A blessed ‘aloha’

Aloha, HCH Blog readers! 

It’s been a while since we last posted here, but we’re reviving the blog this new year.

And we’re kicking things off in a very special way. 

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima is visiting Hawaii for the next nine days. Easter Almuena, who works in the diocesan Office of Worship (and is the wife of Deacon Joe Almuena) approached us about a blog series following Our Lady’s “pilgrimage” through the Islands.

We’ll be posting here stories and photos collected by Easter on the road. Our Lady of Fatima holds a special place in the hearts of many Hawaii Catholics. We hope that as the statue makes her way to the Big Island, Kauai, Oahu and Maui, the pictures and reflections submitted will take you on a “virtual pilgrimage” as well.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearance to three children in Fatima, Portugal. Learn more about the apparitions and the statue here.

Bishop Larry Silva has written a brief message to help prepare Island faithful for Our Lady’s visit. We will post that later today, along   with photos from the statue’s first stop at St. Benedict Church on the Big Island.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. 


(HCH photo, The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, 2014)


More calendar items

Hey HCH readers, here’s the latest crop of events to hit our inbox. Mark your calendars…

  • Marian Mass Mob and Pilgrimage: May 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Young adults are encouraged to celebrate May, the month of our Blessed Mother, with a pilgrimage to various Marian parishes around Oahu and Mass at the downtown Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. Participants will pray a decade of the rosary at each stop. Check out the deets on the flyer below.marianmassmob


  • “Mother Mary Comes to Me” book signing: 7966848_origMay 22, after all Sunday Masses at St. Anthony Church, Kailua. Written by Kailua parishioner — and Beatles aficionado — Dennis Muth, “Mother Mary Comes to Me” is a fun, heartfelt reflection on Muth’s journey of faith. Highlighted in his book are his experiences at Medjugorje, where “visionaries” have claimed to be privy to apparitions and messages from the Blessed Mother. For more info on Muth’s book, visit the Daughters of St. Paul bookstore in downtown Honolulu, or log on to www.mothermarycomestome.net.


  • Sacrament Series, “Body & Blood”: May 25, 6:30 p.m. at St. George Church, st-george-eucharistWaimanalo. The Windward Vicariate continues its “Sacrament Series” events for young adults with an event focused on the Eucharist. Leading the presentation will be St. George, Waimanalo, pastor Father Scott Bush. For more information, contact Vicky DeSilva at 259-7188.


  • Ordination of Alfred Guerrero as “Transitional Deacon”: May 27, 7 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa. Diocesan seminarian and Honolulu native Alfred Guerrero takes the final major step toward the diocesan priesthood as he is ordained a “transitional deacon.” Bishop Larry Silva is scheduled to celebrate the evening liturgy.


  • Corpus Christi procession:  May 29. On the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Bishop Larry Silva is scheduled to lead the diocese’s annual Eucharistic procession from the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa to the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. The bishop will celebrate Mass at 10:30 a.m. at the co-cathedral, followed by the 1.25-mile procession to the cathedral basilica beginning roughly at 11:45 a.m. He will culminate the feast day events with Adoration and Benediction at the cathedral, along with a “talk story” session for youth and young adults.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for the upcoming diocesan Faith Formation Conferences and donate to the ongoing Bishop’s Circle campaign.


Calendar and news bits

Although we won’t be having any printed Hawaii Catholic Herald issues in May, news and events in the local Church continues to hit our inbox.

Here’s a small rundown of some calendar items and brief announcements we recently received:

  • Chaminade University Commencement Ceremony: May 9, 7 p.m.  at the Neal
    Matt Howard - Norwest Venture Partners
    Matt Howard

    Blaisdell arena. Approximately 486 students are expected graduate this semester from the Islands’ only Catholic university. Matthew Howard, a 1989 graduate of Chaminade, is the scheduled commencement keynote speaker. He is a managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners, a leading global venture capital and growth equity firm. For more info, visit www.chaminade.edu or call (808) 735-4711.

