NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local diocese, 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, Ministry Administrator

Monday, June 25, 2018

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: June 2018

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on June 25th:
   "Dear children! This is the day that the Lord gave me to give Him thanks for each of you, for those who have converted and have accepted my messages and have set out on the way of conversion and holiness. Rejoice, little children, because God is merciful and loves you all with His immeasurable love and leads you to the way of salvation through my coming here.  I love you all and give you my Son that He may give you peace.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on June 2nd:
   “Dear children, I am calling you to accept my words which I am speaking to you as a mother, with a simplicity of heart, so that you may set out on the way of complete light and purity, of the singular love of my Son, man and God. A joy — a light indescribable in human words — will penetrate your soul and the peace and love of my Son will take hold of you. I desire this for all of my children. Therefore, you, apostles of my love, you who know how to love and forgive, you who do not judge, you whom I encourage, you be an example to all those who are not going on the way of light and love or who have diverted from it. By your life show them the truth. Show them love because love overcomes all difficulties, and all of my children thirst for love. Your unity in love is a gift to my Son and me. But, my children, remember that to love also means to desire the good for your neighbor and to desire conversion of your neighbor’s soul. As I am looking at you gathered around me, my heart is sad, because I see so little brotherly love, merciful love. My children, the Eucharist — my Son alive among you — His words will help you comprehend, because His word is life, His word makes the soul breathe, His word brings about cognition of love. Dear children, anew, I am imploring you as a mother who desires the good for her children: love your shepherds, pray for them.  Thank you.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Feast Day Celebrations: St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua, 6/13/2018

Today is the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua and, this evening, it was all about this Saint... and at where else?  Of course, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua!  For the most part it was the usual festivities - Mass and parish potluck celebration.  But I also sensed something a little different this year - something really good - and it was largely due to our priests.  This time around, it seemed they were more vocal about St. Anthony in their homilies and announcements leading up to today's Feast... and in a manner that one could feel heartfelt appreciation for the Saint's patronage of our parish.  Plus, they seemed to be more personally involved in the various events, which was a pleasant surprise.  'not trying to imply that our priests take St. Anthony and his Feast for granted... but it just seemed different this year.  At least I thought so.

Parishioners during our Feast Day Potluck.

So our evening celebration was kicked off in our parish hall with many parishioners coming together to pray the Holy Rosary, lead by my friend, Monica, whose large Portuguese family holds a monthly Rosary/potluck dinner every 13th of the month in honor of Our Lady of Fatima.  Their meetings are usually held in their various homes, but every June 13th, they pray the Rosary at the church in order to participate in the Feast Day events.

Parishioners lined-up to kiss our relic
of St. Anthony of Padua.

After the prayer, I did a repeat of the "All About St. Anthony of Padua" speaking presentation that I first conducted on June 3rd, which was immediately followed by another opportunity for the people to invoke the intercession of our Saint and to venerate his bone relic guarded by our parish.  I was moved watching the people approach and kiss the reliquary, as I also sensed in many a newfound appreciation for St. Anthony; more reverence towards his memory, which our Saint certainly deserves to receive from us.

Me, with our parish priest - Fr. Exse
and other parishioners of St. Anthony
of Padua Church, Kailua.

Everyone then proceeded to Mass before returning to the parish hall for our celebratory potluck, which was simply FUN; good food and great company!  What made it extra-enjoyable for me was hearing from people who attended my talk about their own little miracles worked by St. Anthony on their behalf.  These stories ranged from the expected finding of lost items... to an entertaining testimony of how the Saint never fails to provide a parking stall - a convenient one - for an elderly parishioner whenever she drives to a certain medical building in town where the parking lot is always full.  It all just goes to show how deeply ingrained devotion to St. Anthony is in the hearts of our Kailua parishioners.  More than what I initially realized.

Thank you, St. Anthony, for watching out for all of us; for interceding with Jesus on our behalf - Happy Feast Day, my friend and brother!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

"All About St. Anthony of Padua" Speaking Presentation, 6/3/2018: St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua

The makeshift display altar for
the presentation
For sure, St. Anthony of Padua is one of the more popular Saints we have in the Church. Familiar statues of him with the Christ-Child in his arms are enshrined in many Catholic churches around the world... and, of course, when Catholics lose stuff, he's the likely go-to-Saint to help remedy the situation. But despite St. Anthony's enduring popularity, not many people know the details of his illustrious life - his zeal and passion for our Faith; his exceeding virtues and good works; his remarkable miracles; or even the reason why he's the designated Patron Saint of Finding Lost Objects. I think my priest and our parish council are aware of this, which is why they invited me to give today's presentation about St. Anthony to our parishioners.

Also, with St. Anthony's June 13th Feast Day just right around the corner, our parish is preparing for the Feast with a novena to our Patron Saint, beginning tomorrow that will be prayed for 9 consecutive days after every early-morning Mass. On the actual Feast Day, itself, there will be a special evening Mass, followed by our annual potluck celebration. So to make these festivities a bit more meaningful for our community members, our priest felt the need to somehow educate our parishioners about the life of our Patron Saint.

