On the last day of 2009, Pope Benedict XVI led first vespers at the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica. In addition to singing the Te Deum hymn, he exhorted young people to have the courage to pursue their vocation.Read the rest here
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI has begun a “Year for Priests,” starting in June 2009 and ending in August 2010. In the first half of 2010, St. Anthony Messenger magazine will publish an article based on stories submitted to this blog.The Year for Priests
Your story could address a question such as: Do you have a story about how a priest has helped you grow in your faith? Challenged you in some way? Strengthened your faith?
Please keep your submission to 250 words.
H/T Melissa C.
Please pray for Fr. John Berger, pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace. He will be leaving for the mainland to attend a conference and retreat (required by canon law), and will be with his parents for a couple of days. He is looking forward to his short visit with old friends and family.
Mahalo! Your prayers for our priests go a long way!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
After reading an article that our beloved and now Venerable John Paul II would impose penance on himself in the form of flagellation, before ordaining priests, Father Z. proposed the following project:
PROJECT:Read it here
It strikes me that if all the people of God of a diocese would do some kind of penance – such as fasting or almsgiving – accompanied by their own good confession before the local bishop would ordain new priests for their diocese, for their parishes… well… that would be a good start. No?
Is this a project worth proposing?
Could a bishop, also doing penance himself before ordinations, invite the entire diocese to fast and give alms, make a good confession and Communion, before ordinations?
Monday, December 21, 2009
“This week provides the opportunity for parishes across the country to promote vocations through prayer and education,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “It is our responsibility to encourage young people to be generous in their response as they discern the possibility of a call to service in the Church. We must also ask parents, families and our parish communities to assist with this work, vocations are everyone’s business. As we pray for an increased number of seminarians and candidates for religious life, we recognize the importance of safeguarding the gift of vocations.”...Read the rest here
Friday, December 18, 2009
My sister sent us a copy of Magnificat's Year for Priests Companion and it did contain Father Mark Kirby's Via Crucis.
This special issue is a must have during this jubilee year. It contains a novena for the priests, reflections, prayers, meditations, stories, etc.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Pictures were taken at St. Philomen Church on Sunday, November 19,
A joyful First Sunday of Advent to ALL OUR PRIESTS and Spiritual Mothers! My special greeting goes to Esther, my dear SM partner in the Lord, the one who put together this lovely blog that we may have a "place" where we can honor our Most High Priest Jesus Christ who is present in our priests, find information, and recognize the efforts of our beloved clergy and encourage one another to pray for and support them.
It all started when I met a Catholic pro-life lady on Facebook - her name is Karen Taylor - who offers Mass regularly for unborn babies; the idea to offer Mass for pastors was born.
I'd have to set the third Monday of the month as my day of pro-life Mass offering. Why Monday? Because it is the start of the week; most likely, I will have a more continued sense of prayer for these two major concerns.
I praise God for his marvelous ideas!
Monday, November 23, 2009
The next E Pule Kakou, Hawaii Uniting in Prayer is scheduled for Thanksgiving Week, November 25-29, 2009. I encourage all parishes to register and participate in this event.
To register and for more information on what your parish can do, go to
http://www.epulekakou.com/register_church.html Answer the call of “E Pule Kakou” for all PASTORS AND CHURCHES who believe in the Lordship and salvation of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible to open their doors and set aside a time for prayer and repentance in their services on the week of November 25 to 29, and to invite ALL of the PEOPLE of Hawai’i, EVERY BELIEVER of Hawai’i, to go to participating churches to pray on November 25 to 29.
Timothy 2:1-5: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority . . .
In this video: Vicar General of the Diocese of Honolulu, Fr. Marc Alexander,
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
1. The absolute worst time to tell us anything important is in the receiving line after Mass. Don't expect us to remember... [He's right, you know]
2. We are very flattered that people think of us when they go to Mass on their vacation, but we don't collect bulletins from other parishes.
3. We don't have anyone cook for us. Most of us tend for ourselves [and most of us don't mind this].
4. We aren't offended when people swear in front of us. "I'm sorry, Father," isn't necessary [or if it is, it ought to be necessary in front of anyone].
5. Celebrating all the sacraments is a joy but, given a chance, 9 out of 10 priests would rather do a funeral than a wedding [there's a lot less paperwork involved].
6. We go to confession to other priests, usually outside of the Diocese or to a spiritual director. We can't go to ourselves.
7. We have one weekday that is our day off. The most popular day off is Monday [I prefer Friday because the parish does not have a Saturday morning Mass]. Obviously, we're busy on weekends.
8. We don't sleep in clerical garb [and we often wear "normal people clothes" around the house]. Nor do we bathe in holy water.
9. Words of support and encouragement are much appreciated. So is honest feedback. "I didn't understand your homily" would be a most welcome critique [along with an idea of where we lost you, otherwise the critique isn't of much use].
10. We like other people saying a meal prayer from time to time.
11. We don't remember most of everything that's said in the confessional because we hear so many [and we don't want to remember]. They all sort of run together...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
My son Joseph has a tone of eagerness in his voice as he relates to me what foods were served at the Dinner with Bishop:
There were softdrinks, cheese and grapes for starters. Then they all moved to the dining area were they were served salad, then kalua pig with cabbage (Yummm!), rice and noodles; and for dessert, rhubarb pie!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
“how can you just go about your day knowing that He is there?”...
A Protestant minister once made the above remark to Father Gordon MacRae, a falsely accused and convicted priest who has been imprisoned for over 15 years. I hope you take a moment to read his very moving post here
Even though Father MacRae, is not a priest in the Diocese of Honolulu, I would ask you to spiritually adopt him as I have done, during this Year for Priests.
