Saturday, March 19, 2011

Prayer to Saint Joseph for the Church

St. Joseph, Patron Saint of the Universal Church

Picture source

Saint Joseph, God has appointed you patron of the Catholic Church because you were the head of the Holy Family, the starting-point of the Church. You were the father, protector, guide and support of the Holy Family.

For that reason you belong in a particular way to the Church, which was the purpose of the Holy Family's existence.

I believe that the Church is the family of God on earth. Its government is represented in priestly authority which consists above all in its power over the true Body of Christ, really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, thus continuing Christ's life in the Church.

From this power, too, comes authority over the Mystical Body of Christ, the members of the Church -- the power to teach and govern souls, to reconcile them with God, to bless them, and to pray for them.

You have a special relationship to the priesthood because you possessed a wonderful power over our Savior Himself.

Your life and office were of a priestly function and are especially connected with the Blessed Sacrament.

To some extent you were the means of bringing the Redeemer to us -- as it is the priest's function to bring Him to us in the Mass -- for you reared Jesus, supported, nourished, protected and sheltered Him.

You were prefigured by the patriarch Joseph, who kept supplies of wheat for his people. But how much greater than he were you!
Joseph of old gave the Egyptians mere bread for their bodies. You nourished, and with the most tender care, preserved for the Church Him who is the Bread of Heaven and who gives eternal life in Holy Communion.

God has appointed you patron of the Church because the glorious title of patriarch also falls by special right to you. The patriarchs were the heads of families of the Chosen People, and theirs was the honor to prepare for the Savior's incarnation.

You belonged to this line of patriarchs, for you were one of the last descendants of the family of David and one of the nearest forebears of Christ according to the flesh.

As husband of Mary, the Mother of God, and as the foster-father of the Savior, you were directly connected with Christ. Your vocation was especially concerned with the Person of Jesus; your entire activity centered about Him. You are, therefore, the closing of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New, which took its rise with the Holy Family of Nazareth. Because the New Testament surpasses the Old in every respect, you are the patriarch of patriarchs, the most venerable, exalted, and amiable of all the patriarchs.

Through Mary, the Church received Christ, and therefore the Church is indebted to her. But the Church owes her debt of gratitude and veneration to you also, for you were the chosen one who enabled Christ to enter into the world according to the laws of order and fitness. It was by you that the patriarchs and the prophets and the faithful reaped the fruit of God's promise. Alone among them all, you saw with your own eyes and possessed the Redeemer promised to the rest of men.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the Patron of the Church. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to live always as a worthy member of this Church, so that through it I may save my soul.
Bless the priests, the religious, and the laity of the Catholic Church, that they may ever grow in God's love and faithfulness in His service.

Protect the Church from the evils of our day and from the persecution of her enemies.

Through your powerful intercession may the church successfully accomplish its mission in this world -- the glory of God and the salvation of souls!

Prayer source: The Curé d'Ars Prayer Group

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inspiring Story of a True Spiritual Mother

In today's Magnificat was a very touching story.

"The surest way to expel the Mass was to destroy the priests. But though hunted like wild beasts, imprisoned and starved, tortured and executed, they could not, nevertheless, be so easily exterminated. By careful hiding and often by monetary bribes, they were able to say Mass now and then, in private rooms and decent outhouses, for the flocks that were previously notified of the meeting place and came to confess and receive the Bread of Life. Sometimes, even every daring spirits were found, like Dame Eleanor Birmingham**, the widow of Bartholomew Baal or Ball, who befriended priests on every occasion.

Living in Dublin, she managed to hear Mass on all feast days, and like Saint Francis of Assisi, 'thought it almost a crime' not to assist at it every day, if at all possible. That she might the more surely achieve this and satisfy her intense devotion, she succeeded in kneeing a priest constantly in her house. Suspicion having at last fallen upon her, soldiers were sent in the early morning, and found the priest at the altar offering up the Holy Sacrifice. The chalice, Paten, and other sacred things were at once seized by these sacrilegious intruders, and the priest, with this devoted lady, hurried away. Both were flung into prison but she, smoothing the way with money, was after some time set free. Leading the same life as before and devoted as ever to the Mass, she was again case into prison by her son, Walter... Thee she peacefully passed away in her dungeon."

- Father Augustine, O.F.M. CAP.
Father Augustine was a 20th century Capuchin priest and author, who also wrote Saint Francis and the Blessed Eucharist.

Magnifcat March 2011, Vol 12. No. 13.

**1584: Eleanor Birmingham, widow of Bartholomew Ball — denounced by her son, Walter Ball, Mayor of Dublin, died in prison; Irish Confessors and Martyrs

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. John Chrysostom on the Priesthood

St. John Chrysostom

Picture source

The treatise On the Priesthood is the finest of his (St. John Chrysostom) writings and perhaps the first really great pastoral work ever written, although he was only a deacon when he wrote this book. It stresses the dignity of the priesthood. The priest, it says, is greater than kings, angels, or parents. But priests are for that reason most tempted to pride and ambition. They, more than anyone else, need clear and unshakable wisdom, patience that disarms pride, and exceptional prudence in dealing with souls.
- Fr. John Hardon's The Ctaholic Lifetime Reading Plan.

A Message to Spiritual Mothers from a Priest

Picture source

I belong to an online group where we pray for priests. One of the members, Father Greg shared an email which contained the following. I have permission to post it here on this blog. Please keep Father Greg and all our priests in your daily prayers.

Greetings those who keep us priest out of trouble (laughing)!

