Rorate Caeli

Rorate on the Road: Honolulu

The 50th of the United States is perhaps the most beautiful. On Oahu, the island in Hawaii containing the capital city Honolulu, Blessed Sacrament parish is the home of a traditional Latin Mass offered every Sunday at 10 a.m.

Rorate recently attended Mass there -- a sanctuary within paradise on earth -- and met numerous members of the congregation afterward. The diocese was not always friendly toward the TLM, as infamously demonstrated decades ago. But times have changed, and the TLM community there is quite strong, with several happy families and friendly young adults in the pews of the diocesan church.

Sunday Mass at Blessed Sacrament church in Honolulu

The pastor of the parish is Father Steve Nguyen, a charitable young priest who usually offers the Sunday TLM. On occasion, clergy from the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter will visit the parish, which has produced vocations for them. When Rorate attended, Father Richard McNally, SS.CC., offered the Mass (with Father Nguyen assisting at communion) and gave Rorate permission to use the above photo for this post.

Father McNally is a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the same order Father Damien (De Veuster) belonged to while ministering to lepers in the then-kingdom of Hawaii. Father McNally is a staunch defender of traditional Catholic teaching, with a courageous record in an order that is generally known to be on the more liberal end of the spectrum.  He is currently stationed in Fiji, so it was a treat to meet him during his brief return to Hawaii where he spent many years prior to his current assignment.

Father Damien of Molokai, now canonized a saint, figures prominently in Hawaii, with a statue in front of the state capitol building and images of him displayed throughout the state, including inside Blessed Sacrament church. How fitting that the traditional Latin Mass he offered from 1864 to 1889 is still offered every Sunday morning at 2124 Pauoa Road in Honolulu.