Saturday, January 28, 2017


BL. EUSTAQUIO van LIESHOUT, SS.CC., (1890 -1943) born in the Netherlands, was the eighth of eleven children.  After reading the biography of Father Damien de Veuster and his work with the lepers on Molokai, he joined the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

 His first assignment was as assistant novice master for his order. He was then assigned to towns in Southern Holland, where he provided pastoral care for the many Belgian refugees. In recognition of his work, the King of Belgium knighted him in the Order of Leopold.

He then spent two years as a parochial vicar and in 1924 he was sent to Spain to learn Spanish, in anticipation of an assignment in Uruguay. However he ended up being sent to Brazil, where the language was Portuguese. (God's sense of humor). He arrived in Rio de Janeiro on 12 of May 1925 along with two other priests and three lay brothers, in response to an appeal by the local bishop.

In 1935 he was sent by his religious superiors to Poá. After news spread of Bl Eustaquio's transfer, the population of the town started a bloodless uprising to stop him from leaving. Nevertheless, he left in obedience for his new parish, where he worked to oppose the widespread practice of Candomblé (a semi-pagan religion).

His blessings and cures of the sick through the intersession of St. Joseph made the little village a noted center of pilgrimage.This, however, brought major problems to the town. Railroads were not able to furnish transportation for the great crowds; the lack of adequate housing meant that sanitary conditions were inadequate to the need. police were no longer able to maintain order.

Merchants sold bad food at high prices and thieves roamed the pilgrimage area preying on innocent victims. Bl. Eustaquio was ordered to leave the parish to prevent these conditions from continuing. Despite this, tremendous crowds followed him everywhere. Brazilian authorities became so alarmed that they ordered him out of towns and villages. No one had anything against him, but they were afraid of the crowds and the commotion that would follow him.

The Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro instructed Bl. Eustaquio to leave the capital by midnight. Subsequently, a fanatical crowd blocked traffic and invaded church rectories looking for him. He left Poá May 1941.

Somehow, he managed to find a hiding place and passed a year in peace and happiness. His final appointment was as pastor of Belo Horizonte, where he lived the last two years of his life. He was given an assistant who was able to control the crowds. No one was permitted to enter the rectory without a letter of introduction. In this fashion, he was able to devote his complete energy to the work of his parish. After a week of sickness caused by an insect bite, he died on August 30, 1943.

He was beatified in 2006

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


As we hear so much about Cuba in the news of late, it is interesting to note they may have a new saint on the horizon- one who died not 40 years ago.

FATHER JOSE VANDOR (József Wech, 1909-79) was just proclaimed Venerable by Pope Francis. He was born in Dorog, Austro-Hungary of German parents who were farmers. In 1932 he made his perpetual profession as a Salesian and was ordained in 1936 in Italy.

He asked to go to the missions and in 1936 went to Cuba. He became a Cuban national and changed his name to Vandor. He was a headmaster and chaplain for four years, later becoming rector of the Ag school in Moca, Dominican Republic.. He was known for his wisdom and prudence and so was chosen as Master of Novices. In 1946 became administrator to the College of Arts and Trades in   Camaguey, Cuba.

Later he was appointed to oversee the building of the school of Arts and Trades. When the school opened, Joseph Vandor was appointed rector, a post he held until 1961, when the Communists came to power  and schools passed into the hands of the Minister for Education. He was named rector of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In 1965, he became its first parish priest.

"Fr. Vandor can be compared to St. Francis de Sales for his patient docility, his prudent dedication, his enlightened wisdom as a spiritual director and to St. John Bosco for his apostolic dynamism, his love of poor youth, his spirit of faith, his serene cheerfulness and his cordial manners."

It is not easy to summarize Fr. Vandor's moral stature. The Bishop wrote: "With Fr. Vandor's death, the Salesian Congregation has lost a son, the diocese an exemplary priest, the faithful a beloved father" and we can add: "Villaclara has lost an honored citizen, who identified with the Corporation's educational concerns." 

