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 25, 2023

Young Faces of Holiness Presentation, 2/25/2023: St. John Vianney Church, Kailua

Once again, this ministry was invited to speak at St. John Vianney Church - to its group of CCD students and their respective parents and sponsors. 

Typical for the Lenten/Easter Season, when the children are prepping for Confirmation, the requested topic was our SAINTS... so my overall message for the children and adults is that the Church is extremely rich in regards to real-life HEROES, who we refer to as "Saints"... and we can all be "heroes" too, including my young audience members.

To prove my point, during my presentation I featured the bios of 4 young holy persons and 1 adult Saint:

Relics from Ven. Anne de Guigne
Bl. Rolando Rivi, Martyr

A relic from the clothing of
Bl. Carlo Acutis

Relics from St. Dominic Savio
St. Francis of Assisi

And to maintain the audience's attention, this presentation included a slideshow with lots of interesting photos... fun games... and actual relics of the holy individuals this author spoke about, and which the audience always gravitate towards (see below).  In addition, the parish's Religious Education Coordinator created custom holy cards as takeaways, which the children also seem to enjoy.

Parishioners lined up to view the
Saints & Relics closer

Overall, judging by the childrens' reactions and feedback from several adults, it was another well-received Guadalupe House Presentation.

St. Francis tames the Wolf 
(one of the games played
with the children)

Can you spot 5 differences between the
two drawings in 25 seconds?

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

  “Dear children! Convert and put on penitential garments and in personal, deep prayer; and in humility, seek peace from the Most High.  In this time of grace, satan wants to seduce you; but you, little children, keep looking at my Son and follow Him towards Calvary in renunciation and fasting.  I am with you because the Most High permits me to love you and lead you towards the joy of the heart, in faith which grows for all those who love God above all.  Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Power of a Single Prayer!

A friend shared this video with me and, it's such an inspirational testimony about the awesome power of prayer, I had to share it too.  It's only 2-minutes long so why not press the <Play> button on the video right now and just watch it...

... then, afterwards, take a few moments to imagine what tremendous good is accomplished whenever we pray an entire Rosary!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Saint of the Month - February 2023: Elena Rocca

Elena Rocca
She Loved & Sacrificed

This Italian mystic is a hidden gem.  In the past 40 years, this author has read the lives of hundreds of Saints, Blesseds, and other holy persons but never came across Elena Rocca until just a few months ago.  This author was immediately intrigued because her life closely aligns with that of St. Gemma Galgani, one of my personal Patron Saints to whom I have a strong devotion.  So what little the world knows about Elena is thanks to her former spiritual director – a prelate named, Cardinal/Archbishop Giorgio Cusmini of Bologna – who published a biography of her in 1919, the year she died.  The bio also includes close observations documented by another priest - Rev. Giuseppe Mazzanti - who was personally acquainted with this astonishing young woman.  Here's what I was able to gather...

Our protagonist was born on April 1, 1893 in the town of Balia, near the City of Imola.  Baptized Elena, the little girl was the seventh child in a large farming family, who were devoutly active in their parish.  In fact, the Rocca Family was so pious, one of Elena’s brothers entered the priesthood and was later appointed the Rector of the Cathedral in Imola.

In May 1906, the Rocca family uprooted themselves from Balia and moved to Imola to be closer to their priest-son and to support him in his ministry.  There, 13-year-old Elena was enrolled in a school operated by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where she received an excellent Catholic education.

The age of 14 marked a turning point in Elena’s life – she came down with a mysterious "illness" that baffled doctors – among its symptoms, the poor girl was unable to retain food and also exhibited signs of diabolic vexation.  She was treated by doctors and psychiatrists but with no success.  Only after 9 months of suffering were her and her family’s fervent prayers to St. Anthony of Padua answered – the Saint appeared to her with the Christ Child on January 23, 1908 to announce the end of her ordeal.  Elena was speedily cured.

As a young adult, Elena developed a high degree of virtue – her biography described her as humble, charitable, and obedient.  Deeply influenced by the example of St. Therese the Little Flower, she strove to put the Saint’s teachings about the Little Way into practice, while immersing herself in ministry work within her parish - she taught catechism; visited the sick and the poor; was housekeeper in her priest-brother’s rectory; and she also volunteered her services in the women's trade shop operated by her former nun-teachers.  She managed to do all these things without neglecting the routine chores in her own busy household.

Although she was very active in her community Elena was also, apparently, a profoundly mystic-soul.  After her encounter with St. Anthony, she started experiencing other extraordinary graces from Heaven – apparitions, visions, and revelations - especially during Holy Communion.  The visible bleeding marks of the Sacred Stigmata were also observed periodically manifesting on her body, which included the appearance of a 2.5 inch cross-shaped wound on her chest with the words, “Love and Sacrifice” (an example of the phenomenon of “Hemography”).  Remarkable signs, indeed!

Through her communications with our Lord, she discerned His will for the establishment of a new religious community that would devote itself to Eucharistic Adoration in reparation for sins committed particularly by consecrated souls; an institute that would also pray for their sanctification and an increase in vocations.  Elena prayed and sacrificed for the fulfilment of this goal and it did eventually come into fruition… but in a manner rather unexpected and remarkable.

Cardinal Giorgio Cusmini and Sr. Maria
Costanza Zauli, collaborators with Elena,
in founding the Ancelle Adoratrici

Instead of founding the community herself, Elena was enlightened by Christ about a certain nun in neighboring Bologna (a stranger to Elena) who God had chosen to found the community.  The religious was Sr. Maria Constanza Zauli (now a Servant of God) who was also under the spiritual guidance of Elena’s confessor, Archbishop Cusmini.  Like Elena, she was a privileged soul who had mystical experiences, including the Stigmata.  Unbeknownst to Elena, Sr. Maria Costanza was also receiving messages from Jesus in which He was prompting her to start a new religious institute for the same purposes He already spoke of to Elena… but there were multiple obstacles that needed to be overcome – primarily, Costanza already being a professed nun with the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart, and the fact that she suffered from chronic illnesses that often left her bedridden.

In a move prompted by Jesus, Elena sent a letter to Archbishop Cusmini in September 1917 in which she vouched for the truth of Sr. Maria Costanza’s revelations.  Furthermore, she urged the prelate to support and assist the nun in her mission of establishing the community that Christ desired.  Cusmini, deeply impressed by the two mystics under his care, followed through and set into motion the founding of the Ancelle Adoratrici del Santissimo Sacramento (Handmaid Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament), which Sr. Maria Costanza finally managed to fulfill in 1933.

Once the Ancelle Adoratrici was firmly on its way to becoming reality, it seems as though Elena’s own personal mission had come to its end.  The Spanish Flu pandemic that was sweeping through Europe in 1918 had reached Italy and taking many lives.  Despite the risk of contagion, Elena continued to minister to the sick and she contracted the flu.  She succumbed to the virus on January 1st, 1919; dying at the young age of 26.  No sooner had she breathed her last when the doctor who treated her was heard exclaiming, “A Saint has died!”

It goes without saying that Elena’s funeral was large and her tomb in the local cemetery became a place of pilgrimage in the area, but has somewhat waned in the present time.  To date, the Diocese of Bologna has yet to open her Cause for Canonization although admiration for Elena Rocca still lingers in the region.  Please join this ministry in praying for Church-recognition of the life of this exemplary soul.

Elena Rocca, pray for us!