Saturday, October 19, 2013

Photos from the Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary for the Strengthening of Marriage

Lead by Bishop Larry Silva on Thursday at St. Theresa, the Co-Cathedral, Honolulu, Hawaii.

"My dear friends, from the sacrament of Marriage, the family has received newness of life and the grace of Christ.  The family is especially important to the Church and to civil society, for it is the primary life-giving community.

In our celebration today we call down the Lord's blessings upon all families, and for the strengthening of marriage, so that men and women may continually be instruments of God's grace to one another and witness to faith in all the circumstances of Life."

Opening Prayer

"O God, in whose eternal design family life has its firm foundation, look with compassion on the prayers of your servants and grant that, following the example of the Holy Family of Your Only Begotten Son in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, we may, in  the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards..."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bishop Silva's Letter to All Clergy & Parishioners of the Diocese of Honolulu Regarding Same Sex Marriage and Special Session

October 13, 2013

As you know, our State Legislature will convene in a Special Session beginning October 28, 2013, to consider a bill submitted by Governor Abercrombie on “marriage equity” or same-sex “marriage”.  We thank all who have prayed for the Lord’s guidance on this issue and have contacted your legislators.  I now urge you to continued prayer and to more intense action.  If you have already contacted your legislators, please consider doing so again; if you have not, please do so within the next couple of weeks.
Please keep in mind that the major concern should not be giving this or that same-sex couple the ability to be married, but rather the long-term and profound societal implications such a concession would have on all of us.  Our religious freedom, which goes far beyond simply freedom of worship, would be seriously threatened, no matter what safeguards may be built into the bill.  The rights of parents to see that their children are taught the sacredness of marriage between one man and one woman would be seriously undermined.  The boundaries our young people so desperately need in our over-sexed culture will be widely expanded if not taken away altogether, thus leading to more confusion in their hearts and minds.  The prohibition against homosexual activity that the Word of God makes so clear can only be ignored to the detriment of all.  The law of God is written into each human heart, and there are serious consequences if we ignore it.
Please keep in mind that our efforts to preserve the true definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman are an expression of our love, even though many consider them to be just the opposite.  Only the truth about the need to respect our human ecology and the true meaning of sexuality and the body can be loving, even when not accepted by all.  Pope Francis has recently made statements that have been taken out of context and misused by others to imply that he condones homosexual ACTS and even same-sex marriage.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  His emphasis on loving persons, no matter what they believe, is essential, but by no means does such love condone immoral behavior.  When talking about same-sex marriage we must also be careful to distinguish between equality of persons and equality of institutions.  No matter what our sexual attraction may be, we are all equal as persons.  But the institution of marriage between a man and a woman cannot be equal to the union between persons of the same gender.
While I cannot take the space to reprint all of the following materials here, I ask you to go to the website of the Diocese of Honolulu at and to review the following for yourself: (Links have been added for your convenience).
  1. My August 22 letter to parishioners
  2. List of contact emails and phone number for State Senators and Representatives
  3. Scriptures related to homosexuality
  4. Two letters of Cardinal Jorge Bergolio (now Pope Francis) regarding same-sex marriage when it was being considered in Argentina in 2010:
    1. Bergoglio on Same-Sex Marriage;
    2. Bergoglio to Carmelite Sisters
  5. Recent quotes of Pope Francis in context:
    1. Pope Francis Interview on Rio-Rome Flight, 28 July 2013;
    2. Pope Francis Interview with Civilita Catolica, 19 August 2013.
  6. Quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality
I invite you all to a rally at the State Capitol on Monday, October 28, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., to join with others to let our legislators know of our opposition to same-sex marriage.
This issue is critical for the vitality of our entire community, so I urge you to pray diligently, especially the rosary, AND to contact both your State Senator and Representative to let them know that you support only marriage between one man and one woman.
May God bless you all!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Larry Silva
Bishop of Honolulu

Source: Diocese of Honolulu

Monday, October 14, 2013

Photos of 7th Annual Rosary in the Park PART 2

Click to enlarge photos for better viewing.

Pope Francis Consecrates World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Photos from the 7th Annual Public Rosary in the Park

Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at an October 13 Mass in St. Peter’s Square, in the climactic ceremony of a Marian Day celebration.
Read the rest HERE

Also yesterday was the 7th annual public rosary in the park in Honolulu.  It started off as a sunny day for the procession, prayers and devotion to honor our Lady of Fatima. But then it started to rain.  Someone suggested we pray three Hail Marys so that the rain would stop in time.  God must have smiled down on us. As soon as the procession began, a torrential downpour of rain came down.  Blessings from heaven!  It reminded many of us of that day in Fatima when the rain came down and then the sun came out drying everything instantly.  Well, the sun did come out and we were still wet, but everyone, young and old, were in good spirits!  The sun didn't dance either but we all knew it was a very special day.  The priest who led us in prayer mentioned that we gave quite a witness to people, seeing many walking behind the statue of our lady in the pouring rain.

Click on photos to enlarge for better viewing.


What Motivated Columbus

Picture source

        by  Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

          Why did Columbus want to sail and explore? What motivated the Italian explorer, celebrated as the discoverer of America, to lead a crew of ninety men across the uncharted Atlantic Ocean more than five centuries ago? In our times his motivation is being questioned again.  Some have tried to demean his name and character, making Columbus a figure of controversy and raising doubts about his integrity.  Now we are faced with conflicting opinions about his legacy.  What do we know for certain about the religious motivations for his voyages?

          In the past Christopher Columbus was an example of the understanding that there is no contradiction in being a Catholic and an American.  For that reason Father Michael McGivney chose him as the namesake of the Knights of Columbus. 