Check out the details over at the the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ's blog
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Aside from promoting Eucharistic Adoration and the devotion to The Divine Mercy, the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM) also strives to support, promote and pray for religious vocations. For the past 5 years, EADM Hawaii has made every effort to carry out these missions. The apostolate in Hawaii is pleased to report that a couple of seminarians have been inspired to enter the priesthood after attending Divine Mercy conferences it has organized. In addition, a few men who previously attended Divine Mercy events are now discerning on religious vocations.Entire article here
Seminarians Inspired by Conferences
The Diocese of Honolulu (Hawaii) recently has seen an increase in priestly vocations. With the latest addition of Makana Aiona, the son of Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor James Aiona, the count now comes to a total of 9 seminarians, a number the diocese has not seen in many years. The Hawaii Catholic Herald reports on two seminarians’ decision to enter the seminary and mentions Divine Mercy conferences as sources of inspiration for their calling.
This is from my friend Brother John Samaha:
October 2, 2009
Attached is information about a new book that I think you will find enlightening. I have given copies to several priest friends for the Year of the Priest. Although addressed to clerics, the message is applicable to all Christians.
MARY AND THE PRIESTLY MINISTRY was released recently by the publisher. The late Father Emile Neubert was a beloved rector at the former Marianist International Seminary at Fribourg, Switzerland, and a noted author in the fields of spirituality and Mariology.
This book is a classic in France and in other European countries, since the original French was translated into several languages. This is its first appearance in English, and seems very appropriate for the Year of the Priest. I hope you and others will also find it interesting and helpful. Please do what you can to publicize this Marian gem.
Every blessing of our Lord and every assistance of our Blessed Mother for you!
Bro. John Samaha, S.M.
MARY AND THE PRIESTLY MINISTRY
Father Emile Neubert, S.M.
Translated by Father Thomas Stanley, S.M.
Academy of the Immaculate, 2009
266 pages, 4 x 6 inches
Laminated paper cover, $5.00
For information about discounts and bulk rates, and to order, contact Michael Coffey at Academy of the Immaculate
124 North Forke Dr.
Advance, NC 27006
“Every bishop and priest I know to have read this book is enthusiastic about it…. Father Neubert is as relevant today as in his own time…. His books are classics and will always be in demand. We [Franciscans of the Immaculate] are particularly delighted to be able to publish his books, since St. Maximilian Kolbe was one of Father Neubert’s fans.”
-- Father Peter Fehlner, F.I.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
2nd ANNUAL MARIAN CONFERENCE HAWAII 2009
“AN INVITATION TO PEACE”
November 6 and 7, 2009
Friday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Location: Dole Ballrooms, 735 Iwilei Road, Honolulu, HI 96817
Most Reverend [Clarence] Larry Silva, Bishop of Honolulu
Father Mieczyslaw Piotrowski of Poland
Father Vincent Inghilterra, Military Chaplain for 40 years
Father Neil R. Buchlein, been to Medjugorje 13 times
Sister Mary Jo McEnany of the Benedictine Monastery
Wayne Weible, world-renowned author of many Medjugorje books
Father Christopher Keahi, Provincial Superior of the Sacred Hearts/St. Damien
Audio and Visiual Powerpoint of Rome and Medjugorje/Divine Mercy
Come and experience as the Holy Spirit ignites your passion to love and serve our Lord as these speakers from here and around the world share their faith and conversion stories. Just as the 1st Annual Marian Conference Hawaii in 2008 enriched spiritually those in attendance, this conference will do the same and intensify your faith through the intercession and assistance of our Blessed Mother Mary who always guides you to her Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Rosary prayers, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Confession, Eucharistic Adoration, and more will be prayed throughout the conference. Free spiritual literature, prayer cards, Love One Another magazines, and more will be distributed. Daughters of St. Paul and the Pauline Books & Media Center will be present to assist you as well.
Come, see and learn – new as well as time-honored devotions/traditions to honor our Lord and His Blessed Mother Mary. You will fellowship with people of like minds who hunger and thirst to grow closer in love, worship and service to our Creator.
Please mail in your payment by October 31, 2009 along with your name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail address and number of people attending at the address noted below. Please make your check payable to OUR LADY OF PEACE PRAYER GROUP HAWAII. The conference fee for Priests, Religious, Deacons and their Wives are free; however, we need payment for the meals. For further information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Late registrations are welcomed; however, conference packets may not be available.
Thank you in advance for answering our Heavenly Mother's call.
OUR LADY OF PEACE PRAYER GROUP HAWAII
2412 Kanealii Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96813-1364
Contact: Ann Kupau or Orrin Kupau
Ph#: 223-9784 or 223-5095
Website: Our Lady of Peace Hawaii
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I thought this was a fantastic idea!
Our condolences to Monsignor Georg Ganswein on the loss of his beloved mother. May she rest in peace.
From Fr. Z
Pray for the souls of priests.
First, remember that you can gain indulgences on All Souls and the days following.
Second, 5 November is a first Thursday. You can gain a plenary indulgence during this year for Priests.
Third, would it not be a good idea in this Year for Priests, during the week after All Souls, for this 1st Thursday, to pray in a special way for the souls of deceased priests?
May I recommend that you bring this up with your parish priests, who might make pulpit announcements this Sunday?
If you are a blogger, would you post something on this?
Would you recommend this to your prayer groups, friends and family?
Sunday, October 25, 2009
WORLD PRIEST DAY PRAYER
We come before you today to ask your blessing on our brothers,
Whom you have called to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
We ask that you support them with your presence
And fill them with grace to serve You faithfully.
Unite us in service with those whom you have called.
Open our hearts to encourage our brothers and sons to pursue your calling,
And open their hearts to hear Your call to this most Holy Sacrament.
