12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

CAPITAL CAMPAIGN PRAYER

  “Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build.” (Psalm 127:1)

 We take the above words of the psalmist seriously because prayer is an important component of any parish capital campaign. Since we have created a beautiful prayer for our capital campaign, we will begin saying this prayer every Sunday immediately after the Prayer After Communion from July 1. The prayer will be projected on the screen.

The purpose of any prayer is petition for needs, praise and thanksgiving for blessings received. Our Capital Campaign Prayer starts with an address to the Almighty God and our acknowledgement for His mercy and generosity. We then ask for the grace to respond faithfully to God’s call for discipleship and evangelization. In humility, as God’s stewards, we acknowledge before God that we fully invest ourselves in attaining the goal of our Capital Campaign, which is to construct the One Community Center. We do this with loving generosity for the blessings God has given to each us, and in turn we offer these blessings back to God the giver of all we have received. Why do we build the One Community Center? We do it above all for God and for future generations. We include God in our goals and purposes because we have faith that God is with us in the Holy Spirit who inspires us on this journey towards a blessed and brighter future.  

 

Msgr. John S. Mbinda

Pastor 

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ also known as Corpus Christi in Latin, it is important to knows its background. The feast owes its origins to St. Juliana, a nun in Liege, Belgium. St. Juliana at an early age developed her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and was inspired to start a feast in honor of the Holy Eucharist. However, long before St. Juliana, the Catholic Church had a rich theological tradition on the Holy Eucharist leading to its devotion.  St. Thomas Aquinas considered the Holy Eucharist as the greatest of all Sacraments (cf. Summa, III:65,3). 

Pope Urban IV (1261-1264), issues a decree in September 4, 1264 instituting the Solemnity of Corpus Christi for the Universal Church. The Pope also asked the esteemed Dominican, St. Thomas Aquinas to write the prayers for the proper of the Holy Mass, as well as several hymns to enhance the beauty of Corpus Christi. Among the text of the hymns prepared by St. Thomas Aquinas were the Pange Lingua, which we sing during the transfer of the Holy Eucharist to the altar of repose on Holy Thursday; the O Salutaris Hostia which we use at the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament; the Tantum Ergo, taken from the Pange Lingua, which we normally use at Benediction; and the Lauda Sion, which is the optional Sequence used on the feast of Corpus Christi before the Gospel acclamation. St. Thomas Aquinas also composed the classic Panis Angelicus, a rendition of which is a favorite wedding hymn. As we celebrate Corpus Christi this Sunday, we are rooted in a long tradition.

Msgr. John S. Mbinda

Pastor 

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

We believe in one God…” Trinity Sunday, officially called "The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity," is one of the few celebrations of the Liturgical Year that commemorates a confession of faith and doctrine rather than a person or event. On Trinity Sunday, we celebrate and honor the eternal one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit whom we confess in the Nicene Creed. Trinity Sunday is celebrated the Sunday after Pentecost. Eastern Churches have no tradition of Trinity Sunday, arguing that they celebrate the Trinity every Sunday.

 From the earliest time, the Trinity was one of the most fascinating - and controversial teachings. The Trinity is described as a "mystery." By mystery the Church does not mean a riddle, but rather the Trinity is a reality above our human understanding, but ultimately a mystery we must embrace in faith, celebrate in worship and imitate its life of communion. This mystery becomes part of us as we pray it in the Nicene Creed every Sunday. Someone has said that mystery is not a wall to run up against, but an ocean in which to swim!

 The Trinity is the belief that God is one in essence, but distinct in persons. The Greek word for person means "that which stands on its own," or "individual reality," and does not mean the persons of the Trinity are three beings. Therefore, we believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct from one another (not divided though), yet completely united in will and essence. How can this be? Well, think of the sight of two eyes. The eyes are distinct, yet one and undivided in their sight. The Russian artist, Andrei Rublev in the fifteenth century depicted the Holy Trinity in an icon that shows the three angels whom Abraham hosted at Mamre. The angels are seated around a white table with their eyes and fingers focused on a chalice shaped bowl. (cf. Gen 18:1-8)

What is Pentecost?

What is Pentecost?

