Winter wonderland

One of many figurines in the holiday display by Wil and Rachel Soong.

One of many figurines in the holiday display by Wil and Rachel Soong.

A belated “Merry Christmas” and an early “Happy New Year” to our HCH blog readers! Hope the holidays have been treating you well.

We took a break from posting here during the busy Christmas season. But we’re back with more blog news to report.

This weekend, I had a chance to visit the home of Wil and Rachel Soong. The humble Catholic couple has set up a magnificent holiday display for friends and family to view for the past 11 years. Bishop Larry Silva and diocesan vicar general Father Gary Secor have been regular visitors to the Soongs’ house for the Christmastime set-up.

The Soongs' garage.

The Soongs’ garage.

Although I had seen photos and heard great things of the Soongs’ “Winter Wonderland” before, none of that compared to experiencing their display first-hand. The couple’s entire garage, foyer, kitchen, living room and “main room” are lined with hundreds of miniature figurines, ornaments, stuffed animals and festive decor.

It’s impressive, to say the least — a labor of love undertaken by Wil and Rachel long before the Christmas season even begins. According to Wil, the entire display “takes three months to set up, one month to show and three months to take down.” The couple acquired many of their figurines through friends and others in the community.

Wil and Rachel, who have preferred to keep a low-profile about their work, have considered making this the last year for their Christmastime “exhibit.” It was an honor for me to be in their gracious company and see the joy they get in sharing their Christmas spirit with guests.

Here are photos of the Soongs’ Winter Wonderland.

Wil and Rachel Soong

Wil and Rachel Soong

 

 

 

 

Hawaii Catholic Calendar: Dec. 6, 2013

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Happy Advent, HCH blog readers! We took a week’s hiatus from the Hawaii Catholic Calendar for the Thanksgiving holiday. Now we’re back with the latest events for this first weekend of December.

You’ll find spiritual sessions and several holiday concerts in the listings below. Don’t forget to send us info on other events in the Catholic community — email us here.

“Theology on Tap” Fall Series, Part 1: Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m. at Hukilau restaurant in downtown Honolulu. Diocesan young adult ministry coordinator Makana Aiona will be leading a session called “This is the Way.” Admission is $15, which includes a dinner buffet and soft drinks; alcoholic beverages must be paid for at the bar. More info: www.tothawaiidec13.eventbrite.com.

Star of the Sea Christmas Concert: Dec. 7, 7-8:30 p.m. at Star of the Sea Church/School in Waialae-Kahala. This event is sponsored by the Star of the Sea Peace and Justice Ministry (Next Step Shelter, Waikiki Homeless, free medical clinics in the Philippines). Performers include vocalist Mel A. Ona, pianist/vocalist Gordon Mattos, pianist Bill Samaritano and the Star of the Sea 10:15 Choir, and Tony Au Leung with the Chinese Catholic Ministry choir. More info: 734-0396.

Hawaii Sacred Choir Christmas Concert: Dec. 7, 3 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa. The Hawaii Sacred Choir celebrates the season with spectacular Christmas carols, accompanied by organ and harp in St. Theresa’s sanctuary, with its heavenly acoustics. Free admission. More info: HawaiiSacredChoir@hawaii.rr.com  or  220-6969.

Our Lady of Kea’au benefit concert: Dec. 7, 5-8 p.m., at the Our Lady of Kea’au retreat center grounds in Waianae. Featuring renowned local conductor Aaron Mahi, the Kamehameha Men’s Alumni Club, Hawaii Ecumenical Chorale, and Oahu Civic Orchestra. Suggested $20 donation for the concert and Hawaiian dinner. Proceeds benefit Our Lady of Kea’au outreach and spiritual programs. More info: Our Lady of Kea’au, 696-7255 or St. Francis Healthcare Foundation, 547-8031.

Rosary and Candlelight Procession: Dec. 7, 5-9:30 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kailua. After the parish’s Saturday vigil Mass, guests will be invited to pray the Holy Rosary for World Peace while walking around the church and school campus. Candles will be provided. A potluck celebration will follow. More info: 266-2222.

“Fully Alive Catholic” Advent retreat: Dec. 9-11, 7 p.m. at St. John Apostle and Evangelist Church in Mililani. Father Mathew Vellankal, a native of India who is currently pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Fremont, Calif., will be presenting this two-night event focused on “embarking upon a God-realized way of living.” More info: 623-3332, ext. 111 or email info@stjohnmililani.org.

