Thursday, July 23, 2009

Priest's Last Words: "I Forgive You"

The last words of Father Mariano Arroyo Merino expressed his forgiveness for the would-be robbers who knifed and burned him.

The Spanish priest, 74, was murdered July 13 at his parish of Our Lady of Regla, in Havana, Cuba. Father Arroyo was the second Spanish priest to be assassinated in Cuba in less than a year. Father Eduardo de la Fuente Serrano, 59, was killed Feb. 14.
Zenit Article

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blessings of a Catholic Home

Holy Family by Juan Simon Gutierrez
Painting by Juan Simon Gutierrez

May God's blessing descend abundantly upon this house and upon all who dwell in it. May the grace of the Holy Spirit sanctify everyone.

May The Name in which all is safe, the sweet and Most Holy Name of Jesus, grant happiness and blessing in full measure to this house, and everything within it.

May the Most Blessed Virgin Mother of God, Mary, with motherly concern, look after all, and preserve all from any bodily or spiritual evil.

May the powerful prayers of the worthy St. Joseph obtain a prosperous issue to our undertakings and abundant merit from all our sufferings.

May the holy guardian angels protect all in this house from persecutions of the devil, and one day lead us to our heavenly fatherland.

May the blessing of Almighty God, The + Father, The + SON and the Holy Spirit + descend upon us and remain with us always.


Thanks to Sue of Half the Kingdom

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YEAR FOR PRIESTS - Catholic Hawaii - Mass on St. John Vianney's Feast Day

St. John Vianney

The following is from Serra Club of Honolulu

150th Anniversary of the Feast Day of St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Priests.
To my active Catholic friends and lay leaders,
The following is self explanatory. Please Mark your calendars to join us... you may like to email me back your spiritual bouquet and pledges and also collect more pledges from your parish / lay ministries for Year For Priests.

As each of us is "King, prophet and priest" we need to initiate and be active for the Body of Christ. Serra Club of Honolulu recognizes that we are all busy people and yet our synergy for our Church leaders will help to strengthen us for the work we have to do in spreading the gospel.

Thank you in advance.
Lleander Jung
Serra Club of Honolulu

Web link A
Introduction to Indulgences

Web link B
Special Indulgence for the Year for Priests, Decree, Apostolic Penitentiary

All Catholics (both laity, consecrated clergy and religious) are invited to a Celebration of the Year For Priests as declared by Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI beginning June 19 2009 to June 19, 2010.

We would like to begin by inviting as many priests and laity as possible to take advantage of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI offer of Plenary Indulgences for the 150th Anniversary of the Feast Day of St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Priests.

On Aug. 4th, Plenary Indulgences will be given to the laity for prayerful participation at Holy Mass, Confessions and devout prayers & good works in accordance with the intentions of the pontiff.

Plenary Indulgences will also be given to priests who will offer Holy Mass, avail themselves to sacramental confessions of the faithful, recite the Lauds or Vespers before the Blessed Sacrament exposed or replaced in the tabernacle

This invitation is to all priests and the faithful to come together in prayerful celebration of the Year For Priests.

PLACE ~ Blessed Sacrament Church
2124 Pauoa Rd Honolulu, HI 96813-1568
DATE ~ Tuesday, August 4 th, 2009 Feast of St. John Vianney
TIME ~ 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (Adoration & Benediction, Prayers for Priests, Sacramental Confession. Confessors welcomed)
~ 6:30 p.m. Holy Mass (Main Celebrant Fr. Peter Dumag) Concelebrants welcomed.
~ Social and Refreshments after mass.

Spiritual Bouquet ~ We are inviting you to make a list of masses, rosaries, and other devotions offered for priests for this year. You may present your spiritual bouquet for priests and seminarians who will be present at this event.

Partial Indulgence is granted to all the faithful within this year every time they devoutly recite five Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glorias, or another expressly approved prayer, in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to obtain that priests be preserved in purity and holiness of life.

We encourage all active lay ministries to participate. Please contact Lleander Jung by email

Serra Club of Honolulu encourage all parishes to celebrate Priesthood Sunday on October 30th with your own activities. Our Mission is to foster, affirm and promote vocations to ministry in the Catholic Church. Please enquire about joining us and also visit the website

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Novena to Abba Father Starts on July 24th

God Our Father

I received the following email from a friend. Yesterday, I posted about local Catholic events to honor God our Father. In Paterson, NJ, St. Stephen's parish as a whole is also doing the novena in honor of God our Father and it will end with a celebration Mass on the Feast Day.