Source: World Priest Day
We want to wish all our beloved priests a very happy and blessed Priesthood Sunday. You will all be especially remembered in our prayers today.
Prayer for Priests
O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:
Grant it love and light of Your Spirit,
and give Power to the words of priests
so that hardened hearts might be brought
to repentance and return to You, O Lord.
Lord, give us holy priests;
You Yourself maintain them in holiness.
O Divine and Great High Priests,
may the power of your mercy accompany them
everywhere and protect them
from the devil's traps and snares which are
continually being set for the souls of priests.
May the power of Your mercy, O lord, shatter
and bring to naught all that might
tarnish the sanctity of priests for You can do all things.
(Diary of St. Maria Faustina, 1052)
Friday, October 23, 2009
Please keep Father Hinds in your prayer. He was the pastor of St. Patrick's Church in Chatham, New Jersey. He was murdered today. He was also my sister's spiritual son and she has requested prayers for him.
Death of Reverend Edward Hinds Ruled a Homicide
Slain Priest Remembered as Hard Working Spiritual
Saint Damien Prayer
St. Damien, brother on the journey,
Happy and generous missionary,
who loved the Gospel more than your life,
who for love of Jesus left your family,
your homeland, your security, your dreams,
Teach us to give our lives
with a joy like yours,
to be in solidarity with the outcasts of the world,
to celebrate and contemplate the Eucharist
as the source of our committment.
Help us to love to the very end
and, in the strength of the Spirit,
to persevere in compassion
for the poor and forgotten
so that we might be
good disciples of Jesus and Mary.
Used with permission
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Priesthood Sunday is October 25th.
Fr. Z's post
A PRAYER FOR OUR PRIESTS
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have
responded to your call to priestly ministry. Accept
this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with
the sure knowledge of your love. Open their hearts to the
power and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Lead them to new
depths of union with your Son. Increase in them profound
faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish,
strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire
us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as
men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your
maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of
your Son. Intercede for our priests that, offering the
Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each
day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus
St. John Vianney, universal patron of priests,
pray for us and our priests.
"...It is easy today to recognize and identify the warts and blemishes on the clergy because we have been so careless and casual in how we obtained them. While there has always been sin and failure in ordained ministry, the same can be said for marriage and religious life. Every vocation and career has seen its examples of rotten apples. Who can say they have never heard of a bad doctor, bad cop, bad soldier, bad coach, bad teacher or bad parent? They exist and so do bad priests. As Christians, we are challenged to hate the sin and love the sinner. We must repudiate and denounce bad behavior and even punish it while at the same time pray for and seek repentance. Jesus said he came not to cure the healthy but to cure the sick; not to help the righteous but to help sinners. He never condoned nor excused any sin and neither should we. At the same time, we are asked by our holy religion to pray for the conversion of sinners..."Read the rest of Fr. Trigilio's post here
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
AussieAnnie shares this beautiful litany. Please visit her beautiful blog to see the source for the prayer:
Let us pray for the Holy Father,
Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops,
Priests in seminary work,
Priests in hospital work,
Priests who are ill,
Priests in danger,
Priests who are weak,
Priests who are poor,
Priests who are zealous,
Priests who want to love you,
Priests who are sad,
Priests who are worried,
Priests who are old,
Priests who are young,
Priests who are alone,
Priest who are preachers,
Priests who direct souls,
Priests and religious who have died,
Of all the Church, militant and suffering,
For all priests,
Give them respect for their dignity.
Give them a great love for Mary.
Give them rectitude and justice.
Give them the gift of counsel.
Fill him with your graces, Lord
Give them Your gifts, Lord
Never leave them, Lord
Give them Your wisdom, Lord
Give them constancy, Lord
Heal them, Lord
Deliver them, Lord
Strengthen them, Lord
Relieve them, Lord
Help them, Lord
Enkindle their hearts, Lord
Console them, Lord
Give them peace, Lord
Sustain them, Lord
Impel them for Your glory, Lord
Accompany them, Lord
Protect them, Lord
Enlighten them, Lord
Instruct them, Lord
Give them prudence, Lord
Make them perfect, Lord
Bring them to glory, Lord
Lord, have mercy
For all Priests,
Give them peace in their sufferings.
Give them humility and generosity.
Let them be the light of souls.
Let them be the salt of the earth.
Let them practice sacrifice and self-denial.
Let them enkindle hearts with love of Mary.
Let them be other Christs.
Let them be holy in body and soul.
May they be men of prayer.
May faith shine forth in them.
May they be concerned only for the salvation of souls.
May they be faithful to their priestly vocation.
May their hands know only how to bless.
May they burn with love for you and for Mary.
May all their steps be for the glory of God.
May the Holy Spirit possess them, and give them His gifts and fruits in abundance.
Let us pray:
O God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are the soul and life of the Church. Hear the prayers we offer for priests. We ask this through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, their protector and guide. Amen.
Note: Easter and I believe that the patron saint for our apostolate should be none other than the Mother of all Priests...our Malia O Ka Malu (Mary, Our Lady of Peace).
Father Mark Kirby shares the following Morning Offering for Spiritual Mothers and those discerning to spiritually adopt a priest. Mahalo Father Mark!
So many women write to me asking for counsel concerning the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests. My first recommendation would be that any woman considering this vocation recite the following Morning Offering -- sincerely and from the heart -- for 30 days in succession.
Father most holy,
I offer You the prayers, works,
joys, and sufferings of this day
by placing them in the holy and venerable hands
of Jesus, the Eternal High Priest,
and by saying, as He did upon entering the world,
"Behold, I come to do Your will" (Hebrews 10:9).