Hawaii Catholic Calendar: Nov. 21, 2013

Our Hawaii Catholic Calendar this week is extra-packed with events. We’ve included listings for Thanksgiving weekend and early December to give you a head-start on your holiday planning.

As always, feel free to email us here if you know of an event we should post. Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

Featured event:yofflyer

Year of Faith Catholic Cultural Celebration: Nov. 23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Star of the Sea Church, Waialae-Kahala. The diocese’s closing event for the Year of Faith will include food, games, entertainment by parish cultural groups and Oahu Catholic school bands and choruses, confession on the lawn and Mass. More info: www.catholichawaii.org

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Maui Faith Formation Conference: Nov. 22, 6-9 p.m., and Nov. 23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church and Jr./Sr. High School in Wailuku. Sessions carry themes related to the “Year of Faith,” including evangelization, youth/young adult ministry, Catholic social teaching and theology. The conference is for everyone — parish staff and council members, catechists, ministry volunteers and parishioners of all ages. Advance registration is closed, but walk-ins will be welcome ($10 per course). More info: Kristina De Neve, kdeneve@rcchawaii.org.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter “Spanish” weekend: Nov. 22-24 at St. Theresa Church in Kihei. An opportunity for Spanish-speaking couples to rejuvenate their Sacrament of Marriage. Couples can escape their everyday routines and focus on each other. The weekend is being supported by Maui’s Marriage Encounter community. More info: Ignacio and Patricia Iniquez, 562-228-3617 or ipiniquez@yahoo.com.

HCCRS Christ the King celebration: Nov. 24, praise and worship at 5 p.m. and Mass at 6 p.m.,  at St. John the Baptist Church in Kalihi. The Hawaii Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services will be hosting this annual celebration marking the end of the liturgical year. Featuring praise and worship by Obadiah, and Mass celebrated by Father John Fredy Quintero. Potluck fellowship afterward. More info: chariscenter.hccrs@gmail.com.

Advent “family day”: Dec. 1, 2-6 p.m. at St. Anthony Retreat Center in Kalihi Valley. The theme for this event is “Let us make room in our hearts.” The retreat will allow kids and adults to explore the traditions of Advent, such as the Advent wreath, Jesse Tree, O Antiphons and more. $20 per family. More info: www.saintanthonyretreat.org or 845-4353.

An introduction to “centering prayer”: Dec. 6, 6-9 p.m. and Dec. 7, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at St. Joseph Church in Hilo. Marianist Brother Jim Vorndran will be speaking on this practice. He is a pastoral assistant who has taught about spirituality and forms of contemplative prayer for 40 years. The event is free, but calabash offerings will be gratefully accepted. More info: 935-1465.

Christmas Concert: Dec. 7, 7-8:30 p.m. at Star of the Sea Church/School in Waialae-Kahala. This event is sponsored by the Star of the Sea Peace and Justice Ministry (Next Step Shelter, Waikiki Homeless, free medical clinics in the Philippines). Performers include vocalist Mel A. Ona, pianist/vocalist Gordon Mattos, pianist Bill Samaritano and the Star of the Sea 10:15 Choir, and Tony Au Leung with the Chinese Catholic Ministry choir. More info: 734-0396.

“Theology on Tap” Fall Series: Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m. and Dec. 21, 6-9 p.m. at Hukilau restaurant in downtown Honolulu. On Dec. 7, diocesan young adult ministry coordinator Makana Aiona will be leading a session called “This is the Way.” Dec. 21 guest speaker will be Benedictine Sister Celeste “CC” Cabral with a talk called “Let Him Lead.” Admission is free; participants pay for food and drinks. All ages welcome. More info: www.tothawaiidec13.eventbrite.com.

“The Catholic Church & Hawaiian Culture”: Dec. 12, 5:15 p.m. at St. Stephen Church in Honolulu (on Pali Highway). The Leadership Association of Religious Congregations is hosting this event, featuring Father Alapaki Kim. Father Kim is a Native Hawaiian priest who is currently serving as pastor of St. Rita Church in Nanakuli. Admission is free. Supper will be provided, but salads and dessert are requested for potluck. Reservations required by Dec. 2. More info: Gayle Burgher, 735-4737 or gayle.burgher@chaminade.edu.

 

Hawaii Catholic Calendar: Nov. 14, 2013

We’ve got our Hawaii Catholic Calendar events listing compiled once again. There’s a diverse array of things to do this week for local Catholics — from plays to movie nights to a couple of fun fundraising-and-fellowship gatherings on Maui.