          Intrigued by this question and Columbus’ motivation, Carol Delaney decided to delve into the background with scholarly aplomb.  A cultural anthropologist and longtime professor at Stanford University, Delaney devoted the entire summer of 2003 to researching Columbus at Brown University.  Two years later she resigned from Stanford to concentrate on this research.  The results of her thorough study have been published in book form: Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem (Free Press, 2011).

          Upon release of her book she discussed some of the highlights of her findings about the purpose of Columbus’ voyages.  Thanks to the exacting research of Carol Delaney, we have a truer and fuller appreciation of this genuine hero of history.


          Dr. Delaney explains that it is common knowledge that Columbus was hoping to find gold, but his reason was not understood.  Columbus  wanted to help finance a crusade to free Jerusalem from the Muslims before the end of the world.  In his time many thought the apocalypse was imminent because of various signs: the plague, famine, earthquakes, and similar occurrences.  It was a popular belief that 
before the end of time Jerusalem must be returned to the Christians so
that Christ could come in judgment.  Columbus had actually calculated the number of years left before the end of the world.  He considered his plan as a mission.


          Columbus was also very interested in evangelization.  He kept extensive notes and wrote many letters, and in these writings indicated that the peoples of the new lands could not be quickly baptized and automatically become Christian. They needed to be instructed clearly about the faith before being converted.  To this end he wrote to the pope requesting that priests be sent to the newly discovered peoples for their instruction.  He even left money in his will to be used for this.

          Recall that Columbus believed he was sailing to Asia, and he wanted to convince the Grand Khan of China, who had expressed interest in Christianity, to convert.  He thought the Grand Khan might join the crusade to re-take Jerusalem by marching from the east, while the Europeans closed in from the west.  This is quite an interesting concept.


          Unfortunately many do not recognize and understand Columbus’ intentions.  The evidence had not been widely studied, nor was it readily accessible.  Scholars had written about Columbus’ religious motivations, but their findings were published in arcane journals.

          In the 19th and early in the 20th centuries historians described Columbus as one of the first to use science and reason as an explorer.  But that was not the basis of his motivation.  He was a medieval man in a religious context.  Columbus was closely associated with the Franciscans, who had assisted him and who were noted for their missionary activity.

Respect for Natives
          It is a grossly incorrect and unfair assessment on the part of some to say that Columbus was responsible for a variety of atrocities against the native peoples.  Erroneously, especially in the 20th century, the brunt of all that went wrong was attributed to Columbus.  But the falsehood of such accusations is evident from his own writings and the records of his contemporaries.  Those records show that his relations with the natives were benign and respectful. He described them as “natural Christians” because they had no other faith and were open to become Christians after proper instruction.  

          Columbus sternly warned his crew not to maraud, rape, or otherwise abuse the native people.  His writings offer many examples of instruction to this effect.  Most of the times when injustices occurred, he was not even there. And it is absurd to blame him for diseases communicated to the natives by the Europeans. 

          Columbus’ notes record that many crewmembers did not like the restrictions and rebelled, that they assumed they could have slaves, pick gold from the trees, and need not work. 
          Columbus never had slaves, nor did he intend to obtain slaves from the lands he visited.  Of course this would never have happened with the Grand Khan and his people in China.  Columbus wanted the natives  he met to become subjects of the Spanish sovereigns. 

          After the second voyage when they had encountered a different group of natives whom they thought were cannibals, Columbus’ brother sent some of them to Europe.  At that time in history it was considered morally acceptable to enslave people who acted against human nature because the captors hoped this would help them become good Christians.  While slavery was then common, some mistakenly think Columbus instituted slavery. 


Columbus’ Writings

          Carol Delaney read and studied all the extant writings of Christopher Columbus.  Although his original diary no longer exists, two reliable copies survive; these were in the possession of Bartolome Las Casas, an admirer of Columbus, and Columbus’ son, Ferdinand.  Consistently his writings express respect for the native people and concern for his crew.  Also evident is his devotion to his sons and his care for the women in his life.  While many are unaware that Columbus wrote anything, Dr. Delaney says she liked the tone of his letters and notes, and this advanced her admiration for him.  In addition to his faith, she was also impressed with his patience.

          Columbus planned and waited more than ten years before embarking on his first voyage. When his petitions failed with the Portuguese, he turned to the Spaniards.  The authorities rejected  his proposal three time, yet he persisted.  He firmly believed he could do it.  Then he exhibited tremendous courage in crossing the ocean in small wooden ships with nothing more than a compass to guide him.

Failure or Success?

          Dr. Delaney expressed the opinion that Columbus died thinking that he had not accomplished what he set out to do.  He was disappointed that King Ferdinand did not pursue the crusade, and he realized that some serious crimes had been committed.  From this point of view, he felt his quest was a failure.  But in reality, Delaney declares it was a major accomplishment.  Columbus crossed the ocean four times in small sailing craft and without the benefit of modern navigational instruments.  He discovered the New World, even though he thought he found only the periphery of Asia.

          No wonder, then, that in the late nineteenth century Venerable Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, chose the intrepid admiral and evangelizing explorer as model for the fraternal order of Catholic gentlemen.  His admiration is expressed on page one

of the May 25, 1878, edition of the Connecticut Catholic: “As American Catholics, we do not know of anyone who more deserves our grateful remembrance than this great and noble man – the pious, zealous, and faithful Catholic – the enterprising navigator, and the large-hearted sailor, Christopher Columbus – ‘the Christ-bearing dove’ as his name signifies.”