By Darlene J.M. Dela Cruz
Hawaii Catholic Herald
The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary invites everyone to a very special April 29 event highlighted by music, Mass and ministry.
“Fund our Future,” the first annual fundraiser for seminarians of the religious order, will take place that day at St. Ann Church and Schools in Kaneohe, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. On tap for the event are a morning liturgy celebrated by Sacred Hearts Father Johnathan Hurrell, superior of the order’s U.S. Province, as well as a delicious lunch and a stellar lineup of entertainment.
The Tongan choir from St. Augustine Church in Waikiki will provide music for the Mass, alongside the St. Patrick Church, Kaimuki, Samoan choir and Keali‘ika‘apunihonua Ke‘ena A‘o Hula. Renowned Hawaiian music group Kapena headlines a concert roster, which also features Central Oahu’s EPIC Ministry, the St. Ann School choir, St. Augustine Tongan Lataki and the St. Patrick School choir.
Lunch ticket prices are $30 for adults and $15 for youth age 4-12. Admission is free for children age 3 and younger. To purchase your tickets, call Margaret Uiagalelei at 247-5035, ext. 111.
Uiagalelei, development director for the Sacred Hearts Congregation U.S. Province, told the Hawaii Catholic Herald that this first-ever fundraising event is one of many ways the religious order is reaching out to finance its widespread ministries and needs.
“The development office for the congregation offers opportunities to support our Sacred Hearts brothers who serve in missions serving the poor and marginalized in places like India and Tonga, religious formation, and care for our elderly brothers,” Uiagalelei said.
The idea for the April 29 “Fund our Future” gathering began with a Facebook post about the vital importance of Sacred Hearts seminarian formation — preparing candidates for priesthood to keep the congregation thriving.
Uiagalelei said this sparked a discussion among provincial superior Father Hurrell, the Province Advancement Council (PAC) chair Randy King, the Sacred Hearts development staff, and Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi of the Diocese of Tonga and Niue who is an honorary council PAC member.
Cardinal Mafi, the uncle of Sacred Hearts Father Hurrell, was previously scheduled to preside at the April 29 Mass. The cardinal announced that he would not be able to attend the event due to recent health challenges.
The Sacred Hearts congregation has experienced a seminarian boom in the last couple of years. According to development director Uiagalelei, the order currently has 11 seminarians studying at Pacific Regional Seminary in Suva, Fiji. Among them are Sacred Hearts Brothers Jeremy Sabugo and Michael Kamauoha, natives of Waialua, Oahu, who professed their perpetual vows last December.
Brother Sabugo was ordained a transitional deacon in December as well. His priestly ordination, Uiagalelei said, could take place by the end of the year.
Other seminarians who have professed initial vows are Sacred Hearts Brothers John Sawchenko of San Diego, California; Daniel Estrada of Riverside, California; Soane Ulutaufonua of Vava’u, Tonga; Semisi Puloto of Vava’u, Tonga; Esitio Niuliki of Alo, Futuna; William Gural of Bedford, Massachusetts; Darius Amansec of Quezon City, Philippines; Eric Cruz of Pampanga, Philippines; and Saia Fainga’a of Haapai/Fahefa, Tonga.
All are studying to become priests, Uiagalelei said.
“The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary is the religious order that introduced God’s people in Hawaii to the Catholic faith,” she noted, “mostly through serving and ministering to the needs of people regardless of their faith much like their brother priest, St. Damien of Molokai.”
“Men continue to respond to the call to religious life with the Sacred Hearts community,” Uiagalelei added. “Through prayer and financial support, we can help these men to become our future priests.”
Father Pierre Coudrin and Mother Henriette Aymer de la Chevalerie founded the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in France on Dec. 24, 1800. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Rome’s approval of the order.
Sacred Hearts missionaries brought the Catholic faith to Hawaii in 1827.
Local parishes presently served by priests and brothers of the order include St. Ann, Kaneohe; St. Michael, Waialua; St. Augustine, Waikiki; St. Patrick, Kaimuki; Our Lady of Sorrows, Wahiawa; St. Damien, Kaunakakai, Molokai; St. Francis, Kalaupapa.
In addition to the April 29 “Fund our Future” event at St. Ann Church in Kaneohe, donations to help with religious formation can be made online at www.sscc.org or by phone at 247-5035 ext. 111.
Financial support for the Sacred Hearts Congregation may be sent as well by mail to: Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, U.S. Province, P.O. Box 1365, Kaneohe, HI 96744-1365.
Cardinal unable to attend event
Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, the Bishop of Tonga and Niue, will not be at the April 29 fundraiser for the seminarians of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts at St. Ann Church in Kaneohe as planned.
Poor health is preventing him from traveling to Hawaii.
The cardinal was supposed to have presided at the Mass that day. Celebrating in his place will be Sacred Hearts Father Johnathan Hurrell, provincial superior of the congregation.
Cardinal Mafi hopes to visit Hawaii in the future when his health allows.