Monday, August 30, 2010

Planting Vocations to the Church

Fr. Joel Panzer, with teens and little ones

We had a chance to be at St. John Apostle and Evangelist in Mililani a couple of weeks ago. What a joy that was! A chance to attend Mass at another parish -- though I love very much the Cathedral of Our Lady or Peace, my home parish -- is a much welcome part of our routine.

I was glad to have met Fr. Joel Panzer who's a chaplain from Schofield. He says Mass at St. John's once or twice a week.

After Mass, I made it a point to gather the children for a picture with him -- a great and simple move to get our youth connected with our priests. Oftentimes, teenagers are reluctant to approach the clergy after Mass, unless they know the priest. Do make your observations. Who normally approaches the priest after Mass? The sad and happy truth is that about 80% of those are about 50 years of age and over.

Sometimes I do see young families approach the priest to get their little ones blessed. How wonderful that is!

Here are some simple tips for parents and grandmothers to follow: get your teenager instead to approach father to bless your rosary, tell your son or daughter to ask the priest a question, send your children to the priest to deliver a message for you, ask your children to make drawings for the priest saying the Mass you are attending and have him or her give it to him personally, etc.

Let the Holy Spirit guide us! for she has the best answers, solutions and ideas. And, we, on our part, must cooperate to find ways to bring our children closer to our priests and to our Church. Hopefully, we are also planting seeds of vocations to the Church by doing so.

St. John Vianney, pray for us!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Say a Prayer for Fr. Dennis

Fr. Dennis Koshko (4th from left)

I've had the occasion of visiting our parishes and their priests, parishioners, and friends new and old who go to these churches. It is such a joy to connect with the children of God!

When I was promoting my book Serving God Joyfully Right Here in Hawai'i at St. Anthony in Kailua, Fr. Dennis was not feeling too well that day that he almost collapsed during Mass. I ask that you say special prayers for him. In fact, I ask that we always remember our priests in our prayers.

Mahalo nui loa to all! May God continue to bless you for your generosity!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fr. Marvin at the Annual Charismatic Convention

In case you're wondering how Fr. Marvin Bearis' talk went, I heard it was good! My oldest daughter, Cyrene, was with Sr. Laura Brown, fsp, at the Annual Charismatic Convention to help with book sales.

What my daughter remembers most is that Fr. Marvin encouraged everyone to make an effort to spend some time with our youth. This is a message so important, especially these days; not only because they are the future of our country, and our Church, but because it is so needed in the present times. With the rapid growth of technology, our youth can get lost in the many forms it comes with. Technogy is wonderful, but without guidance, our youth can become immersed in the misleading areas it offers them. What might some of those be? To name a few: consumerism, pornography, meeting the wrong kind of people, and forming of bad habits.

A smile, pat it the back, word of encouragement, hug, or a short time to chat with our youth, laugh with them, being a mentor, are all of many ways of encouraging them to continue their own walk of faith. Most importantly, these are ways of planting vocations to our Church.

Mahalo, Fr. Marvin Bearis, for all you do for our youth!

My thanks to Dann Ebina and Cyrene Almuena for sharing your pictures with us!

Friday, August 20, 2010

When's the next With Grateful Hearts Concert?

Well, check it out! Click on the poster to see details.

I've personally seen the first one, and it's worth seeing again. Mahalo to our priests and sisters who contribute their time and talents in producing a show that is not just entertaining, but also 'moving': Their dedication will stir your heart to be more cognizant of the needs of our seminarians, and, appreciate our priests and religious for what they do.

Fr. Manny is the rector of St. John's Evangelist Church in Mililani.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kahilis for St. Damien Changed

If you had witnessed the "return" of Fr. Damien to the Cathedral, you might have noticed that the two kahilis placed on both sides of the reliquary were not the "reel kine." What that means is that they were not authentic -- though very good ones -- because they were made of ribbons and not feathers.

This past Sunday, August 15, the day Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace celebrated its 167th anniversary, just before the 12n Mass, was the installation of kahilis made with feathers.

Enjoy some of the pics I took that day:

Joe, a parishioner, opening the ceremony

procession of new kahilis

after the change

a Hawaiian brother standing beside the reliquary
while a woman prays

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2010 Hawaii Regional Charismatic Conference

Fr. Marvin Bearis, OFM.Cap

It's that time again. A good time for sure - to be on fire, be rejuvenated, rekindled! Not that the wonderful charismatic people of Hawaii don't get enough of it, but it's that weekend of gathering as a larger body for spiritual growth and empowerment. A very good thing! And, all are invited.

