Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Looking Back: End of Year for Priests - II

Together with the whole Church we wanted to make clear once again that we have to ask God for this vocation. We have to beg for workers for God’s harvest, and this petition to God is, at the same time, his own way of knocking on the hearts of young people who consider themselves able to do what God considers them able to do. It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the "enemy"; he would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world. And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light – particularly the abuse of the little ones, in which the priesthood, whose task is to manifest God’s concern for our good, turns into its very opposite. We too insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again; and that in admitting men to priestly ministry and in their formation we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey, so that the Lord will protect them and watch over them in troubled situations and amid life’s dangers.

Had the Year for Priests been a glorification of our individual human performance, it would have been ruined by these events. But for us what happened was precisely the opposite: we grew in gratitude for God’s gift, a gift concealed in "earthen vessels" which ever anew, even amid human weakness, makes his love concretely present in this world. So let us look upon all that happened as a summons to purification, as a task which we bring to the future and which makes us acknowledge and love all the more the great gift we have received from God. In this way, his gift becomes a commitment to respond to God’s courage and humility by our own courage and our own humility. The word of God, which we have sung in the Entrance Antiphon of today’s liturgy, can speak to us, at this hour, of what it means to become and to be a priest: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29).

-Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Looking back: End of Year for Priests - I

Fr. John Berger
Rector, Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu

The priest is not a mere office-holder, like those which every society needs in order to carry out certain functions. Instead, he does something which no human being can do of his own power: in Christ’s name he speaks the words which absolve us of our sins and in this way he changes, starting with God, our entire life. Over the offerings of bread and wine he speaks Christ’s words of thanksgiving, which are words of transubstantiation – words which make Christ himself present, the Risen One, his Body and Blood – words which thus transform the elements of the world, which open the world to God and unite it to him.

The priesthood, then, is not simply "office" but sacrament: God makes use of us poor men in order to be, through us, present to all men and women, and to act on their behalf. This audacity of God who entrusts himself to human beings – who, conscious of our weaknesses, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in his stead – this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word "priesthood". That God thinks that we are capable of this; that in this way he calls men to his service and thus from within binds himself to them: this is what we wanted to reflect upon and appreciate anew over the course of the past year. We wanted to reawaken our joy at how close God is to us, and our gratitude for the fact that he entrusts himself to our infirmities; that he guides and sustains us daily. In this way we also wanted to demonstrate once again to young people that this vocation, this fellowship of service for God and with God, does exist – and that God is indeed waiting for us to say "yes".

-Pope Benedict XVI, at the papal Mass on the feast of the Sacred Heart that marked the end of the Year for Priests.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why do People Faint in Church?

Msgr. Charles Pope, 2008

(a picture of him that I can relate to)

Msgr. Charles Pope summarizes for us reasons why people faint in church. I love how he put this article together! Find out why he wrote this article and read all the way to the bottom to embrace the goodness of God in this type of situation.

I recall as a child fainting in church -- a number of times. Quite embarassing! But maybe, if I had read a similar article back then, I'd have an entirely different feeling and approach to fainting. I also thought that this article was timely because I did a post yesterday about one of our priests, Fr. Dennis Koshko, at the Diocese of Honolulu Spiritual Mothers Apostolate blog; he almost collapsed while saying Mass. I do have a better understanding of what happened to him.

Msgr. Pope leaves us in his article a funny video to watch. Don't miss it!

Mahalo, Msgr. Charles Pope!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Local: Fr. Marvin at the 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!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Renew All Things in Christ

Pope: Renew All Things in Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI recalled Pope Pius X during his weekly general audience on Wednesday.
Source: Pope YouTube

He said St. Pius X taught us all that the basis of our apostolic activity in the various fields in which we operate, must always be an intimate personal union with Christ, which grows and increases day by day.

The Pope mentioned the motto of the saint's pontificate, "To Renew All Things in ChristChrist", and pointed out the early years of his tenure were dedicated to the reorganization of the Roman Curia and the drafting of the Code of Canon Law.

Pius X also promoted the reform of the studies for the training of future priests, and the work towards a single catechism. Pope Benedict also mentioned Pius X's dedic ... Pope Benedict XVI recalled Pope Pius X during his weekly general audience on Wednesday.

He said St. Pius X taught us all that the basis of our apostolic activity in the various fields in which we operate, must always be an intimate personal union with Christ, which grows and increases day by day...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Local priest to speak at 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!

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: http://www.hccrs.net/, 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 because 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

Go Light Your Candle

Now that I have Feedjit on my two major blogs I am able to see what posts are most visited by people from different parts of the world. This gives me an idea of what I can work on. I have been blogging for many years now, so it's become more challenging just to think of what to share in the blogosphere. For this reason, and my being back to school mainly, my posts have become sparse.

Anyway, today, I share with you a video that was recently visited. I dedicate it to all our priests and seminarians. Go light your world! Wherever God takes you or where he has planted you, light that world!

For the rest of us, let us help our priests and seminarians continue to light their candles -- that the light may not be extinguished, but remain as bright as the Son's that brought much illumination to the world when he once was one of its many pilgrims.

Let us continue to pray for our priests and seminarians, and for an increase in vocations to the church. God bless our priests and seminarians!

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

A Tribute to Fr. Benedict Groeschel

You must have seen the video below, but it's quite alright. We all need to be reminded of our priests' accomplishments - more than a few imperfections that media has spotlighted. The world will always remember the bad, but almost hardly the good. We who understand and know that many, many deeds have been performed by many, many priests, should echo to the world that goodness abounds - because of what our priests do, or have done.

We praise and thank God for having given us a good priest who has accomplished much that we may know, receive, and understand much.

Thank you, Fr. Benedict Groeschel!