For two and a half weeks I found myself back in Springfield, both to help cover Masses at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception while the pastor was away for a vacation and to help with the Catholic Leadership Institute and the Advanced Catholic Training for high school throughout the Diocese. I've been involved with both of these of two programs since I was a seminarian and they are always a joy.
|Catholic Leadership Institute 2014|
I have returned to Hawai'i for a vacation of my own and will be here until August 24th. My class schedule now allows me to take such an extended time all at once, which I was hoping would allow lengthy visits with many of my Hawaiian friends whom I do not get to see often enough and also a good period of rest. As is often the case, though, the Lord seems to have had something else in mind.
Two weeks ago, as I returned to Quincy to Springfield for the funeral a cousin, I received a call from His Excellency, the Most Reverend Clarence "Larry" Silva, Bishop of Honolulu, who called with a question to ask me.
He explained that the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel parish (which has four missions) on the Big Island is in great need of a time of rest himself, that the Bishop cannot send another priest to assist him until September, and asked if I would be willing to give him my assistance while I am in Hawaii. Having never been to the Big Island and not knowing anyone there - and because my summer hasn't been too restful thus far - I was hesitant to accept his invitation and asked for a few days to consider it and to look into changing some plans already made on Oahu.
The more I thought about it, I did not really have a good reason to say no and so offered to assist the pastor from August 6th through the 20th. This would allow me to give him a hand while also allowing me some time to visit with my friends on Oahu.
It will allow me to concelebrate tomorrow's Mass as the relics of Saint Marianne Cope are installed in the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, to which I am very much looking forward.