CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Catholic Bishop Larry Silva, greeted Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday before Red Mass at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral.
Red Mass aims hope at officials
Elected officials and others in government service were encouraged to value humility and forgiveness even in the political arena by speakers at the annual Red Mass yesterday.
Gov. Linda Lingle, Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares, Supreme Court Justice James Duffy and about 30 state and city lawmakers were in the crowd of more than 200 people at the service at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral in downtown Honolulu.
Clergy members from a dozen Protestant churches joined Catholic Bishop Larry Silva and other priests in prayers that the Holy Spirit will inspire and strengthen officials.
Silva applauded the civic leaders because "they come back for more, even when they know their most valiant efforts may only cause a tiny ripple in the great ocean of needs. They can be bitterly criticized, torn to pieces by conflicting interest groups, worn out with weary work."
The bishop cited the need to resolve inadequacies in the educational system and address the continuing problem of homelessness as part of the "heavy yoke" of government.
Many in the crowd came to hear guest speaker Immaculee Ilibagiza, who survived the 1994 ethnic violence in her homeland, Rwanda, in which 1 million people were killed. She told her story of survival by hiding for three months with seven other women in a tiny bathroom. She told of how prayer turned her from hatred to forgive the enemy who killed her family.
Ilibagiza said: "If you belong to hate, you have no hope. If you belong to love, if you care for each other and trust each other, there is hope.
"If we had good leaders, it would not have happened. Now it is good leaders that give me hope. I have hope in the leaders of the world."