Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Tribute to our blogger priest, Fr. Daren

This blog adopts Fr. Daren for a week. All my prayers are mainly offered for him and his intentions. Please join me in praying and paying tribute to this wonderful priest...

Fr. Daren J. Zehnle

I was born on Easter Sunday, March 26, 1978, in Quincy, Illinois and I have one brother. I went to Mundelein Seminary and was ordained a priest on May 28, 2005. I have been the Parochial Vicar at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Effingham, Illinois since July 2005.

1. When did you first know God was calling you to become a priest?

I certainly knew during my sophomore year of high school. I can't say that there was one "moment" when I knew for sure; it was, rather, a gradual awareness of God's will for me.

2. Who was most influential in your pursuit of a priestly vocation?

My pastor, Fr. John Beveridge. He was an excellent example of service throughout grade school and high school.

3. Where will you spend Christmas this year?

I was going to spend it on the road back home to Quincy but ended up staying at my parish due to my frail health (I returned to Quincy the day after Christmas).

4. How often do you get to visit your family?

Sadly, only about three times a year, and only for a day at a time. The drive simply is too long and we have two Masses everyday in the parish.

5. What are some of your favorite pastimes?

I enjoy reading, writing, swimming, hiking and playing video games.

6. What is your favorite t.v. show?

That's a hard one so I list a few: Everybody Loves Raymon, As Time Goes By, Keeping Up Appearances, Scrubs

7. Who or what makes you laugh?

I love dry, witty sarcasm; there's nothing finer!

8. What keeps you grounded as a priest?

The celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

I am delighted to have met this young, passionate priest here on the island of Oahu. Esther introduced him to me and a group of homeschoolers at the state capitol when Bishop Larry Silva, some local priests, parishioners and school students from our Catholic churches gathered there to celebrate the life of Blessed Damien.

His answers to questions #3 and #4 touched me and encouraged me to continue supporting our priests. #8 sure gives me a smile! :-)

I thank you, Fr. Daren, for responding to my queries. Oh Fr. Daren, we have something in common: I, too, was born on Easter Sunday, but in the year 1962... so, ok, you are younger! And quite acceptable! :-)

Send your words of support and encouragement to Fr. Daren at

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Message from Pope Benedict XVI this Christmas


VATICAN CITY, DEC 25, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, the Holy Father pronounced his traditional Christmas Message from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica, and imparted the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.

Extracts of the Message are given below:

"'A holy day has dawned upon us.' A day of great hope: today the Savior of mankind is born. The birth of a child normally brings a light of hope to those who are waiting anxiously.

"The Creator of man became man in order to bring peace to the world. ... It is only the 'great' light manifested in Christ that can give 'true' peace to men: that is why every generation is called to welcome it, to welcome the God Who in Bethlehem became one of us." And, "if we are to recognize it, if we are to receive it, faith is needed and humility is needed."

"Now, on this Christmas Day, when the joyful news of His saving birth continues to resound, who is ready to open the doors of his heart to the holy Child? ... Who is waiting for the dawn of the new day, keeping alight the flame of faith? Who has time to listen to His word and to become enfolded and entranced by His love? Yes! His message of peace is for everyone; He comes to offer himself to all people as sure hope for salvation."

"May the light of Christ, which comes to enlighten every human being, shine forth and bring consolation to those who live in the darkness of poverty, injustice and war; to those who are still denied their legitimate aspirations for a more secure existence, for health, education, stable employment, for fuller participation in civil and political responsibilities, free from oppression and protected from conditions that offend against human dignity.

"It is the most vulnerable members of society - women, children, the elderly - who are so often the victims of brutal armed conflicts, terrorism and violence of every kind, which inflict such terrible sufferings on entire populations. At the same time, ethnic, religious and political tensions, instability, rivalry, disagreements, and all forms of injustice and discrimination are destroying the internal fabric of many countries and embittering international relations. Throughout the world the number of migrants, refugees and evacuees is also increasing because of frequent natural disasters, often caused by alarming environmental upheavals.

"On this day of peace, my thoughts turn especially to those places where the grim sound of arms continues to reverberate; to the tortured regions of Darfur, Somalia, the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia; to the whole of the Middle East - especially Iraq, Lebanon and the Holy Land; to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, to the Balkans and to many other crisis situations that unfortunately are frequently forgotten.

"May the Child Jesus bring relief to those who are suffering and may He bestow upon political leaders the wisdom and courage to seek and find humane, just and lasting solutions.

