A CONCERNED POPE FRANCIS PHONES PRESIDENTS PERES AND ABBAS - FRANCIS PRAYS FOR THE VICTIMS OF AIRLINE TRAGEDY - ST. MARIANNE COPE IS COMING HOME TO HAWAII - JORDANIAN FR.RIFAT BADER IS GUEST ON VATICAN INSIDER - CARL SAGAN MEDAL AWARDED TO BR. CONSOLMAGNO OF VATICAN OBSERVATORY
Friday, July 18, 2014
Kudos to Br. Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory who has won the Carl Sagan Medal for "outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public."

Very exciting news from Hawaii, as you will see in my story about St. Marianne Cope, a person - a saint! - very dear to my heart! The news thrilled me, as it has all the members of my very special ohana (family) in Hawaii! I have some terrific photos that I want to post but I cannot upload them for anything and do not understand why. If I solve the problem soon (it is 7:45 pm here), I will post them tonight. If I cant solve the issue tonight, I will try tomorrow to upload them to Facebook. In the meantime, Ill post this column.

Lots of news today, stories about the Middle East, Ukraine, Hawaii and the Vatican Observatory, so read on!

A CONCERNED POPE FRANCIS PHONES PRESIDENTS PERES AND ABBAS

Following last Sundays heartfelt appeal for continued prayer for peace in the Holy Land, this morning the Holy Father Francis personally telephoned President Shimon Peres of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine to share his very serious concerns regarding the current situation of conflict involving in particular the Gaza Strip which, in a climate of growing hostility, hatred and suffering for the two populations, is claiming many victims and giving rise to a serious humanitarian emergency.

As during his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land and on the occasion of the invocation for peace on 8 June, the Holy Father assured them of his ceaseless prayer, and that of all the Church, for peace in the Holy Land. He reminded the presidents, whom he considers to be men of peace and seekers of peace, of the need to continue to pray and endeavor to ensure that all the interested parties and those who hold political office at local and international level work to bring an end to hostilities, making efforts to promote truce, peace and reconciliation in the hearts of those involved.

FRANCIS PRAYS FOR THE VICTIMS OF AIRLINE TRAGEDY

Pope Francis is praying for the victims of the deadly incident in Ukraine involving a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane, as we learn from a statement from the Holy See Press Office: "The Holy Father, Pope Francis has learned with dismay of the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft downed in east Ukraine, a region marked by high tensions. He raises prayers for the numerous victims of the incident and for their relatives, and renews his heartfelt appeal to all parties in the conflict to seek peace and solutions through dialogue, in order to avoid further loss of innocent human lives."

ST. MARIANNE COPE IS COMING HOME TO HAWAII

It was with great joy that I learned that the remains of St. Marianne Cope are about to return permanently to the Hawaii she so loved, a land where she and her Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities lived and worked for over three decades.

As you may remember, in the summer of 2012 I spent some time in Hawaii Oahu and Molokai, where Kalaupapa is located, the peninsula where St. Damien and St. Marianne cared for victims of leprosy with great love and dedication. That summer I explored the places where St. Marianne lived and worked and spoke to two Sisters of St. Francis who still live on Kalaupapa. I first traveled to Hawaii in the summer of 2008, mainly to research Fr. Damien but I also learned about Mother Marianne, both of whom have since become saints.

I am now looking at the life of Brother Joseph Dutton, a layman and veteran of the Civil War who, at age 43, came to Kalaupapa to help Fr. Damien minister to the victims of leprosy. Called Brother Joseph by Fr. Damien, he was there in 1889 when Damien died and stayed a total of 45 years, working with Mother Marianne as well. Josephs story is an amazing, riveting one that I began to tell after my third trip to Hawaii last summer. More to come!

I was blessed to attend St. Damiens canonization in October 2009 and St. Mariannes in October 2012.

Ive also been blessed with a very beautiful, loving Hawaiian ohana my family in Hawaii. I wish you could all know Bishop Larry Silva, Audrey and Yuki Toguchi, Sr. Davilyn AhChick (a sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities), Sr. Malia Wong, Trip and Jan McKinney, Maria Devera, Maria Sullivan, Vince Sava, Sr. Marykutty, Fr. Pat Killilea, and Fr. Bill Petrie. Audrey, whose cure of lung cancer was the miracle needed for Damiens canonization, loves to bring people together or, as she calls it, connecting the dots. I am fairly sure I know all of the above because of Audrey!