The novena is shared below.
Dear Friends,

On the 24th of July 2009 we begin the Novena in honour of our Loving Heavenly Father Abba, in preparation for His Feast on the 2nd of August 2009

Is there any way in which we could ever totally thank Our Father in heaven for His immense love and mercy and the abundant graces and blessings He pours out on each one of us every day of our lives ???? NO, but we could try !!!!!! The best way in which we could express our gratitude and reciprocate in some way the love of our Creator would be to honour Him on His feast day. Everyone has a birthday, a feast day, an anniversary, a special memorable occasion, but our Abba has just one day - the 1st Sunday of August which He has set apart as His Feast day.

Let us then prepare for this great Feast of our Heavenly Father by making a Novena in His honour and surrendering ourselves to Him totally and unconditionally, and by allowing Him to work in us, with us and through us, to spread His message of love, peace and joy. Please make this novena with your family members and let Him be the Lord of your homes Who guides our minds, hearts, and lives as we surrender our will into His Loving Hands.

God bless U and your families,

Novena to God the Father
God, my heavenly Father, I adore You, and I count myself as nothing before Your Divine Majesty. You alone are Being, Life, Truth, and Goodness. Helpless and unworthy as i am, I honor You, I praise You, I thank You, and I love You in union with Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Savior and our Brother, in the merciful kindness of His Heart and through His infinite merits.

I desire to serve You, to please You, to obey You, and to love You always in union with Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our Mother. I also desire to love and serve my neighbor for the love of You.

Heavenly Father, thank You for making me Your child in Baptism. With childlike confidence I ask You for this special favor: (Mention your request)

I ask that Your Will may be done. Give me what You know to be best for my soul, and for the souls of those for whom I pray.

Give me Your Holy Spirit to enlighten me, to correct me, and to guide me in the way of Your commandments and holiness, while I strive for the happiness of heaven where I hope to glorify You forever. Amen

Novena Source

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Year for Priests - Parish Priest's Prayer to Mary Most Holy

Year for Priests
A prayer found in the English edition of L'Osservatore Romano for the current Year of the Priest, 2009i-2010.

Brother John Samaha, S.M
O Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen,
Mother of the Church, a priestly people (I Pt 2,9),
Mother of priests, ministers of your Son:
accept the humble offering of myself,
so that in my pastoral mission
the infinite mercy of the Eternal High Priest
may be proclaimed:
O "Mother of Mercy."

You who share the "priestly obedience" (Heb 10,5-7; Lk 1,38), of your Son,
and who prepared for him a worthy receptacle
by the anointing of the Holy Spirit,
keep my priestly life in the ineffable mystery
of your divine maternity,
"Holy Mother of God."

Grant me strength in the dark hours of this life,
support me in the exertions of my ministry
entrust me to Jesus,
so that, in communion with you,
I may fulfill the ministry with fidelity and love,
O Mother of the Eternal Priest,
"Queen of Apostles and Help of Priests."

Make me faithful to the flock
entrusted to me by the Good Shepherd.
You silently accompanied Jesus
on his mission to proclaim
the Gospel to the poor.

May I always guide it with patience, sweetness,
firmness and love, caring for the sick, the weak,
the poor, and sinners,
O "Mother, Help of the Christian People."

I consecrate and entrust myself to you, Mary,
who shared in the work of redemption
at the Cross of your Son,
you who "are inseparably linked to the work of salvation."
Grant that in the exercise of my ministry
I may always be aware of the "stupendous and penetrating dimension
of your maternal presence,"
in every moment of my life, in prayer, and action,
in joy and sorrow, in weariness and in rest,
O "Mother of Trust."

Grant, Holy Mother, that in the celebration of the Mass,
source and center of the priestly ministry,
I may live my closeness to him,
so that as "we celebrate the Holy Mass you will be present with us"
and introduce us to the redemptive mystery of your divine Son's offering.
"O Mediatrix of all grace flowing from this sacrifice to the Church
and to all the faithful,"
O "Mother of Our Savior."

O Mary: I earnestly desire to place my person
and my desire for holiness
under your maternal protection and inspiration
so that you may bring me to that "conformation with Christ, Head and Shepherd"
which is necessary for the ministry of every parish priest.
Make me aware
that "you are always close to priests"
in your mission of servant
of the One Mediator, Jesus Christ:
O "Mother of Priests,"
"Benefactress and Mediatrix" of all graces.