In fact, the journalist Antonio Diaz Vázquez, in a piece entitled 'a lamp that burns and shines brightly' wrote: "He was one of the most lovable, dedicated and noble souls of the clergy of Villaclara." 

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Bishop Silva with our pastor, Father Steven
Most Reverend Larry Silva (2005-present) 

With Hawaiian family roots in Hawaii that extend back to the monarchy of King Kalakaua, Bishop Clarence "Larry"  Silva was the Vicar General of the Diocese of Oakland when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to be the fifth Bishop of Honolulu, since the establishment of the diocese in 1941 and the eleventh since missionaries brought the faith here in 1827. Of interest to me, Bishop Silva was ordained by  Joseph T. McGucken, then bishop of Sacramento (later Archbishop of San Francisco)..  His niece was a classmate, so instead of the Archbishop of Los Angels confirming us, Joanie's, uncle came.

Ordained a bishop and installed as Bishop of Honolulu on July 21, 2005 at the Neal Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii Catholics welcomed a man known to be a great priest, an experienced pastor, and a man of integrity.  A parish priest for most of his ordained years, Bishop Silva came to inherit 66 island parishes, 28 mission churches and over 200,000 faithful.

Bishop Silva has engaged Hawaii's Catholics on a journey to accomplish a mission, a mission to give "Witness to Jesus."  Not just an episcopal motto, "Witness to Jesus" has become the Road Map by which the diocese operates and fuels our infrastructure. He chose this motto, he said, because he is "convinced that our faith and our Church will be renewed to the extent that all our programs, structures and institutions can be more focused on the fact that Jesus Christ is not just a figure of past history, but is alive and active among us now. I want to be his witness and encourage others to witness to Him as well."

Friday, January 20, 2017


We certainly add our prayers to  those of our Benedictine brothers.

January 20, 2017

Dear Friends,

As of this writing, an avalanche caused by earthquakes this week has so decimated a
nearby ski resort that many have perished and others are still trapped inside. The
continuing fury of the trembling earth below us means I return to writing what I
have already written several times since August 24, 2016, each time with more
sadness, each time with more awareness of our own littleness: the monks are safe,
our buildings received a little more damage but most importantly our prayers are
with those men and women suffering under the rubble and the service personnel trying
to rescue them. May God bring them strength in their time of trial.

I was taking the novitiate for a trip to Monte Cassino, 4 hours south of Norcia when
news of the 5.5 earthquake reached us. That morning we offered Mass at St Benedict’s
tomb, on the ancient site that had itself been destroyed 3 times in its own
1500-year history. The large monastic church rebuilt from scratch after WWII was
empty and silent. As we prayed, we contemplated the mystery of God’s Providence
which permits unspeakable tragedy so that good might be all the more loved and
sought after. A few hours later, Central Italy, already under an unusual blanket of
3 feet of snow, was brought back to its knees, reminded that this earthquake has not
yet finished its course and we must once again be patient.
At Mass, at the Divine Office, and in each monk’s personal devotions, our prayer is
both one of trying to accept, fiat fiat, and one of intercession for mercy, for pax.

With continued thanks for your generous support and many emails and messages of

Fr. Benedict Nivakoff
The Monks of Norcia

Monastero di San Benedetto
Via Reguardati 22
Norcia, PG 06046


 All of the modern Bishops have had a great influence on the peoples of Hawaii, politically, socially and religiously. 

Bishop Sweeney  (1941-1967)

Pope Pius XII, on May 20, 1941, named Father James J. Sweeney of San Francisco as the first bishop of the newly established Diocese of Honolulu. He was 42.

Bishop Sweeney's appointment occurred seven months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. During the war, he organized a Crusade of Prayer, by which the children of the diocese each adopted one of the many servicemen who flooded the islands and prayed for him and his safety. The bishop confirmed nearly 400 troops during this time, visited hospitals, and worked with the Sisters of St. Francis to expand St. Francis Hospital to improve medical facilities for the civilian population.

