Ambrose and Augustine

Ambrose is my Confirmation Saint and someone that I pray to often. 

THIS beautiful dialogue between the great doctors of the Church, Ambrose and Augustine, was written by Sr. Edith Stein. It is awesome! CLICK HERE TO READ

HERE is also a great summation of both St. Ambrose's and St. Augustine's time in Milan 

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons.

Cooking 120 Turkeys at One Time!

Here in Hawaii we have a tradition of cooking our Thanksgiving turkeys in an old traditional hawaiian imu (underground oven) Below is a video of my family and I cooking 120 turkeys all at once a few Thanksgivings ago. We will be doing it again this year and every year. Its a wonderful cultural tradition to be able to hand down to our children

Thanksgiving Memories (Family Prayer 2014)

I found this video today as I went through some old family files. Its a video of our opening family prayer at Thanksgiving back in 2014. It was a very special Thanksgiving. Captured in the video are both my Papa Andy (Tutu Kane) and my Uncle Kui. They have both passed away in the last several years and this particular Thanksgiving was the last one that they were both there with us. Its so awesome to have this special prayer captured on video and to see them both there. Please pray for the repose of their souls. I am grateful for the tremendous influence they both had on my life. Love you Papa and Uncle. Miss you!

Article at the Maccabee Society

I recently published an article over at the Maccabee Society about my 200 lbs. weight loss and the connection that my health endeavor had to my desire to fulfill my vocation as a husband and father. 

Go check it out at

Catholic Tradition of Lighting Bonfires

The practice of lighting bonfires has root in Catholic tradition. St. Patrick promoted the practice of lighting bonfires to commemorate the resurrection of Christ and on the Twelfth Night (Of Christmas) there was a tradition of lighting 12 bonfires to honor the Twelve Apostles. There is also a perennial tradition of blessing bonfires on St John’s Eve (cf John 1:7)The Church blesses such fires, praying God that the faithful may overcome the darkness of the world and reach the “indefectible light”

Blessing for bonfires from the Rituale Romanum: "O Lord God, Father almighty, unfailing Ray and Source of all light, sanctify this new fire, and grant that after thedarkness of this life we may come unsullied to thee, Who are Light eternal. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."

image via creative commons license hereBonfire

Vicarious Suffering (Even for those in Purgatory)

It says in James that the prayer of a righteous person is extremely powerful (cf. Jas 5:16). Thats why we ask certain people or groups to pray for us. 

We wouldnt normally, lets say, ask a random person on a street corner to prayer for us. Rather, we would ask those  which we believe actually DO pray and who we believe God will hear. 

This is why we ask the saints to pray for us. They are at the very throne of God offering up their prayers on our behalf (Rev 5:8) Who better to ask for prayers than those who are living in eternal Glory in the presence of God! 

In addition to prayer there are other forms of supplication that   we can offer on our own behalf and on behalf of others. Fasting and suffering are 2 most powerful forms of this. AND, since we are in communion with those in purgatory we can offer up our fasting and suffering on their behalf as well.

Suffering on behalf of others is very scriptural:

Col 1:24 - "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church"

1 Jn 3:16 -  "In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren"

Phil 2:17 -  "Yea, and if I be made a victim upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and congratulate with you all"

2 Tim 2:10 - "Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with heavenly glory."

We are called to imitate St. Paul in sufferings for others. 

The connection to suffering on behalf of those in purgatory is the same as it is for praying, in general, for others (even for those in purgatory) namely that

"that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:38–39)

Since WE are united as one body in Christ THROUGH the love of God . . . death does not separate our communion with another in Christ. So just as much as I can pray for you while you are alive here on earth, so too can I pray for you or suffer for you (for the quick remission of temporal punishment due to your sin) after you depart from this earthly life. 

image via creative commons license. A Procession in the Catacomb of Callistus (Prayers for the dead). Alberto Pisa. 1905 (The above blog post is a re-post from August 2013)

GKC on Unmediaeval Practicality

“Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.”

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons.  G.K. Chesterton 

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Michael

The students, principal, faculty, and staff of St Michael School in Holy Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament #lexorandilexcredendilexvivendi

What a blessing it is to be a part of such a Catholic, Christ-centered school! 

"What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, God and the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation" 

"...In this world I cannot see the Most High Son of God with my own eyes, except for His Most Holy Body and Blood." 

- St. Francis of Assisi

One ‘Ohana: The Sacrament of Confirmation

Last year my family and I were invited to participate in a Diocesan continuing education video project on the sacraments. The video above was on the sacrament of Confirmation. My family is throughout the video and I have speaking spot around the 4:38 mark. 