With my host's goal in mind, during my presentation I recounted the life of St. Anthony of Padua to the attendees; spoke about some of the big and small miracles he performed; and invited a close friend/fellow parishioner to testify about a favor she received through the intercession of St. Anthony. Furthermore, I also took the opportunity to speak about the relevance of Saints and Relics in our Catholic faith-life and, because we had the parish's 1st Class [bone] Relic of St. Anthony present with us, we concluded the presentation with a rare veneration service to invoke the intercession of our Saint for our personal intentions. I felt the spiritual presence of the Saint as people prayed silently for their needs before coming forward to kiss the relic as a mark of respect.

Fr. Marlon (one of our parish's Parochial
Vicars) venerating the relic of St. Anthony
of Padua seen in closer view to the right.

And now let the festivities begin!  It's a time of celebration in our Kailua parish and rightfully so.  Our Patron Saint is a holy man whose accomplishments for God are astounding and who's intercession has proven to be continuously potent up to the present time.  If you're a fan of St. Anthony and live on Oahu, or happen to be visiting our island, below is the schedule of my parish's Feast Day events for your consideration...

All are welcome to honor St. Anthony of Padua with us and to venerate our precious relic!  If any questions, please contact the parish office of St. Anthony of Padua Church by calling (808) 266-2222.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Saint of the Month - June 2018: Saint Marcellin Champagnat

St. Marcellin Champagnat
An Apostle of Christian Education
Feast: June 6th

If you read enough about the lives of the Saints you may notice a common trend with many of them - they're doers.  When they discern an urgent spiritual and/or temporal need, they don't just sit back and let things continue, as is - they take action, accordingly.  St. Marcellin Champagnat was one such Saint.

"All to Jesus through Mary,
and all to Mary for Jesus."

Born in Marhles, France in 1789, our Saint came into the world during the height of the infamous French Revolution.  His parents were reportedly devout and loyal Catholics who fearlessly sheltered priests and religious during this dark period of religious persecution, including an aunt who was a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  A near-desperate plea made to him by a fugitive priest had such an impact on the young Marcellin that it changed the course of his life forever.  That priest's words to him were: "My son, you must become a priest.  That is what God wants of you."

Being that the revolution made such a detrimental social and economic impact in the lives of the common people, Marcellin was not afforded much education in his childhood.  When he entered the seminary at the age of 16, he had a difficult time learning and failed in his first year of studies.  He was readmitted and somehow managed to pass his courses and get himself ordained in July 1816.  Among his close companions in the seminary was none other than the future Cure of Ars - St. John Marie Vianney.

The newly ordained Fr. Marcellin was assigned to the rural mountain village of La Valla.  There, he was struck by the poverty and lack of education of the inhabitants.  Due to the personal challenges he faced in the seminary, he came to value good education, but it was a singular event that spurred him to take action - four months into his stay in La Valla, he was called to the bedside of a dying 16-year-old youth.  As he prepared the boy for death, it dawned on him that the young man knew nothing of basic Catholic teaching; undoubtedly, the after-effect of the revolution.  The thought of such a young soul dying without any knowledge of God, deeply saddened the young priest and he resolved to prevent a similar situation from ever happening again.

Fr. Marcellin ministers to a dying youth;
a pivotal moment in his priestly ministry.

In the beginning of 1817, Fr. Marcellin along with two young parishioners began a work that eventually evolved into the Institute of the Little Brothers of Mary, also known as the Marist Brothers of the Schools, a teaching congregation under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin.  The trio, with the priest as its lead, first opened a school in their village and, as new aspirants arrived, their work branched out into neighboring towns and villages.  The rapid expansion of the Marist Brothers was a testimony to the success of their mission in meeting the educational and spiritual needs of the people.  Pope Pius IX approved the institute in 1863, after which Fr. Marcellin had the joy of professing vows along side his beloved Brothers.

Despite the positive reception the Marist Brothers received wherever they started a school, Fr. Marcellin's life was not without trials.  The jealously or distrust of some of his fellow priests were hurtful to him and, for a time, there was also discord within his own institute.  In his final years, cancer was a cross... but through everything he endured, the founder displayed admirable humility and faith; often turning to Our Lady's intercession as a source of comfort and aid.

When Fr. Marcellin died on June 6th, 1840 he was only 51-years-old.  As a testimony to his fruitful legacy, the Marist Brothers today number over 5000 members and minister in 80 countries.  This worthy priest was canonized in April 1999 by Pope John Paul II, who spoke of him as a "model for parents and teachers".  May St. Marcellin Champagnat pray for our personal needs and needs of the entire Church.

A Prayer to Mary composed by
St. Marcellin Champagnat

O Mary, my Good Mother,
I give into your sacred keeping
commend to your special 
protection my body, 
mind and
for this day 
for every 
I entrust 
my hopes
sorrows, my 
my death; 
through your prayers 
all my actions may be 
to your will
the will of your Son.