Catholic education blossomed under Bishop Sweeny. When he was appointed in 1941, there were 19 Catholic schools, by his 25th anniversary as bishop; the diocese had two seminaries (one diocesan, and one of the Sacred Hearts Congregation), 10 Catholic high schools and 30 elementary schools with 17,150 students enrolled.
Bishop Sweeney also established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) to teach the faith to children attending non-Catholic schools. By 1966, there were 22,613 students in religious instruction classes from the public schools.
Bishop Sweeney also created many new parishes: ten on Oahu, six on the Big Island, three on Maui, one on Lanai, two on Kauai, and one on Molokai.

To increase the number of priests for the diocese, Bishop Sweeney purchased the Harold Castle home in Kaneohe and turned it into St. Stephen's Seminary in May 1946.
He built up the diocese's Catholic Social Service, reorganized Catholic Charities in 1943, and again revamped it in 1948.

With his auxiliary Bishop John J. Scanlan, Bishop Sweeney also attended the first session of the Second Vatican Council 1962.  Bishop Sweeney retired and soon after passed to his eternal reward on June 19, 1968.

Bishop Scanlan  (1967-1982)

Born in County Cork, Ireland in 1906, and serving San Francisco since his ordination in 1930, Bishop Scanlan was named auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Honolulu in 1954. He attended sessions of the Second Vatican Council starting in 1962 until their completion in 1965. Bishop Scanlan was bishop when I lived in Oahu.

In 1967, Pope Paul VI appointed him apostolic administrator of the diocese when illness forced Bishop Sweeney to retire. Upon Bishop Sweeney's death the next year, Bishop Scanlan was named the second Bishop of Honolulu.

As bishop, he created four new parishes in Hawaii and built nine churches. He welcomed Hawaii's increasingly diversified ethnic mix by establishing Masses in different parishes in Korean, Filipino dialects and Vietnamese, and also helped to establish a Samoan Catholic Council.

Bishop Scanlan was responsible for inviting nine new religious communities to serve in the diocese in schools, hospitals, outreach and the contemplative life.

Bishop Scanlan led a public demonstration in the rotunda of the State Capitol in 1970 against a proposed abortion bill, and after the bill became law was an outspoken proponent for the respect and reverence of life. As a response to the abortion issue, he opened the Mary Jane Home for unwed mothers and their babies, inviting the Sisters of the Good Shepherd to Hawaii to operate the facility in 1976.
In 1981, he ordained the diocese's first class of permanent deacons.

Bishop Scanlan retired at the mandatory age of 75 in 1981, remaining as apostolic administrator of the diocese until Bishop Joseph A. Ferrario, auxiliary since 1978, was appointed bishop in 1982.  Bishop Scanlon died on January 31, 1997.

Bishop Ferrario  (1982-1993)

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania., Bishop Joseph A. Ferrario came to Hawaii as a Sulpician priest to teach at St. Stephen's Seminary, a position he held for nine years.

He then joined the diocese, holding various administrative positions including the directorship of the Catholic Youth Organization. As head of CYO for five years, he helped recruit island teens and young adults to serve hundreds of disadvantaged children in camping and summer fun programs.

In 1978, after serving as pastor in two Oahu parishes, Father Ferrario was ordained auxiliary bishop to Bishop John J. Scanlan, succeeding him four years later in June 1982, as the third Bishop of Honolulu
Under the goals of "outreach, unity and renewal," Bishop Ferrario reorganized Catholic Charities, established the Office for Social Ministry and various ethnic ministries, encouraged parish renewal and actively promoted the concept of stewardship.

A strong supporter of liturgical renewal, Bishop Ferrario also established the Office of Worship and encouraged the updating of church interiors.
He established the Augustine Educational Foundation to provide tuition assistance for children in Catholic schools.

During his 11 years as bishop, he established two new Oahu parishes, Saint Jude in Makakilo and Resurrection of the Lord in Waipio. In 1985, he donated church land in Maui to establish transitional housing for Oahu's growing population of beach people.