For the sake of all His priests,
and in particular for the priest(s)
entrusted to my maternal intercession,
I entreat Your beloved Son to unite my offering
to the Sacrifice of the Cross,
renewed upon the altars of Your Church
from the rising of the sun to its setting (Malachy 1:11).
Most merciful Father,
look upon these men chosen by Your Son
to show forth His death until He comes (1 Cor 11:26);
keep them from the Evil One (John 17:15)
and sanctify them in the truth (John 17:17).
Bind them by a most tender love
to the Virgin Mary, their Mother
that, by her intercession,
they may be overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35)
in every act of their sacred ministry;
thus may their priesthood reveal
the Face of Jesus and the merciful love of His Heart,
for the fruitfulness of His spouse, the Church.
and the praise of Your glory. Amen.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
What could be better than to post about our own beloved priest, Fr. Damien of Molokai? The diocese of Honolulu, its parishes and parishioners joyfully await the canonization of this "leper priest" on October 11. A much awaited event, indeed!
Our own bishop, Bishop Larry Silva, is in Rome to witness the event. He is with Fr. Gary Secor, his chosen representative to travel along with him. Over 500 Islanders on separate tours, including the remaining Kalaupapa patients, are either on their way, or already there. What a glorious moment it will be!
Those of us who are left on the Islands of Hawaii are blessed to have access to our growing technology: EWTN and our local channels that will air the event, blogs, YouTubes, cell phones, etc. What many ways to become informed, to connect with the world and other cultures, and be engaged in networking -- to accomplish what God calls us to do: to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the life of this missionary priest of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Esther G. and I are blessed to have been inspired by this Belgium priest who became a local, one among us, one with the most afflicted of Hawaii in his lifetime when and where a Christ was most needed. He is known as Patron Saint of Native Hawaiians (Source: Ka Wai Ola).
We both rejoice in thanking God and praising Him for the privilege of witnessing in our own lifetime: canonization of Fr. Damien of Molokai. So join us. Rejoice with us.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
"Ah! my Jesus, pardon me if I am unreasonable in wishing to express my desires and longings which reach even unto infinity. Pardon me and heal my soul by giving her what she longs for so much!Saint Therese of Lisieux
To be your Spouse, to be a Carmelite, and by my union with you to be the Mother of souls, should not this suffice me? And yet it is not so. No doubt, these three privileges sum up my true vocation: Carmelite, Spouse, Mother, and yet I feel within me other vocations. I feel the vocation of THE WARRIOR, THE PRIEST, THE APOSTLE, THE DOCTOR, THE MARTYR. Finally, I feel the need and the desire of carrying out the most heroic deeds for you, O Jesus. I feel within my soul the courage of the Crusader, the Papal Guard, and I want to die on the field of battle in defense of the Church.
I feel in me the vocation of the Priest. With what love, O Jesus, I would carry you in my hands when, at my voice, you would come down from heaven. And with what love would I give you to souls! But alas! while desiring to be a Priest, I admire and envy the humility of Saint Francis of Assisi and I feel the vocation of imitating him in refusing the sublime dignity of the Priesthood.
O Jesus, my Love, my Life, how can I combine these contrasts?
How can I realize the desires of my poor little soul?
Ah! in spite of my littleness, I would like to enlighten souls as did the Prophets and the Doctors. I have the vocation of the Apostle, I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach your name and to plant your glorious cross on infidel soil. But O my Beloved, one mission alone would not be sufficient for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all the five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years only but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages. But above all, O my Beloved Savior, I would shed my blood for you even to the very last drop.
October 2009 issue of Magnificat
Monday, September 28, 2009
A website designed and run by teens who are seriously considering becoming Catholic priests. What can we do to help you discern your vocation?
A Vocation to be a Priest?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Through a post on Father Donald Calloway, a priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception who has an incredible story of conversion and who is now vocations director, I met John.
John has been kind enough to keep me updated on his discernment to the priesthood. It is with his permission that I share the following:
Dear friends and family,
You’re receiving this email because either you’ve expressed interest or I thought you may be interested in receiving periodic updates from me regarding my continuing discernment for the Catholic priesthood. I look forward to keeping you updated on this exciting new adventure in my life!
Just a disclaimer: since this email is going out to a very diverse group of Catholics and non-Catholics, please forgive me if I write anything that seems very rudimentary or obvious.
It’s now been nearly two months since I “moved in” with a Roman Catholic religious order, the Marians, in order to discern whether I’m called to be a Catholic priest.
When one is discerning for the priesthood, it quickly becomes apparent that one must figure out which “track” is right for him, meaning the diocesan priesthood or the religious priesthood.
A diocesan priest is a priest of a diocese. A diocese may be defined as a geographical “district” of the Catholic Church. With over a billion Catholics in the world today, there are thousands of dioceses throughout the world. Diocesan priests are under the obedience of a local bishop and for their formation they typically attend a Catholic seminary that belongs to the diocese. Sometimes dioceses send seminarians elsewhere to study (Rome, for example) but after their studies they almost always come back and serve that diocese.
A religious priest, on the other hand, is a priest of a Catholic religious order. A Catholic religious order is an association of priests, brothers, monks, friars, sisters or nuns (or combination of these) that is dedicated to a particular mission for the sake of God and the Church. Each order varies in its origin, mission, activities and size (from dozens of members to multiple thousands). Religious orders also have a global scope and are typically segmented into “provinces” throughout the world. Religious orders first arose in the Church about a thousand years ago and there are still hundreds of them today. Collectively they have had a major impact on world history, particularly in the area of education. At the risk of sounding corny, I like to think of them as a garden of full of flowers, no single flower alike, some huge, some small, some wilting and some growing.
