VATICAN INSIDER: WILL HAWAII HAVE A THIRD SAINT? – POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT THAILAND AND JAPAN IN NOVEMBER

VATICAN INSIDER: WILL HAWAII HAVE A THIRD SAINT?

This week I have prepared what I hope is a fascinating and informative special for what is normally the interview segment of Vatican Insider. I think you all know my love, my passion actually, for the magnificent land that is our 50th state, Hawaii. I have developed a true Hawaiian “ohana,” a family, on my ten trips to this paradise and we all have one thing in common – our love for Hawaii’s two saints, Fr. Damien and Mother Marianne Cope, and our hopes for a possible third saint.

I note that, since 2008 and my first visit to Hawaii, I have spent years researching the lives and works of Saints Damien and Marianne, including covering their canonizations in Rome, respectively 2009 and 2012. And Hawaii may well have a third saint – Brother Joseph Dutton. He was not a religious brother but rather received that name from Fr. Damien himself who told Joseph one day as they worked together on Kalaupapa, “You are like a brother to everyone here.” (images: Hawaii Catholic Herald)

On June 23, 2015, Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu approved the statutes of the Joseph Dutton Guild, identified in church terms as a “Private Association of the Faithful with Juridic Personality,” with the mission of spreading knowledge of and devotion to Ira “Brother Joseph” Dutton, as well as addressing the financial and logistical needs for his cause for sainthood.

With my interest in and enthusiasm for the story of Joseph Dutton, I was asked to be a member of that guild. I attend one of the four annual meetings in person, and the other three gatherings via conference call. I was in Honolulu for the Guild’s August 28 meeting.

Here is the Dutton Prayer (Inspired by the Teaching of Pope Francis): God our Father, by the grace of conversion you raised your servant, Joseph Dutton, from the darkness of war, betrayal, addiction, and despair to the liberating joy of charity in the service of the abandoned and isolated chronically ill. Therefore we humbly ask you to allow him to intercede today for all who suffer on the periphery of human existence. May he pray especially for us in our urgent need for __________________________. In doing so may he be listed among your saints in heaven, if it is for your glory and the building up of your kingdom on earth. Amen
With ecclesiastical approval by Bishop Larry Silva, Bishop of Honolulu


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POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT THAILAND AND JAPAN IN NOVEMBER

The Holy See Press Office today announced Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Thailand and Japan from 19 to 26 November. He will be the second Pope to visit these two Asian countries, after Pope John Paul II.

By Isabella Piro (vaticannews)

The Pope’s next Apostolic Journey will see him visiting two Asian countries: the Kingdom of Thailand, from 20 to 23 November, and then Japan from 23 to 26 November, where he will visit Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. A detailed program of the visit will be announced later.

Thailand
The motto of the first stage of the Apostolic Journey is “Disciples of Christ, Missionary Disciples”, and is a reference to an important anniversary. 2019 marks the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam, erected in 1669. (Logos from Vatican media)

This event is represented in the logo prepared for the visit. Beneath a smiling Pope Francis is a boat that symbolizes evangelization. Its three sails recall the Trinity. The stylized representation of Our Lady’s hand supports the vessel. Finally, a golden cross invites the whole Thai Catholic Church to be a witness to the Good News.

The Asian Continent
In January this year, Pope Francis sent a message to the meeting of Presidents of the Doctrinal Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences of Asia, and a delegation of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in Bangkok. He wrote: “You are gathered in Asia, a vast and multiform continent, marked by religious, linguistic and cultural diversity, in order to reaffirm our common responsibility for the unity and integrity of the Catholic faith, as well as to explore new means and methods of witnessing to the Gospel in the midst of the challenges of our contemporary world.”

Japan
The theme of the Apostolic Journey to Japan focuses on the protection of life and Creation, and is quoted from a phase in “A prayer for our earth” at the end of the Pope’s Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ on caring for our common home.

In that document, the Pope encourages us to respect both the dignity of each person, but also the environment. This is particularly poignant in a country like Japan where the nuclear threat, as we read in the description of the motto, “remains a persistent problem.”

Three flames of three different colors characterize the logo: a red flame recalling the martyrs, the foundation of the Church in Japan, a blue flame representing the Blessed Virgin Mary who embraces all humanity as her children, and a green flame symbolizing both the nature of Japan, and the mission to proclaim the Gospel of hope. A red circle, like a sun, embraces all life, and symbolizes love.