It was a great experience and turned out to be an excellent video with a short but solid catechesis on Confirmation. It also superbly explains Bishop Silva's initiative to restore the original order of the sacraments of initiation in our diocese.

Real Life Catholic in Kauai w/ Chris Stefanick

Chris Stefanick, national speaker and EWTN TV host, came to visit our beautiful islands early last year for the filming of an episode of his 'Real Life Catholic' TV show. 

Several of us were invited to be a part of the filming to share our insights about the Faith as it is rooted in our Hawaiian culture. It can be watched on EWTN on the dates below or on the EWTN Facebook Page right after it airs on July 25th

Tuesday, July 25 at 5:00 pm
Thursday, July 27 at 11:30 am
Saturday, July 29 at 8:00 pm

So exciting! Please watch it when it airs to support Chris' amazing ministry!

Video Webinar: Unique Catholic Teachings

Here is a Diocesan Webinar I hosted earlier this year for the Diocese of Honolulu Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. The topic was 'Unique Catholic Teachings'. I hope to do more of these kinds of webinars in the near future each with a new set of unique teachings. In this particular class I discussed Guardian Angels, Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception, and Papal Infallibility

The Shift Shop Challenge

I have many hobbies, interests, and avocations but I have never been passionate about anything more than lecturing in theology here in Hawaii, around the U.S., and around the world.
The first picture on the left was taken back in 2004 and the other was taken earlier this year. I remember being unbelievably exhausted after just a 1 hour lecture. It hurt to be on my feet so long and my stamina was non-existent. The difference now that I have in energy and enthusiasm while lecturing is substantial. Being healthier helps so much!

My health journey isnt over though. I still have more goals. Next week Monday (July 17th) I will be starting a 3 week program called Shift Shop.
It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, your size, or your shape. The SHIFT SHOP provides everything you need to shift your body to the next level of fitness in just 3 weeks! I still have 3 spots left in my Challenge group. Let me know if you are interested in joining me on the 3 week challenge. You can email me at or you can text me at 808-223-3249
There are several ways to join. There is even a way to try the program for a week for free! I am excited to get started!

Video Class: Introduction to the Creed (TF109)

The course below fulfills the required class for the Diocese of Honolulu Theological Foundations Certification titled 'Introduction to the Creed (TF109). Be sure to contact your DRE or catechist after taking the course in order to get the proper credit towards your certification. 

Be sure to visit the Diocesan Website HERE  for the list of the courses required for the Theological Foundations Certification. Also visit for a link list of all the courses I offer to fulfill the Theological Foundations Certification 

The Kupuna Hawaiian Style Kanikapila

I had to go to the Ala Moana Shopping Center a little while back to get my iPhone fixed and I stumbled upon this awesome group of kupuna (elders) playing music in one of the alleyways. Nothing beats the old hawaiian style jam sessions (Kanikapila) especially when the elders are involved!

Video Class: Introduction to Scripture (TF107)

The Diocese of Honolulu recently launched a brand new certification process for catechists and other lay ecclesial ministers. The first level of the certification is called 'Theological Foundations' I have created a sub-site of to specifically focus in on the classes that are required to fulfill the certification at

Below is the first of the classes required for the certification, 'Introduction to Scripture' (TF107). Be sure to contact your DRE or catechist after taking the course in order to get the proper credit towards your certification

Be sure to visit the Diocesan Website HERE  for the list of the courses required for the Theological Foundations Certification.

Great Grandma Adeline - Last Manaleo of the family

Here is a video that is truly a treasure for my entire 'ohana. My great-grandmother Adeline, on my mother's side, was the last manaleo of our 'ohana. A manaleo is someone whose first and primary language was Hawaiian.

There are definitely folks in the 'ohana that still speak the native tongue but none of us that know it today had it as our first language. It was a blessing to be able to find this short clip, from the video called 'Kapu Ka'u' wherein my great-grandmother Adeline tells a brief memory of growing up in Ka'u. 

She passed when I was 5 years old. I only recall meeting her once. I and the rest of this family treasure this as this is the only known video recording of her. 

Heretic or Just in Error? (Lets ask St. Thomas)

In my catechetical work I meet many groups of fervent catholics seeking to understand the perennial teachings of Church and engage the hard questions that we face today as Catholics. The other night I ran into an intelligent catholic who really liked using the word 'heretic' to describe anyone that disagreed with one of his ideas or beliefs. I happened to agree with most of what this person believed and said BUT I did take issue with his use of the word 'heretic' so loosely. 