"To the thirst for meaning and value so characteristic of today's world, to the search for prosperity and peace that marks the lives of all mankind, to the hopes of the poor: Christ - true God and true Man - responds with His Nativity. Neither individuals nor nations should be afraid to recognize and welcome Him."

"Brothers and sisters from every continent, allow the light of this day to spread everywhere: may it enter our hearts, may it brighten and warm our homes, may it bring serenity and hope to our cities, and may it give peace to the world. This is my earnest wish for you who are listening. A wish that grows into a humble and trustful prayer to the Child Jesus, that His light will dispel all darkness from your lives and fill you with love and peace."

Following his Message, the Pope extended Christmas greetings in 63 languages and imparted the "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing.
MESS/URBI ET ORBI/... VIS 071228 (690)

Source: Vatican Information Service
Sent to me by Sr. Margaret Charles, fsp

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Prayer for our Priests this Christmas

For all Priests especially now at Christmas

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
give all priests Thy spirit of humility;

Jesus, poor and worn out for souls,
give all priests Thy spirit of zeal;

Jesus, full of patience and mercy for sinners,
give all priests Thy spirit of compassion;

Jesus, victim for the sins of the world,
give all priests Thy spirit of sacrifice;

Jesus, lover of the little and the poor,
give all priests Thy spirit of charity.

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us;
and obtain for us numerous
and holy priests and religious. Amen

Source: Catholic Answers

Sunday, December 23, 2007

8 Questions for our priests in the Hawaii Catholic Herald

Father Jack Ryan

This was in the October 19th issue of the Hawaii Catholic Herald. I have had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Jack Ryan at the Cathedral Gallery when he came for a visit and dinner engagement with our pastor, Fr. John Berger and one of our trusted and active parishioners, Elvie. When Elvie introduced him to me I said, "So this is the famous Fr. Jack Ryan!" He just gave me a smile.

Spanish-speaking, Irish-American admirer of Mother Teresa Father Jack Ryan, 57, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., and grew up there and in California with two sisters. He received a political science degree from George Washington University before entering the seminary. He was ordained as a Paulist priest on May 15, 1976. Father Ryan served in hospital ministry in Toronto and in inner city Memphis before earning his master’s in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. Father Ryan speaks Spanish fluently and spent time in Ecuador and Nicaragua while earning his master’s. After five years as the director of hospital ministry for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, he came to Hawaii and worked in the same position for the diocese until 1994. Father Ryan was incardinated into the Diocese of Honolulu in 1991 and has served at two Big Island parishes. He is now pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Kalihi.

1. Which person have you admired most in your life and why?
Mother Teresa, because of her love and commitment to the marginalized. What an example of living faith!

2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Christmas with my family. We have a close family and had wonderful times together. My grandmother had an old Irish tradition of taking a candle down to the church to get blessed. Then she would take it and go to every room in the house.

3. If you hadn’t become a priest, what would you have been?
A tour guide. I love to take people to interesting places. A group from our parish will be going to New York and Washington in March 2008.

4. What is your favorite book or author and why?
William Shakespeare because of his use of language and his insights into human nature. My favorite Shakespearean work is “King Lear” because it’s a really well-written story about someone growing old and the struggle it brings.

5. Where is the one place you have never been but always wanted to visit?
Egypt. I would love to see the pyramids and the ruins of such an ancient civilization.

6. What book are you reading now?
“Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light,” the letters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Our Catholic spiritual tradition is a corrective to the superficiality of modern religion. I am teaching a course this year on spiritual masters, with an emphasis on John of the Cross. Mother Teresa is one of the people we’ll discuss.

7. What is your favorite movie?
“The Mission” and “Romero.” “Romero,” about the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, was produced by a friend of mine and I had the honor of translating the Archbishop’s diary and working on the film.

8. What or who makes you laugh?
People in everyday situations in life. If you take life seriously you need to have a good sense of humor.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More pictures of Fr. Dan Moll

Mass in Chassell on Dec. 2, 2007

Thank you Kathy Recicar for sending these lovely photos!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Of Obligations and Rights

The Basic Obligation of all the Christian Faithful

Whether one is lay, religious or ordained, we all have a common basic duty and the right to pursue that duty: the spread of the Gospel in obedience to Jesus' command to "go and make disciples of all nations." (Mt. 28:19). This basic obligation is found in Canon 211 All the Christian faithful have the duty and right to work so that the divine message of salvation more and more reaches all people in every age and in every land. This canon captures the reason for the Church's existence and is at the heart of the mission and ministry of the priest. The vocation video title, Fishers of Men, is a powerful image in conveying the mission of the whole Church.

