Thursday, January 31, 2008

St. Augustine and Pope Benedict

"The harmony between faith and reason means above all that God
is not far away; he is not far from our reasoning or from our
lives; he is close to every human being, close to our hearts
and close to our reason if we truly follow his path.

"It is precisely this closeness of God to man that
Augustine experienced with extraordinary force."

"The presence of God in man is deep and at the same time
mysterious," said the Holy Father. "Distance from God
means distance from oneself."

"Because Augustine personally experienced this intellectual
and spiritual journey, he managed to convey it in his writings
with immediacy, depth and wisdom," said the Pontiff.

"A man who is distant from God is also distant from himself,
estranged from himself, he can find himself only by
meeting God," said Benedict XVI. "This path leads to himself,
to his true self and identity."

"So Augustine found God and throughout his
life experienced God to the point that this reality --
which was above all an encounter with a person, Jesus Christ --
changed his life, just as it changed the lives of so many men
and women who have had the grace to meet him."
-Pope Benedict
Zenit, 1/30/08

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Here is a letter from a dying priest, and is originally posted by John Michael over at "St. Robert Bellarmine: Contraversies and Secrets..." Thank you, John Michael!

Let us pray that God will embrace Fr. Ed with God's loving arms, forgive all his sins, and bring him home to where everlasting life awaits him. God be praised!

From Fr. Ed --

Here's an update on my health status.

A week ago Friday I met with my oncologist, Judy and some family members and prayerfully discerned to stop treatment. It wasn't very hard to make based on the options that I have. Anything aggressive is a long shot and some of it involves surgery with a high risk of infection with my weak body. Praying about the decision came through loud and clear to stop treatment.

I am at peace with that.

We even talked about hospice care at the appropriate time. Some tears were shed and it was nice to have family members there to share it together. Last week I visited my homeopathic doctor and he informed me that a body flooded with biliruben and a weakening liver can die in a matter of weeks but that it is a peaceful, pretty well painless way to die. That was a shock to hear that the illness could break the body totally down so rapidly.

All I can say is that for the past three and a half weeks my energy, appetite, general overall feeling has been constant--no regression and no progress. I would guess that without a miracle we’re talking about months rather than weeks. I began hospice care this week and that comes with some good benefits of paying for all of my prescriptions and reimburses me for ointments that help with the itching. I also get a massage each week.

I'm saying that on the scale of balance of going home soon or remaining here to continue ministry for a while, all of the facts tip the scale on the side of going home sooner rather than later. On the other side is the power of prayer which cannot be measured. I continue to ask Luminosa Bavosi to intercede for me and I feel her presence a lot.

As I say, I am at peace. Each day I have my bags packed for going home (heaven) and my brief case packed for doing the ministry of the day. I can’t think of anything more to put in the bag to go home. My brief case has about two appointments a day and a big reminder that . . .


Thanks for your unity and prayers, and love. I lean on them a lot.

Fr. Ed

P.S. Thanks for your prayers of intercession with Our Lady of Guadalupe and the praying of the Psalms.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Local seminarian list growing!

Here's the list of Hawaii's diocesan seminarians:
1. Anthony Rapozo
2. Jason Nunez
3. David Soares
4. Jon Cabico
5. EJ Resinto
6. Andrew Northrop
7. Brother Marvin Bearis

Glory and parise be to our Most Higt Priest, Jesus Christ! And how we thank Mary, Blesseds Damien and Marianne for their intercession. Their prayers are bearing fruits! So are the prayers of the laity! Our list is growing!

Many of our churches are praying the Diocesan Vocations Prayer after each Mass on Saturdays and Sundays. St. Elizabeth's Church has started doing this recently. What a wonderful way to pray for vocations! Praying this prayer as One Body in Christ strenghtens all the more the already growing need for more young people to join the religious life.

God be praised! We continue to pray for our seminarians and priests...

Hawaii Diocesan Prayer for Vocations (found on CT's sidebar)

Heavenly Father,
Your divine Son taught us to pray
to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers
into His vineyard.
We earnestly beg you to bless our Diocese
and our world with many priests and religious
who will love you fervently and
gladly and courageously spend their lives
in service to your Son's Church,
especially the poor and the needy.
Bless our families and our children,
and choose from our homes those whom
you desire for this holy work.
Teach them to respond generously
and keep them ever faithful
in following your Son Jesus Christ,
that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit
and with the inspiration ofBlessed Damien
and Blessed Marianne,
the Good News of redemption may be
brought to all.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

More on Hawaii's Bishop

Governor Linda Lingle and Bishop Larry Silva
Picture from
Hawaii Catholic Herald

So here is our bishop again.
This was taken right after Red Mass at the cathedral
and unexpectedly said Mass there again on Sunday
to encourage everyone to attend the March for Life
and Ecumenical Evening Prayer.