Here is the official diocesan announcement about St. Marianne that has so excited all of us:

St. Marianne Cope is returning to Hawaii to stay. The remains of Hawaiis second saint, which were unearthed from her Kalaupapa resting place in 2005 and enshrined in Syracuse, N.Y., in preparation for her beatification that year, will come back to the Islands this month to reside permanently in Honolulus Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace.

Bishop Larry Silva will welcome the remains at the cathedral at a 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, July 31. A formal ceremony and Mass will follow.

The remains are the full collection of the saints bones sealed in a 48-by-20-by-12 inch metal box. In the cathedral, the box will be placed upright in the existing koa and glass display cabinet that now holds a small reliquary with a relic of St. Marianne.

St. Marianne will be the only American saint whose remains will be enshrined in a cathedral, the mother church of a diocese.

Since 2005, the remains have been enshrined in Syracuse in St. Anthony Convent Chapel at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, the religious congregation to which St. Marianne belongs. The motherhouse is closing and moving to a new location, which is one of the reasons the remains are being relocated.

St. Marianne Cope arrived in Hawaii in 1883 from Syracuse with six companion sisters to care for natives with Hansens disease. Shortly afterward on Maui she opened Malulani Hospital, now called Maui Memorial Medical Center, and the Kapiolani Home for the healthy children of leprosy patients.

In 1888, she went to Kalaupapa to run Bishop Home, a complex of cottages for the female patients. Since then until today, approximately 65 Sisters of St. Francis have served in Kalaupapa as nurses and health care workers.

St. Marianne died at age 80 in Kalaupapa in 1918 and was the only Sister of St. Francis to be buried there. She was beatified at the Vatican on May 14, 2005. Pope Benedict XVI canonized her a saint on Oct. 21, 2012.

JORDANIAN FR.RIFAT BADER IS GUEST ON VATICAN INSIDER

Join me this weekend on Vatican Insider for Part II of my conversation with Fr. Rifat Bader, general director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Amman, Jordan. We spoke during my six-day visit to Jordan after the Holy Fathers three-day journey to the Holy Land. Fr. Bader was the spokesman for the church in Jordan during the May 24 visit of Pope Francis to his country. Fr. Bader and I first met in Jordan in 2009 during Pope emeritus Benedicts visit to the Holy Land. We met again in 2010 for Benedicts trip to Cyprus and yet again in 2012 for the Popes trip to Lebanon. Fr. Bader was in Rome for last years conclave that elected Pope Francis. He has some great behind the scenes stories as well as analysis of the papal trip and of the situation for Christians in his land, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In the U.S., you can listen to Vatican Insider on a Catholic radio station near you (see the list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on Sirius-XM satellite radio. Outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our home page: click on the right side where you see LISTEN TO EWTN. Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:30 am (Eastern time) and re-airs Sundays at 4:30 pm (ET). Check for your time zone. Past shows are found in Vatican Insider archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

CARL SAGAN MEDAL AWARDED TO BR. CONSOLMAGNO OF VATICAN OBSERVATORY

The Jesuit-run Vatican Observatory has announced on its website that Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., has won the Carl Sagan Medal for "outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public." The Medal, awarded by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, will be presented at the 46th annual Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Tucson, Arizona in November, 2014.

The AAS notes that, Br. Guy Consolmagno has a decades-long track record of communicating planetary science to the public while maintaining an active science career. In addition, he occupies a unique position within our profession as a credible spokesperson for scientific honesty within the context of religious belief. Br. Guy uses multiple media to reach his audience. He has authored or edited six books, with Turn Right at Orion in its fourth edition of publication. This book alone has had an enormous impact on the amateur astronomy community, engendering public support for astronomy. In addition to writing books, he is a dynamic popular speaker, giving 40 to 50 public lectures every year across both Europe and the United States, reaching thousands of people.

He regularly gives interviews on BBC radio shows on planetary science topics and hosted his own BBC radio show discussing the origins of the universe (A Brief History of the End of Everything). These appearances address both pure science subjects and science-with-religion subjects. As a Jesuit Brother, Guy has become the voice of the juxtaposition of planetary science and astronomy with Christian belief, a rational spokesperson who can convey exceptionally well how religion and science can co-exist for believers." (http://vaticanobservatory.org)

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