Disclaimer

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


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Lenten Mission, 3/29 & 3/30: St. John Vianney Church, Kailua



In the past 11 years, this ministry has been privileged to be given many opportunities to speak about our Church's rich and beautiful teachings on the Communion of Saints... and through it all, this author has often been edified by the warmth, enthusiasm, and faith testimonies of people who have attended the Guadalupe House Presentations.  This 2-night parish Lenten mission was no exception - to briefly summarize what transpired:


NIGHT ONE - MARIAN APPARITIONS: A MOTHER'S PLEA FOR CONVERSION 

This night focused on explaining Marian Apparitions - the When, Where, Whys of various Church-approved apparitions; the Blessed Virgin's urgent messages, which I basically summed up, as follows:

  • REPENTANCE & CONVERSION 
  • PRAYER 
  • PENANCE & REPARATION
  • LIVING A SACRAMENTAL LIFE

It was a theme perfectly in line with the Gospels and with 
Lent, but I emphasized to participants that it was our Holy Mother's intent that we live her words beyond the Lenten Season.

Also presented to help the audience connect with Our Lady's messages were relics of several Marian seers: St. Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, St. Bernadette of Lourdes, and the three Fatima Seers: Sts. Jacinta and Francisco, along with Sr. Lucia.


At the end of the talk, many parishioners enthusiastically prayed before the relics, while a few others also shared with me about their own stories of how Our Lady had graced them in a special way... or how a pilgrimage to such hallowed shrines as Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje had impacted their lives.



NIGHT TWO - SAINTS: THE MANY FACES OF HOLINESS

This evening's focus built on the previous night's message by explaining Our Lady's goal through her appearances is really to guide us in fulfilling God's desire that we become holy; to help mold us into Saints... and I stressed the fact that SANCTITY IS POSSIBLE FOR ALL.

I spoke of several diverse Blesseds and Saints, and presented their relics to again help the audience to further connect with the individual faith-witnesses of their respective lives.  The Blesseds/Saints and relics featured were: St. Damien of MolokaiBl. Francis Xavier SeelosSt. Gianna Beretta Molla, St. Margaret of Cortona, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, St. Maria GorettiBl. Maria Restituta Kafka, St. Peregrine Laziosi, St. Padre Pio, St. Rita of Cascia, and St. Therese the Little Flower.  

As with the prior night, the makeshift reliquary display altar was flooded by praying parishioners after the presentation, and people shared more personal testimonies of past favors obtained through the intercession of Saints.  


Two interesting stories that stood out was an audience member's past healing from cancer through the help of Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos... and a man from Philadelphia whose quadriplegic priest-teacher - Fr. William Atkinson - is now a Servant of God being investigated for possible Sainthood!  Talk about amazing stories - I can't get enough of them.


Overall, it appeared to have been a successful Lenten event for St. John Vianney Church - nearly 70 people attended Night One and many returned on Night Two, along with new faces in the pews.  May Our Lady and the Saints continue to bless all those who organized and attended the mission.  Thanks and praises be to God!

Friday, March 25, 2022

Monthly Message from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: March 2022


Our Lady, Queen of Heaven,
pray for us!

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on March 25th:
  “Dear Children!  I am listening to your cry and prayers for peace.  For years, Satan has been fighting for war.  That is why God sent me among you to guide you on the way of holiness, because humanity is at a crossroad.  I am calling you to return to God and to God's Commandments that it may be good for you on earth, and that you may come out of this crisis into which you have entered because you are not listening to God who loves you and desires to save you and lead you to a new life.  Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Special Message given to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on March 18th (annual apparition):
  “Dear Children, with a motherly love I am calling you to—full of strength, faith and trust—look towards my Son.  Keep opening your hearts to Him and do not be afraid, because my Son is the Light of the world and in Him is peace and hope.  That is why, anew, anew I am calling you to pray for those of my children who have not come to know the love of my Son.  So that my Son, with His light of love and hope, may illuminate also their hearts; and you, my children, that He may strengthen and give you peace and hope.  I am with you.  Thank you.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Saint of the Month - March 2022: Saint Artemide Zatti


