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

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Mary, Mother of the Church

The photo below was taken from the parking lot of St. John Vianney Church in Kailua on Monday, 5/29/2023 - that day was the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.

I had just finished praying the Holy Rosary with a small group of dedicated parishioners who diligently offer the Rosary after every daily Mass... and was headed out to my car.  Right before getting into the vehicle, I happened to glance up at the sky above the church, and was surprised to see a cloud formation that oddly resembled - of all things - a brilliant and classic silhouette of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Talk about Spiritual Serendipity

The figure seemed to be facing the cross on the church's roof and I could make out a face although the features were indistinct.  Furthermore, if I saw things correctly, she was carrying a smaller figure, too - the Christ Child (?) - but it didn't translate in the photo.

What made the whole thing relevant and more intriguing was the fact that the Gospel passage for that Feast Day spoke of how Jesus gave us his mother to be our own as he hung dying on the Cross: "Behold your mother!" (John 19:26-27)

... but let each reader decide as to what they perceive.  For this author, what I personally discern is a scene that's appropriate and with a message all its own - our Mother Mary interceding for us at the cross; the holy cross of her Divine Son, where her spiritual motherhood of all His followers was proclaimed by Christ, himself... and where this beautiful Feast has its roots.

Our Lady, Mother of the Church,
pray for us!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

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

Message given to Marija on May 25th, 2023:

  “Dear children!  I am calling you to go into nature and to pray for the Most High to speak to your heart and that you may feel the power of the Holy Spirit, so as to witness the love which God has for every creature.  I am with you and intercede for you.  Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

An "Incorruptible" in America? (UPDATED 5/29/2023)

There's an interesting piece of news that's currently being widely circulated among Catholic websites and private circles - it has to do with an American nun-founder from Gower, Missouri, named SrWilhelmina Lancaster.  She died in 2019... and her body was discovered incorrupt this past week during its transfer into the chapel of her congregation.  (Note: Her corpse was never embalmed!)

Below is an article that was emailed to me this morning and I have to say - it's quite compelling!

I've never heard of this nun prior to this morning and I'm sure there are many others like me... so here's a brief bio about Sr. Wilhelmina that I gathered from online sources: She was born Mary Elizabeth Lancaster on April 13, 1924 and, starting from the age of 2, she was alleged to have experienced a few private visits from Our Lady.  Then, at her First Holy Communion in April 1934, she had a decisive mystical experience involving Jesus, who invited her to be His; immediately enamored with our Lord, the youngster said "Yes".

At 13, Mary Elizabeth decided that she wanted to become a nun.  She entered the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1941 - taking Sr. Wilhelmina, as her religious name - and was a teaching Sister for several decades in various US cities.

In 1995, at the age of 70, Sr. Wilhelmina left the Oblates to follow an apparent divine inspiration, which was to establish a new conservative and contemplative community called the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles; she was its first prioress.

A staunch traditionalist at heart, the founder’s long life was marked by a deep love for Jesus and a reverence for the Latin Mass... along with a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin who she sought to emulate.  Her faith-example left a lasting positive impression upon those who knew her.

Sr. Wilhelmina Lancaster in life.

Sr. Wilhelmina Lancaster died on May 29, 2019 with a beaming smile on her face and a reputation for sanctity.  As the article states, she was 95 at the time of her passing.

Although the preliminary information we have about this nun looks promising that we're dealing with a genuine miracle here (her life reads similar to many of the Beatified/Canonized founders already featured in this blog), the Church ultimately has the final say.

Moving forward, it's going to be interesting and exciting to see if graces and favors will be reported through the deceased founder's intercession; whether a formal investigation will be initiated by the Diocese in regards to her remains or whether a Cause for Canonization for Sr. Wilhelmina will eventually result from all this.  Remember - nothing happens by chance.

In the meantime, let us pray for the Holy Spirit to guide the local Bishop in Missouri!

* * *  U P D A T E  * * *

A local mortician and funeral home owner - Jack Klein - who issued Sr. Wilhelmina's death certificate and was present at her burial, has confirmed that the nun's body was never embalmed.  He was also quoted as saying that he "can't understand" how her body is in the preserved state it's in given the circumstances of her burial.

The local Bishop - Bishop James Johnston, Jr. - is also quite aware of the situation and has issued a statement of which the full text is found here.  In short, at this point in time, he has not committed to an investigation of any sort, but wisely invites prayer:

  "I invite all the Faithful to continue praying during this time of evaluation and determination for God’s will in the lives of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles; for all women religious; and all the baptized in our common vocation to holiness, with hope and trust in the Lord."

Crowds are still flocking to the monastery to view the body of Sr. Wilhelmina up close, and to touch it, while they still can through the end of May.  In June, the sisters will be enclosing their founder’s body in a glass-sided urn, especially constructed for it, through which pilgrims may still view the remains.