Here is a picture taken during the Ecumenical Evening Prayer held on Thursday, Januuary 24, in observance of Christian Unity.

This important event put together by one of our local priests, Fr. William Kunisch, was attended by some local priests, bishops and priests from denominational churches. The main speaker of the event was Bishop Murray Finck, of the Pacifica Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

The cathedral choir led by our Choir Director, Calvin Keoni Liu,
sang that evening. Cantor was Alika Cullen.

Fellowship followed the prayer at the new building of the cathedral. It was a joyful time to get to know some people and reconnect with active parishioners who give so much of their time to serving Christ in the diocese or their own respective parishes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bishop of the Diocese of Honolulu

Bishop Larry Silva

For many months we clamored for Vatican
to give us a bishop. The day the word got out
that we were getting one was a day of rejoicing
for the people of Hawaii. The time of waiting
was worth it. That was more than 3 years ago now.

Right here is our bishop who loves God above all,
his church and his people.

I just heard today from a friend that
at 5 am in the morning, he suddenly appeared
at a gathering of people getting ready for Mass.
At the cathedral, every chance he gets,
he comes unannounced to say Mass.

He travels quite often to the other islands,
tirelessly doing the best he can to support
the 65 parishes delegated to his care.

Please say a prayer for him
and for your bishop, too!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We pray for Christian Unity

Our Father in Heaven,
we pray for the unityof all humankind
in one flock, and under one shepherd...

May they all be one
As you, Father,
in me and I in you.

O God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant us the grace
to take to heart the scandal of our divisions. Deliver us
from all hatred and prejudice, and from all that hinders unity.
As there is but one Body and one Spirit,
one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism,
one God and Father of all,
so may we also be of one heart
and one soul,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Save us, O Lord, our God,
and gather us from among
the nations.
that we may give thanks
to your holy name,
and may glory in
praising you.

Let us pray: Be mindful of your Church, O Lord.
Deliver her from all evil,
and perfect her in your love.
As the grain is scattered
on the hillside
and is gathered up to become
one bread,
so let all your children
be gathered up from the ends
of the earth
into your kingdom.

For yours is the power
and the glory,
through Christ Jesus forever.
-Sr. Patricia Proctor

Monday, January 21, 2008

Christian Unity

21-January-2008 -- Catholic News Agency

Sunday Angelus: Never Grow Tired of Praying for Christian Unity

Vatican City, Jan 20, 2008 (CNA).- After greeting a throng of some 200,000 people who came to St. Peter’s Square to prayerfully support Pope Benedict, the Holy Father turned to the subject of his Angelus address, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Pope exhorted the faithful in his reflections to “never grow tired of praying for unity among Christians!”

During this week of prayer, Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants, "implore the Lord together, in a more intense way, for the gift of communion," the Pontiff reminded the faithful.

The Pope acknowledged the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement, the "spiritual sons and daughters" of Fr. Paul Wattson, who began the initiative 100 years ago and who was dedicated entirely to the work of healing divisions between Christians.

This year's theme for the week of prayer for Christian unity, "Pray always," is a "biblical theme that is dense with significance."

The Holy Father said, "With this appeal, St Paul wanted to make it understood that new life in Christ and in the Holy Spirit brings the capacity to overcome selfishness, to live together in peace and fraternal unity, and to bear willingly the sufferings of others. We must never grow tired of praying for unity among Christians!"

He continued, "When at the last supper, Jesus prayed that "they all might be one", he had in mind the precise end, "that the world believe." The evangelical mission of the Church is thus an ecumenical walk, a journey of unity in faith, in evangelical witness and authentic fraternity."

Concluding his Angelus reflection, the Pope invited everyone to participate in solemn Vespers on January 25, the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, at the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Youth and religious vocation here on our island

Rainbow Park, Big Island
Picture by Me :-)

I am so happy about this new venture that Hawaii Catholic Herald is undertaking. It caters to young adults ages 18-35. Too bad, I don't qualify anymore. :-) It sounds really exciting! Our young can ask for advice from our model couple, Mason and Teo Matsuda. I have met this wonderful couple through the BCC retreat my husband and I attended the other year. They are both very talented, so energetic that even though they are now in their 40's they can still relate to our young. I recall them presenting a thought provoking skit at one of the retreats last year. It surely made me cry. The message was love. Love now before it is too late! God be praised!

Take a peak: Mana'olana.