If we missed an event you would like to see listed, feel free to leave a comment below. Or, if you would like to see your event listed in a future Hawaii Catholic Calendar, email us!

This week’s calendar:

“Houseless in Paradise”: Nov. 15 and 16, 7 p.m.; Nov. 17, 4 p.m. at the Catholic Charities houselessinparadiseHawaii community hall in upper Makiki. An original play based on interviews with members of Oahu’s homeless community and those trying to help them. Suggested donation of $20, but no one will be turned away for inability to pay. More info: www.eventbrite.com or 218-0103 for reservations (recommended).

Cinema Divina presents “Lincoln”: Nov. 15, 6 p.m. potluck, 6:30 p.m. movie start, at Pauline Books & Media store, downtown Honolulu. The Daughters of St. Paul invite everyone to a screening of the Academy Award-winning film starring Daniel Day Lewis. More info: 521-2731.

Christ the King Church bazaar: Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the parish grounds in Kahului, Maui. The 3rd annual event features food, games, music, country store and a rummage sale. Admission is free. More info: bazaar@ctkchurchmaui.org or www.ctkchurchmaui.org/bazaar.

St. Joseph Early Learning Center Christmas craft fair: Nov. 16, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. at the parish gym in Makawao, Maui. This “pre-season shopping extravaganza” will include craft gifts, malassadas, baked goods, chow fun, famous chili and sale of the St. Joseph Parish centennial cookbook. Entry fee is 50 cents at the door. More info: 572-7652 or 572-6235.

“The Spirituality of Pope Francis” retreat: Nov. 18-20, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Newman Center/Holy Spirit Parish, University of Hawaii-Manoa. Using themes spoken by the pope, presenters Maureen McCann Waldron and Jesuit Father Andy Alexander each night will open scriptural passages and offer suggestions for personal prayer and reflection. A donation of $10 a night or $25 for all three nights will be requested to help defray expenses. More info: Sharon Chiarucci, schiarucci@rcchawaii.org.

Also, don’t forget the latest Young Adult Speaker Series, “Who’s on Your Canoe?,” on Nov. 20. Reserve your seat here.

**Edited to add …

St. Damien of Molokai Church, Kaunakakai, youth night (Nov. 15, 6-8:30 p.m.) and faith formation conference (Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.; 1-4 p.m.).

Big Island Year of Faith events, with Jesse Manibusan, Benedictine Sister Celeste “CC” Cabral, Sacred Hearts Father Herman Gomes and “Island Treasures” ceremony for service in ministry. Nov. 15, 6:30-9:30 p.m. (Sr. CC guest speaker); Nov. 16, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Fr. Herman guest speaker) at Old Kona Airport Makaeo Pavilion.

Hawaii Catholic Calendar: Nov. 7, 2013

It has been a busy week for Hawaii’s Catholic community. Many faithful have spent hours and days at the state capitol testifying and keeping vigil as the special session on the same-sex marriage bill SB1 continues. We’ll be sure to update our HCH blog with the latest news coming out of the legislature.

Today is Thursday, and it’s time for our Hawaii Catholic Calendar of events for the coming week. As usual, if you have any notices you would like to share with us, please click here to send an email.

Military Appreciation Prayer Service: Nov. 8, 8 a.m. at St. Anthony Church, Kailua. For active duty, retired, reserve or National Guard military personnel. More info: Tammy Torres, 261-3331. (Also, there will be special collections this weekend in parishes nationwide for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, or AMS. Funds raised will help AMS in their mission to support military chaplains serving the faith.)

“An Evening of Aloha” fundraiser: Nov. 8, 5:30-9 p.m. at St. Augustine-by-the-Sea Church in Waikiki. The Damien and Marianne Foundation is hosting its inaugural benefit, featuring food, damienmarianneglasswine and Hawaiian entertainment. Tours of the Damien and Marianne Heritage Center will also be offered. Proceeds will go toward construction of a permanent Damien and Marianne Museum on the grounds of St. Augustine Church. Tickets are $75 in advance and $90 at the door. More info: www.aneveningofaloha.eventbrite.com or 923-7024.