Catholic Charities continued to pioneer progressive transitional shelters on three islands offering not only places for the homeless to live, but also vocational, medical and counseling services.

Bishop Ferrario retired on October 13, 1993 because of ill health.  He died on December 12, 2003.

Bishop DiLorenzo   (1993-2004)

Philadelphia native Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo was the auxiliary Bishop of Scranton when Pope John Paul II named him to be administrator of the Diocese of Honolulu immediately upon the retirement of Bishop Joseph A. Ferrario.

He served as administrator for a year before the pope appointed him as the fourth Bishop of Honolulu.
Installed on November 30, 1994, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, Bishop DiLorenzo introduced a diocese-wide parish renewal and review program called the "Welcoming Parish".

In June 2000, Bishop DiLorenzo convened the diocese's second synod to prepare the church in Hawaii for the 21st century through the drafting of 12 major proposals.  Youth ministry and religious education were the top concerns of the synod delegates.

The bishop increased and strengthened the diocese's ministry to newly arrived immigrants, in particular Filipinos, Vietnamese, Samoans, Hispanics, Koreans, and Chinese.

During Bishop DiLorenzo's administration, the diocese joined a coalition to block the legalization by court mandate of same-sex marriage in Hawaii. The effort led to the adoption of a state constitutional amendment, which gave the power to ban same-sex marriage to the legislature.

Bishop DiLorenzo responded to the national sexual abuse scandal by heightening its response to victims, establishing a victim assistance program, publicizing its sexual misconduct policies and mandating safe environment training for all clergy and church and school employees.

After nearly 11 years in Hawaii, Bishop DiLorenzo was appointed by the Holy Father to be Bishop of Richmond, Virginia. He was installed in Richmond on May 24, 2004.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Bishop Boeynaems  (1903 - 1926)

Bishop Libert Boeynaems, SS.CC.  came from Belgium to Hawaii in 1881 and spent his first fourteen years on the island of Kauai before being assigned to Wailuku, Maui.
Appointed bishop on July 25, 1903, he initiated many building projects throughout the mission. Three major churches were built during his term of office: Sacred Heart Church, Punahou (1914) St. Joseph Church, Hilo (1919), and the renovation of St. Anthony in Wailuku (1920)
Also part of the Sacred Heart Father's building program were  St. Anthony's Orphanage in Kalihi Valley (1909), St. Anthony's Orphanage, Wailuku (1923), and Father Louis Boys' Home, Hilo (1916). 
Bishop Boeynaems ambitious plan to convert the Fort Street cathedral into an impressive Gothic structure began with the construction in 1910 of an ornate Gothic porch fronting the church as a first phase of his proposed plan to renovate the church.

Bishop Alencastre  (1926-1940)

Born of Portuguese parents in Porto Santo, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the future Bishop Stephen Alencastre, SS.CC. migrated to Hawaii with his family when he was just an infant, living on Hawaii, Kauai and later on Maui.
Desiring to be a priest, he was sent to Europe for his seminary studies. He was ordained a priest at the Fort Street cathedral on April 5, 1902. In 1913, he was assigned to the Punahou mission in Honolulu and the following year constructed the present Sacred Heart Church on Wilder Avenue as its pastor.
On April 29, 1924, Father Alencastre became a coadjutor bishop to the sickly Bishop Boeynaems, succeeding him upon his death in 1926.
The new bishop, Hawaii's sixth and last vicar apostolic, realized the changing times and saw the need for training island men for the priesthood. He opened the first St. Stephen's Seminary in Kalihi Valley. Bishop Alencastre also did some major renovation to the cathedral, importing the marble main altar to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Catholic Faith in Hawaii in 1927.
Alencastre was also responsible for the continual building of schools and churches in the islands. On November 11, 1940 Bishop Alencastre died of illness on board a passenger ship returning to Hawaii from Los Angeles. With his passing, the mission era of the Catholic Church in Hawaii came to an end.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Mass on Sunday
This week in Hawaii my favorite bishop ( this does not include archbishops!). was in Honolulu. I introduced Karen (our Oblate here in Hawaii) to him last year and she is an avid fan. She thought it would be a great idea to fly over to Oahu to hear and meet him, but things did not quite work out. We were able (after a bit of effort) to stream the lecture and Mass.