The Obligations and Rights of the Lay Christian Faithful

For the lay Christian, the focus is particularly on the fish who have not yet been caught! The lay faithful are also called upon to improve the general health of the sea in which the fish live. Canon 225 deals with this in two compelling paragraphs:

1. Since, like all the Christian faithful, lay persons are designated by God for the apostolate through baptism and confirmation, they are bound by the general obligation and possess the right as individuals, or joined in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation is made known and accepted by all persons everywhere in the world. This obligation is even more compelling in those circumstances in which only through them can people hear the gospel and know Christ.

2. According to each one's own condition, they are also bound by a particular duty to imbue and perfect the order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the gospel and thus to give witness to Christ, especially in carrying out these same affairs and in exercising secular function.

The lay person, whether a street cleaner, business person, attorney, housewife, or rancher, isbound to help every person on the face of the earth encounter the risen Lord and help transform the temporal society so that it reflects God's purposes and the dignity given each human by the Creator.

An important question the question that is behind this article is, "How will this happen without a proper formation that is, a formation that is suited to the complexity of temporal society and the tremendous variety of situations lay persons will encounter throughout their lives?" The code begins to answer that in canon 229. 1. Lay persons are bound by the obligation and possess the right to acquire knowledge of Christian doctrine appropriate to the capacity and condition of each in order for them to be able to live according to this doctrine, announce it themselves, defend it if necessary, and take their part in exercising the apostolate.

So a part of the formation of lay persons is an appropriate understanding of Christian doctrine. This ties in with the prophetic, or teaching, role of the priest in his ministry. But the understanding of Christian doctrine also is gained through the participation of the rituals that surround the sacraments. An appreciation for, and experiential knowledge of Christ is gained when we encounter his healing in the anointing of the sick and his power to forgive in reconciliation, for example. In the sacraments of vocation (Matrimony and Holy Orders), we experience his self-giving love and the call to lay down our lives for others (cf. John 15:13) But knowledge of Christian doctrine, whether through experience or proclamation and catechesis, is crucial if lay persons are to engage in the apostolate described in canon 225 above.

This is where Fishers of Men, (and each vocation website I examined in preparation for this article), is lacking. The priestly and, sometimes, the prophetic aspects of a cleric's life are considered, but without any real acknowledgment of that mission to the world in which the laity play such a crucial part. In other words, the royal ministry of the priest, which has to do primarily with equipping the laity for their mission to the world, is absent. Yet the successful engagement of that mission by the laity is a sign of the fruitfulness of the priest's sacramental and teaching ministries!

Source: Siena E-Scribe

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Meet Fr. Dan Moll, one of our new priests

Thank you Kathy Recicar for sending me these photos!

Kathy: "My friend Marian from Michigan, this is her son Fr. Dan, he was ordained in the U.P. - maybe you would like to post the pictures Fr. Dan's Ordination pictures."

Marian, Fr. Dan's mother: "Four of these young priests were ordained in June '07 and then my son is the newest priest."

"Yes, all the talk of a "priest shortage" really hit home for us, we are a huge parish, with 8 Masses on Sat. night and Sunday, and we found out one of our two priests will be reassigned, leaving Fr. Miguel alone to serve this huge parish. He just got there too, and has a difficult time with English. He is a very Holy priest and very loving, and also very overwhelmed! We must pray for vocations, seminarians, new priests, elderly priests, all our Priests, Bishops and Cardinals!!"

Please say Hail Mary for Fr. Dan and Fr. Miguel.
Thank you!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Third Sunday of Advent

This week we pray for ALL our beloved priests.

You are invited to offer all your prayers, works, joys,
sufferings all throughout the week for them.


Most Beloved and Most High Priest, Jesus Christ,
How happy you must be for our beloved priests
who continue the work you have begun.
Bless them with the choicest blessings
and comfort them with your abounding love.
Always with Mary, we pray,

About the picture, from Ed of In God's Company:
Easter, This painting of (Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament) was painted special for our son Fr. Ed by a Rhode Island artist named Anne Porter. She is a family friend and when Fr. Ed was at Immaculate Conception Seminary in New Jersey, he asked Anne if she was ever inspired to do so, would she paint a picture of the Blessed Mother for him. This is the picture she painted for him. There are 2 copies of this picture in Medjugorje. One was given to Father Jozo and the other to Patrick and Nancy Latta. Thought I would share this with you. Ed

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Message of Sr. Mary on Pray for our Priests

Message sent by
Steve Odo

Pray for Our Priests

My joy is beyond description to come to know [...] that the Vatican has raised up a campaign of prayer and reparation for priests through continuous Eucharistic adoration, self sacrifice [
Vatican Seeking Spiritual Moms for Priests]. The title has impressed me so much: "Vatican seeking spiritual moms for priests."