Declaring someone a 'Heretic' is no small deal and I think its important to understand what a heretic actually is according to the Church and when someone might actually just be in error on a specific concept or topic. 

According to Canon Law "A heretic is a person who has been baptized and claims to be a Christian, but who pertinaciously denies or doubts a truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith (1325, 2)." (Canon 751 in the 1983 Code)

The key word is pertinaciously (or 'obstinately' in modern translations). Without true pertinacity, against that which they are in error about, the person is not technically a heretic and is rather 'someone who is in error'

Even St. Thomas explains in STh., II-II q.5 a.3 resp.

"Hence it is evident that a heretic who obstinately disbelieves one article of faith, is not prepared to follow the teaching of the Church in all things; but if he is not obstinate, he is no longer in heresy but only in error"

The difference can mean a world of difference when it comes to charitably discussing errors in belief with those who are in error... These days calling someone a 'heretic' is normally of no benefit in trying to bring that person to a greater understanding of the Truth. If someone IS a heretic then it is what it is BUT if they are simply in error about a topic I think its prudent to reason with them and explain to them the orthodox teaching as opposed to declaring them a heretic immediately without doing our part to respond to them, according to 1 Pet 3:15, with gentleness and respect

image from the 'Public domain'  St. Thomas Aquinas

Pope Francis to Confessors around the world

To hear confessions is a pastoral priority. Please, let there not be those notices: “Confessions are heard only on Mondays and Wednesdays from this hour to that hour.” You hear confessions every time they are requested. And if you are there [in the Confessional] praying, keep the Confessional open, which is God’s open heart.

- Pope Francis

Mission at Our Lady of the Mount (3/27/17 & 3/28/17)

I will be leading a lay catechetical mission Monday and Tuesday night starting at 6:30pm (3/27/17 & 3/28/17) at Our Lady of the Mount in Kalihi. During the season of Lent we are called to embrace the transformational nature of Sacrifice and to reflect on those things we can work on in our own lives as we prepare ourselves for the Sacred Paschal Triduum wherein we celebrate the life, death, and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

For those of you attending the mission I have 2 downloads below that can help you revisit many of the concepts we discuss during the mission.

St. Basil on the Arian Crisis

"The danger is not confined to one Church... this evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat is now openly proposed as a reward for impiety; so that he whose blasphemies are the more shocking, is more eligible for the oversight of the people. Priestly gravity has perished; there are none left to feed the Lord's flock with knowledge; ambitious men are ever spending, in purposes of self-indulgence and bribery, possessions which they hold in trust for the poor. The accurate observance of the canons is no more; there is no restraint upon sin. Unbelievers laugh at what they see, and the weak are unsettled; faith is doubtful, ignorance is poured over their souls, because the adulterators of the word in wickedness imitate the truth. Religious people keep silence; but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship, as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude with groans and tears to the Lord in heaven. . . What is most melancholy of all, even the portion among us which seems to be sound, is divided in itself, so that calamities beset us like those which came upon Jerusalem when it was besieged." 

- St. Basil in his letter to the bishops of Italy and Gaul

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons St. Basial of Caesarea

Dispensation for St. Patrick's Day!

Bishop Silva grants a dispensation from abstinence from meat on Friday, March 17, 2017, St. Patrick’s Day, for anyone who wishes to take advantage of it.  However, if one chooses to eat meat on that day, another day close to it should be chosen to abstain from meat in order to preserve the importance of Lenten penitential discipline. (From

In other significant St. Patrick news the Russian Orthodox Church now officially celebrates St. Patrick as saint as well as other western saints! CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

image via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Saint Patrick by Sicarr - Flickr

Rules for an Infallible Solemn Papal Definition (Repost)

Over the last several weeks I have been a part of several lengthy conversations on the limits of the Papal charism of infallibility. It is something that is often misunderstood by Catholics. Below the picture is a repost of a short article I put together several years ago to explain the specific conditions by which the charism of infallibility is invoked

The solemn definition concerning the Infallible teaching of the Roman Pontiff was given in the 4th session of Vatican 1:

"We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, is, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and that, therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, irreformable." (McNabb, V. (1907). The Decrees of the Vatican Council. 46–47)

This same teaching was reaffirmed in the new Catechism of Catholic Church:

"The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful—who confirms his brethren in the faith—he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals"(CCC 891)

The definition of Vatican 1 and its reaffirmation in Vatican 2 can be summarized into 3 core criteria

1. The Pope speaking  as pastor and teacher of the universal Church (The SUBJECT)
3. A doctrine of faith or morals (The OBJECT)

(This criteria summary, including the allocation of the subject, act, and object, comes from the book ʻCathedra Veritatisʻ by John P. Joy, S.T.L. Its an excellent book that addresses the extent of Papal Infallibility. You can purchase the book at . I highly recommend it!)

