Friday, May 10th (School): Today, on St. Damien's feast day, Holy Family Parish held a school Mass where they celebrated first communion and grandparent’s tea. Later that afternoon the relics of the saints were taken to each classroom where the teachers had prepared the students ahead of time on the stories of the saints. The advanced preparation of the students allowed for a great Q&A exchange, up close and personal observation of the relics by each student, and the blessing and distribution of a combined saints prayer card to each student.
Saturday, May 11th (Parish): The "main event" for the relics was Mass at the parish at 8:40 AM, followed by a talk on the saints, benediction, veneration of the relics, anointing of the sick, and a meet and greet reception in the community hall with saint gift items on hand for sale.
The pictures below include ones from the school Mass, the school classroom visits, veneration pictures of families and individuals who gave permission, and the relics leaving the church by the host family members.
Tuesday, May 14th: There was a 6 PM Mass, followed by a talk on the saints, veneration of the relics and a meet and greet at the parish. The last picture is the family that processed in with the relics.
Wednesday, May 15th (School): At 8:30 AM a school Mass was held, followed by a talk on the Saints, veneration of the relics, a meet and greet, and sales of gift items. Due to the mass, talk, and veneration being held on a school day, the students were dismissed right after Mass; however, the teachers showed a video of the saints to the students the day prior, on May 14th. Following the meet and greet at the parish, the relics were taken to an all-school assembly where a Q&A session was held, followed by individual grade levels processing by the relics.
The school photographer was on hand and was given permission to share the pictures below with our Diocese as well as post them on their school's Facebook page. Included in the pictures are those taken at the parish.
Wednesday, May 15th (Parish): Upon arriving at the parish, the relics were taken to a RCIA gathering, where a brief talk on the saints, a Q&A session, and viewing of the relics took place. At the Q&A it was shared that the relic of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha had been to the parish the year before, and that in a nearby neighborhood lived the young boy whose claim that his infection with flesh-eating bacteria disappeared after he prayed for her intercession was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI in December 2011, thus recognizing Tekakwitha as a saint. She was canonized the following October with Saint Marianne.
Thursday, May 16th St. Marianne took a very special detour today. We were invited to attend the Native American "Blessing of the Fleet & First Salmon Ceremony at Swinomish". Sister Cheryl held the Native American-made holy water container and Fr. Mel Strazicich has St. Marianne wrapped in a lei and adorned with the female cedar. After the blessing, a member of the fleet each sailed in one of the four directions: north, south, east, and west. Following this event, St. Marianne’s relic was taken to a homebound visit.
There are also pictures from the 5 PM parish prayer service, talk, veneration, meet and greet, and sales of gift items. The family in the second-to-the-last picture processed in with the relics and are members of the Native American St. Paul’s Parish (the church is shown in the last picture), where Fr. Mel is the pastor as well.
Friday, May 17th: There was a 6 PM veneration, Mass, talk, sales of gift items, and dinner. In attendance were family members of Audrey Toguchi, the woman that received the "second miracle" that led to St. Damien's canonization. Audrey’s niece processed in with the St. Damien relic.
At this parish are a good number of Hawaiians who are now Washington State residents; thus, liturgical hula and songs by Robert Mondoy were performed and sung at the Mass. Mahalo nui loa to Robert for giving permission to use his songs at this closing relic tour Mass.
The relics were taken to homebound parishioners over the weekend.