SUMMERVILLE—For years the bells of Holy Cross parish in Wairiki, Taveuni, Fiji, have been silent.
The once magnificent 1800s church building had fallen into disrepair due to lack of funding, and some people feared the old supporting timbers were weak from age. So as a precaution, the bells were not used.
Thanks to the help of Jason Hubert, a structural engineer and member of St. Theresa the Little Flower Church in Summerville, the bells are back in full swing, according to a press release from the Diocese of Charleston’s Office for the Propagation of the Faith.
Humbert accompanied Msgr. Ed Lofton, diocesan director of the Propagation of the Faith, on a mission trip recently to assess the structural integrity of the bell tower and restore the bells to service. As the bells began to ring, many of the 1,000 children from the parish school came running down to the church to see what was happening. Father Petero, the Marist pastor of Wairiki parish, smiled at the sound.
More good news followed as Msgr. Lofton told Father Petero that a new roof was on the way and would be installed on the old church, thanks to the generosity of a South Carolina priest’s estate and the people of the diocese.
In August of 2014, the parish will celebrate 150 years. Father Petero asked Msgr. Lofton to please thank the people of the diocese for their help in preserving and protecting this historical church.
Hubert also checked on the progress of the new church for the village of Naselesele, which is nearing completion. Hubert said he was impressed with the quality of the hand labor used to construct it, and congratulated the chief and village elders on what they had accomplished.
“Your work is really well done, especially knowing that it was done without the benefit of modern equipment,” Hubert said.
Work began several years ago and the project has been funded by mission appeals throughout the Diocese of Charleston.
“I am always humbled by the generosity of the people of our diocese,” said Msgr. Lofton, “and want to
thank them for taking the call to mission so seriously.”
Msgr. Lofton and his assistant, Helena Moniz, have several more mission appeals planned to complete the project. The village chief and the Diocese of Suva have invited the priest to attend the dedication ceremony of the new church when it is completed.
For more information, call Msgr. Lofton or Moniz in the Office for the Propagation of the Faith, (843) 875-5002.
WHITE OAK—A dozen women spent Palm Sunday weekend trying to figure out what God has in mind for their lives.
The Women’s Discernment Retreat, held March 22-24 at White Oak Conference Center, offered opportunities for prayer, worship, individual and silent reflection. The event was sponsored by the Office for Vocations and is part of an escalated effort to help young Catholic women determine if they are being called to religious life, marriage, or living “single for the Lord.”
Members of more than a dozen religious orders attended the weekend and took part in informal panel discussions to describe their order’s history, mission and “a day in the life” of a typical sister.
The women religious represented a wide variety of charisms, from health care, the Sisters of Bon Secours and Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy, to teaching like the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and those who live more cloistered, contemplative lives such as Poor Clares and Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Retreatants could also talk one-on-one with the women religious about their lives and receive spiritual direction if they wished.
Sts. Cyril and Methodius Sister Pamela Smith, retreat leader, discussed the importance of prayer, its different forms and the role it plays in discernment.
Valerie Soop, associate director of young adult ministry for the diocese, spoke about how important it was for single women to learn to be happy and strive for holiness in the present day while also trying to figure out how they will serve the Lord.
“God’s love for you is not contingent on you figuring out your vocation,” Soop said. “God already loves you infinitely. Don’t let waiting be a source of stress or sorrow. You can grow in holiness now.”
“This has been a wonderful experience, and it’s what I really needed during Lent,” said Julie Nurse, a graduate student at Clemson University who attends St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville. “I needed to spend some quiet time with the Lord and get a sense of what is his will for my life. It’s good to be exposed to all the different options and explore each one.”
CHARLESTON—Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone held up Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis as symbols of hope; beacons to light the way for the faithful.
He said he has found inspiration in the writings of Pope Benedict’s “Spe Salvi”, which focuses on the year of faith and the ongoing story of salvation, bringing to all a message of hope.
“Our new Holy Father Francis, in his homily on that very day of being inaugurated into this office, offered us a new and refreshed insight into the virtue of hope,” as he spoke about hoping against hope, and believing, the bishop said.
“Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others,” Bishop Guglielmone said.
The bishop delivered his homily during the annual Chrism Mass, held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on March 26.
Traditionally held on the Tuesday of Holy Week, it is the time when diocesan priests renew their pledge to serve the people of God.
The sight of over 120 priests processing into the Cathedral is always a moving experience, and many in the congregation smiled as they passed.
Chrism is consecrated oil used in Greek and Latin churches, so the annual event is also called the Mass of the Oils. During the liturgy, the bishop consecrates all the sacred oils that will be used in sacraments during the coming year.
They are the oil of catechumens, used in baptism; oil of the sick, to anoint the ill; and oil of sacred chrism, considered the chief anointing oil and used for sacraments of initiation, dedications and holy orders. The bishop explained that the oils he consecrated during Mass are those used throughout the diocese.
During his homily, Bishop Guglielmone told the congregation to hold fast to the hope Jesus gives His people, and urged his brother priests to remember that they are “anointed to be bearers of hope to God’s people.”
The bishop drew parallels to the oils as symbols of hope, and called on the priests, just before the renewal of their vows, to never lose sight of their purpose.
“Our people must see in us the hope that Jesus offers and the joy that results from that hope,” the bishop said. “Again our Holy Father reminds us that we must never allow the owners of destruction and death to overcome us, nor should we ever shy away from goodness and joy.”
At a luncheon held after Mass, Bishop Guglielmone paid tribute to the clergy who have jubilees this year.
Father Patrick J. Stenson, a Missionary of the Sacred Heart, and Father Peter Clarke will celebrate their golden jubilees. Father Bernardino S. Yebra will be honored for 25 years of service.
Page 6 of 6
- May 22 2013 | 2:30:00 PM Mass for Marines
- May 24 2013 Golf Tournament
- May 25 2013 | 11:00:00 AM Honoring Mary
- May 27 2013 | 8:00:00 AM Run For Heros
- May 31 2013 Saints Soccer Camp
- June 01 2013 Memorial Gold Tournament
- June 08 2013 | 7:00:00 AM Breakfast Fundraiser
- June 14 2013 - June 16 2013 Exploring Religious Life
- July 11 2013 - July 17 2013 Project Good Help Summer Service Program