By Patrick Downes
Hawaii Catholic Herald
At a glorious morning Mass May 6 in Honolulu’s Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, 16 men and 10 women celebrated the day in their distant, idealistic youth when they answered a tug at the heart to follow Jesus.
Called jubilarians, from the word jubilee which means both anniversary and rejoicing, they marked milestone dates — 25, 50, 60, 70 and 75 years ago — of ordinations and religious vows.
Teachers, scholars, parish priests, missionaries, nurses, administrators, social service workers, military chaplains, pastoral ministers, counselors and more, they came to renew their commitment to God, his church and his people.
Before Mass, the leis quickly piled up around the honorees’ necks — yellow, white and purple strands of appreciation from friends, admirers, former students, fellow religious and parishioners.
Reflecting the jubilarians’ long span of years, the liturgy opened with Gregorian chant and proceeded with a blend of the ancient and modern music led by the robust organ playing of Calvin Liu and the clear voice of cantor Robert Mondoy.
Bishop Larry Silva, accompanied by 27 priests, seven of whom were jubilarians, and a number of deacons, celebrated the liturgy.
The bishop’s homily drew a parallel between the ministries of the jubilarians and the story in the first reading of the signs and wonders performed by the newly-commissioned apostles, empowered by the miracle of the Eucharist.
He called the acts of mercy by the sisters, brothers, priests and deacon being honored “no less a miracle than those you heard in the reading today.”
After the homily, the jubilarians, positioned in the front pews, stood to recite a pledge of renewed commitment to their calling.
“Gracious God, we thank you for your call,” they said. “… We are resolved, by your grace, to give ourselves to the service of your people and to one another.”
Celebrating 75 years were Sacred Hearts Sister Juliana Costa Brum and Sacred Hearts Sister Dorothy Santos.
Marking 70 years were Maryknoll Sister Cecilia Rose Santos, and Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities Sister Frances Cabrini Morishige.
Commemorating 60 years were Maryknoll Sister Ardis Teresa Kremer, Sacred Hearts Sister Jane Francis Leandro, Father Louis Yim, Christian Brother Kevin John Reilly, Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Marcelia Mary Maglinte, Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities Michele McQueeney and Marianist Brother Jose Degorio.
Observing 50 years were Marianist Father Robert Bouffier, Dominican Sister of the Most Holy Rosary Laurencia Camayudo, Maryknoll Sister Lourdes Reyno Fernandez, Father Adrian Ramos Gervacio, Marianist Brother Thomas Jalbert, Msgr. Thaddeus F. Mercado, Marianist Brother Bernard J. Ploeger and Marianist Brother Dennis Lee Schmitz.
Celebrating 25 years were Father Edmundo N. Barut Jr., Father Scott R. Bush, Father Peter J. Dumag, Father Konelio Faletoi, Deacon Anthony Nguyen, Father Marvin J. Samiano and Blessed Sacrament Father Apolinario Lozada Ty.
Three of those honored were not present, one due to ill health.
After communion, each jubilarian was called up to receive an etched glass memorial plaque from the bishop and applause from a grateful gathering.
After Mass, everyone went to the parish hall to enjoy a catered lunch of fried chicken, roast pork, sushi, mac salad, andagi and other local food.