Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hawaii's Interfaith Celebration of St. Damien

Close Up
Father Damien Relic
Iolani PalaceTomorrow, All Saints Day will be a big day for Saint Damien as we celebrate with ourl newly ordained saints from the islands. As you can see by the photos taken today, both the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and Iolani Palace are getting all decked out for tomorrow's celebration.

It will begin with the celebration of Holy Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu. It is where Father Damien de Veuster was ordained a priest.

There will be a prelude concert at Iolani Palace by the Royal Hawaiian Band from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The Procession from the Cathedral to Iolani Palace will begin at 1:00 p.m. (following the conclusion of the Mass). The participants in the procession include the brothers and sisters of the Sacred Hearts Congregation, Bishop Larry Silva of the Honolulu Diocese, Cardinal Danneels and 13 visiting bishops from California!

From 2:00 p.m. to 2:55 p.m. there will be notable speakers such as Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, Bishop Silva, Lt. Governor James "Duke" Aiona, plus dignitaries from other churches.

At 2:55 p.m. there will be a private procession to the palace's throne room.

The Men of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I will then carry the relic to the nearby statue of Queen Lili'uokalani. If you remember, it was Queen Lili'uokalani who visited Father Damien and who was instrumental in having Father Damien receive the honor of the Order of Kalakaua.

The procession will then proceed to the statue of Father Damien in front of the Capital.

Young people carrying the relic of St. Damien will t hen process back to the Cathedral.

Sources: various news items, including those from The Honolulu Advertiser

Friday, October 30, 2009

Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
The other day I posted about humble porters who were very holy and saintly. Today October 30th is the feast day of one of them.

The following is from an article written by another holy man, Father John Hardon, S.J.:
...The first thing that strikes us about St. Alphonsus Rodriguez is the fact that he had an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and specifically under the title of her Immaculate Conception, mind you, this was over 250 years before the Immaculate was defined. He did everything in his power to urge his fellow Jesuits, everyone that he met, to invoke Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and that, by the way, not only more than two centuries before the definition, as you may know, not a few very learned writers not only did not accept Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, but wrote theological treatises denying it, including you know who, St. Thomas Aquinas. You can be embarrassed, Aquinas would be embarrassed now...Read it in its entirety here

Saintly Porters- Updated List

Saint Nuno de Braganza of Portugal
Updated: A big mahalo to Brother André Marie for telling me about Saint Nuno de Braganza of Portugal. He was another holy porter. Source

Is it just a coincidence that the lowly duty as a porter held by certain religious, produces holy saints?

1. Father Solanus Casey

Venerable Father Solanus CaseyPicture source and good article

2. Blessed Andre Bessette

Blessed Andre BessettePicture source and good article

3. Saint Faustina

Sister FaustinaPicture Source

4. Saint Padre Pio

Padre Pio

5. St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

"...after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years..."

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Can you think of any other saint who was once a doorkeeper?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Review - Herald of the Fatima Apparitions: John Haffert

John M. Haffert
I am finishing up a new book on the life Mr. John M. Haffert. But I did not want to wait any longer to review this fine biography. For those of you who are not familiar with his name, he is the co-founder, along with Monsignor Harold Colgan, of the Blue Army now the World Apostolate of Fatima.

Monsignor ColganPicture Source

This biography was written by Edna McGrew, a New Jersey based writer.

The main reason I was eager to read Ms. McGrew's new book was because as co-founder of the international World Apostolate of Fatima, John M. Haffert is a very important person for our fledgling World Apostolate of Fatima Honolulu Diocesan Division and because as a long time member of the WAF, I wanted to know everything I could learn about the man behind this renowned apostolate dedicated to our Lady of Fatima.

The book started off with an introduction to the apparitions in Fatima, and some personal background on John Haffert. The first chapter has John Haffert newly married to a lovely woman by the name of Anne.

"...they and their small estate are right out of F. Scott Fitzgerald's stories of the famed gold coast along New York's side of the Long Island Sound..."

But the similarity ends there because this young man was a very devout Catholic, husband, family man and God definitely had plans for him.

It was amazing to find out that a man whose name is almost synonymous with Fatima, was not familiar with the apparitions at Fatima in the very beginning.

I should mention that in order to familiarize herself fully with the subject of her book, Ms. McGrew did extensive research, read almost all, if not all of Mr. Haffert's books (he was very prolific) and conducted interviews.

The result was a very interesting, hard to put down book. I must confess to reading it every single day, before Holy Mass.

Ms. McGrew did not sugar-coat or canonize Mr. Haffert for the reader. No, she presented him as a real, human being who had struggles, faults, just like the rest of us. Yet, this man was a very holy man. His entire life was dedicated to God and His blessed Mother, whether through the Scapular of Mount Carmel or Our Lady of Fatima and the Blue Army pledges, he was determined to enlist more and more people in our Lady's growing army. It was the only way to fight the evils that assailed the world from the beginning of time. He took very seriously the idea that the Rosary and the Brown Scapular were weapons people everywhere, (and not only Catholics) could successfully use against the devil and his demons.

One of my favorite chapters is found almost at the end of the book. It is entitled "Power Players".

I am reluctant to share much on it for fear of spoiling the chapter for you but I know you will enjoy reading the following.

"John believed in the power of prayer and the need for power players. He was convinced that his Marian Apostolate would succeed only through the power of many prayerful individuals. He writes: "I had to find saints. And I made a conscious effort to do so. I cultivated the acquaintances of devout people."
Bl. Mother Teresa
Well, one power player was none other than Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta!
"When Mother Teresa heard of the Blue Army, she and all the members of her community, became early members. Not only did she visit the Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Washington, NJ but she also gave lectures there.

To this day , her community regularly visits the Blue Army Shrine in Washington, NJ.