Religious orders frequently work in partnership with dioceses but are not directly under their authority. Members of religious orders have an immediate chain of command that runs up to the superior general of the order, who in turn is under the obedience of the Pope (bishops, of course, are also under the obedience of the Pope). Religious orders also decide where to send their seminarians and often run the seminaries themselves.
Catholic religious orders show up fairly often in popular culture and the media. Some of you may have seen the 1986 movie “The Mission” with Jeremy Irons, Robert De Niro and Liam Neeson, which depicts the activities of the Jesuit religious order in South America during the 1700s (I highly recommend it!). Another well-known (though very young) religious order is the Missionaries of Charity, which was founded by Mother Theresa in 1950.
I began having feelings for the priesthood in the spring of 2007, and by fall of 2007 I had discerned the religious order track as more appropriate for me. I feel this is mostly due to the way my spiritual journey has evolved. Since I was not baptized into the Catholic faith and didn’t grow up with it, I didn’t feel any ongoing connection with a particular diocese. In addition, the majority of experiences through which Catholicism impacted me occurred when I lived and studied abroad in Mexico and Chile during my university years. I came to know people from several religious orders during those times and was very inspired by them.
I began my discernment with the Congregation of Holy Cross, which is a French religious order best known for founding the University of Notre Dame. I had attended Notre Dame as an undergrad and Holy Cross priests were the first priests I had ever met. But the direction of my discernment changed in late 2008 when I discovered the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, a Polish religious order founded in 16. Almost immediately after I attended their vocations retreat and visited their seminary in early 2009 I decided it felt right to apply...
I arrived in Ohio on July 31st where I am now studying philosophy at Franciscan University until mid-May. I am officially a postulant, which is technically not yet a seminarian. Postulancy lasts for a year and intended to test whether one is cut out for religious life. I wouldn’t call it spiritual boot camp, but it approaches that I suppose. There are four of us postulants: Joe, 32, a former banker from Iowa: Abel, 44, a former computer programmer from Texas: Chris, 26, a former home builder from Michigan: and me, 29, a former too-many-random-jobs-since-graduation-to-merit-mentioning from Minnesota.
Almost immediately after arriving in Ohio, we left for Washington, DC, which is where the Marians have a large residence on the campus of Catholic University of America. I met many Marian priests and seminarians, including some from Poland and Brazil (nossa!). All of us also did a five-day silent retreat, which was a great experience though I was still somewhat restless given the novelty of everything. I had the pleasure of seeing an old college friend ... while I was in town. I spent about 10 days there.
From DC we left for Stockbridge, Massachusetts, which is the site of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, which is operated by the Marians. This shrine receives tens of thousands of pilgrims every year and might be the most-visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the Northeast. “Divine Mercy” is a very important phenomenon in the Catholic Church and is very connected to the Marians...
After arriving in Stockbridge we rookies were promptly put to work in order to help prepare for Encuentro Latino, a major pilgrim event for Hispanic Catholics from the region. About 4,000 pilgrims came for it, many from as far away as Chicago. My duties consisted of weeding, cleaning toilets, parking lot duty, crowd control and preparation of a few Spanish translations for the Mass. The Mass refers to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and is the highest and most important form of worship that Catholics offer to God. To plagiarize from Wikipedia, “It is also Catholic belief that in objective reality, not merely symbolically, the wheaten bread and grape wine are converted into Christ's body and blood, a conversion referred to as transubstantiation, so that the whole Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the Eucharist.”
The Marians also asked me to read general intercessions during the Mass. That’s a part of the Mass where prayers are offered to God on behalf of everyone present for specific intentions. I had never spoken in front of several thousand people before and was quite nervous! But when I got up to the podium I felt strangely at ease. I had prayed to God to calm me down but didn’t expect Him to actually do it! Encuentro Latino was a very powerful and special day for all of us. I encourage you to read this write-up of the event from the Marians’ website, which captures the beauty of the day much better than I could.
Immediately after Encuentro Latino we returned to Steubenville to begin classes (and for us postulants, begin religious life). It felt good to finally get settled into the rhythm of religious life, which I must say I have really grown to like.
My new routine basically consists of studying, praying, eating and sleeping. What’s not to like? On a typical weekday I get up at about 5:30 or 6 and do morning prayers in the chapel in the house I’m in (there are 9 of us living in the two houses in the attached picture: two priests, two seminarians, one brother and four postulants). Morning prayers refer to the Liturgy of the Hours, which is an ages-old tradition in the Church. The Liturgy of the Hours refers to a series of hymns, scripture readings and prayers that are prayed at different times throughout the day. In our community we pray the Liturgy of the Hours in the morning and in the evening.
Immediately after morning prayers we offer certain prayers that are specific to the Marians. The prayers vary by day, but they are prayers for us, our loved ones, our benefactors, the deceased, and many others. These prayers are quite beautiful. Many of them are composed by priests who were instrumental in the founding (and survival) of the Marians...
Immediately after these prayers we jump right into the Holy Mass, and then have breakfast.
At noon we gather in the chapel and perform an examination of conscience, in which we contemplate where we’ve fallen short in our behavior (in comparison to the Ten Commandments, etc) and resolve to improve our conduct with God’s help where we’ve fallen short.
At three in the afternoon we gather to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a fairly recent Catholic devotion that is deeply connected with the Marians. It is a prayer of supplication to God the Father asking for mercy on the whole world while invoking and meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ. This devotion is primarily intended for the dying.
At 5:20 pm we gather to pray a rosary together, which is the most popular Catholic devotion. It is a prayer to the Virgin Mary asking for her intercession before God while simultaneously meditating on one of eighteen key events in the life of her Son (and two events that having to do with her). So for example, on Tuesdays and Fridays we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, which focus on five events: the agony suffered by Jesus in Gethsemane, the scourging of Jesus ordered by Pilate at the pillar, the crowning of Jesus with thorns, the ascent up Calvary with the cross and the crucifixion of Jesus at Golgotha. We Catholics believe that powerful graces for the conversion of sinners are released by God in response to this devotion (dido for the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and dido most of all for the Holy Mass).
