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.


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, estherjoeysmom@gmail.com 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, olgcyouthandfamily@gmail.com 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, sjbkalihi@gmail.com, 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, dre@cocathedral.org, 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 carlottakidder@msn.com 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 arapozo@rcchawaii.org 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 calnas@rcchawaii.org 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, laureen.sal@gmail.com or 987-7351.




Journeying with the Blessed Mother

Bishop Larry Silva sent us a short reflection to ponder as we venerate the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima in Hawaii:
The Virgin Mary made three long journeys when she was carrying Jesus in her womb:  from Nazareth to the hill country of Judah to visit her relative Elizabeth, and the journey back to Nazareth; and the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.  Her image continues to make journeys to the four corners of the earth in the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima.  We are blessed to have this image of our beloved mother at so many locations here in Hawaii.  May our gatherings, our prayers, and our worship of the Lord in the presence of her statue renew our faith and our desire to join the Blessed Mother in singing, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!  My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”
+ Larry Silva
Most Reverend Clarence (Larry) Silva
Bishop of Honolulu
Last night, the statue arrived in Kona airport. She and her custodian Patrick Sabat were greeted by Father Ornoldo Cherrez, administrator of St. Benedict Church in Captain Cook, and a handful of Big Island faithful.


Many thanks to Edwina Fujimoto and other parishioners who linked up with us on Facebook to share these photos:



Our Lady will be at St. Benedict until midnight. Between the time she arrived at the church and her departure from Kona, parishioners have lined up a schedule of Masses, Benediction and 24-hour adoration, rosary, Scripture reading and confession. Contact Ramona Ciriaco for more information at rrciriaco@yahoo.com or (808) 756-2943.

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.)