In addition, Mother Teresa's spiritual director and one of her principal confessors was the late Fr. John Hardon, S.J. whose canonization process has recently been introduced. He spent hundreds of hours giving conferences to the members of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. In addition, for many years, Fr. Hardon was a chaplain of the World Apostolate of Fatima, Blue Army." (Bold emphasis is mine)

Fr. John HardonWell, how do you like that? I was so excited when I read this part, I think I interrupted my mom's prayers in Church to show this part to her.

The power player that I really was ecstatic to read about was none other than Saint Padre Pio.

Padre Pio and Our Lady
..."John (Haffert) relates that Padre Pio was asked by one of his celebrated spiritual children, the Marquesa Boschi, whether it was a good idea to join the Blue Army. Padre Pio replied: 'This is not only an act of prayer -- it is also an apostleship. What better thing could you do?' John goes on to say that many people wanted to be Padre Pio's 'spiritual child'. But he did not accept all who asked because Padre Pio had promised: 'I shall stand at the gates of Paradise and shall not enter until all my spiritual children have entered.'

One day Msgr. Colgan asked Padre Pio if he would accept members of the Blue Army as his spiritual children. Padre Pio agreed but he stipulated: 'that they behave well.'

John and Msgr. Colgan interpreted this to mean that the Blue Army members should live up to their commitment. John considered Padre Pio to be the 'spiritual Father' of the Blue Army because of this promises that he made."
So you can see why I was so excited and ecstatic at reading about Padre Pio, the Blue Army Shrine and being his spiritual child!

Well, I think I had better let you read the rest of the book for yourselves.

I truly and highly recommend this wonderful book to everyone but especially those who are members of the Mary's Blue Army and those contemplating becoming a member.

The book is available at the following: Infinity Publishing toll free at (877)-289-2665. You can also order the book and/or get more information at their website: here

Also, you can find more information and read excerpts from John Haffert's biography on Edna McGrew's website:

Miracle of the Sun Reported at Blue Army Shrine

OLOF Photo Source: Loci Lenar

The World Apostolate of Fatima (USA) in cooperation with EWTN, televised a worldwide prayer service on Sunday, October 18, 2009 for the sanctity of life and peace. It was estimated that millions of viewers would tune in and join with prayer on this special occasion.

Well over a thousand visitors came to celebrate by joining together in prayer at The Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. The shrine is located on the grounds of the World Apostolate of Fatima in Washington, New Jersey.
Loci has all the details plus photos! Thanks Loci.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pray for Priests who Have Lost their Natural Mothers

Our Lady of the Eucharist

I thought this was a fantastic idea!

Our condolences to Monsignor Georg Ganswein on the loss of his beloved mother. May she rest in peace.

This November: Pray for the Souls of Departed Priests


From Fr. Z

Pray for the souls of priests.

First, remember that you can gain indulgences on All Souls and the days following.

Second, 5 November is a first Thursday. You can gain a plenary indulgence during this year for Priests.

Third, would it not be a good idea in this Year for Priests, during the week after All Souls, for this 1st Thursday, to pray in a special way for the souls of deceased priests?

May I recommend that you bring this up with your parish priests, who might make pulpit announcements this Sunday?

If you are a blogger, would you post something on this?

Would you recommend this to your prayer groups, friends and family?

Forgiveness - Sister Genevieve Uwamariya, a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda

Notre Dame de Namur Sister Genevieve Uwamariya, a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda, told the synod that her life was changed through the work of a Catholic women's group called the Ladies of Divine Mercy.
Read it here

H/T to Sue Cifelli

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reiki and Yoga

Too many Catholics think there is nothing wrong with a Catholic practicing yoga or Reiki. They should read this article:
If you listen to the gurus and yogis; the practices of yoga, Reiki, centering prayer, transcendental meditation and all similar methods lead to experiences of self-fulfilment or enlightenment.

Unfortunately, many people today think yoga and Reiki are something that is compatible with Christian doctrine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though in many communities, "Christian" yoga and Reiki may be used, it is contrary to what the First Commandment teaches us. They instruct us to go down to the level of human realizations that are man-made and not from God. This is very dangerous.

The Catechism teaches us that "all practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion." No. 2117

Also, the Church cites idolatry as being against the First Commandment, saying: "Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons." The New Age ideology promotes self-divinization in many forms.
Read the rest here: Reiki and Yoga

H/T to Sue Cifelli

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blessed Andre Bessette - One Step Closer to Canonization

Bl. Andre Bessette
A Vatican decision has moved Montreal's Brother Andre one step closer to being canonized.
The Theological Commission for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican accepted unanimously on Saturday the healing powers of Brother Andre, a pious porter at College Notre Dame who went on to found St. Joseph's basilica. He has been credited with healing the sick, the lame and the blind.

A commission of cardinals and bishops will now begin to study the suitability of extending devotion to Brother Andre throughout the Universal Church, the final step before the cause for canonization goes to Pope Benedict XVI.
Montreal's Brother Andre step closer to sainthood

H/T Sue Cifelli

Priesthood Sunday

Blessed Mother and Priest

I want to wish all our beloved priests a very happy and blessed Priesthood Sunday. You will all be especially remembered in my prayers today.

Prayer for Priests

O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:
Grant it love and light of Your Spirit,
and give Power to the words of priests
so that hardened hearts might be brought
to repentance and return to You, O Lord.

Lord, give us holy priests;
You Yourself maintain them in holiness.
O Divine and Great High Priests,
may the power of your mercy accompany them
everywhere and protect them
from the devil's traps and snares which are
continually being set for the souls of priests.
May the power of Your mercy, O lord, shatter
and bring to naught all that might
tarnish the sanctity of priests for You can do all things.

(Diary of St. Maria Faustina, 1052)