Behind every story, there’s another story

Welcome to the new Hawaii Catholic Herald Blog! This is the official blog of the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. Here, we will share diocesehonolululogosome of the experiences Herald contributors encounter during their reporting, writing, shooting and creating of each issue. We hope to bring personal insights to the articles you’ll find in our paper. Enjoy! (And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog through the “Widgets” menu at the top of the page.)


A St. Anthony School, Kailua, connection

Hi everyone. Anna Weaver here. I was the reporter/photographer at the Hawaii Catholic Herald from 2006-2010, and I’ve recently returned as associate editor. It’s good to be back!

Since leaving, I’ve worked at The Catholic Standard newspaper in Washington D.C. and Northwest Catholic magazine in Seattle. I’ve also added a master’s degree in multi-platform journalism to my resume. I bring that up to say that my journalism training tells me to avoid conflicts of interest whenever possible in covering assignments.

But I have to say that in returning to Hawaii and to the “Catholic Hawaii” reporting world, it’s going to be a little harder for me to not find some connection to this or that story.

Hawaii isn’t that big of state. I was born and raised here, went to Catholic grade and high school here, have a grandfather and a father who were ordained deacons for the Diocese of Honolulu, and parents who have been long-time Catholic school educators. It’s harder to avoid bumping into fish I don’t know in this small pond. 🙂

That being said, in one of my first assignments back at the Herald, I wrote about the 50th class reunion for the eighth grade graduating Class of 1968 from St. Anthony School in Kailua. St. Anthony is my home parish and where I went to grade school. My dad, aunts, uncle, brothers and cousins went there. My mom teaches there. Oi! Lots of conflicts.

SAnthony8thGradeClass1997My eighth grade class yearbook page

However, it was our editor (also a St. Anthony, Kailua, graduate) who came up with the story idea. And when you see a good story, you go with it. We think it’s pretty noteworthy that such a large number of this Windward Oahu Catholic school’s Class of 1968 are getting together for the first time since eighth grade. They graduated during a seminal year in U.S. history and are celebrating 50 years since their junior high days were done.

So here’s to all the Catholic school graduates out there. Hope you enjoy this glimpse into old friends reuniting.

With aloha and grace

Our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who have followed our “pilgrimage blog!” We hope the stories, testimonies and photos collected here have in some way enlightened your faith, and allowed you to learn about the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

The blog project certainly brought me closer to the Blessed Mother, reminding me of her ever-present intercession and the very real way she impacts our lives.

To wrap up our blog coverage, here’s a gallery of Our Lady’s stops on Oahu. Captions are provided for each photo. (Mahalo to Marie Tokuda Wong for sending in some great shots!)

And we conclude with two reflections. The first is from Barbara Hughes, who had the chance to see Our Lady at Holy Rosary Church in Paia, Maui. Barbara is not Catholic, but her husband Richard is. Barbara appreciates learning more about the Catholic faith:

As someone who comes from an evangelical background, being able to see the traveling International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima was a unique experience for me. Learning about the miracles of Fatima is a faith-builder for the Body of Christ on earth today. My own spiritual life was enriched by this experience, which I’m still assimilating. I do so appreciate learning more about Our Lady, as this is very new to me. I know that God works in mysterious ways and He has us in a process of becoming His One Many-Membered Body. As all of us members of the Body of Christ discover each other, we have so very much to share and learn from each other. It is my firm belief that the Body of Christ is one body, just as Jesus and the Father are one. … Our God is truly so awesome a Father!

Our final reflection comes from radiologist Lorraine Manlolo. She had the blessing of being able to travel to the Big Island, Kauai, Maui and back home to Oahu to see Our Lady at every single one of her stops in Hawaii.

img_2515My mother and I have a special devotion to the International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. I moved here to Oahu in the fall of 2001 to begin medical school, and during my first year of medical school, the pilgrim statue came to St. Augustine by-the-Sea, which my mother and I attended. When we got home, we could smell roses in our condo, but we had no flowers! After medical school, I moved to NY for residency and fellowship, and came back in 2011. In 2014, the pilgrim statue again came to visit the islands, and we were able to follow her to every church she visited here on Oahu, and even to the outer islands as those days fell on my days off from work. We truly feel the Blessed Mother’s presence in the pilgrim statue, and I believe all of my success in school and my career as a radiologist comes from praying devoutly and asking our Blessed Mother’s intercession for all our needs. My mother and I were able to follow the pilgrim statue once again to all the churches she visited on the outer islands and here on Oahu. It is truly an amazing experience to visit different churches and see all of us, from different cultures, honoring and praying devoutly to Our Mother. Many of these churches also had 24-hr adoration with the Blessed Sacrament exposed – what a beautiful opportunity to pray to Our Lord with His mother right beside him.  I am writing this on the eve of when the pilgrim statue will be leaving, and realize how she has, and always will be, right there beside me – listening to my prayers, and loving each and every one of us dearly. 