In between those times I study, go to class, spend time praying by myself or play bubble hockey with Chris in the basement on breaks. The closest skating rink is in Pittsburgh, so that’s the best this former hockey player can do!
On Sundays I visit the elderly at a hospital in West Virginia with a group of Franciscan students but other than that, my schedule doesn’t deviate much from the routine I outlined above. Friday and Saturday evenings we’ll watch a movie or play hockey together.
I have class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. All my classes are philosophy classes: metaphysics, ethics and philosophy of the human person. I really enjoy them. The Vatican requires a boatload of philosophy classes before one is able to begin the theology classes that major seminary consists of. There are a few different reasons for this (which I won’t go into since this is turning into a book of an email). Many people view philosophy strictly as an ivory-tower profession but that’s nonsense. Vladimir Lenin and Pope John Paul II were both former philosophy professors.
Ah, almost forgot to mention the dress code (we dress up in black and whites every day as shown in the attached picture). So by the third year a guy gets to wear the collar that Catholic priests are recognized by worldwide, but until then we are dressed as you can see, all the time except for evenings. The classic Catholic school dress code I never had! Yes, that’s been a big adjustment. My first week, a delicate little freshman philosophy classmate stared at us postulants as we walked into class together. “Excuse me…excuse me…EXCUSE ME…who ARE you guys?” Her consternation was hilarious. I almost said, “We’re invading Mormons.”
The impact of all of these changes has been pretty profound. Overwhelmingly positive. I’m surprised and a little disappointed in how difficult it’s been for me to settle down and study for extended periods. It’s as though my attention span is completely shot. It’s been over six years since I’ve been in school. At my last job I became decent at completing many tasks in a day as rapidly as possible so I’m sure that’s part of the reason behind the adjustment. Philosophy is a different cup of tea, to be sure…
It wasn’t hard to give up my Blackberry..., but it has been hard to cut back on Internet and email checking. I now check my email once a day and allow myself maybe 20 minutes or so a day to catch up on news at my favorite sites. That’s down quite a bit from before.
I feel completely confirmed in my decision to join the Marians so far. I’m 99% positive that I want to move onto the next stage, which is novitiate. My discernment thus far has been full of what-the-heck-do-I-do-now-God moments, but God has proven again and again that He will take care of me. My trust in Him (and wonder) continues to grow.
I want to thank those who have supported me in this endeavor, and give a special thanks to all who have offered prayers for my sake. They are precious to me and I constantly draw on them for inspiration.
I've attached a picture of a bunch of us when we were in Stockbridge at the National Shrine.
If you’ve received this email, you are in my prayers! I will send another update in six months.
God bless you!
Please keep John and all the young men discerning the priesthood in your daily prayers.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Fr. Frank Pavone's coming to Honolulu is a great success. He leaves the island today, Tuesday. The mission, however, never leaves; it is never over. We continue to support him and all his work, because, his work is God's work. Preservation of human life is God's work from the onset of life. Culture of Life is God's making and doing.
Once again, we post the following events for those who are in need of spiritual renewal and healing from abortion. We urge you to join, or to pass on the information.
Weekend Retreat for Healing After Abortion
September 25-27. Three days / two nights at a private retreat center, meals & materials provided. $100 cost, but scholarships are available.
Clinical Seminar on the pain of abortion: Pregnancy Loss & Unresolved Grief.
Tues. Sept. 29th: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For the General Public, psychologists, counselors, social workers, physicians, nurses, educators, & clergy/religious. Presented by Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel's Vineyard weekend retreats for healing after abortion, and author of "Forbidden Grief" and the "Contraception of Grief." St. Stephen's Diocesan Center (6301 Pali Hwy.) - in the Hall. Continental breakfast & lunch provided. Registration fee $30, $40 at door.
For either event, look at website www.rachelsvineyard .org. To register: e-mail RVhawaii@gmail. com or call Lisa Shorba at 349-5071. A ministry of Priests for Life, sponsored by the Respect Life Office, Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.
Friday, September 18, 2009
The rest of the test can be found here at Zenit
Spanish Bishop Composes Test
PALENCIA, Spain, SEPT. 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Year for Priests isn't just an internal celebration among the clergy, but rather an opportunity for all the faithful to assess their appreciation for the priesthood, says Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of Palencia.
"Do we appreciate the priesthood and love our priests?" the bishop asked in a posting on the Web site of his dioceses.
To answer this question, the bishop composed -- "with a bit of humor" -- the following test titled "Priestly Appreciation." The test is complete with instructions to evaluate your answers and your level of appreciation for the priesthood.
* * *
1. Have you prayed recently for your parish priest, your bishop or the Pope?
a. I don't even know their names.
b. At Mass there is usually prayer for them, and I add myself in that petition.
c. I do so every day in my personal prayer.
Today's Gospel is one that every spiritual mother should take to heart. The women mentioned in above passage, as our priest told us in his homily, were not looking to become rabbis. Instead, they were conscious of the fact that Jesus had given up his work as a carpenter and that the apostles had given up their work as fishermen, to follow God's calling. These women therefore, as the Gospel tells us "provided for them out of their resources."
There are a few ways we can support our priests, especially the one we have spiritually adopted.
- The most important way is through prayer. Remember praying daily for our priest's intentions is so very vital. One suggestion is to pray the way the it has been recommended to us during the Year for Priests: 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Marys and 5 Glory Be's for them to live a holy life and carry out in a holy manner the offices entrusted to them.
