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, January 26, 2023

Monthly Message from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: January 25th, 2023

  "Dear Children!  Pray with me for peace, because satan wants war and hatred in hearts and peoples.  Therefore, pray and sacrifice your days by fasting and penance, that God may give you peace.  The future is at a crossroads, because modern man does not want God.  That is why mankind is heading to perdition. You, little children, are my hope.  Pray with me, that what I began in Fatima and here may be realized.  Be prayer and witness peace in your surroundings, and be people of peace.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Saint of the Month - January 2023: Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung

Bl. Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung
Priest, Missionary, & Martyr
Memorial: January 12

Today’s featured holy person is Bl. Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung, a native priest from Thailand.

Nicholas was born on January 31, 1895, in the village of Nakhon Pathom to parents who were converts to Catholicism. Apparently a devout and intelligent youngster, from age 13 he was educated in the Faith and later commissioned as a catechist.  At 25, he went on to study for the priesthood and was ordained in the Bangkok Cathedral in January 1926; he was 31 when he became a priest.

In 1928, Fr. Nicholas was assigned to a parish in Phitsalunok where he was instrumental in teaching recently-arrived Salesian missionary priests the Thai language, as well as, training new seminarians in the tenets of the Catholic Church. A couple years later in 1930, Kitbamrung collaborated briefly with a French priest named Fr. Mirabel in mission work in northern Thailand, before being unexpectedly dispatched to evangelize in Vietnam.

Circa 1937, Fr. Nicholas was recalled to his homeland to catechize other regions in the north and to also re-evangelize Catholics who had lapsed from the Faith due to external factors.  All this he did against the backdrop of the Thai Buddhist government’s escalating tensions with the French, who were accused of attempting to undermine local authorities with their western teachings and values… and, since Fr. Nicholas was a Catholic priest and he worked closely with the foreigners, he also came under suspicion.

So, on the morning of January 12, 1941, Thai agents arrested Fr. Nicholas immediately after he rang the church bell prior to the Sunday Mass.  Due to his successful work for the Church, he was apprehended as a spy and for inciting “rebellion” against the local authority.  Consequently, he was sentenced to 15 years in Bang Khwang prison.  Already respected as a highly capable priest, Fr. Nicholas’ admirable character shown even brighter during the last three years of his life.  Rather than allowing his misfortune to get the best of him, he used the situation as an opportunity to bring the light of the Gospels into the dark prison corridors. The missionary catechized his fellow prisoners, while also ministering to the sick; in short, he was an effective witness of God’s love and mercy to all he served… and his efforts bore much positive fruit, as evidenced by the 68 baptisms he performed during his captivity.

Relic from the bodily ashes of Bl. Nicholas,
gifted by a friend of this ministry.

On their part, the prison officials were hostile to the priest, often openly mocking and mistreating him to which he responded with patience and pardon.  To make matters worse, when Fr. Nicholas contracted tuberculosis from another prisoner, his jailers purposely withheld medical treatment simply because he was a Catholic Priest.   The sick man continued his ministry the best he could and was sustained in this added trial by his deep faith and constant prayer, especially the Rosary.

In his last days, Fr. Nicholas’ painful illness incapacitated him and he was transferred to a Bangkok hospital where he died unattended on January 12, 1944; he was only 48-years-old.

Because the intentional neglect he endured during his sickness directly facilitated his untimely death, the Church rightfully recognized Fr. Nicholas Kitbamrung a Martyr of the Faith.  He was beatified in Rome in 2000 by Pope John Paul II and his bodily remains are, today, enshrined under the main altar of the Cathedral of the Assumption in Bangkok.

Bl. Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung,
pray for us!