DICASTERY FOR LAITY, FAMILY AND LIFE LAUNCHES WEBSITE – 75 YEARS LATER: MEMORIES OF PEARL HARBOR

What a fun day this has been so far, in addition to the sheer joy of a splendid day weatherwise! I always have to make sure my phone is charged because I never know when a good Facebook Live moment will occur – and I had two such moments today in St. Peter’s Square!

The first was when I stopped by the just-unveiled Nativity Scene and spoke to my friends from Gozo, Malta who built the scene: these are the eight men whom, if you recall, I met at La Vittoria restaurant about ten or twelve days ago. In particular, I videoed a brief conversation with the head of the building crew, Manwel who told me they will be on the scene through Friday’s official unveiling of the Nativity Scene and the lighting of the Vatican Christmas tree, after which most will remain in Italy for a vacation period.

My second FB Live moment was minutes after the first when I encountered a colorfully dressed group of Mexicans, in Rome to mark the December 12th feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On that day, in fact, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. The group had been marching up Via della Conciliazione as I was interviewing Manwel and when I walked over to them, they were no longer playing the music but still were very colorful, as you will see if you go to FB.

This evening, as I do every December 7th, I will join the Marian Fathers for First Vespers of the vigil of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Order, followed by a celebratory dinner. This evening will also be an expression of gratitude for the canonization last June 5th of the founder of the Marian Fathers, St. Stanislao Papczynski. Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life will preside vespers and be the guest of honor at dinner.

Probably the most well known Marian Father for EWTN viewers is Fr. Joe Roesch whom you see whenever there are wonderful stories of Divine Mercy to be told., especially at Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Ma.

Tomorrow, solemnity of the Immaculata, a holy day and holiday in Italy, I will attend Mass at the North American College presided over by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, followed by lunch. More on that later.

DICASTERY FOR LAITY, FAMILY AND LIFE LAUNCHES WEBSITE

The website of the new Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life: www.laityfamilylife.va  is now online.

A message from the dicastery explains that one “can find news about us, updates on social happenings, and videos. Just like our dicastery, the site has just been born and is evolving, but we would like it to increasingly become a place of listening and dialogue with the Christian laity and families around the world. The sites of the Pontifical Councils for the Laity and for the Family will no longer be updated, but all the material published there over the years will remain accessible at the following links:

LaityFamily

Links to the projects of the Pontifical Council for the Family: Children, The Meeting Point, and The Great Mystery, can also be found on www.laityfamilylife.va.

Contact the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life

www.laityfamilylife.va

Email: info@laityfamilylife.va

Twitter @laityfamilylife

Instagram laityfamilylife

75 YEARS LATER: MEMORIES OF PEARL HARBOR

The Japanese strike at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 became more than a lesson in a history book for me on one of my first visits to Honolulu. My friend Jan, wife of a retired Navy officer, has brought me to Pearl Harbor a number of times, In fact, when I am a guest with Trip and Jan at their home on a hill in Aiea, the first thing I see in the morning and the last at night from my bedroom is Pearl Harbor! It’s magnificent and awesome at the same time.

I did the following videos on one of my first trips to Honolulu

THE STORY OF A JAPANESE ENSIGN WHO SPIED ON PEARL HARBOR:

https://youtu.be/WNqpkQdydwA

ON OUR WAY TO THE ARIZONA MEMORIAL, PEARL HARBOR:
https://youtu.be/yhtcYDturP8

REMEMBERING A DAY IN INFAMY – DECEMBER 7, 1941 – ON THE ARIZONA MEMORIAL:

ON THE ARIZONA MEMORIAL, PEARL HARBOR:

https://youtu.be/4puFaZWqDv0

A VISIT TO PUNCH BOWL CEMETERY

:https://youtu.be/dHdl-k8Inzs

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70 YEARS OF PEACE: JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES

Yesterday was too important a day not to write about – so here’s an extra vacation column for  Joan’s Rome – or is it Joan’s Hawaii!

!70 YEARS OF PEACE: JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES

I participated, as a spectator, in a little bit of history last night, August 15, when a huge fireworks display was set off on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to mark the 70th anniversary, a day earlier, of Japan’s surrender to the Allies, an act marking the end of World War II. Known as V-J Day (Victory in Japan), August 14, 1945 was the end of the war in the Pacific, following the end, several months earlier, of the war in the European theater.

Yesterday’s celebrations were called “70 Years of Peace.“

The display – you can also see my videos – began with fireworks shaped like three chrysanthemums, symbolizing the victims of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, those who died in the atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima (Aug. 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9 1945), and all who died in World War II.

U.S. and Japanese civil and military officials participated in daylong ceremonies on Pearl Harbor, including the laying of wreaths. Amid great security, the public was welcomed to Ford Island in mid-afternoon where they could purchased food for dinner as they watched the program of speeches and music that began at 7 pm, an hour before the fireworks.

The pyrotechnic display was offered by the city of Nagaoka, a sister city to Honolulu, and the Japanese city that Admiral Yamamoto – who planned and executed the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor – called home.

I watched the fireworks from the Aiea home of my friends, Trip and Jan McKinney. We had eaten dinner on the lanai (terrace) of their hillside home that overlooks Pearl Harbor, and then watched the display, along with another good friend of theirs. It was very exciting to be on Honolulu on this occasion and to participate in such an historic moment.

Here are a few of the photos I took. I will soon post the videos on my Youtube page (youtube.com/joansrome) and on Facebook (facebook.com/joan.lewis.10420)