The word Pentecost comes from the Greek Pentēkostē (πεντηκοστή), which means the fiftieth day, but the origin is from the Jewish feast of the Pentecost which occurred 50 days after the Passover known as Shavuot. The feast marked the conclusion of the First Fruits celebrations. It also marked the sealing of the Old Covenant on Mount Sinai. Fifty days after the resurrection, Christ fulfills his promise of sending the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. From that time, they were empowered and led by the Holy Spirit.

What does Pentecost mean for our personal and parish life? On Pentecost day, Christ sent the apostles out into the world to proclaim the good news of salvation, peace, joy and reconciliation. Fifty days after the resurrection we celebrate Pentecost not simply to relive the event, but also as a reminder that each of us and as parish community are sent, like the early disciples, to proclaim the good news of salvation to all around us in Mililani and beyond. In other words, we exist here at St. John Apostle and Evangelist to evangelize. The Holy Spirit inspires us to connect, to engage, to witness and to evangelize – that is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ with the boldness and courage that the Holy Spirit has given us. “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

 

Msgr. John S. Mbinda 

 

 

 

 

Expression of Faithfulness

In the last bulletin, we reflected on our commitment to growing possibilities. With the One Community Center coming, there are incredible possibilities to growth in our parish. However, as we continue the capital campaign, there is always the danger of losing sight of our mission or the very purpose for our being here in Mililani as a parish. As we state in our Mission Statement we are here “to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to all through our words, deeds and lives.” Our capital campaign is an expression of faithfulness to that mission because, since we are growing, we need the infrastructure and the space to take care of our growing needs.

The One Community Center will create many possibilities, not only a place to connect, engage and witness, but above all a place to evangelize others by leading them to encounter Jesus Christ in creative ways. Throughout this capital campaign, let us remain faithful to our mission to evangelize all by intentionally going beyond our comfort zone into the Mililani Community. We need to reach out to those who do not come to us. We need to invite Catholics to come back home. Building the One Community Center is being faithful to our mission.

 

Msgr. John S. Mbinda

 

 

Committed to Growing Possibilities

The OCC Capital Campaign continues because we are growing. Since our parish embraced stewardship as a way of life in 2014, you may not be aware that we have been growing in numbers.  Between 2015 and end of 2016, our parish grew in the number of households. In 2015, we gained 146 new registered parishioners and in 2016 we got another 122 new parishioners. All together we gained 268 new parishioners and we are still growing. These are exciting times in our parish community. Imagine the possibilities in our evangelization efforts in our Mililani community. The seed planted grows unnoticed. These are great signs of commitment to growing our parish in ways that we never imagined. But think for a moment. Why the growth?

Sometimes we forget that we cannot grow a parish with our own efforts. The Holy Spirit who has kept our faith and hope alive in our parish continues to inspire and give us the creativity to live the joy of the Gospel and to discover new possibilities of evangelization in our parish community.  In the Gospel of this Sunday, Jesus promises his disciples and us in our parish that He will never abandon us. The sign of that continued presence is that we belong to a parish community that cares and nourishes the faith of our children; a parish that is committed to growing possibilities in the future. Thank you for your continued pledge to the capital campaign.

 Msgr. John S. Mbinda 

OCC Fulfilling the Dream

Since the last presentation of the Capital Campaign for the One Community Center two weeks ago, I have met a lot of excitement among parishioners who have come out enthusiastically to support the campaign. One parishioner expressed that sentiment by saying that “I am so excited about our parish at the moment.” So why the excitement? There had been unfulfilled dreams, and now we can see the horizon of their being fulfilled. As Les Hunkele put is in this month’s Newsletter, the One Community Center “is going to fulfill the dreams of many of us.” I have been so touched by some families who are so committed by the idea that they are truly making a sacrificial pledge to make this dream come true!

As a stewardship parish community, we are fueled by an outward mission to the world, rather than an internal focus on maintenance. We need to remain focused on our parish mission statement which ends by these words: “to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to all through our words, deeds and lives.” Our One Community Center is necessary in furthering this mission. We will utilize this space for four broad services all connected to evangelization. 1) We will connect with people like never before; 2) welcome and engage people by leading them in direct and subtle ways to discover their talents and best way to live; and 3) we will equip them with skills to be able to share with others the hope they have discovered in Jesus Christ; 4) We will send them out to live and proclaim their faith (evangelize).

