POSTED: Saturday, February 21, 2009

Date to honor Damien expected

“;The envelope, please ...”;

Today is a day that Hawaii Catholics have been eagerly anticipating: Pope Benedict XVI will set the date to finally name Father Damien De Veuster a saint.

A 5 p.m. Mass today at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral in downtown Honolulu will celebrate the announcement. The Rev. Marc Alexander, vicar of the Hawaii diocese, will preside at the Mass of Thanksgiving, which is open to the public.

The pope's announcement was planned for 11 a.m. today Rome time. That translates to midnight Friday Hawaii time, after the Star-Bulletin's Saturday edition was already rolling off the presses.

Hawaii's Catholic Bishop Larry Silva was scheduled to attend the Rome event today, along with members of the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the religious order to which Damien belonged.

Another Mass of Thanksgiving will be held at 9 a.m. tomorrow at St. Francis Church in Kalaupapa. The Belgian missionary priest served leprosy patients banished to the remote Molokai peninsula for 16 years until he died of the disease in 1889.


Ash Wednesday events scheduled

The season of Lent will be ushered in next week with Ash Wednesday services at several Christian churches.

The opening observance of the six-week period of spiritual preparation for Easter takes its name from the tradition of using ashes to sketch the sign of the cross on the forehead of each participant. Among the events planned are the following:

» Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St. The youth group will sponsor a pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the parish hall. It is part of the Lenten tradition that people used up their rich foods before beginning the season of fasting and penitence. Tickets at $7 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under will be available at the door.

» St. Andrew's Cathedral, Queen Emma Square. The imposition of ashes will take place during three services: 7 a.m. Holy Eucharist in Parke Chapel, 11:45 a.m. sung Eucharist and 5:30 p.m. choral Eucharist in the cathedral.

» Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Ave. The Wednesday service will begin with a 5:30 p.m. pancake supper in Weaver Hall followed by a 6:30 p.m. service in the church.

» Makiki Christian Church, 829 Pensacola St. The Ash Wednesday service will begin at 5:30 p.m.

» First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, 45-550 Kinaole Road, Kaneohe. A 7:30 p.m. Communion service will feature the Rev. Sim Fulcher as speaker.


Central Union to install ministers

Three ministers who are already serving the Central Union Church congregation will be formally installed at a March 1 service.

The 4 p.m. installation and worship service will be sponsored by the Oahu Association of the United Church of Christ and the Makiki church. A reception will follow. It is open to the public.

To be installed are:

» The Rev. Lawrence Corbett, who was selected by the congregation to be senior minister in May 2007. He was previously founding pastor of Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, Ariz.

» The Rev. Nancy Lockwood, a longtime teacher who joined the Central Union staff in March 2005, will be installed as an associate minister.

» The Rev. Dean Vestal will also be installed as an associate minister. He has served for three years as the congregation's city missionary leading outreach programs to the homeless. He was previously a minister at Arizona and Missouri churches and was recently accepted as a minister with the United Church of Christ.


Minnesota college choir to perform

The nationally known Concordia College Choir will perform a concert of ethnic music at 5:30 p.m. March 1 at St. Andrew's Cathedral.

The 73-voice choir from Moorhead, Minn., performs a cappella. The singers include Kamehameha Schools graduate Ashley Huffman, a Concordia junior.

Hawaiian songs as well as Russian music, African-American spirituals and hymns will be presented in the concert, which will replace the monthly evensong at the cathedral.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, senior and military personnel. Tickets will be available at the door or may be reserved by calling (800) 836-3006 or online at concordiatickets.com. For information, call the cathedral office, 524-2822, ext. 217.