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Catechesis by Rosary

Holy RosaryPicture Source


Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

Consider the rosary as a catechetical tool. This thought arises from many bishops and lay catechists and all the religious and lay educator groups in between.

Religious educators and parents often comment that many today – youth and adults – are lacking in Christian formation. A certain religious illiteracy has infiltrated the family, school, and society in general. Children especially lack a strong basic understanding of fundamentals of our faith and of how to pray. The challenge is clear for catechists at all age levels. In addition, we must remember that faith and virtue are caught more than taught. We must model what we teach. We must echo Christ; resound faith, hope, and charity by walking the talk.

Catechists and parents often seek new methods, programs, and books of religious instruction, and we are at a loss for knowing any. But one sure-fired and time-tested method is centuries old, tried and true, and easy to handle – the rosary.

If youngsters and adults learn the rosary, they are learning the basics of the Christian faith as well as learning how to pray. They would know from memory the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be – the latter three lifted literally from the Gospel. By praying the rosary they would be reviewing the fundamental truths handed on by Jesus and practicing the art of praying. By teaching the rosary we help others to learn that prayer is simple, Biblical, done in union with our Mother Mary, and leads us to become absorbed in the mysteries of the life of Christ and of salvation history.

To know how to pray the twenty mysteries of the rosary means that we know the basics about the life of Jesus and his teachings – his life, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension; the meaning of Jesus’ Incarnation and Redemption. This challenges us to ponder what these mysteries mean for us today. In reality the rosary is a compendium of the Gospel; it is the Gospel strung on beads.

The rosary is not a panacea; it does not solve all the challenges of catechesis and faith formation. But it is one effective catechetical tool for teaching and praying. In the past noted saints and teachers have utilized it successfully. It worked for St. Dominic and his companions in combating the Albigensian heresy in his day.

Let’s try again.
Used with permission.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Silent Sermon

St. Francis and the Crucified Christ

Thank you Fr. Vince I.

Sometimes, the best sermon is a silent sermon. St. Francis reminds us: Preach the Gospel, sometimes use words.

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” -Saint Francis

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, suddenly stopped coming to church. After a few weeks, the Pastor decided to visit.

The Pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.

Guessing the reason for his Pastor's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the Pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone.

Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember's flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and lifeless. The Pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave, he slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the Pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday."

We live in a world today which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

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No Greater Love

The Crucifixion

Thank you Fr. Vince I. for sharing.
There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her, 'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying:
'Take good care of your eyes, my dear for before they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

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Year for Priests Logo

Please Pray for Priests

Dear Lord,
we pray that the Blessed Mother
wrap her mantle around your priests
and through her intercession
strengthen them for their ministry.
We pray that Mary will guide your priests
to follow her own words,
“Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).
May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph,
Mary’s most chaste spouse.
May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart
inspire them to embrace
all who suffer at the foot of the cross.
May your priests be holy,
filled with the fire of your love
seeking nothing but your greater glory
and the salvation of souls.

Saint Jean Vianney, pray for us.


The laity can gain a plenary indulgence by doing the following on the opening day of the Year of Priests, the closing day of the Year of Priests, on the 150th Anniversary of the death of Saint John Vianney (August 4th, 2009), and on the first Thursday of each month (and other days if the local ordinary has established them):

1) Devotedly attend Mass and offer prayers to Christ the High Priest for the priests of the Church or perform any good work to sanctify and mold priests to the Sacred Heart of Jesus 2) Receive Holy Communion

3) Offer one Our Father and one Hail Mary for the intentions of the Holy Father

4) Make a sacramental confession within a week of the day of seeking to obtain a plenary indulgence

5) Be completely detached from all sin, even venial sin.

This is also a great opportunity for the laity to offer these indulgences for the deceased priests of their diocese who are suffering the most in purgatory, as well as an opportunity to spiritually support the priests of their parish and diocese, those both living and deceased.

THE ROMAN SACRISTAN —Friday, June 19, 2009
Thanks to Our Lady of Fatima Rosary Calendar for the above information.

