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

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Young Faces of Holiness Presentation, 2/26/2022: St. John Vianney Church, Kailua

"Let the little children come to me; do
not stop them; for it is to such as these
that the kingdom of God belongs."

~ Mark 10:14

The passage cited above was part of the Gospel reading we heard proclaimed at Mass this morning... and it made a deep impression on this author because after the Mass I was scheduled to give a presentation to catechism students, their parents, and/or their adult sponsors at the parish of St. John Vianney Church in Kailua.  Through his own words, we clearly see the tremendous love Jesus has for children; his desire for them to approach him so as to know him.  So to be able to share about young Saints/Blesseds with the children - Spiritual Heroes whose faith-examples have the potential to deeply inspire our kids to know Jesus, too - is both a joy and a privilege for this ministry.

As with all my talks on Saints, the main theme is - God desires us to be Saints and anyone can become a Saint, regardless of race, vocation, social status, and AGE; it's simply possible, even for children!  So to prove the point to our kids the young Saints/Blesseds I featured were Bl. Imelda Lambertini, St. Rose of Viterbo, and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati but I also included St. Martin de Porres so the adults in the audience wouldn't feel left out.

In between talking about the lives of our holy ones, I engaged the children through games such as spotting the difference between two similar images of St. Rose and finding hidden mice in a drawing I did of St. Martin (see below).  So while the children were learning, they also had fun doing so, which is integral in helping the information stick.

Can you spot St. Martin's mice-friends?
(Hint: 6 are hidden in this drawing ... along
with a sneaky little cat)

Towards the end of the talk, I briefly spoke about relics and described the relics I brought for the children to see.  After I was done, all were invited to safely approach the relics to take a closer look and to ask the intercession of their respective Saints/Blesseds if they wished to.  Steffanie, the Religious Education Coordinator for the parish, did a great job printing large images of the Saints and Blesseds for the kids to see, as well as, providing holy cards for the group to take.  The rest of the program was then dedicated to having the audience paint little wooden peg dolls of their favorite Saints, which I thought was brilliant!


The relics and devotional items that
were included at this presentation.


Judging by how the audience enthusiastically came up to view the relics with many taking prayer cards, including the adults, the presentation must have struck a chord with a lot of them (thanks be to God!).  Now we pray that the Saints/Blesseds will do their part in inspiring them all to go to Jesus with confidence and joy.

Children and adults viewing the relics
(Note: the relics were spread wide apart
and the parish required the audience to
be temperature-checked and to wear
masks for health safety reasons).

Friday, February 25, 2022

Monthly Message from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: February 25th, 2022

  “Dear children!  I am with you and we pray together.  Help me with prayer, little children, that Satan may not prevail.  His power of death, hatred, and fear has visited the earth.  Therefore, little children, return to God and to prayer, to fasting and to renunciation, for all those who are downtrodden, poor, and have no voice in this world without God.  Little children, if you do not return to God and His Commandments, you do not have a future.  That is why He sent me to you to guide you.  Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Eucharistic Presentation, 2/18/2022: St. John Vianney School Faculty Retreat

Yesterday morning, this author was invited to speak to staff and teachers of St. John Vianney School at their annual faculty retreat.  They allowed me to pick the topic and I chose the Eucharist, given the lack of faith many Catholics of today have in the True Presence.

Thankfully, the audience was very receptive.  I explained the Church's teachings on the Eucharist and shared about various Church-approved Eucharistic Miracles, while showing images of them, via a slideshow.  All the while I emphasized the Eucharist is the ultimate gift of Divine Love to us from Jesus, himself!

Two, of several, Eucharistic Miracles I shared
about: Lanciano (c. 700) & Sokolka (2008).

As for relics, which this ministry is known for, I felt prompted to bring just one - a relic of the True Cross.  I directed the group to pass the relic around while reflecting on the truth that the same body that was nailed to the cross on Calvary - a splinter of which they now held in their own hands - is the very same body and blood of Jesus we're privileged to receive in Holy Communion at every Mass we attend.

At the end I had the sense that the majority of the group was positively touched by what they heard and saw... and by the presence of the relic.  Several women later approached me to express gratitude, including one who shared that she had been away from the Church for a while but was now ready to come back.  Praises be to God!

This ministry's True Cross relic.