I want to thank you all for the prayers which you offer for us each and every day in these difficult times. The priest of this age finds himself to be man without a home as he finds himself struggling to stay a float left to drift both by the society and even the institutional church. Please remember in your prayers all who are struggling. Believe me there are many priest who are on the brink of giving up. It is your prayers and support that keep us alive in Christ...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Message of Pope Benedict XVI for Lent 2011

"The first Sunday of the Lenten journey reveals our condition as human beings here on earth. The victorious battle against temptation, the starting point of Jesus’ mission, is an invitation to become aware of our own fragility in order to accept the grace that frees [us] from sin and infuses new strength in Christ — the way, the truth and the life." --Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI: Lenten Message for 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Message to Priests this Lent 2011

His Eminence Mauro Piacenza

Esteemed Brothers,

This time of grace, which is given to us to live, calls us to a renewed conversion. The ministerial Priesthood is always new and through this gift the Lord Jesus is made present in our lives and, through our lives, in the lives of all men.

Conversion, for us Priests, above all else means to conform our lives more closely to the preaching that we offer daily to the faithful, becoming in this way ‘a piece of the living Gospel’ that everyone can read and accept. The foundation of that behaviour is, without doubt, the conversion of our own identity: we must convert ourselves to that what we are! The identity, welcomed and received sacramentally in our wounded humanity, demands the progressive confirmation of our hearts, our minds, our behaviours to everything that we are in the image of Christ the Good Shepherd that has been sacramentally imprinted in us.

We must enter into the Mysteries that we celebrate, especially in the most Holy Eucharist, and to allow ourselves to be formed by them. It is in the Eucharist that the Priest rediscovers his true identity! It is in the celebration of the Divine Mysteries that one can catch sight of ‘how’ to be a shepherd and ‘what’ is necessary to truly serve each other.

Source: Congregazione per il Clero

Monday, March 7, 2011

AKUA Run/Walk for Vocations 2011

Mass at Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, blessing of the AKUA Run/Walk

Participating priests, with a parishioner on left

Bishop Larry Silva and participating Sisters

Fr. Cletus Mooya


Finishers, Bishop Larry Silva, 4th from left

More than two weeks had gone by since the AKUA Run for Vocations, yet the memories are still alive -- especially for me, since it was the first time I joined the event. Our youngest son, TJ, will be ten years old this year. My husband and I figured this would be the start of a family journey of facing the 8-long-mile-challenge GAR (Great Aloha Run). Besides, TJ plays tennis. He's strong and shouldn't have a long list of excuses.

For Joe and me, it was a different story. Were we ready for the challenge? We went to Ala Moana Beach Park for pre-walks and small pre-runs, but never got close to 8 miles! Were we really up for the 8-mile test?

Our family of seven left home to be at the parking structure of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace at 4 a.m. on Monday, February 21, President's Day. We tried to sleep in the van to kill time, but the excitement was too much. We quickly ate the breakfast we packed and joined the group of priests, sisters, and the other AKUA walkers for a quick fellowship and prayer led by Bishop Larry Silva.

Our four teenagers, Cyrene, Ashley, Joseph and Faith, left in a flash with the Daughters of St. Paul, Sr. Gioan Linh and Sr. Ann Mei. They were nowhere to be seen afterwards. They had done this before! If you didn't know, those Sisters from the Pauline Books and Media Center in Honolulu have the quick feet and stamina of a cheetah. Well, almost.

The goal of the AKUA Run/Walk? For an increase in vocations to the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Honolulu. With this in mind, though pain on our legs and feet tried to distract us, my husband Joe, TJ and I trudged along. Onward soldiers for Christ!

How could we not have made it when Christ led the way?

(Mahalo for the pictures, Dann Ebina and Dominic Olaso!)

Pope reminds seminarians: God calls each person by name

Read article here

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Prayers for Our Priests During Lent

Bishop Larry Silva

Cheralyn, a spiritual mom in another diocese recently shared their intentions for their spiritual sons during Lent.  I thought her idea was a very good one and ran it past Easter.

In discussing this with Easter, we thought the following would best suit the spiritual moms in the Diocese of Honolulu.

This is from an email sent to the Spiritual moms yesterday.
With Lent beginning next week, (Ash Wednesday is March 9th), we would ask that you remember our priests in a special way.

Please pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy** and/or the Sorrowful Mysteries on either Tuesdays or Fridays during Lent. We will specifically be praying for the priest we have spiritually adopted but please remember to pray for all our priests and seminarians too!

God bless you and have a wonderfully spiritual Lenten season.

**For those of you not aware of this, Bishop Larry dedicated the Diocese of Honolulu to The Divine Mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday - April 23, 2006

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Response from Bishop Larry

Bishop Larry at Sts. Peter and Paul Church visitation

Recently, Easter and I requested that this blog be listed with the Diocese of Honolulu's website. The following is Bishop Larry's response:

Dear Esther and Easter,

Thank you very much for this wonderful apostolate of praying for your bishop and your priests! It is very much appreciated.

I will be happy to see that your Spiritual Moms website is linked to the Diocese of Honolulu website.

God bless you, and may your ministry to the priests bear much fruit!


+ Larry Silva

Most Reverend Clarence (Larry) Silva

Bishop of Honolulu

Reminder to Join in: Rosary for Our Bishop

During the Year of the Priest there was a campaign to get more people to pray the Rosary for our bishops. If you click here you can see the stats for our own Bishop Larry. If you have not signed up to pray a rosary for Bishop Larry yet, Lent may be a good time to do so.

Rosary for the Bishop is a campaign that aims to support Catholic Bishops through prayer of the Rosary. Please take a few minutes to join in praying for your Bishop.

Join here at Rosary for the Bishop