This page also encourages supporting our priests and the religious and encourages the young to consider for themselves a religious vocation.
Here are the 5 suggestions of Fr. Peter Dumag,
Hawaii's Director of Vocations for National Vocations Week
(or any week!):
1. Pray for priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers
2. Send a thank you card to a priest or consecrated person
3. Invite one of them to dinner
4. Pray for more vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life
5. Consider a religious vocation for yourself!

Call him at 585-3355 for more information

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

From Fr. Don's Vocation Blog

Let us include these two postulants in our prayers...

Nathan Ribar

Andrew Wood

This is from Father Don's Vocation Blog:

Fr. Don Miller shares his views and observations about travel and vocation experiences in his personal web log. He welcomes your comments and reflections in this informal—and we hope, thought-provoking—conversation.

"Come and See" Weekend
Nathan Ribar from Monroeville, PA (left) and Andrew Wood of Columbus, OH (right) joined our community this weekend of a Come and See. Nathan had a bit of a traumatic trip here traveling by bus. It seems a suspicious package was discovered and the bus was pulled over in Cambridge, OH for over four hours. Andrew was good enough to wait change his plans and meet Nathan at the bus depot to get him here for the weekend. They arrived late, but all went well once they arrived.

It was good having these two men with us. The Postulants had just returned Friday from their retreat at Gethsemane in KY. (I am waiting for some photos from that event to post on this blog.) They were happy to welcome others who are discerning a vocation with us.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wonderful pics from Antarctica

Padre Sandosyn celebrando (un poco fresco).
Fr. Sandosyn celebrating - a little bit chilly!

Iglesia en continente Blanco (Church of the White Continent)

These photos are from Kathy Recicar.
They were sent to her by her friend in Argentina.

I could only praise God for such dedication
Fr. Sandosyn has for the Eucharist!
May our Lord shower upon him
blessings of joy, strength and peace
as he ministers to our brothers and sisters
in the coldest parts of Argentina!

A bit of history on Argentina

Full country name: Rep├║blica Argentina

Area: 2.77 million sq km
Population: 37.81 million
Capital City: Buenos Aires
People: 85% European descent, 15% mestizo, Indian and other minorities
Language: Quechua, Guarani, Araucanian, Spanish
Religion: 93% Roman Catholic, 2.5% Protestant, 2% Jewish, 1.5% Ukranian Catholic, 1% Armenian Orthodox
Government: republic
Country Profile

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing these lovely photos
with us!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Priest's Appeal to Pray for All Priests

Once again, this is from Ed of In God's Company .

A priest is not born of an angel but of a mother. He is chosen from amongst the people, is annointed with the Sacrament of Priesthood and returned back to the people, to the Church – into their care, their prayer and their love. The priest is a sign of the omnipotence of our God.

Pray for priests. Love them. Support them. Help them to be holy. We are weak and fragile. If your knees are not bent in prayer for us, we stumble and fall. We need your prayer.

• Fr Jozo Zovko OFM

What a lovely sight to behold! A joyful bunch of seminarians at Ed's blog!

My deepest thanks to you again, Ed! God bless you abundantly!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Seven Reasons to be a Priest

St. Jose Maria Escriva

Seven Reasons to be a Priest

First: The World Needs Heroes

Second: To Make Christ Present to More People.

Third: To Forgive Sins.

Fourth: To Be a Living Icon of Christ.

Fifth: To Be Like Mary.

Sixth: To Preach and Teach.

Seventh: To Expand Your Family.

Read more about this at National Catholic Register.

Though Esther had already posted this on her blog, I am posting this on mine to raise greater awareness in all of us of the need to be more passionate about supporting our Catholic Church in its efforts to produce more priests. I, for one, need to be constantly reminded of this noble endeavor. It is my prayer that we also remember with love and compassion, our seminarians who have given their life to Christ in the hope that one day, they will join the family of priests whom God loves so dearly.

Esther and I are thankful for all your prayers and support for our priests and seminarians!

God bless you all abundantly!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Support our local seminarians

Special prayers for seminarians of Hawaii, from Fr. Secor:

Jon Cabico is finishing his second year of theology in Wash D.C. He is from Pearl City-OLGC parish.

Anthony Rapozo is in his first year of theology at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, CA.

David Soares, from St. Joseph's Hilo, was just accepted for college studies at Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon (where E.J. will be).

Jason Nunez, from Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, is in his first year of college seminary at Mt. Angel.

Added: EJ Resinto Mount Angel Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and I report there January 6, 2008

Also: Marvin Bearis. O.F.M.


All catholic churches in the diocese of Honolulu will have a special collection for the education of our local seminarians this Saturday and Sunday, January 12-13. Please give generously.

Please pray for these young men that God will continue to give them the wisdom and strength they need to nurture the calling, and that all parishioners will give generously for their education.