- Financially is another way if one can afford to do so or if one wants to make a special sacrifice. This is particularly important if you are spiritually adopting a retired priest, an elderly priest or a seminarian.
- Preparing and providing meals. A couple of spiritual mothers in the Prayers for Priests e-group suggested that since they do not have a cook on the weekends, providing a weekend meal for them would be a good thing to do, especially during the Year for Priests.
If you have other suggestions on how we could support our spiritual sons, please leave a comment.
As a member of the Priests for Life family, you are invited to join me on Sunday, Sept 20 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1701 Wilder Ave., Honolulu, HI 96822, where I will preach at the 7am, 9am and 11am Masses. On Sept 20 at 6pm, join me at the Hawaii Right to Life Banquet at Hale Koa Hotel, 2055 Kalia Rd., Honolulu, HI 96815. Call Hawaii Right to Life for more information at: (808) 585-8205. Thank you for your continued support of our work!
Fr. Frank Pavone
Follow me at Twitter.com/frfrankpavone
Priests for Life
PO Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314
Toll Free: 1-888-735-3448
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Being a member of the Cathedral parish, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, I am proud to relay this message:
Rev. Herman Gomes, SS.CC. of St. Ann Parish, Kaneohe, will present a special video and lecture on Blessed Fr. Damien, following the Noon Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace on September 29, 2009.
The presentation focuses on the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church in relation to the life of Blessed Damien of Molokai. Read more here.
Place: Kamiano Center at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace
Time: 12:00 p.m. Noon Mass; 12:45 p.m. Fr. Damien Video Presentation/Lecture
Source: Catholic Hawaii
"The world of politics and of the press knows few comparable to Fr. Damien of Molokai.It would be very worthwile to discover the source inspiring so much heroism.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
St. John the Baptist School Cafeteria, 2324 Omilo Lane
For more information, contact Dave Tom at 384-0667
Fr. Vincent Inghilterra was born in Paterson , New Jersey , and was commissioned as a U.S. Army Chaplain in 1970. He served with the New Jersey National Guard from 1972 through 1984. He entered active duty in October 1984 at Fort Hood , Texas . He has deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Somalia , and Bosnia . Fr. Inghilterra will retire from the U.S. Army on November 1, 2009.
He has completed post-graduate work at Ohio State University , University of Indiana, and University of California at Los Angeles and received a Doctorate of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. Fr. Inghilterra was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on May 20, 1972. He made his profession as a Franciscan of San Damiano on November 21, 2008.
Fr. Inghilterra will share the history of the Rosary, his personal experiences with the Rosary for soldiers in combat, and the request of our Blessed Mother today--which is really a continuation of her messages at Lourdes and Fatima . Finally, he will invite people to attend the upcoming Marian Conference on Nov 6-7 at the Dole Cannery Ballroom. Following Fr. Inghilterra's talk, we will recite the Rosary together.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My children and I had gone to the early Mass today. One of the blessings of going to Mass in the morning is the gift of starting a day energized with God's presence through the Eucharist. Our day starts fresh and anew, an incredible mixture of feeling and truth.
After Mass we said hello to Fr. Khan Hoang, vicar for clergy, and thanked him for saying Mass. We said hello to Jesus in Blessed Sacrament, said our goodbyes to the wonderful servers at the sacristy, and even left with a bag of cookies from them. More blessings.
God's blessings are endless. God's blessings through our Church are abundant; they are ready for us to receive, make use of, and give thanks and praise to God for.
Do you know anyone who might be in need of God's blessings? Do urge them to come home. Refer a priest to them. The Catholic Church is home for all.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Last week’s liturgical observance of the memorial of St. John Vianney served as a wonderful reminder that this has been designated as a Year for Priests and offers the opportunity to once again encourage prayer and even sacrifice for our priests. It is no secret that priests are quite imperfect and often even seriously flawed. Some may manifest character flaws or even personality disorders. They are, after all, taken from among men for the service of God and so bring to the priesthood many of the same flaws and faults present in the general population. “Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.” (Hebrews 5:1-3)Read the rest of Bishop Robert Vasa's Pastoral letter here
Despite these shortcomings, however, I have every reason to believe that practically every priest, with very few exceptions, possesses a strong desire to be in proper relationship to God and offer himself as a living sacrifice for the sake of the people entrusted to his pastoral care...
The following is from Prayer for Priests Yahoo Group:
"What is a priest!
A man who holds the place of God - a man who is invested with all the powers of God. 'Go,' said Our Lord to the priest; 'as My Father sent Me, I send you. All power has been given Me in Heaven and on earth. Go then, teach all nations. He who listens to you, listens to Me; he who despises you despises Me.'
When the priest remits sins, he does not say, 'God pardons you'; he says, 'I absolve you.'
At the Consecration, he does not say, 'This is the Body of Our Lord;' he says, 'This is My Body.'
If we had not the Sacrament of Orders, we should not have Our Lord. Who placed Him there, in that tabernacle? It was the priest.
Who was it that received your soul, on its entrance into life? The priest.
Who nourishes it, to give it strength to make its pilgrimage? The priest.
Who will prepare it to appear before God, by washing that soul, for the last time, in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest - always the priest.
And if that soul comes to the point of death, who will raise it up, who will restore it to calmness and peace? Again the priest. You cannot recall one single blessing from God without finding, side by side with this recollection, the image of the priest."
Saint Bernard tells us that everything has come to us through Mary; and we may also say that everything has come to us through the priest; yes, all happiness, all graces, all heavenly gifts.
Go to confession to the Blessed Virgin, or to an angel; will they absolve you? No.
Will they give you the Body and Blood of Our Lord? No.
