Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Story of a Son's Call to the Priesthood

Father Ed Sousa, Jr.

The other day I asked a friend of Easter and mineEd of In God's Company 2 what his wife's secret in having a priest for a son. Ed graciously shared the following with me. I do have his permission to share this with you.

When Eddie was a young boy he was very prayerful and he had great love and devotion to our Blessed Mother. We could see there was something special about that, especially for a child his age. We didn't pray for Eddie to become a priest but what we did do is to say to Our Lord, " That if He was calling Eddie to become a priest someday that it was fine with us. We gave the Lord permission to do whatever He thought was best for him.
Our prayer was that His Will would be forfilled in Eddie. So that is Donna's secret and mind.

Eddie never told us that he had any thoughts or intension's of becoming a priest. We suggested to him once or twice through the years that the Lord might be calling him to the priesthood, but he just disregarded that. He said he had other plans for his life. He wanted to become a Chef.

Then one night he said to us that he wanted to go and study for the priesthood.
Wow! We were full of joy.

Isn't that just beautiful!!

Ed went even further and shared Father Ed Jr's own words to what called him to the priesthood:

" Testimony of Fr. Edward A. Sousa "

"Come follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men" (Mt. 4:19). When I was a teenager, I could remember hearing this saying of Jesus read at Mass, but never did its importance actually affect me in my life, until I turned the age of twenty-six. I would say that I began to experience a turning point to respond generously to this call.

When I was a child, up to my teenage years and into my early adulthood, I had no desire whatsoever to become a priest. In fact, I remember sitting in a Career Day lecture in high school with an image in my mind of an ideal planned life for myself. I would go to college, get a good education, earn a decent amount of money, get married, have a family of my own, eventually become a grandfather and,finally,enjoy retirement in my old age.

So, what happened to me between the years of my childhood into early adulthood?

Well, my desire to follow my set plan in life grew stronger and I had a set goal of getting a good education in the field that interest me. I developed an interest in culinary arts and decided in my senior year that I wanted to become a professional chef. Therefore, upon graduating, I enrolled at Johnson & Wales University. Two years later I graduated with an Associate of Occupational Science degree in culinary arts and I was what you would call a "professional chef."

I made decent money and was happy. All during this time I was what you would call the "average" Catholic. I went to church every Sunday, although many times half-heartedly, and was doing the best I could to be faithful to my beliefs. I was always a person with much joy, and had a wonderful family. I also dated off and on, and I had many friends.

However, I felt that there was still something missing. I was searching and looking for a meaning to my life. I began to figure out that the things of the world could not provide me with this so called "purpose" and "meaning" in life. I realized that maybe it was only God that could truly provide me with what I was looking for.

I slowly developed a desire to pray the Rosary. I always had a devotion to the Blessed Mother. The more I prayed, I felt my love and relationship to Jesus growing. I started to understand what many great saints throughout the Catholic Church have said for centuries. The main purpose of our love for the Blessed Mother is, "to lead us closer to her Son Jesus, for the good of our salvation."

I found myself paying more attention to the Holy Mass, feeling a hunger for God's Word, and remembering the bible readings. I was going to confession more frequently. In my spare time, I went to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament rather than going out with my friends.

I began to get involved in church through the generosity of my current pastor, Father Reinaldo Cardoso, in all area of the parish life. My mother asked me, "Have you ever thought about priesthood?" The question caught me off guard. I tried to avoid the question with nervous laughs, but I began to realize things were changing in my life and it would only be a matter of time. I spent time asking myself, "Why would God be calling me?" I was not sure if God was truly calling me.

It was May of 1995, during a special holy hour at my parish, that I met a young visiting priest from East Timor. He asked me, "Have you ever thought about priesthood?"

I felt a moment of grace and the question hit me like a "ton of bricks." This time I did not shrug it off. It was then that I met with Father Cardoso, and told him my thoughts.

My parents were not surprised and were extremely happy with my desire to follow Christ in the priesthood. In August of 1995, I left my paying job and in September I entered the Seminary of Our Lady of Providence. I enrolled in Providence College and began the first two-year program.
I can find no way to measure the tremendous experience I have had in the course of spiritual formation.
In the summer of 1996, I traveled to a popular Marian shrine at Medjugorje, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During my visit, I met a married couple, Patrick and Nancy Latta, who were originally from Canada and now living in Medjugorje.

I told Nancy that I found my seminarian life very difficult and at times, I felt like giving it all up. Without hesitation, she looked at me straight in the eyes and said to me, "Edward, always remember one thing. God does not want you to do great things, but to do simple things with great love." I felt at that moment, God's infinite mercy and grace. From that day forward, to this present day, I have never again looked back in God's calling to the priesthood."

It is very important to plant the seed of a priestly vocation in our boys and young men. As you read above Father Ed's mom and a young visiting priest asked him if he ever considered being a priest. Of course, they need to be called to the priesthood. But we can only imagine how many men have been called to the priesthood, but they weren't aware of it.

Please pray for more vocations to the priesthood and please pose the same question to the young men you meet "have you ever considered a call to the priesthood?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting Ready for Lent

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, reflects on the meaning of Lent and explains the fasting, prayer and almsgiving that Catholic are called to during the six week preparation for Easter.

Friday, February 17, 2012


St. Joseph's Church - Molokai

Blessed Joseph,
you both saved and served the Word of God,
and the Living Bread come down from heaven.
Look down upon the priests of the Church
which had its origins in the household
over which you presided,
and pray for them --
that they, too, serve perseveringly
the people entrusted to their care --
may teach them faithfully the Word of God,
and break for them daily the Bread of Life.
Strengthen them in faith and in hope,
console them in hardship and disappointment;
and pray your Jesus
to crown their service of Him on earth
with eternal life with Him
in the happiness of heaven for ever. AMEN

Shared by Mary Jane D. who also shared a 30 day Novena to St. Joseph found here

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Honolulu's Bishop Larry Silva Addresses the HHS Recent Mandate: Letter to the faithful

Reprinted with permission of our bishop, His Excellency Bishop Larry Silva, Diocese of Honolulu


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Larry Silva

Bishop of Honolulu

Source: Diocese of Honolulu

Bishop Larry Silva Appoints New Director of Vocations

Hawaii Catholic Herald article can be found here.

The Spiritual Moms would like to say mahalo nui loa to Father Peter for his excellent work while he was the director of vocations. We would also like to say aloha and offer our sincerest congratulations to Father Pascual Abaya, the new director of vocations for the Diocese of Honolulu.

Father Peter Dumag

Father Pascual Abaya

Remember to pray for more vocations!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shut Up About My Priest

Good blog post from a blog with a very interesting/humorous title read it here.