FROM THE DESK OF FR. PASCUAL
Sixth Sunday of Easter
“Whoever loves me will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”
John 14: 23
Our Gospel this Sunday continues to bring our thoughts at the Last Supper when Jesus had his last discourse. Last Sunday, we heard that Jesus gave a new commandment to his disciples, that is to love one another as he has loved. He continues on to teach them that in loving, it elicits a response not just to love but to keep his word and that through it, a relationship is established not only with Jesus but with the Father.
How intimate these words are for Jesus to mention to his disciples and to all of us today. Loving does not only entail an endearing kind of feeling. It actually calls faithfulness, truthfulness and awareness of ones’ presence. That when we love like Jesus loved, God dwells in us and we in God. What more could we ask for? What more can we do?
Our world needs this kind of love. Beset with so much distress and anxiety because of what the world offers us, love that is true can change and motivate us to live our lives fully. In order to do this, we need to keep on learning and searching the ways of God. Thus, the promise of the Advocate by Jesus, will be the source of inspiration and guide on how to truly love God, our neighbor and ourselves. Through the Advocate, we are able to discern to care for the earth, to treasure our lives and enhance the value of true human love. Also, we are able to focus our thoughts on how we can change our broken world because of sin.
As we are nearing the end of the Easter Season, let our celebrations lead us to truly recognize by faith that Jesus is in us. He continues to love us and care for us. Only we who are not truly responding rightly to this love and not able to recognize Him in our day to day lives. Let him live and let his love shine in our hearts.
Fun-filled Gathering on our Parish Feast Day Celebration
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Feast Day Celebration Committee headed by Fr. Rex Rilveria for a very organized gathering last Saturday, April 23rd. The day was filled with so much fun that Fr. Rex even volunteered to be in the dunk tank and got soaked in and out of the pool of water. The kids enjoyed the two huge bouncing houses while the adults did karaoke and bingo games. Heartfelt gratitude also goes to those who volunteered and displayed their crafts as parishioners went to the different booths to see their work of art. Of course, the Blood Bank of Hawaii came over. Although I myself felt the pinch of the needle but that is not too much for a pain to feel when I and the others know that the blood given can save lives.
This gathering was just our second feast day celebration. As the years come, we will continue to celebrate this event in honor of our Patroness, Our Lady of Good Counsel, whose feast day is celebrated on April 26th. Celebrating her feast day calls us as a community of faith to give praise and thanks to God for giving us Mary. Also, to thank her for keeping us always in her mantle of love and care.
20 Years of Priesthood
Words are not enough to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Anniversary Committee who planned the event to celebrate the occasion of my 20th year of priesthood. I am so humbled and blessed by the love and care you shared with me on the day of my anniversary, April 26th. I was surprised that our beloved Bishop Larry was there and lead the community for prayer. What a blessing! Fellow priests also came and joined me to celebrate our priesthood. My mom and sisters were there as well to witness your graciousness of organizing the event. I am so happy that they were able to join me and sang together to grace the occasion. The program was so touching and humbling that our Mayor, Kirk Caldwell, sent me a personal note of congratulations and so with the City and County Council represented by Brandon Elefante who read and handed over a Certificate of Recognition. The Knights of Columbus gave me a precious leather plaque and from all of you a Koa clock etched with the image of our Lady of Good Counsel.
Much more to my surprise when many of you my parishioners came over to celebrate with me. I know many of you also expressed your desire to come but cannot. Still, I am filled with so much joy and inspiration for your love and support. There were also those who came from the different parishes where I had celebrated Masses. Songs and dances were presented. To wrap it all, I was made to dance to a Samoan music and mom joined me on stage. I must say, what a celebration and a night to cherish!
May our Good and Loving Lord, continue to bless you all. May our Blessed Mother inspire and intercede for us always. I must say that the gift of priesthood is not mine to keep but to be shared with you all. Please keep me and all priests in your prayers. Know that we are like anyone who have strengths and weaknesses. If we succeed, give praise to God. If we fail, ask God to make us realize our faults so we can amend and become more faithful. Thank you so much!
Forming Intentional Disciples: Priests’ Convocation
On May 9 to 13, all priests together with Bishop Larry will be going to the yearly event of Convocation of Priests. We will gather for 5 days at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku. This year, we have our theme, Forming Intentional Disciples. Our guest speaker is Fr. Mike Sweeny, OP. Father Sweeney, served as President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley from June, 2004 to July 2015. Ordained in 1979, he served as both a university chaplain and as a pastor in a parish setting. His chief interest is the mission of the Church to the world. Besides having this time to update ourselves with our ministry as priests, the Convocation will also give us a respite after the busy Lent and Easter celebrations. It will also be a time to have fellowship with fellow priests and enjoy our time together.
Since the three of us will be attending, there will only be Communion Service in the morning to be officiated by either Deacon Efrain or Deacon Tom starting May 10 to 13. The Convocation is a compulsory activity for all priests in the Diocese. We will only be available for emergency calls. I hope and pray that all of you will be safe and well and keep us also in your prayers.
Amoris Laetitia: The Joy of Love Quotes
#1: The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church. As the Synod Fathers noted, for all the many signs of crisis in the institution of marriage, “the desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people, and this is an inspiration to the Church. As a response to that desire, “the Christian proclamation on the family is good news indeed.”