries.  God bless the kids.

Young people and adults gathered for a Saints & Relics Presentation during the weekly
Edge Night at St. Elizabeth Church.

... and what I think was another big blessing tonight - totally unexpected - was that a few parents made it a point to attend.  Based on conversations I had with them after, they were also very grateful and impressed by the lives of the young Blesseds and Saints (maybe even more than their children!).  God bless the parents, too.

I left St. Elizabeth Church satisfied that our holy ones had done their thing and touched hearts; planting faith-seeds.  I also got an invite to return, so God and the parish priest willing, the next presentation there will be for the parents.

What a nice surprise!  St. Elizabeth Church is blessed to have in its custody a relic of Hawaii's own
Saint - St. Damien!  The relic is a small fragment of wood from the Saint's original coffin.

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