The Holy Virgin cannot make her Divine Son descend into the Host.
You might have two hundred angels there, but they could not absolve you.
A priest, however simple he may be, can do it; he can say to you, "Go in peace; I pardon you. " Oh, how great is a priest!
The priest will not understand the greatness of his office till he is in Heaven.
If he understood it on earth, he would die, not of fear, but of love. The other benefits of God would be of no avail to us without the priest.
What would be the use of a house full of gold, if you had nobody to open you the door!
The priest has the key of the heavenly treasures; it is he who opens the door; he is the steward of the good God, the distributor of His wealth.
Without the priest, the Death and Passion of Our Lord would be of no avail. Look at the heathens: what has it availed them that Our Lord has died?
Alas! they can have no share in the blessings of Redemption, while they have no priests to apply His Blood to their souls!
The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the Sacraments to himself. He is not for himself, he is for you. After God, the priest is everything. Leave a parish twenty years without priests; they will worship beasts. If the missionary Father and I were to go away, you would say, "What can we do in this church? there is no Mass; Our Lord is no longer there: we may as well pray at home. " When people wish to destroy religion, they begin by attacking the priest, because where there is no longer any priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no longer any sacrifice there is no religion.
When the bell calls you to church, if you were asked, "Where are you going?" you might answer, "I am going to feed my soul. " If someone were to ask you, pointing to the tabernacle, "What is that golden door?" "That is our storehouse, where the true Food of our souls is kept. " "Who has the key? Who lays in the provisions? Who makes ready the feast, and who serves the table?" "The priest. " "And what is the Food?" "The precious Body and Blood of Our Lord. "O God! O God! how Thou hast loved us! See the power of the priest; out of a piece of bread the word of a priest makes a God.
It is more than creating the world.... Someone said, "Does St. Philomena, then, obey the Cure of Ars?" Indeed, she may well obey him, since God obeys him.
If I were to meet a priest and an angel, I should salute the priest before I saluted the angel. The latter is the friend of God; but the priest holds His place.
St. Teresa kissed the ground where a priest had passed.
When you see a priest, you should say, "There is he who made me a child of God, and opened Heaven to me by holy Baptism; he who purified me after I had sinned; who gives nourishment to my soul. " At the sight of a church tower, you may say, "What is there in that place?" "The Body of Our Lord. " "Why is He there?" "Because a priest has been there, and has said holy Mass. "
What joy did the Apostles feel after the Resurrection of Our Lord, at seeing the Master whom they had loved so much! The priest must feel the same joy, at seeing Our Lord whom he holds in his hands. Great value is attached to objects which have been laid in the drinking cup of the Blessed Virgin and of the Child Jesus, at Loretto. But the fingers of the priest, that have touched the adorable Flesh of Jesus Christ, that have been plunged into the chalice which contained His Blood, into the pyx where His Body has lain, are they not still more precious?
The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus. When you see the priest, think of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friday, September 4, 2009
The following is from Easter at A Tribute to Our Priests and Father John Speekman.
SAN DIEGO, CA (JUNE 19, 2009) - The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (a national association of 600 priests and deacons) has joined Pope Benedict XVI’s inauguration of a “Year for Priests” by launching a new web site and announcing, an international convocation for English speaking priests and deacons to take place in Rome [...]
Please click on Catholic Clergy to read the rest of the article.
I have been encouraged by our dear priest from Australia, Fr. John Speekman, to post this. Please read his letter below and post the event on your blogs. Do send me an email at email@example.com so I can forward to you the graphics. Please also send the information to your bishops, vicars for clergy, all priests, and deacons you know. Much mahalo. God bless you all abundantly!
I have been asked to advertise the Year of the Priest Clergy Conference for English-speaking priests in Rome in 2010 so I've had some graphics of varying sizes produced hoping one of them might find an appropriate place on your site. You might put a banner at the top of your blog or something in the column, it's up to you. It is important that those who read the ad are directed to the official website: here either by clicking on the graphic or on a link beneath it.
It's a big ask but I'm hoping you will do this for me and for all those priests who would benefit from a conference such as this. Many thanks. (It's my pleasure, Fr. John!)
By the way, if you want to send this email on to other bloggers .. do it! Again, I would be most grateful.
Fr John Speekman
Homilies and Reflections from Australia
If possible please post on your own blogs and spread the word. Mahalo!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Weekend Retreat, Clinical Training and TV Interview.
Friday, September 25, 2009 to Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Giving this retreat is Dr. Theresa Burke, Pastoral Associate, Priests for Life and Founder, Rachel's Vineyard Ministries.
What is Rachel's Vineyard and what can it do?
Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.
Rachel's Vineyard can help you find your inner voice. It can help you experience God's love and compassion on a profound level. It creates a place where men and women can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion. You are allowed to dismantle troubling secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety.
Rachel's Vineyard is therapy for the soul. Participants, who have been trapped in anger toward themselves or others, experience forgiveness. Peace is found. Lives are restored. A sense of hope and meaning for the future is finally re-discovered.
Source: Rachel's Vineyard from Priests for Life website.
Contact person: Lisa Shorba
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Anne Bender, a wonderful writer, blogged about an experience she had that relates to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I can assure you that after reading her post, you would have words of thanks to God for this sacrament. You would also thank God for our priests whom God has appointed to minister it. Here's the blogpost.
Anne maintains a blog called Imprisoned in my Bones-Releasing my Inner Jeremiah.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The influence of the devil can never overcome the power of God’s grace. Jesus assures us of this when He tells Peter (Mt 16:18), “I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” But the evil one, nonetheless, continues to tempt and test all of us during our life on earth.Read the rest here
Satanic attacks were commonplace in the life of Fr. John Vianney....