What: 2010 Hawaii Regional Charismatic Conference
Where: Catholic Charities Hawaii Center: Catholic Charities Hawaii Community Hall, 1822 Keeaumoku St., Honolulu
When: Friday - Sunday, August 13-15, 2010
What to expect: Praise and Worship, Four General sessions, Eucharist, Fellowship, Prayer Ministry, Life in the Spirit session, and Healing Service.

Featured speakers:

Fr. Tom Dilorenzo

  • A native of Boston, ordained in 1979 for the Archdiocese of Boston
  • Administrator of Holy Rosary Church in Winthrop, Mass.
  • A popular conference and retreat speaker in charismatic renewal for over two decades
  • Host of the weekly radio preaching ministry, "In Season and Out of Season"
  • Has an outreach ministry to the poor

Fr. Marvin Bearis, OFM.Cap

  • Ordained last year, serves with the Capuchins on Oahu
  • Active in youth and young adult ministry
  • Attended the Steubenville Charismatic Priests Conference this summer

Fr. Tom Fragas will present Life in the Spirit Seminar: Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts that accompany it, and the renewal of charisms.

Registration: $35.00; $10 for youth; Free for clergy and religious. No registration for Sunday.

Visit:, or call Flo Andrade at 455-3224

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Time to pray for deacons!

I read yesterday from the Hawaii Catholic Herald that Bishop Silva announced that Deacon Thomas Contrades is now Chairperson of the Deacon Council; Deacon Billy Whitfield, Co-Chairperson; Deacon Modesto Cordero, Secretary; and Cora Constantino, Treasurer. This had taken into effective July 1, 2010, and will continue to be through June 30, 2012.

"Wait a minute!" I told my husband, "Isn't that Deacon Tom of the formation team for the aspirancy program leading to the diaconate formation?" He nodded. Deacon Modesto Cordero, who is also in the formation team, is more known to me since I met him at St. John's in Mililani when I sold my book there.

Wonderful news! And what perfect timing this is for, today, we celebrate the life of St. Lawrence who was a deacon and martyr of our Church! Read about him here, or here.

A well-known legend is attached to the name St. Lawrence who was once Deacon of Rome. Before his persecution, he distributed the goods of the church to the poor. When asked to produce the riches and be returned to where they once belonged, St. Lawrence came back, indeed, and presented its treasures:

Lawrence replied that the Church was indeed rich. “I will show you a valuable part. But give me time to set everything in order and make an inventory.” After three days he gathered a great number of blind, lame, maimed, leprous, orphaned and widowed persons and put them in rows. When the prefect arrived, Lawrence simply said, “These are the treasure of the Church.”

Let us pray for our deacons:

Dear Lord,
we present to you all deacons of the world.
Indeed, they too, are treasures of the Church.
Bless them for all their good works,
they who toil and ask not to be repaid.
Bless them in many ways you only can give
and bless their families without reserve.
In Christ Jesus, we pray.

Please pray for the men, including my husband Joe, who are in the last few months of aspirancy. May they fully discern God's will and way for them. Mary, Mother of God, Mother of us all, pray for us!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mahalo, Fr. Jack Nilan, OFM.Cap!

Fr. Paolo Kosake, OFM.Cap.

Fr. Jack Niland, OFM.Cap.

I planned to have adoration with my good friend, Lynette T. who lives in Mililani, on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week. My schedule, however, just couldn't make room for this perfectly thought of idea. Lynette and I have adoration on occasion and then grab something to eat afterwards -- a light dinner -- then fellowship.

Thursday came, which was August 5th. It couldn't have been better than any other day! I called another friend, France M. whom I needed to meet and said that she would be at the church that night because "tonight we are having the 1st death anniversary Mass for Fr. Jack Niland, OFM.Cap."

So there they were, my friend France and parishioners of Our Lady of Good Counsel, attending the Mass, and Fr. Paolo Kosaka, OFM.Cap. giving his homily, a tribute to Fr. Jack Nilan, OFM. Some of the words that I remember were: Fr. Jack was a lover of the Eucharist; he always thanked people, especially those who served at Mass; he always encouraged his fellow Capuchin priests by reminding them that they are there to serve the people, etc.