I thank all parishioners who have made their three-year capital campaign pledge because this takes faith commitment to a common dream that will benefit the present and future generations. May encourage all others to join us in fulfilling the dream! God bless you all.

 Msgr. John S. Mbind

Capital Campaign Gratitude

This time, I just want to thank all parishioners for your attention last weekend to our message on the One Community Center Capital Campaign.  Next weekend, we will have a brief follow up, as we would like to make sure that every parishioner has a chance to get the right information as we go forward.

May I also kindly ask that we continue to be focused on this important project, which will indeed have a great impact on our parish as well as the Mililani community.  Please continue submitting your pledge cards.  A safe drop off box for that purpose is at the back of the church.

 

 

It's Time to Act

“Be doers of the word and not hearers only.” (James 1:22)

Dear Parishioners,

With these words from St. James, I wanted to briefly share my thoughts of where we are and why we need to move forward with the One Community Center.  Today it is clear we are at a crossroads in our parish spiritual journey, more particularly as a stewardship parish.  I strongly believe that it is time for us to act in constructing the One Community Center.  This project will affect the future of the parish and the people of this area in a variety of ways, especially spiritually.

This One Community Center will certainly create more space on our campus, not only to accommodate the current space needs for our ministries, but also to give us a place for the overflow of our liturgical celebrations as well as a place where we can Connect, Engage, Witness, and Evangelize as we point out in our capital campaign brochures. Therefore, I urge each household to prayerfully consider pledging in support of the One Community Center Capital Campaign.

To all parishioners who have already presented their pledge, we are most grateful for your commitment.  God Bless you abundantly.

Fr. John Mbinda

 

Capital Campaign: Our Faith & Confidence

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason of hope.” With every successful capital campaign, there is a strong faith in stewardship and confidence in a clear achievable vision and a mission (plan).  As we embark on our Capital Campaign for the One Community Center (Parish Hall), it is my responsibility, as your pastor, to affirm and encourage you to “give an explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for your hope.” (1 Peter 3:15)

Stewardship Formation

Since 2014, our parish has embraced stewardship as a way of life and took stewardship formation, at all levels of parish life, seriously.  We learned that all our gifts of time, talent and treasure are God-given, and in return, a portion of these gifts are given back to Him according to what He has given each of us.  As a result of your stewardship, our parish has grown in the number of people praying, participation in various ministries, and giving in treasure. The stewardship formation we continue to receive will inspire us to have confidence in the succession of the our campaign.

Professional Guidance

In our capital campaign, we have been guided by Catholic Stewardship Consultants (CSC) in a professional way, keeping in mind that we are a stewardship parish.  Our faith and confidence in reaching our goal is attributed to both our parish commitment to stewardship and the professionalism of CSC.

Leadership Resources

Through Stewardship, we have discovered many skilled parishioners with leadership talents in our parish.  For an example, we are very blessed to discover that a retired construction engineer, with over 40 years of experience, will assist us in this process.  The Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) is a group that I have assembled for assistance and advice with the direction and operation of our parish.  In the last three years of planning our One Community Center, we have moved quite fast and saved money in the process because of their guidance.

Robust Plan and Operation Strategy

We have constructed a strong plan and operation strategy for a successful capital campaign.  With professional architects/engineers, the design plan is near 100% complete, it should be completed by July 2017.  The design rendering and operation strategy will be in the campaign brochure that you will receive in the mail.  The operation strategy estimates our timeline with construction cost estimates to ensure that we will stay on task with our capital campaign goal.  Such details on our timeline are crucial in a three-year capital campaign.

What You Need to Do?  Join hands with me and other parishioners who have sacrificially pledged and help us make our One Community Center happen.  I have a lot of confidence in your commitment to our wonderful parish.  There is no doubt that we need an additional place to gather, connect, engage and prepare for witnessing the Gospel (evangelization).  Please consider pledging sacrificially to the capital campaign.  With our parish coming together as a community, this gives me great confidence and conviction that we will succeed.  I begin with my own sacrificial pledge.  Join me.

 

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