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

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Saints & Relics Presentation: St. Ann Parish Girl's Retreat, 1/27/2024

The Church's teaching on the Communion of Saints was highlighted yesterday during a presentation at St. Ann Church, Kaneohe.  The event was a retreat arranged for 32 girls from various parishes, ranging in ages between 12 to 17 ... and what a spiritually fruitful event it was!

The lineup of holy persons featured at this talk included the Servant of God, Charlene Richard of Louisiana; Ven. Anne de Guigne; Bl. Rolando Rivi; St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin; Sts. Louis & Zelie Martin and their famous daughter - St. Therese the Little Flower ... and the Virgin-Martyr, St. Maria Goretti. In addition, I also brought along clothing relics from Our Lady and St. Joseph.

Relics of Ven. Anne and Bl. Rolando

This ministry's relics of St. Joseph and
the Blessed Virgin Mary

Relics of St. Maria and Sts. Louis & Zelie

Relics of St. Therese and St. Gabriel

Based on the demeanor of girls during the talk, it was clear most of them were engaged as this author recounted stories of the spiritual heroes whose relics were present.  All showed their enthusiasm for what they learned by lining up to honor their respective relics after the talk ended.

Participants touched the reliquaries;
applied sacramentals to them; took photos
& scanned the QR codes to view softcopy
"Bio-Cards" of each holy person.

I left the event feeling certain and hopeful that the message of the Saints had found a place in the youngsters' hearts.  May our good Lord, Our Lady, and all the Angels and Saints inspire and protect these precious souls!

* *  Help from Heaven * *

On a side note, this author wants to testify to a grace granted in regards to this presentation:

Two days prior to the event, I was hit by a sudden episode of back and leg aches.  The pain was so bad, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to conduct the presentation.

On the night before the talk, a brilliant and stunning full moon illuminated the sky and I took a handful of photos to capture the moment; not expecting anything special.

Well imagine my relief and excitement when I awoke the next morning with my pain almost completely gone ... and then also discovered a mysterious "figure" in two of the moon pics - see above!  I don't recall the figure when I was snapping photos, but in hindsight, I believe Heaven - specifically our Blessed Mother - had come to my aid so I could proceed with the presentation for these children.  Thanks and Praises be to God and to Our Lady!

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Saint of the Month - January 2024: Saint Mutien-Marie Wiaux

St. Mutien-Marie Wiaux
"The Brother who always prayed"
Feast: January 30th

Born on March 20, 1841 in the hamlet of Mellet, Belgium, little Louis-Joseph Wiaux was baptized the same day in the parish church.  Blessed with highly devout Christian parents, he learned the Faith from them and developed a piety that was exceptional compared to other children his age.  In particular, he had a singular love for Our Lady, which he maintained all his life.

After completing primary school, he apprenticed with his father - the local blacksmith - but realized early on that the Lord was tugging at his heart; a call he couldn't resist.  So, in April 1856, at the youthful age of just 15, he left Mellet to pursue religious life.  Per the suggestion of his priest, he applied with, and was accepted at the novitiate of the teaching institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Namur.  There, on the Feast of the Visitation in 1856, he was clothed in the habit and given the name Bro. Mutien-Marie.

Initially, Bro. Mutien was assigned to train and teach elementary courses in Chimay where he stayed for a year.  He was then transferred to a school in Brussels for another year-long assignment.  In 1859, his superiors sent him to their boarding school in Malonne, where he remained for the rest of his earthly life.

The youthful Bro. Mutien-Marie

Although the new religious enjoyed his vocation, it wasn't all smooth sailing for Bro. Mutien.  Being from a humble background and of simple mind, he had difficulty teaching the academic curriculum and his superiors at first considered dismissing him from the institute.  Instead, through the intervention of one of his fellow  teachers, they allowed him to teach art and music; two subjects Mutien had no prior knowledge of, but to which he diligently applied himself to learning in order to convince his superiors to allow him to remain.

In addition to his lack of experience, the young religious had to contend with certain disruptive students.  Fortunately for both parties, Bro. Mutien was a determined and committed saint-in-the-making, and his exemplary patience, innate piety, and genuine concern for his students eventually won the youth over ... and his companions, too.

It goes without saying, everyone came to love and respect Bro. Mutien as a model religious of great virtue.  He was not one of those Saints reknown for great signs and wonders, but instead, his sanctity was revealed through his consistent exercise of deep prayer, and diligently living his institute's Rule along with the precepts of our Catholic Faith.  His day-to-day routine usually consisted of:

  • Rising at 4:30 AM for his first visit to the Tabernacle for Eucharistic Adoration, followed by a stop at Our Lady's altar for the rosary
  • Holy Mass
  • Teaching Architecture, Art, and Music Lessons
  • Additional visits, in between classes, to the Blessed Sacrament and to a Lourdes Grotto replica on the school grounds 

The students widely referred to him as the "Brother who is always praying", while Mutien's fellow religious described him as a "Living Rule"; none could recall any occasion in which the Saint ever made the slightest infraction to their Rule.  On his part, Mutien was humble, fulfilling his daily duties with zero fanfare; going about in constant prayer, and sometimes caught up in ecstasy in the chapel with his face reflecting God's Light.   For him, personally, praying and subjecting himself in obedience to the Rule and to his superiors was equivalent to fulfilling the Divine Will of God.  This was his simple way of living his vocation ‐ "holy monotony", as this author likes to call it - for a span of 50+ years!

A later photo of St. Mutien-Marie

Bro. Mutien's peaceful death occurred on January 30, 1917; he was 75-years-old.  Almost immediately after his passing, his intercession was invoked by many and cures were reported at his tomb, which lead to an inquiry into his virtues only six years later.

The Church declared Bro. Mutien-Marie Wiaux a Saint on December 10, 1989.  He is considered a Patron Saint for both Teachers and Students.

St. Mutien-Marie Wiaux,
pray for us!

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Epiphany Escarchas

This morning, this author drove to St. John Vianney Church in Kailua for morning Mass.  That parish celebrates three Sacraments every First Saturday: Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, and Reconciliation so talk about graces in abundance ... and yet, today, there was something extra - escarchas.

It’s been a long while since I last witnessed them manifesting so the escarchas went a long way towards making my observance of Epiphany Day special and meaningful.  Here's a brief recap of how it happened ...

I brought with me to the church a Marian icon (shown above) that I hand-burnt, stained, and painted on a wooden plaque in August 2023, and which I titled "Mary, Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit".  I intended to get it blessed by the priest.  

After I sat down in my usual spot, I laid the icon beside me on the pew, and turned away for a bit.  When I looked back at it, there they were - fine flakes of golden escarchas, sprinkled all around the icon.  Here are photos and a short video I filmed that shows just some of the escarchas on the pew ...

I'm pretty certain they're not craft-glitter for the simple reason that they weren't there a few moments earlier.  Given how much there was, I would've noticed them right away.  So I do believe it's an actual appearance of escarchas.

As to the reason why it happened, that I'm not sure.  Perhaps it's a special blessing for the Solemnity of the Epiphany ... or maybe the Lord is kindly acknowledging the work that went into it (it took me about 9 hours to write this icon) ... or perhaps God and/or Mary are pleased with how Our Lady is depicted ... or they could also be affirming the beautiful Marian title - Spouse of the Holy Spirit.  Again, it's a mystery to me but I'm just very grateful to the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother for this blessing.

Whatever the reason for the escarchas, I pray Heaven will use this unique image to inspire and bless many souls, particularly to a deeper devotion to the Holy Spirit!

O Mary, Immaculate Spouse
of the Holy Spirit, pray for us!