By Patrick Downes Hawaii Catholic Herald
A number of Catholic leaders in Hawaii have been getting some attention lately beyond our shores in national news stories.
Bishop Larry Silva was interviewed in a 1,100 word piece by Jesuit Jim McDermott about Catholics in Hawaii published April 6 on the website of America magazine, a Jesuit journal.
The article, entitled “Aloha innovation: the Catholic Church in Hawaii,” touched on homelessness, the clergy shortage, the high cost of living and Catholic participation in politics.
Bishop Silva also commented on a local value that could benefit the rest of the country.
“There is what we call the ‘Aloha spirit,’ a gentler spirit,” he said. “The Aloha Spirit — a spirit that accepts people, that includes people of other races, of other cultures — is a gift that perhaps we can use to inspire others to not take yourself so seriously. And to realize when all is said and done, we all live on an island, and we need to get along with each other.”
Find the story at http://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/04/06/aloha-innovation-catholic-church-hawaii.
In the 2017 “Spring Vocations” section of the April 2-8 Our Sunday Visitor, a national weekly Catholic newspaper, Hawaii’s Deacon John Coughlin was one of four national deacon leaders interviewed for the article “Called to the service” by Oregon writer Paul Senz.
Coughlin is co-director with his wife Kathleen of Honolulu’s diaconate formation program.
“One place where the permanent diaconate is thriving is the Diocese of Honolulu,” the story said.
Noting the younger age of deacon candidates in Hawaii, Coughlin is quoted as saying, “Young men have had the benefit of many years of role modeling by permanent deacons. As a result, they are ready to commit their lives to ordained ministry at a much younger age that previously experienced in the United States.”
Terry Walsh, president and chief executive office of Catholic Charities Hawaii, was interviewed for the March 31 Catholic News Service story “Catholic Charities leaders push priorities with Congress on ‘Hill Day’” by Dennis Sadowski.
Walsh talked about what he called Hawaii’s “senior tsunami” in which the elderly population is multiplying at five times the rate of the rest of the country, putting a stress on the affordable housing market.
“Per capita, Hawaii has the highest homeless rate in the country,” Walsh said.
The article noted that “HUD in 2016 counted 7,921 people as homeless in Hawaii, whose population totals 1.4 million.”
“It’s going beyond the chronically homeless,” Walsh is quoted saying. “It affects children. It affects seniors. It affects families.”
Hawaii was also featured in stories about efforts across the country to legalize physician assisted suicide. Deacon Walter Yoshimitsu and Eva Andrade, director and communications director respectively of the Hawaii Catholic Conference were quoted in these stories explaining the church’s opposition to such legislation in Hawaii.