St. Artemide Zatti
Embodying "Living Medicine"
Memorial: March 15th

I really like this month's featured holy person - St. Artemide Zatti.  Although he was a consecrated religious, his program of sanctity was comprised mainly of fulfilling his religious duties combined with joyful service to the sick-poor; a no-frills, down-to-earth approach this author personally believes is do-able for all people who endeavor to reach Heaven.  Allow me to share his life...

Artemide born on October 12, 1880 in the town of Boretto, located in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Because of their struggles with extreme poverty, his family emigrated to Argentina in February 1897 hoping for a better life.  They settled in Bahia Blanca where our Saint worked in a hotel and in a brick factory in his early youth.  Providentially, the Salesians administered Artemide's parish and, under their positive influence, he was drawn to serve his local church as a Sacristan, as well as, became an active member with various charitable and social ministries.  In a short time he decided to apply with his spiritual mentors to become a priest, and was accepted into the Salesian house at Bernal as an aspirant seminarian.  He was 20-years-old.  

Things didn't quite go as Artemide hoped for, however, because he contracted tuberculosis from a young, dying priest he was caring for.  Back in his time, tuberculosis was almost always fatal so it was a precarious situation; he was sent to the mountain city of Viedma for treatment where he prayed fervently to Our Lady for restoration of health, adding a private vow that he would spend the rest of his life helping the sick if she cured him.  He recovered.

Another photo of St. Artemide

In 1903, Artemide's superiors assigned him to work in a pharmacy in Viedma's St. Joseph Hospital... but there was a minor setback to his vocation - because of his compromised health, he was no longer deemed a suitable candidate for the priesthood (probably due to the physical demands of the role).  Following the advice of his spiritual director, he switched his goal to become a Salesian "Coadjuter" instead, which is essentially a consecrated "Brother" in the congregation.  He professed vows in January 1908.

The turn of events actually worked in Artemide's favor because, as a Coadjuter, he realized that he had more opportunities and freedom to fulfill his earlier promise to the Blessed Virgin... and by all accounts, he did an admirable job doing it.  At the hospital, he not only took excellent care of the infirm but he also cooked, cleaned, and assisted with surgeries.  He was apparently so proficient at his job, he was made manager of the hospital and pharmacy after the priest who formerly ran operations died in 1911.

It should also be mentioned that while successfully running the hospital, Artemide fulfilled his religious obligations to God and the Salesians admirably.  In fact, each of his long days began with Mass attendance and the Eucharist, followed by prayer and meditation.  It was also common to see him zooming around Viedma's streets on his trusty old bike, making house calls to patients too ill to leave home or unable to afford hospital care; his days ended with more prayer and spiritual reading.  It was through this consistent practice of faith and charity that Artemide grew in holiness, while earning the respect of his patients and fellow Salesians.

The Saint (far left) in action

... and one more thing about this particular Saint - he was also noted for the immense joy he emanated and his sense of humor.  For example, I read somewhere that one of Artemide's customary morning greetings to his hospital staff and patients went something like this: "Good morning.  Long live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary!  Is everyone breathing?" 

Sadly, beginning in mid-1950, Bro. Artemide began exhibiting the first signs of a serious illness - liver cancer.  The disease progressed quickly and he died from it on March 15, 1951.  The  populace of Viedma, who the Saint had selflessly served for over 40 years, deeply mourned his passing with affection and veneration.  Popular devotion to the medic-religious never faded with the passing of time but only increased, culminating in Artemide Zatti's Beatification on April 4, 2002 and then his Canonization in October 2022.  His mortal remains are today venerated in the chapel of the Salesian House in Viedma, Argentina.

St. Artemide, pray for us!