By Patrick Downes
Hawaii Catholic Herald
The diocese’s monthly Holy Hour for Vocations at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa on July 6 will be a very special one with the presence of a first-class relic of America’s newest saint — Junipero Serra.
The event will recognize the saint’s July 1 feast day and the work of Serra International, an organization named after the Franciscan saint that has worked for decades to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Attendees will receive a holy card to touch the relic to create a personal third-class relic.
Event organizer Chuck Furr, a parishioner of St. Anthony, Kailua, hopes this special evening will highlight the fact that “we are all responsible to support the call of vocations.”
“Our responsibility is to recognize Jesus’ call (to potential priests and religious) and bring it to their attention,” he said.
“It is our duty to rap at the heart of one seeking direction,” he said.
Furr gave the example of a man who, after reading Scripture at his aunt’s funeral, was told by his cousin, “Dude, you missed your calling.” That off-handed observation nudged him into the seminary and he is a priest today.
Pope Francis canonized St. Junipero Serra, the 18th-century Spanish missionary who founded a string of California missions, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2015.
At the canonization, the pope said St. Junipero “was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life.”
The pope called on all Catholics to be missionaries.
“Mission is never the fruit of a perfectly planned program or a well-organized manual,” he said. “Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven.”
According to Furr, the first class relic, which is being brought from the Mainland to the Islands for this holy hour, is a fragment of bone from the Spanish saint.
Here is the schedule of holy hour activities:
- 5 p.m. — Veneration of the first class relic of St. Junipero Serra.
- 6 p.m. — Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
- 6:15 p.m. — Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Bishop Larry Silva presiding followed by silent prayer, rosary for vocations, Benediction, retirement of the Blessed Sacrament.
- 7:15 p.m. — Talk on St. Junipero Serra by Chuck Furr, member of the Serra Club of Honolulu, member of the Serra International Board of Trustees and vocations chairman of the State Knights of Columbus.
- 7:25 p.m. — Summary by Bishop Silva.
- 7:30 p.m. — Refreshments in the parish hall where there will be displays on religious life from the recent Year of Consecrated Life, and exhibits by religions orders, the Diocesan Vocations Office, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Serra Club of Honolulu, the Knights of Columbus and others.
For more information, contact Chuck Furr at firstname.lastname@example.org.