A parishioner at St. Theresa Catholic Co-Cathedral in Kalihi paid her respects to the late Pope John Paul II yesterday at a small monument set up at the altar before morning Mass.

Isle parishioners
pray for pope

On the second Sunday after Easter, in churches from Kalihi to Kalaupapa, Hawaii's Catholics prayed and reflected on the life and death of Pope John Paul II.

Local memorials

A special memorial Mass for Pope John Paul II will held tonight at 7 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, 712 N. School St.

Another Mass for students at the church school will be held Tuesday at 8 a.m.

People wishing to offer condolences can sign a book at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace on Fort Street Mall. The book will be sent to the Vatican at the end of the Novena, the nine-day mourning period for the pope. The church is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Daily Masses are held at 6:30 a.m. and noon.

At the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, candles were lit, and parishioners observed a moment of silence for the pope.

Before the service, people offered prayers at a table where a picture of John Paul II sat between a vase of roses and a candle, above a row of Easter lilies.

In his homily the Rev. Anthony Rosario remembered seeing the pope as a boy in Manila during a World Youth Day celebration and the joy the pope got from being with young people.

"Just a glimpse of him gave you satisfaction," he said.

At St. Francis Church, in the small community of Kalaupapa on Molokai, the Rev. Joseph Hendriks said the pope's life has special significance for the residents, many of whom met him in their drive to get sainthood for Father Damien de Veuster and Mother Marianne Cope, who ministered in the former Hansen's disease colony.

Hendriks' message yesterday was on the pope's life, which he called a "beautiful example."

The suffering at the end of the pope's life shows the power of trusting in God to rise above despair, Hendriks said.

"People have to accept suffering, especially the people of Kalaupapa, who suffered from leprosy," he said. The same message applies to those with AIDS and for the poor, he added.

Before services at St. Augustine in Waikiki, parishioners said the next pope will have a hard act to follow.

"He (John Paul II) was solid," said D.W. Smith, who noted the pope opposed abortion and had strong moral beliefs. "The next pope is going to be under a lot of pressure."

Stephen Geri, a visitor from San Antonio, said he hopes the next pontiff will be like John Paul II, who met and impressed world leaders with his faith.

"It think it is going to be an incredible challenge to fill his shoes," Geri said.

Rosario marveled at a pope for a modern age, whose life and now death have been the subject of constant television and media coverage that has helped spread the word of God to people all over the world.

"The life of John Paul II is worth millions of sermons," he said.

The pope lived to see Easter, Rosario added. His death has a special meaning on the Sunday after Easter, what some call Divine Mercy Sunday.

"The Holy Father has joined Jesus Christ, who has risen from the dead," Rosario said.

E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com