  • Priests’ Convocation: May 9-13. Island priests will spend next week at Turtle Bay Resort for their annual gathering which includes time for seminars, fellowship and rest. The theme for this year’s Priests Convocation is “Forming Intentional Disciples.” Parishes may hold Communion services in place of daily Mass while priests are away at the convocation. Other priests are available for emergencies in each vicariate. Call your parish to inquire about these arrangements.
  • Maryknoll School Aloha Aina Recycling Drive: May 21, 9 a.m.-1maryknollschoolrecycling2 noon at the Maryknoll campus, 1526 Alexander Street. Items accepted for recycling include scrap metal (bicycles, appliances, etc.), computer equipment, printer ink/toner, batteries, cameras, TVs, clothing and household items, cardboard/paper, glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans and plastics. For more info call (808) 952-7200.
  • “Remain in My Love” retreat: June 4, 8:30 a.m.-12 noon at St. Anthony Church, Kailua, parish hall. A retreat by Scrub Bucket Gospel Ministries, “Remain in My Love” is open to the public. There is no charge for the retreat, but a free will offering will be taken. Contact Pat Tom at (808) 261-8104 or (808) 729-2991, or Maxine Pollock at (808) 254-1091 or (808) 222-3239 to sign up.

If you have any calendar items or news to share while the Herald print issues are on hiatus, we would be happy to place notice of your event/info on our HCH blog. Send us an email by clicking here.


Herald hiatus

Aloha, HCH readers!

If you picked up a copy of our April 22 issue — or if you browsed our Herald website and e-Edition online — you may have noticed a special advisory regarding a hiatus we will be taking from publication.

Below is the notice from our editor:


The Hawaii Catholic Herald will not publish in May to allow the editor to attend to personal matters. There will be no issues on May 6 and May 20. The Herald will resume publishing with the June 3 issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.
Mahalo for your understanding.

Although we won’t be having any printed issues in May, we will do our best to post bulletin notices of upcoming events, any “breaking” news and other timely info on our HCH website and social media outlets.

Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hawaiicatholicherald.

Our Twitter handle is @hicathherald.

Our website is www.hawaiicatholicherald.com.

And, of course, keep tabs on our blog here.

If there are any news items you would like to tell us about, feel free to call me (Darlene, reporter/photographer) at (808) 585-3320 or email me at ddelacruz@rcchawaii.org.

Our office staffers will also still be here handling circulation and advertising duties in the meantime.

For questions about subscriptions, call Donna Aquino at (808) 585-3321.

Inquiries for ad rates and information can be directed to Shaina Caporoz at (808) 585-3328.

Mahalo for all your support of the Herald!


An “event-full” start

Happy 2016!

A new year brings a new resolve to keep the Herald blog regularly updated. With the Year of Mercy in full swing, the Year of Consecrated Life winding down, and lots more going on in the Catholic Church, check the HCH blog often for news and reflections.

First on tap: a short PSA from our friends at the St. Joseph Church, Waipahu, adult faith whycatholicsmarryformation ministry. They are inviting the public to a special presentation on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at the parish.

Father Mark Gantley, diocesan judicial vicar and director of canonical affairs, will speak on the topic, “Why Catholics Marry in the Catholic Church.”

Fr. Mark provided this blurb about his talk: “A survey indicated that 35% of Married Catholics are married OUTSIDE the Church, with only 5% of them having their marriage made valid by the Church.  A civil marriage or marriage in another religion by a Catholic is INVALID and needs to be made valid.  It is made valid by a VALIDATION.” (Click on the photo to download the presentation flyer.)

There are several other events going on this month. The annual diocesan Red Mass for local government leaders takes place on Jan. 19 at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. Honolulu’s March for Life, which marks the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme court decision that legalized abortion-on-demand, is on Jan. 22 at the state capitol.

The diocese is also hosting a Taize Prayer service on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Newman Center at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Bishop Larry Silva is expected to be at the service, along with other local Christian church leaders, as a part of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. To learn more about Taize Prayer, read this great column by Herald contributor Mary Adamski. (Admittedly, this is one of my favorite events to cover each year. :))

Taize Prayer at the Newman Center in Manoa, 2015.

2016 is starting off quite “event-full.” Visit and bookmark our Hawaii Catholic Herald website (www.hawaiicatholicherald.com) for more information on these and other events in around the diocese.

Catching up…

Hi, HCH blog readers! It’s been a while, eh?

My apologies for not having posted since our trip to Philadelphia. It took me roughly a month to recover from various sicknesses that happened after we got back from the pilgrimage. Our coverage of Catholic news, however, never stopped in between.

Perhaps fittingly, many of my assignments since returning from the World Meeting of Families continued to focus on marriage and family life.