Monday, January 7, 2008

A Tribute to Jeremy Gray

Jeremy Gray died while in training for the priesthood.

A Kiwi priest has died a hero after sacrificing his life for a 7-year-old boy drowning off the coast of New Caledonia.

Jeremy Gray, 29, was walking in shallow water with the boy while on a New Year's church picnic celebration, when the pair fell into a hole in a coastal reef at Yate, near Noumea.

Neither of them saw the hole because the water was muddied by the recent rainy season floods. They were trapped by the swirling seas.

Gray managed to push the boy out of the deep water and back into the shallows and, despite being tired from his efforts, refused to take the youngster's outstretched hand.

"Jeremy shouted 'go back, go back'. He knew he would pull the small boy back into the water and they would both die," said Father Bernard Girol, one of those at the picnic.

"He used all his energy to save the boy and he got tired. It was Jeremy who saved his life."

The 7-year-old ran to get help and returned with his father, who dived into the rough water to rescue the unconscious Gray, but it was too late.

"Jeremy was already gone, and the boy's father almost drowned too; he got caught in the whirlpool as well," Father Girol said.
Other rescuers pulled both Gray and the 27-year-old father out - but the trainee priest was dead.

The father was taken to hospital in a serious condition, but has since been released, and his son was treated for shock.

Yesterday Jeremy's mother Allayne Gray paid tribute to her only child, who she said was a wonderful young man who loved people and his faith.

"I know he touched the lives of many people who knew him and loved him."

Father Brian Cummings, vicar of the New Zealand Society of Mary, said Gray died "doing an amazing thing".

Gray had been in New Caledonia for one year, on a two-year pastoral placement as part of his priesthood training for the Catholic Church, working in the local parish.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman confirmed Gray had died as a result of a drowning accident. His body is expected to return to New Zealand today.

During his training in Auckland, the Waimate-born Gray wrote on the Marist seminary website that he felt called to priesthood in 1996 and began formal studies three years later.

"At the moment, I feel grateful that He has called me to Marist life, and am happy to try and abandon myself more and more to Him," Gray wrote on the website.

A memorial service for Gray was held in New Caledonia yesterday with more than 1000 locals attending. Mourners spilled out on to the streets from the St Louis Mission, which has room for only 500 people.

"Many came to pay tribute. The whole church was full, the whole community. Jeremy really touched the hearts of the people. He was a popular guy, very kind," Father Girol said.

Another service will remember Jeremy Gray in Auckland today and his funeral will be held in Christchurch on Tuesday.

A young man fishing from the rocks fell 15m to his death after plummeting off a cliff and into the water off the Taranaki coastline yesterday.

Rescuers searched for the man by boat and by climbing down the cliff.

Police eventually recovered the floating body in the water off Wai-iti Beach, north of New Plymouth.

Police have yet to formally identify the man, who was with a friend, but believed he was in his mid-20s.


Twelve years ago, Jeremy Gray chose a life of devotion to God. In a diary posted on the Marist Seminary website, the 29-year-old explains the path which led him to spend two years of his life serving the Catholic Church in New Caledonia before he was tragically killed.

It reads: "My name is Jeremy Gray and I am a student here at Marist Seminary, Auckland, New Zealand. My hometown is Waimate in South Canterbury.

"My journey began in 1996. During that year I felt a deep call to the priesthood, a call that came quite explicitly through Mary. ... I applied to study for the Diocese of Christchurch, and so having already lived there the year before, in 1999 I began formational studies at Good Shepherd House, a pre-seminary in Christchurch.

"In 2000 I continued my studies at Holy Cross Seminary, Ponsonby. Towards the end of that year, I discerned something of God's personal vocation for me: how He was calling me to live the Gospel in a way unique to my person. ... Things started to resound deeply in my heart: I wanted to live in the Spirit of Mary, in a Society that was under her name, a Society that seeks to make her present in the Church today, as she was at Pentecost. So, after three years studying to be a diocesan priest, here I am discerning my vocation more deeply.

"At the moment, I feel grateful that He has called me to Marist Life, and am happy to try and abandon myself more and more to Him."

- Jerome Gavelle

My deepest thanks to Ed Sousa for his prayers and deep love for our priests and seminarians. God bless you and your family!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Thank you

Thank you to those who prayed for Fr. Daren last week. I was glad to hear that he was feeling better towards the end of the week. I must say, it is amazing to see quite a few bloggers visit his blog. Those words of love and encouragement, no doubt, brightened his heart (right, Fr. Daren? :-) ). Let us continue to pray for him, also for his bishop, and all the priests in his diocese.

Mary, pray for the priests of your Son!

God bless you all abundantly!