This message has coincided exactly with my personal meditation which I made during the feast of Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It filled me with so much joy to feel deeply in my heart that my consecration as a religious nun is, through God's grace, an Immaculate Conception because its fruits are through the action of the Holy Spirit.

The fact that the Vatican has raised this campaign gives me much courage to continue with my offering with a renewed spirit. [...] I am very happy to be a spiritual mother of God's priests and I'm ready to extend my offering to all the priests in the whole world regardless the sacrifices God will send to me. May it be for his glory and the sanctification of all his beloved priests.
Thank you and congratulations to the Vatican. May God give us holy priests.

Yours sincerely in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Sr. Mary

In prayer and guided by the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ Name, we go and make disciples of all nations.
Stephen Odo

Friday, December 14, 2007

Encouraging Collection for our Seminarians

Diocese initiates second collection for seminarians

Bishop Larry Silva has adding a new second parish collection, the first one of the year, for the education of local seminarians.
The collection will take place Jan. 12-13 at all Masses in the diocese.

The diocese has three seminarians.

The bishop announced the appeal on Dec. 4 in an e-mail message to diocesan leaders.

According to Bishop Silva, the extra collection was “recommended” by the presbyteral council, his priest advisors.

The diocese generally has 12 extra or “second” collections a year, one a month. The new seminarian collection means two January appeals. The other is a national collection for the Church in Latin America and Black and Indian Missions.

The seminarian collection is being coordinated by the diocesan Office of Vocations under the direction of Father Peter Dumag.

The office is hosting an evening gathering of prayer and reflection for those interested in the priesthood and religious life, 4-8 p.m., Dec. 15, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Honolulu. For information, call the vocations office at 585-3343 or e-mail Father Dumag at manao

Source: Hawaii Catholic Herald
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 (Archive on Friday, January 25, 2008)
Posted by pdownes Contributed by pdownes

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vatican Seeking Spiritual Moms for Priests...

This is so exciting and something we should all be able to do.

Vatican Seeking Spiritual Moms for Priests
And Dioceses Willing to Offer Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 11, 2007 ( The Vatican Congregation for the Clergy is looking for people willing to offer Eucharistic adoration for the priesthood and "consecrated feminine souls" ready to become spiritual mothers of priests.
A new Web site from that Vatican dicastery offers explanations and resources both for the campaign to begin Eucharistic adoration and for those who would like to be spiritual mothers of priests, following the example of the Virgin Mary... CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE.
© Innovative Media, Inc.
Reprinting ZENIT's articles requires written permission from the

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Let nothing trouble or afflict thee.
Am I not here, I who am thy Mother?
Thou art beneath my shadow and protection.
And am not Ilife and health?
In my lap art thou, and counted as mine.
What more dost thou need?
I shall show my tender clemency
for those who love and seek me,
for all who implore my protection,
who call on me in their labors and afflictions.
-Words of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Prayer for our Priests Today

Our Most Sweet Lady of Guadalupe,
we entrust to you our beloved priests.
Never let go of their hands
as you walk with them in their journey
to Christ
for with them are the hands of souls
desired by these most precious priests
to one day behold the face of your Son.
When their journey is too much to bear
embrace them with your loving arms
that knowing you are there,
their Mother of love and hope,
they will always be renewed
in their vocation.
How we praise and thank God for you, Mary,
Mother of all our priests!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Second Sunday of Advent - Praying for our Cardinals and Bishops

Wreath compliment of Esther.

This week is dedicated to all our cardinals, archbishops and bishops.
Our Eucharistic prayers, recitation of the rosary, works, joys and sacrifices this 2nd Sunday of Advent are offered for them...

Glory and praise to you, heavenly Father!
And to you, our Most High Priest, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!
We proclaim your greatness and everlasting love!
You have appointed our cardinals, archbishops and bishops
to carry out tasks so vital to our Most Beloved Catholic Church.
Remain in them, Father, just as you have in your Son, Jesus.
May all they do speak of their obedience
and faithfulness to the Magisterium.
All for your praise and honor, Most Holy Trinity!
And always with Mary, we pray.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Supporting our Pope

Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for:


General: That human society may be solicitous in the care of all those stricken with AIDS, especially children and women, and that the Church may make them feel the Lord's love.