“Our Lady of Fatima comes to help us”

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at St. Theresa Co-Cathedral, 6 a.m. veneration and Mass, Feb. 6.

I (Darlene, HCH reporter/photographer) finally had my own personal chance to venerate the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima this morning at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa.

It was her last stop in Hawaii before heading to her next destination on the mainland. Even at 6 a.m., a couple dozen faithful were already at the co-cathedral praying the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet when I got there.

I specifically chose to visit Our Lady at this particular stop because I knew the morning quiet would be great for reflection, and I really wanted to start off this week with the graces of the Blessed Mother fresh in my heart. It amazes me that every time I take a photo of this statue, Our Lady’s countenance takes on a whole new light.

For me, Our Lady of Fatima brings peace, beauty and the possibility of miracles. I’m learning as I do this pilgrimage blog about the many diverse meanings Our Lady has to each person she comes across.

A lady named Maria, who went to venerate the statue at Our Lady of Good Counsel last week, sent us this testimony:

Our Lady of Fatima comes to help us. As I was preparing (myself) spiritually for a long break to take care of my husband before and after his surgery, on November 2014, Our Lady of Fatima came to Hawaii and I got to see her three times. It impacted me, her gentle presence in the church. During my husband’s recovery, I felt a complete peace and a feeling of trust that everything will be OK, even after heart complications on my husband’s surgery. I let go and let God be in (control) and accept his will whatever it was. My husband recovered and I knew that Our Lady was supporting us all the way until he made a complete recovery. I was not alone, Our Lady’s presence was with me all that week. Now on February 2017, I’m able to thank her in person for her help. Thank you loving mother.

Maria Alameda, shown here in her visit to Our Lady at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, submitted this reflection written with the help of her friend Leah:

This is Maria’s relationship with the beautiful lady of Fatima. Maria is going to tell us two stories in which she will express why the beautiful lady means so much to her. When she was 14 years old she almost drowned in the river in the town she lived in. And at the time she did not think she would survive the incident. It was then she prayed to mariaalamedafatimalady Fatima the memorable. It was then that a woman showed up and seen her and a young friend as well drowning. She pulled both of them from the water and they survived with no complications or water in their lungs at all. The second story was when she was 26 years old and she now was living in the United States after leaving Portugal at age 21. She was heading to the beach with her three daughters, husband and brother. They had a small station wagon and they were towing a boat. They were going up on a very high bridge in New Jersey. To this day they do not know what happened but with no warning or wind the car started swerving one way and the boat was going another way and Maria said out loud “old lady Fatima please save us.” Her husband and brother were silent and her children were all crying. The car then stopped and the boat followed coming to a stop. They did not go into on coming traffic once and all the cars on the road all came to a stop, none of them hitting them as well. Once again Lady Fatima did what she does best and performed her miracles. Maria has many stories of how lady Fatima has answered her prayers. Maria visits Fatima, Portugal every time she visits home. It is one of her favorite places to go.

Our Lady on Oahu

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at St. Theresa Co-Cathedral, Honolulu, 2014.

A quick entry at the request of one of our readers.

Here is the schedule for the rest of Our Lady of Fatima’s visit on Oahu:

Friday, Feb. 3-Saturday, Feb. 4

  • 7 a.m.-7 a.m.
  • Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace
  • Mass, Benediction and 24-hour adoration, rosary, Scripture reading, confession, crowning of Mary
  • Contact: Esther Gefroh, or 538-3158

Saturday, Feb. 4

  • 3-7 p.m.
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Pearl City
  • Mass, consecration, rosary, confession, crowning of Mary, veneration
  • Contact: Laurie Mascoto-Munoz, or 455-3012 ext. 108

Sunday, Feb. 5

  • 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • St. John the Baptist Church, Kalihi
  • Statue will be at the 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. Masses
  • Contact: Father Juan Pablo Galeano,, 339-4950

Sunday, Feb. 5

  • 4:30-9 p.m.
  • Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, Honolulu

Monday, Feb. 6

  • 6-9:30 a.m.
  • Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa
  • Contact: Sister Mercedita B. Estrella, SPC,, 521-1700 ext. 103

Island hopping

After gracing the neighbor islands with her presence, the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima returns to Oahu this evening. She will be at St. George Church in Waimanalo, where veneration will begin at 6:30 p.m.