To read more about the phenomenon of
Saintly Incorruptibility, click here.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Marian Apparitions & Saints Speaking Presentation, 5/19/2023: Mary, Star of the Sea Church, Honolulu

The messages given at all the Marian Apparitions in the history of the Church can essentially be summarized by the following bulletpoints:

  • PRAY (especially the Rosary and "from the heart")
  • CONVERT (return to God)
  • DO PENANCE (i.e. weekly fasting)
  • FREQUENT THE SACRAMENTS (Eucharist and monthly Confession)
  • PROPHECIES/WARNINGS (i.e. possible future chastisement depending on the world's response)

The above list is what this author expounded on and  emphasized to the group of youth and adults who gathered in the social hall of Mary, Star of the Sea Parish.  I also highlighted several Church-approved apparitions, such as the world-famous miracles at Lourdes and Fatima... as well as, little-known apparitions such as, Cuapa (Nicaragua) and Ngome (South Africa); all while sharing many interesting photos, as part of a slideshow.

Sharing stories and messages from
Our Lady's approved apparitions.

In addition, I displayed relics of St. Catherine Laboure, St. Bernadette of Lourdes, and the three Fatima Seers for the edification of the participants... and I'm happy to relate that people were, indeed, edified!  In fact, I later learned from the youth group coordinator that her cousin - a woman who attended despite having left the Catholic Church for a large local evangelical Christian church - had declared on their ride home together that she wants to return to the Catholic Faith!  Talk about an awesome testimony to our Blessed Mother's intercession - Praises be to the Lord!

Relics of Canonized Marian Visionaries
on display (L to R): St. Catherine with
Miraculous Medals, the Seers of Fatima,
St. Bernadette with Lourdes Water.

Another interesting signal grace was reported by one of the young people in attendance (she looked about 12-years-old), who believes she may have briefly seen a "shadow" of the Virgin Mary standing beside the relics display.  When I asked the girl if she looked like my Fatima statue, she immediately answered "no" and proceeded to stretch her arms out at waist-level and said, "She had her arms like this, like wanted to give a hug." 

Other items on display were a Rosary
Escarchas in frame, and rose petals that
fell from the sky in Lipa, Philippines.

Given the straightforward way the child answered my questions, her unique description of what she saw, and her unpretentious demeanor, I got the sense that she really did see something; the group's coordinator shared the same impression.  Was it Our Lady of Grace?

Participants venerating the relics.

So, overall, it was a successful and highly unusual night, thanks to the remarkable experiences of several audience members.  This is one talk that I, for sure, won't soon forget.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Saints & Relics Presentation: St. Anthony of Padua Church RCIA Group, 5/14/2023

In today's Gospel reading can be found this phrase spoken by our Lord:

"... you are in me and I in you."

During this morning's presentation for the RCIA participants at St. Anthony of Padua Church, I used the above statement to characterize the cumulative lives of our Saints; that, in a nutshell, these special heroes of our Catholic Faith were exceptionally adept at expressing Jesus, whose fulness of spirit dwelt in them... so that people around them could easily see, hear, and experience God through their words and deeds.  It's that simple.

Relics on display from Left to Right:
Ven. Domenica Lazzeri (2nd Class), St.
Elizabeth Ann Seton (1st Class), Our Lady's
Veil, St. Bernadette of Lourdes (1st Class),
& Bl. Karl of Austria (2nd Class)

... and judging by their enthusiastic questions and comments, I think the audience got the message.  Plus, the manner in which they venerated the relics I displayed was another strong indication that the various Saints I featured had made a positive impression.

Participants lined up to personally
experience the relics of the Saints.

Lastly, while packing up the relics and my equipment, I was pleasantly surprised to discover escarchas appearing, which I hadn't seen for a while.  The fine flakes of gold and silver manifested primarily on my right hand and forearm... and I took it as confirmation that our dear Lord and his Saints were truly present with us, not just in spirit and through their holy relics... but I'd like to imagine that Heaven had actually opened a door above us through which they descended, allowing for some of its beautiful, celestial "dust" to land in our midst.  Thanks be to God!

Fine flakes of escarchas manifested
on this author's right hand.  Note the
bright, tiny sparkles.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Fatima Statue and Relic Pilgrim Visitation: May 13, 2023

On this day, commemorating the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, in 1917, this ministry's Fatima pilgrim statue was invited to a private home in Kailua.

This ministry's Fatima pilgrim statue
and relic of the Blessed Virgin's veil.

My hosts - affectionately named "Auntie Millie" & "Uncle Bernard" - are members of a large family who, each year, honor the Virgin of Fatima with rosary prayer meetings on the 13th of each month between May through October.  This month was their turn to host the meeting and they needed a large marian statue... and wanted a relic present, too, which is where this ministry comes into play - I was able to bring both.