The two most noted examples of solemn Papal definitions are ʻIneffabilis Deusʻ of Pius IX on the Immaculate Conception as well as Pius XIIʻs ʻ Munificentissimus Deusʻ on the definition of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. A quick look at those definitions is good way to see the rubrics set up in Vatican I in action. Ill add, in bold, the notes of subject, act, and object

"Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own [subject] : "We declare, pronounce, and define [act] that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God [object] and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful." (Apostolic Constitution, "Ineffabilis Deus". Pope Pius IX,  Dec 8, 1854.)

"Accordingly, after We directed Our prayers in supplication to God again and again, and invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God, who lavishes His special benevolence on the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the victor over sin and death, for the increasing glory of the same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the whole Church, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, and by Our own authority [subject] We pronounce, declare, and define [act] that the dogma was revealed by God [object], that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, after completing her course of life upon earth, was assumed to the glory of heaven both in body and soul." (Apostolic Constitution, “Munificentissimus Deus,” Nov. I, 1950)

In future blog posts Ill go through some of the other ʻsolemn papal definitionsʻ listed by modern theologians, under the criteria of Vatican I.

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons (PD1923)Vatican I. Karl Benzinger

Anglicanorum Coetibus - Bld. John Henry Newman Parish

A few weeks ago, while I was in California, I attended my very first  ʻAnglicanorum Coetibusʻ Ordinariate mass at Blessed John Henry Newman Parish in Irvine. It was awesome. It was done Ad Orientem and used what seemed to be a direct translation of the 1962 Missal , especially from the Preface onward. 

Interestingly enough they were celebrating the feast of the Chair of St. Peter (which happens to be the patron of their Ordinariate) and the priest spoke on the beauty of the papacy BUT also the limits of the charism of infallibility. Fr. Bartus is an excellent priest and I highly recommend going to visit his parish if you are ever in the Irvine area.

If you have never heard of 'Anglicanorum Coetibus' it is the Apostolic Constitution of Benedict XVI wherein he provided persnonal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering full communion with Rome. you can read the original document HERE 

Catechetical Mission at St. Michael Waialua (3/6/17 & 3/7/17)

Look I made it on to the wall at St Michael in Waialua :) 

I will be leading a lay catechetical mission Monday and Tuesday night starting at 7pm (3/6/17 & 3/7/17). Please feel free to come if you are able. During the season of Lent we are called to recall the blessings of the past year and also reflect on those things we can work on in our own lives as we prepare ourselves for the Sacred Paschal Triduum wherein we celebrate the life, death, and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. During our Lenten mission we will look at the many spiritual tools God has given us that we can use everyday to become stronger christians and better decision makers. Lets take a look at those powerful tools and learn the holy habits that can make us reflect God in our lives to all those that meet us! 

Light of the East

The family and I are visiting my wife's side of the family here in California. The kids are having a blast and I am enjoying visiting different churches. Today I attended the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at a Byzantine Catholic Parish in Anaheim. It was beautiful. Here is a picture of the liturgy today which was done in a side chapel. The other picture at the very bottom of the post is of the main sanctuary which they only use for Sunday and other solemn liturgies

A beautiful line from the Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom that caught my eye today: We also thank You for this liturgy which You are pleased to accept from our hands, even though You are surrounded by thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring with their wings, Singing the victory hymn, proclaiming, crying out, and saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are filled with Your glory...

A Large majority of catholics are only familiar with the Roman Catholic Church as it is the most prominent. They are unaware that the Catholic Church is a communion of twenty-two ritual Churches, each with its own unique customs, traditions, and liturgy, united by the same Faith under the leadership of the Vicar of Christ, the Roman Pontiff. 

Vatican 2, in the document ʻOrientalium Ecclesiarumʻ , decreed the right of Eastern Catholic to keep their own distinct liturgical practices while remaining in full communion with the Holy See. It is truly beautiful that our Holy Church has allowed the treasure of the Liturgical and customary catholic traditions of the East to share its Light with the rest of the Holy Catholic Church!