November’s Song: Nov. 9, 8 p.m. and Nov. 10, 4 p.m. at the Sister M. Almeida Student Center at St. Francis School, Manoa. November’s Song, a one-woman play, will offer a glimpse into the heart of St. Marianne Cope and her service to leprosy patients in Kalaupapa. General admission is $20; $10 for students under 18 (with valid school ID). Proceeds will go toward care of the Sisters of St. Francis in Hawaii who are frail. More info: http://www.sosfvocations.org/Hawaii%20Celebration.html, or Hillary Johanson at 988-3301 or hjohanson@sosf.org.allforgod

“All to God, All for God” vocation discernment: Nov. 10, 2-5 p.m. at St. Anthony Retreat Center, Kalihi Valley. Men and women who are discerning the possibility of religious life can join Sacred Hearts Father David Lupo and Sister Ivy Yim for an afternoon of worship and reflection. More info: 845-4353 or lupo.david@yahoo.com.

Christian Youth Rally with Jesse Manibusan: Nov. 10, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Kauai Convention Center in Lihue. Youth in grades 9-12 are invited to spend the day with their peers as Manibusan – a storyteller, singer, songwriter, humorist and “evangelizer” – brings the message and mission of Jesus to life. The rally theme is “Be a Light in the World.” Registration is required, so check with your pastor or youth leaders about the event. More info: Charlie Silva, 651-7483 or Rena Ulanday, 245-8450.

“Who’s on Your Canoe?” Young Adult Speaker Series: Nov. 20, 6:30-8:45 p.m. at the Clarence T.C. Ching Conference Center in Chaminade University. God has provided us with a multitude of canoepeople to choose as companions. But do we look for friends that help direct us spiritually? Speaker Malulani Kamanu, coordinator of youth ministry at St. Ann Church in Kaneohe, will explore that topic. More info: www.whosonyourcanoe.eventbrite.com/

Hawaii Catholic Calendar: Oct. 31, 2013

It’s Thursday (and Halloween). Time for our weekly Hawaii Catholic Calendar …

Parishes will be busy this weekend with special liturgies for All Saints and All Souls Days. If you aren’t sure what observances for these solemnities are taking place in your area, visit our diocesan website to search for Mass times and parish contact information.

Our Hawaii Catholic Calendar this week highlights a hodgepodge of major events going on in November. Mark your calendars early for the following:

“A Rose for Remembrance”: Nov. 8, 7 p.m. at the Newman Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa. St. Francis Hospice Bereavement Services invites you to an interdenominational memorial service that honors hospice patients and your departed loved ones. More info: Valerie Payton, vpayton@stfrancishawaii.org or 547-8144.

St. Anthony Jr./Sr. High School gala: Nov. 15, 5-10 p.m., King Kamehameha Golf Club House, Wailuku. The theme for the Maui Catholic school’s annual fundraiser is “Strength in Unity.” The event will feature St. Anthony alum Richard Bissen, circuit court judge, as the master of ceremonies. Champagne reception, holiday dinner and music included. More info: 224-4190, ext. 227 or http://www.impactalifetime.com.yofbigisland

Jesse Manibusan in Concert: Nov. 15, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Nov. 16, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Old Kona Airport Makaeo Pavilion.  In addition to praise and worship music by Manibusan, these Big Island Year of Faith events will feature Benedictine Sister Celeste “CC” Cabral and Sacred Hearts Father Herman Gomes as guest speakers. “Island Treasures” will also be honored for their service in ministry. More info: mfukiboak39@gmail.com or 217-6054.

Year of Faith Catholic Cultural Celebration: Nov. 23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Star of the Sea Church, Waialae-Kahala. The diocese’s closing event for the Year of Faith will include food, games, entertainment by parish cultural groups and Oahu Catholic school bands and choruses, confession on the lawn and Mass. More info: http://www.catholichawaii.org.

Capitol rally

The Hawaii Catholic Herald was there to cover yesterday evening’s capitol rally, held as a special legislative session began for state officials to vote on its hotly debated same-sex marriage bill.

Hawaii Family Advocates, an organization associated with Hawaii Family Forum, organized the rally for opponents of the bill to show their solidarity. Thousands of people — primarily folks of faith from the Islands’ Christian churches — packed the capitol’s sidewalks and lawn along Beretania Street.

The event featured guest speakers (pastors, lawmakers and community members), a live band and sign-waving. Dozens of groups from Catholic parishes were present.

Here are photos from the rally:

The Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee voted 5-2 in approval of the bill. According to Hawaii Family Advocates, the bill will now be voted on by the full Senate. That is expected to take place tomorrow at 10 a.m.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled the bill for hearing on Thursday.