Last month, I reunited with Ed and Betty Coda, local parishioners whom we had the pleasure of hanging out with in Philly. The Codas have been involved with teaching Natural Family Planning for more than 30 years. The practice is “all about love,” they said, and they encourage Island Catholics to learn more about NFP in the context of God’s design for marriages and families. (View our story on NFP here).

Shortly after meeting with Ed and Betty, I was assigned to travel to Lanai for a very special ceremony. Parishioners at Sacred Hearts Church  in Lanai City — the only Catholic church on the island — were excited to have seven couples from the parish get their marriages convalidated Nov. 10.

Bishop Larry Silva celebrated the Mass, and conferred on the couples the sacrament of Matrimony. It was an awesome evening. I hadn’t been to Lanai in years, and what a blessing it was to experience such a warm and welcoming Catholic ohana there.

You can read our report on the Nov. 10 convalidation ceremony here. Below is a gallery of some pics that we weren’t able to use in the article.

And now we enter December. Advent, a new liturgical year, the Jubilee Year of Mercy … much is going on in the universal church. Keep tabs on the Herald and our social media outlets for the latest headlines.

BTW, you may have noticed that the story links above connect you to a new-look HCH website. More on that in a future entry…

Not Only Does God Make Amazing Plans, He Also has an Awesome Sense of Humor

IMG_1326Back home in Honolulu and back in the office only 48 hours after we took our place alongside the roughly one million other pilgrims for events that had so many glued to jumbotrons all over the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection), events that brought together so many people of different faiths across the entire nation, it’s time for some final reflections on this amazing, life-altering journey.

Just a little over a month ago, I was one of the presenters at the Diocesan Faith Formation Conference in Hilo.  The experience began with my flight the night before being delayed 3 hours and delays in my colleagues’ luggage getting to HIlo that same evening (their bags arrived early the next morning).  And, as it has been for most of the summer, it was really, really hot.  And humid.  After my presentation was done I caught a ride to the airport with our wonderful Superintendent of Hawaii Catholic Schools, Dr. Michael Rockers.  After 24 hours of what seemed like endless chaos, the quiet moment we had talking about our faith and our families was such a nice reprieve and instantly erased all the memories of the mayhem.  When I returned to the office that Monday, I sent Mike an email to say a quick thank you.  His reply?  “Isn’t our God wonderful in that He allows us to know Him not only through scripture and prayer, but through the people we encounter each day.”  Well said, Mike.

The amazing truth of those words became quite clear during my time in Philadelphia.  When I look back at our magical week, there are certain random encounters I remember so clearly, and in thinking back, they weren’t random at all, just God’s way of reminding me, “Hey!  I’m right here.” There was the adorable 5-year-old Tommy from Louisiana who for whatever reason decided I would have the honor of grabbing him a fresh paint brush each time he handed me a used brush and said, “I want (insert color of choice here) now” as we made our contribution to the record-breaking mural dedicated to Pope Francis.  And then there was the delightful group of students from Bucknell University who woke up at 3 a.m. Sunday morning to attend the Papal Mass, kept asking, “Wow, do you really live in Hawaii?!  WOW!!” and who made the stark reality of trying to find our way back to the Philadelphia Sports Complex parking lot (along with a million other people) a whole lot easier to digest.  And finally, one entertaining encounter that convinced me God has an awesome sense of humor.  During the rousing number performed by Sister Sledge at the Festival of Families, a priest who would dance whenever some peppy music came on suddenly grabbed my hand as the entire Ben Franklin Parkway boogied to “We Are Family.”  He even instigated an impromptu can can at the end.  After my partner-in-crime Darlene Dela Cruz  and I stopped dancing and laughing long enough to find out where this fun Father was from (Quebec), then came the hilarious reveal – we asked the name of his parish and he replied, “Oh!  I am a Bishop!”  As you can see from the picture, his enthusiastic attitude and unabashed love for everything are contagious.  Isn’t our God wonderful?

With the end of the Papal visit came the announcement of the location for the next World Meeting of Families in 2018: Dublin, Ireland.

And so I end this post with the Irish blessing – for all my fellow pilgrims from Hawaii, for the wonderful Chiagoans who graciously shared their bus with our merry little group, for all the event organizers, volunteers, servicemen and women, and public safety officers who worked so hard to make every single one of us feel welcome and safe and put on one heck of a show.  For our beloved Papa Francesco and all the Bishops and clergy who gave of their time to celebrate such beautiful Masses.  For all of you:

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
Rain fall softly upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand


Kristin Leandro