At St. George, there will be a Mass in her honor at 7:30 p.m., followed by benediction and adoration. A brief talk by the statue’s custodian, Patrick Sabat, will precede Mass. Contact Carlotta Kidder at or 259-7188 for further details.

It’s been a busy couple of days for those who been traveling with the statue of Our Lady. Easter Alumena of the diocesan Office of Worship sent in this photo yesterday to introduce “the crew” that has been “island hopping” with the Blessed Mother:


Left to right in photo: Michael Whitcraft (TFP Tradition Family Property representative), Patrick Sabat (World Apostolate of Fatima, Blue Army), Valerie Elefante (local president of America Needs Fatima), Easter Almuena

Easter shared her thoughts with us yesterday as the crew prepared for a challenging part of the pilgrimage:

One of our biggest hurdles in the 9-day Fatima pilgrimage was catching the last flight from Kauai — the 10:52pm — to get back to Honolulu, catch a decent two to three-hour of sleep, then catch the early morning flight for Maui. What is humbling about this part of the journey is knowing that you are not alone, that with you are three other individuals whose aim to “make it” to the next leg comes with a communal sense of belonging. “I am not alone.” We are certainly never alone — we all have figured it out already — since with us is a God whose continual aim is to love us all the way in our journey, and that includes making sure he supplies for all our needs. I checked to see if everyone was here. Check! Maui, here we come with the Fatima statue! She may be just a statue, but she symbolizes a calm yet powerful intercessory companion.

Here are photos from Our Lady’s visit at St. Catherine Church, Kauai. Many thanks to Father Anthony Rapozo and the hospitality of the Kauai faithful:

And photos from the ceremonies at Holy Rosary Church in Paia,  with Father Cipriano “Jojo” Alnas and the gracious devotees on Maui:

Lastly, we received this picture from Mary Rosenthal, parish secretary for Maria Lanakila Church in Lahaina and Sacred Hearts Mission Church in Kapalua. Parishioners there rented a 48-passenger bus to travel to Paia to visit Our Lady.


Humbled in Hilo

Yesterday the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima concluded her time on the Big Island with a stop at St. Joseph Church in Hilo.

Rose Nunogawa (wife of the late Deacon Jerry Nunogawa) reflected on how “humbling” it was for East Hawaii parishioners to be in the presence of the “life-like” statue of the Blessed Mother:

I first saw her in the van as they came to meet us for the motorcade to the church…It was definitely a sight to behold… tears spilled and the significance of Our Lady rushed into my mind and especially into my heart!!!  Since hearing about the 100th anniversary year she has been close in thought and prayer. Today seeing the 70-year-old, life-like statue of Our Lady,  I felt honored to be in her presence.

Today was special for St. Joseph Church, as host, and all the participants of the East Hawaii vicariate.

The thought of her being with us here in Hilo, and of the millions of people laying eyes on her, and the years and years of traveling carrying a message so critical to us today was heart-felt and humbling.

Rose submitted this photo of her and her sister, Bernadette Tomas, with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima:


We’re expecting additional images from Hilo soon. Once those are in, we’ll be sure to post them for you to enjoy.

At the moment, Our Lady is on Kauai. Those who wish to venerate the statue and take part in Mass, benediction/adoration, scriptural rosary and a coronation ceremony can head to St. Catherine Church in Kapaa, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Contact Father Anthony Rapozo, St. Catherine pastor, at or 822-7900 for details.

Tomorrow she will head to Maui, where beginning at 10 a.m., parishioners can venerate her at Holy Rosary Church in Paia. Father Jojo Alnas has more information at or 579-9551.



Our Lady on the Big Island

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima blessed the faithful of the West Hawaii vicariate yesterday. Parishioners and clergy honored her with a procession and coronation ceremony, and placed at her feet flowers and their personal prayer intentions.

Marjorie Fujimoto, parishioner at St. John the Baptist in Kealakekua (a mission church of St. Benedict parish), sent us the following reflection on the Blessed Mother’s first stop:

The pilgrimage of Our Lady of Fatima has brought our parish closer in the planning and the implementation of those plans to this day of great celebration.  It was good to witness the participants and parishioners working together, and to see how all this came together, bringing the children and adults to be actively involved. It brings to mind the scripture “suffer not the little children to come to me” — the Mother of Jesus “Our Mother” calls us to come and pray, drawing us closer to Jesus… “for such is the kingdom of God.”

Enjoy the following images from Our Lady’s visit to the Big Island west side.

Today the statue of the Blessed Mother is at St. Joseph Church in Hilo. Parishioners there have scheduled Mass, benediction and adoration, a living rosary, confession and vespers until 7 p.m. Contact Laureen Salboro, or 987-7351.