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Patriotic Rosary

God bless America

I received this email from Brother John Samaha who in turn received it from a 101-year-old Marianist Brother Francis A Deibel:
Please consider praying this Patriotic Rosary for the United States of America. There are fifty states in the USA - and fifty Hail Mary's on the big loop of beads - so let each bead be a Hail Mary for one of the states. Fifty beads and Fifty states. Just like the beads would all fall on the floor and be scattered without the one loop holding them together - so it is with the US - without prayer and without God holding us together we too will split and fall apart and be scattered. May God save us.
Purgatory Project

Patriotic Rosary

Come Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Divine Love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. Oh God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructed the hearts of the faithful, Grant, that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

The Apostle's Creed - For the Conversion of our Nation’s Capital

One Our Father - For the Holy Father

Three Hail Mary's - For Bishops, Priests, Religious

Glory Be - For the Conversion of our Country

The First Mystery:

“No one can rejoice more than I do at every step the people of this great country take to preserve the Union, establish good order and government, and to render the nation happy at home and respectable abroad. No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means, and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us, so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever Come to pass. The great Governor of the Universe has led us too Long and too far on the road to happiness and glory, to forsake us in the midst of it. By folly and improper conduct, proceeding from a variety of causes, we may now and then get bewildered; but I hope and trust that there is good sense and virtue enough left to recover the right path before we shall be entirely lost.” George Washington, June 29, 1788

Our Father - For the Presidency of the United States of America

To be prayed before each hail Mary: “We plead the Blood of Jesus over Alabama (name a different state for each Hail Mary) and every soul in that state.”

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia

For the Conversion of our Country

Glory Be

Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins; Save us from the fires of hell; Lead all souls to Heaven, Especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.

The Second Mystery:

“It may be the will of Heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting and distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the case, it will have this good effect, at least: it will inspire us with many virtues, which we have not, and correct many errors, follies, and vices, which threaten to disturb, dishonor, and destroy us. The furnace of affliction produces refinement, in states as well as individuals. And the new governments we are assuming, in every part, will require a purification from our vices, and an augmentation of our virtues or there will be no blessings…But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence; in which, unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe.”

John Adams, July 3, 1776

Our Father - For the Supreme Court of the United States of America

To be prayed before each Hail Mary: “We plead the Blood of Jesus over (name a different state for each Hail Mary) and every soul in that state.”

Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland

For the Conversion of our Country

Glory Be

Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins; Save us from the fires of hell; Lead all souls to Heaven, Especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.

The Third Mystery:

“Review the great scenes of history: you will find mankind has Always been obliged to pay bear for the blessings they enjoyed…The struggles of a great people have almost always ended in the Establishment of liberty....Such a people are spoken of with admiration by all futures ages….” “Their souls glow with gratitude for the virtue and self-denial of their forefathers. They consider them as patterns for their own conduct on similar occasions and are continually pointing them out to the reverence and imitation of their children. These are the glorious effects of patriotism and virtue. These are the rewards annexed to the faithful discharge of that great and honorable duty, fidelity to our country…. I pray to God that the fair character I have described may be that of America to the latest ages.” James Iredell, May 1, 1778

Our Father - For the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America

To be prayed before each Hail Mary: “We plead the blood of Jesus over (name a different state for each Hail Mary) and every soul in that state.”

Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey

For the Conversion of our Country

Glory Be

Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins; Save us from the fires of hell; Lead all souls to heaven, Especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.

The Fourth Mystery:

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism.” “ All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of political freedom and happiness.” “Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.” Jedediah Morse, 1799

Our Father - For the office of the Governors of the United States of America

To be prayed before each Hail Mary:" We plead the blood of Jesus over (name a different state for each Hail Mary) and every soul in that state.”

New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina

For the Conversion of our Country

Glory Be

Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins; Save us from the fires of hell; Lead all souls to Heaven, Especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.

The Fifth Mystery:

“Soldiers! Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, Our God, asking through Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, beseeching the aid of the God of our forefathers in the defense of our homes and our liberties, thanking Him for His past blessings, and imploring their continuance upon our cause and our people.” “Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge

our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray-to really pray.” “Let there be prayer at sunup, at sundown, at midnight - all through the day. Let us pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes, Let us pray for the churches.” “let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word ‘concern’ out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have known Jesus Christ and His Redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.” General Robert E. Lee, 1863

Our Father - For all County and Municipal Offices of the United States of America

To be prayed before each Hail Mary: “We plead the Blood of Jesus over ( name a different state for each Hail Mary) and every soul in that state.”

South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

For the Conversion of our Country

Glory Be

Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins; Save us from the fires of hell; Lead all souls to Heaven, Especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do though O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl around the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

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