My eventual hope is that these teachers, in turn, will take some of what they learned from the presentation - or what inspired them - and somehow pass it along to the children they teach.  Our kids need to understand the Eucharist, too... today, more than ever.  So please pray for this hardworking group of educators... and for this ministry, too.  God bless us all.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Saint of the Month - February 2022: Blessed Antonia of Florence

Bl. Antonia of Florence
Wife, Mother, Widow, & Abbess
Memorial: February 28th

For February 2022, this ministry would like for readers to meet Bl. Antonia of Florence, another relatively unknown holy woman.  As indicated after her name, she is Italian in origin, having been born in 1401 to a wealthy Florentine family of noble ancestry.  Like most girls of her time and status, her parents married her off at a young age to a gentleman from another prominent family.  The marriage, however, wasn’t destined to be a long one - her husband fell seriously ill and Antonia was widowed in 1428; the couple had one son.

Being that she was still relatively young and very beautiful, not surprisingly, Antonia’s parents began planning another marriage for her.  This time around, though, the young widow firmly resisted.  For some time, she had been discerning an interior call to consecrate herself completely to God and was determined to follow-through while she had the chance.   So after successfully warding off her family’s schemes to remarry her, Antonia made arrangements for the care of her son and entered the local convent of the Franciscan Sisters of the Third Order Regular that was recently founded by Bl. Angelina di Marsciano (d. 1435).

Her deep piety so impressed her peers, after a short while Sr. Antonia was summoned by Bl. Angelina to the convent in Foligno to be groomed by her for a position of leadership.  There, under the direct influence of the foundress, she grew even more in virtue and was eventually dispatched to establish a convent of their Order in Aquila.

At the new foundation Antonia was named Abbess and under her leadership the Aquila convent thrived… but despite its spiritual success, she longed for solitude in her quest for a deeper connection with Jesus, her Divine Spouse.  The Religious Order she belonged to was comprised of Third Order Franciscans – Tertiaries who lived together and ministered in the surrounding neighborhoods – so their convent wasn’t cloistered, which allowed for a steady stream of visitors… and to make matters worse, Antonia’s son, when he became an adult, frequently came to see her to complain about his financial woes and other personal problems (he had irresponsibly depleted his inheritance).  Several of her other family members and their acquaintances did the same, posing an unwanted distraction for the Abbess.

Another early representation of
the Bl. Antonia of Florence

As time passed, Antonia became convinced that she needed to leave for a cloistered Poor Clare convent that adhered strictly to the rule of their foundress, St. Clare of Assisi (d. 1253).  She consulted her confessor, who happened to be the holy Franciscan priest - St. John of Capistrano (d. 1456) - and even he advised her to move forward, going so far as to encourage her to start a Poor Clare convent in Aquila!  St. John’s idea sparked a fire in Antonia and, working together, they secured the necessary government permits and Church approval to start work on the convent.

In 1447, Sr. Antonia and twelve companions entered their newly-built home and officially became Poor Clare nuns.  Antonia was elected the first Abbess of the community and, as expected, she was a model superior.  She was not only a true mother to her spiritual daughters, but she exemplified virtue to them, particularly humility, along with the Franciscan ideal of Holy Poverty – she wore the poorest of habits; practiced detachment from worldly goods; performed the lowliest chores; and practiced corporal mortifications.  This convent, too, grew and flourished under Antonia’s capable guidance.

So now that she could focus on attaining a more profound union with God - with considerably less distractions - Bl. Antonia’s spiritual life blossomed with remarkable mystical graces, which were recorded by her companions.  She experienced frequent ecstasies while in prayer, which at times were accompanied by episodes of levitation and/or luminous phenomena in the form of a brilliant aura that enveloped her person.

During the last 15 years of her life, Antonia patiently endured chronic illness until her peaceful death in February 1472 at the age of 71.  By that time her reputation for holiness was already widely circulated in Aquila, and her tomb became an immediate place of pilgrimage. Consequently, many miracles were reported through her intercession and her body was also discovered to be in a state of incorruption.  All served to culminate in the Church declaring her Blessed in 1847.

May God see fit to also raise Bl. Antonia to Sainthood … and hopefully soon.

Above and below are actual photos of the
inexplicably preserved body of Bl. Antonia,
venerated in her Poor Clare convent, Aquila.
One can see the Beata had fine features ...
and a smile still graces her face.

Bl. Antonia of Florence, pray for us!