And what a meaningful night of prayer, fellowship, and food it turned out to be!  We not only prayed for our personal needs but responded to our Blessed Mother's urgent requests at Fatima:

“Pray, pray much, and sacrifice
for sinners, for many souls go to hell
because there is no one to sacrifice
and pray for them.”

Monday, May 1, 2023

Saint of the Month - May 2023: Blessed Imelda Lambertini

Bl. Imelda Lambertini
The Eucharist was her ultimate Joy
Memorial: May 13th

May’s Saint of the Month blog will be a short one.  The reason being is that the holy person featured this month lived to be only 11-years-old!  Her name was Imelda Lambertini and she is one of the youngest Beatas in the Church's roster of officially recognized holy ones.  Born the daughter of a devout nobleman of Bologna named Count Egano and his wife, Lady Castora, her year of birth was recorded as 1322.

Raised in a home where a lively faith was practiced, the Countess often took her precocious little Imelda to Mass and on errands of mercy.  In response, the girl displayed an unusual spirit of piety and self-giving that could only be credited to the special predilection of the Holy Spirit.  Biographies further recount how she was attracted to solitude and prayer, preferring to find quiet places to commune with God rather than be in the carefree company of other children.

At 9, Imelda expressed for the first time her intent to enter the local Dominican Monastery to become a nun there; the notion was speedily dismissed by her parents as a passing fancy but the girl's persistence indicated otherwise.  She pestered her parents until they finally caved in to her requests.

Not surprisingly, an inquiry made with the Mother Superior of the monastery resulted in an outright refusal since Imelda was deemed unsuited because of her age… but the count and countess used their status and wealth to convince the superior to take Imelda in as a sort of paying border to satisfy the child's desire to “play” at being a religious.

The Mother Superior reluctantly conceded to the plan and allowed Imelda to live among them; even providing her with her own little novice habit.  At first the whole community was amused with their newest member but convinced that she would quickly outgrow her frivolous ideas once she got a true taste of the manual work and difficulties involved in living their Rule.  To their surprise, Imelda not only embraced monastic life but her spirituality seemed to thrive and mature at an accelerated rate within their walls.

The superior, at first, dispensed the youngster from having to do difficult chores and from joining in the early morning prayers.  Imelda, however, insisted that she be treated as any other novice in the community.  Impressed by her sincerity and strength of will, the Mother Superior allowed her full participation in their daily work and devotional exercises; Imelda, in turn, amazed the sisters with her adherance to their Rule, and they found themselves growing to genuinely love and respect her as one of their own.  There was, though, one big thing they couldn’t allow her to do – receive Holy Communion.

In the two years she spent in the monastery, Imelda developed an acute awareness of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist; she loved Jesus and begged the nuns several times for another exception, which were denied each time.  Instead, they exhorted Imelda to be patient until she reached an appropriate age to receive Communion.  She could only sadly comply.

On May 12, 1333, something extraordinary took place that would forever associate Imelda with the Eucharist.  From her place in the pews during a Mass, she tearfully watched the nuns approach the altar to receive their Spouse in the Blessed Sacrament.  Once the Mass finished, the nuns left the chapel leaving Imelda alone in quiet prayer.

After an extended period of time, noting Imelda’s absence, one of the nuns returned to the chapel to fetch her.  To her surprise, she found the child kneeling and gazing ecstatically at a luminous Host hovering in the air before her.  Fortunately, the sister had the presence of mind to summon the priest and rest of the community, and all witnessed the wonder taking place in their chapel.

At that point the priest deduced that it would only be appropriate to give the miraculous Eucharist to Imelda, as it was clearly the Lord’s will that she receive Him.  So lifting a paten up, the Host descended upon it, after which the priest placed the Body of Christ on Imelda’s awaiting tongue.

Out of respect for the young ecstatic, everyone left the chapel to give Imelda time for private thanksgiving.

Upon returning a little later, the sisters found Imelda in the same spot and position as before; eyes closed and an angelic smile gracing her features... but when they attempted to rouse her, they made a sorrowful discovery - their dear little Imelda was lifeless.  Apparently, she died from the sheer JOY of finally being able to receive her JESUS!

The endearing story of Bl. Imelda Lambertini is one that is treasured by the Dominican Order.  In their Church of St. Sigismundo in Bologna, the remains of this little Eucharistic mystic - encased in a wax simulacrum - is displayed for public veneration.

Pope Leo XII Beatified Imelda in December 1826.  Not surprisingly, she is popularly called the Patroness of First Communicants.

Bl. Imelda Lambertini,
pray for our youth of today to
love the Blessed Sacrament as
you did.  Amen.