What I recall of Fr. Jack are now good memories to me. I didn't know him personally, but I got to know this good priest in the brief moments of our encounter. I caught him walking to the chapel for his afternoon prayer, holding the book that I promoted and sold in the Year of the Eucharist. I remember him thanking me after each Mass that I attended when I sold copies of the book. I recall chatting with him briefly before his prayer time, and, experiencing the love of Christ through this wonderful priest. I also recall how he welcomed all the people with a big smile on this face. I vividly remember how full the pews were!

Fr. Jack Niland, as you rejoice with the angels in heaven, remember us here on earth who need to get to where you are that we, too, may join you in prayers and singing to our God.

Other capuchin priests who were present in the celebration were: Fr. Mike Dalton, Fr. Gordon Gomes, Fr. Marvin Bearis, and of course, Fr. Paolo.

Lynette T. and I mingled with those who attended Mass at the lanai of the church. I was able to reconnect with some good friends and meet a few more.

God is good! His timing is perfect, flawless, and causes me to give him praise and thanks with a much joyful heart!

Below is what was in the Catholic Hawaii website on August 6, 2009, the day after Fr. Niland's passing:

Rest in Peace, Fr. Jack Niland, OFM.Cap.
Thursday, August 06 2009 @ 08:11 AM HST

It is with sadness that we mourn the death of Fr. Jack Niland, OFM.Cap., former pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Pearl City. He passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 5th at 2:00 p.m., Eastern time, at St. Claire Friary, Yonkers, NY.

Although funeral services will be held on the mainland, please note the memorial service to be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Pearl City on August 12, 2009 @ 7:00 p.m.

We join together in praying for the repose of his soul and the comfort of his family and community.

Wake: Friday, August 7, 2009
St. Clare Friary
110 Shonnard Place
Yonkers, NY 10703-2228

Funeral: Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 11:00 am
Sacred Heart Church
110 Shonnard Place
Yonkers, NY 10703-2228

Memorial Mass: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 7:00 P.M.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish
1525 Waimano Home Road
Pearl City, HI 96782

Fr. Jack is survived by his mother Catherine Niland of Sparkill, NY and his sister, Carole Gerondel.

Fr. Jack served as:
Pastor: Santa Rita Parish, Santa Rita, Guam
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Agat
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Pearl City, Hawaii
Vice Provincial of the Star of the Sea, Guam and Hawaii (6 years)

Other readings:
Obituary, from the Hawaii Catholic Herald; Celebration of Life; From the blog, a minor friar

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Celebrating St. John Vianney, a Priest

St. John Mary Vianney

St. John Mary Vianney was born in Lyons in 1786. He was an ordinary man with an extraordinary calling. Unwilling to yield to God's call because of numerous trials and challenges he was faced with, God persisted to prod him to get him to finally give his fiat. With God's grace he became a priest, and was entrusted with a parish in the town of Ars in the Diocese of Belley. He cared for the people in his parish in many a marvelous way by his preaching, his mortification, prayer, and good works. He became a renowed priest so much so that people from many regions came to Ars seeking his counsels. He died in 1859.

Today we pray to Our Most High Priest Jesus Christ, with the intercession of St. John Mary Vianney, to bless all our priests, especially those in our respective dioceses. May God bless each one of them, fill them with his strength and wisdom that in their times of trials and challenges, they many never give up but be inspired to be the priest God calls them to be. We pray for our seminarians that they will continue to persevere in their studies. We ask this of the Father, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Today's Saint was a Priest

If you have seen this picture but didn't know whose, now you do. He's St. Peter Julian Eymard who joined the Marists in 1839, and in 1856, founded the Blessed Sacrament.

"In addition to those changes, Peter Julian coped with poverty, his father's initial opposition to Peter's vocation, serious illness, a Jansenistic striving for inner perfection and the difficulties of getting diocesan and later papal approval for his new religious community.

His years as a Marist, including service as a provincial leader, saw the deepening of his eucharistic devotion, especially through his preaching of Forty Hours in many parishes. Inspired at first by the idea of reparation for indifference to the Eucharist, Peter Julian was eventually attracted to a more positive spirituality of Christ-centered love. Members of the men's community, which Peter founded, alternated between an active apostolic life and contemplating Jesus in the Eucharist. He and Marguerite Guillot founded the women's Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.

Peter Julian Eymard was beatified in 1925 and canonized in 1962, one day after Vatican II's first session ended."

More here.

We pray for all priests that they, too, may always have the perseverance to pursue what it is they need to accomplish in their church or parish, or missionary work. May poverty not bring them down, but fill them with strength as they live a life more dependent on God. We pray in the name of our Eucharistic Lord and Savior. Amen.