Mission: That the incarnation of the Son of God, which the Church celebrates solemnly at Christmas, may help the peoples of the Asiatic Continent to recognize God's Envoy, the only Savior of the world, in Jesus.

Check out Fr. V's post to read Pope Benedict's newest encyclical.

Just added: A Deo et Rege's on our pope's newest enclyclical.

Monday, December 3, 2007

First Sunday of Advent - Pray for our Pope

Pope Benedict XVI

Thanks to Esther

I have been pondering over what would be an appropriate theme for this blog on this First Sunday of Advent. Praying for our Pope is what came to mind. Yes, he needs our prayers and support! This whole week is dedicated to offering prayers for him: Holy Mass, recitation of the rosary and sacrifices. We pray for strength of his mind, body and soul that he will continue with fervor to do the tasks handed to him by Christ himself who is our Most High

St. Peter, pray for Pope Benedict XVI!
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for Pope Benedict XVI!
All angels and saints, pray for Pope Benedict XVI!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Advice of a Father Whose Son is a Priest

If you have a child who is discerning religious vocation, this will be of interest to you.

Ed Sousa is the father of Rev. Edward Sousa. I asked this fine dad, former police officer, and fellow blogger what he did to encourage Ed Jr. in pursuit of his noble vocation. His response humbled me.

Dear Easter,

Thanks so much for writing. In answer to your question let me explain it this way.

Since our son Edward was a young boy he has had a deep devotion to Our Blessed Mother. He would faithfully pray for about a haft hour to an hour to her every day and he still does that now.

My wife Donna and I saw something special in Edward and because of this we would sometimes say to each other that maybe someday God will call him to be a priest. My wife and I, in our prayers would speak to God and we told him that if he wanted for our son to be a priest that it would be fine with us, and we consecrated Edward to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We said to God that he could have him and do with him what he pleased. That his will be done in him.

Then we supported Eddie with our prayers and then we just trusted in the Lord that he would lead him in the right direction in his life. We never told him to be a priest or did we ever ask him if he wanted to be a priest until he was about 26 years old. The only thing his mother said to him was if he ever thought of becoming a priest.

I think that we knew that God was calling him long before he ever realized it. But God had a plan for Eddie and called him when he knew the time was right.

God bless,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Catholic laity responsibilities

Catholic laity responsibilities:

"The Second Vatican Council Fathers, re-echoing the call of Christ, have summoned all lay faithful to labor in the vineyard."

"The world of massmedia represents a new frontier for the mission of the Church."
John Paul II, Vocation of the Laity

North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation (NACEPF)

NACEPF provides tuition free educational programming to all schools, public and private, on its College and School Network

Monday, November 26, 2007

St. John Vianney, pray for our priests and seminarians

St. John Vianney,
Patron Saint of Priests,
patron of this blog,
pray for our priests!
pray for our seminarians!

St. John Vianney,
appointed guardian and main intercessor of our priests,
with Mary our Mother,
we unite ourselves with you in constant prayer to God
for strength of mind, body and soul for all priests.
May our priests always be reminded of your dedication
to the priestly vocation, your fortitude,
your piety and hard work in bringing souls to
Christ, our Most High Priest.

In their moments of trials and temptation
Sweep them off their feet that ever so in love with you
They will embrace your love wholly and be renewed
With your joy and peace.

We pray in Jesus' name with Mary. Amen!

St. John Vianney, pray for all our priests!
St. John Vianney, pray for all our seminarians!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Tribute to All Our Priests

Always for Others
By Easter Almuena

You are the image and likeness of God
But with you the morning awakens
With the call to rise
Not for you
But always for others.

God handpicked you from a myriad of souls
Molded you since you were a babe
To prepare you for a journey
Not for you
But always for others.

God blessed you with wisdom
To use to give form to his plans
And love to carry them out
Not for you
But always for others.

Mary walks with you
Guiding and loving you
For to her you are a Christ
Not for you
But always for others.

You hold the Body of Christ
Embrace his name and proclaim it
And a father and counselor you have become
Not for you
But always for others.

God forever bless you
Walk and carry you when your feet are weary
Bring peace and joy to your heart
For though your life is never for you
It is Christ’s and he delights in you.

November 19, 2007
4:07 a.m.
All rights reserved.

It was such a joy to start this blog! One early morning, the Lord woke me and had me pounding on the keys to write this poem for his most beloved priests. Such love He has for them that he wants us to take more notice of them, to encourage them, pray for them, love them!