(The photos were taken from his Facebook)

Bishop Robert Barron was the speaker at the diocesan Red Mass, Jan. 17 at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu. His topic was “The Noble Project: Law, Politics, and the Gospel.”

Bishop Larry Silva presided at the annual public liturgy that is the Church’s prayer to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance for the islands’ public servants. Present were members of the state’s executive, legislative and judicial branches, city and county officials, faith leaders, and others.

Bishop Barron's talk addressed “the natural law,” which, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, “is a reflection of the eternal law of God and is, in turn, the ground for all of our positive laws.”

When the relationship between God’s law, the moral law, and political law is lost, our society suffers,” the bishop said. “Human law at its best participates in the lawfulness of God and is in service of love and justice.”

A tradition in Hawaii since 1955, the Red Mass is customarily celebrated in January, to mark the opening of the state legislature. The Red Mass was introduced in the United States early last century from Europe where it has been celebrated for 700 years. It is an annual event in Washington, D.C., and other major mainland cities. The Mass is named for the color of the vestments used for a Mass of the Holy Spirit.

Mass in Kalaupapa (St. Damien's Church)

The night before Bishop Barron gave a talk on the 7 Keys to New Evangelization.

At the Mass on the 17th Bishop Barron said the highlight of his trip was the pilgrimage to Kalaupapa to visit the site of Hawaii's two great saints: Damien and Marianne. Mahalo and Aloha!

Sunday, January 15, 2017


This past week the priests in the Diocese of the Hawaiian Islands had their annual retreat on Oahu. Father Steven from Waimea attended. This caused me to look up the present Bishop and the history of the Church in Hawaii. During its mission period (1827-1940), the Catholic Church in Hawaii had six bishops. Officially referred to as vicars apostolic, they all belonged to the France-based Congregation of the Sacred Hearts who sent the first Catholic missionaries to Hawaii in 1827. They were missionaries in the true sense of the word, leaving a legacy that has influenced the Church in Hawaii even up to modern times.

Bishop Rouchouze  (1833-1843)

Hawaii's first missionary bishop, Stephen Rouchouze SS.CC. was a Frenchman. He was consecrated a bishop in 1833 at the young age of 35 to head the mission of "Eastern Oceania" which included the islands of Hawaii, Tahiti, Gambier, Marquesas and Tuamotu. He was stationed in Gambier in 1835, and after religious freedom was permitted in Hawaii, arrived here on May 15, 1840.

On June 6, the eve of Pentecost, he baptized 195 native Hawaiians at the Honolulu mission on Fort Street, signed a contract on June 22 for the building of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace; and in December ordained Sacred Hearts Father Bernabe Castan to the priesthood, the first ordination in Hawaii.

Bishop Rouchouze sailed for Europe on January 3, 1841, to gather more missionaries and supplies for his Pacific missions. But on his return voyage in early 1843, his ship, the "Marie-Joseph" sank and all were lost at sea.

Bishop Miagret (1847-1882)

A French Sacred Hearts priest who worked with Bishop Rouchouze in Gambier and Hawaii, Father Louis Maigret, SS.CC. was exiled from Hawaii in 1837, along with the dying Sacred Hearts Father Alexis Bachelot. They left Honolulu bound for Ponape on November 23, 1837. During the voyage, Father Bachelot, Hawaii's first Catholic priest, passed away and was buried in Ponape by Fr. Maigret.
Made a bishop in 1847, Bishop Maigret completed the cathedral planned by his predecessor in 1843; founded the island's first Catholic school, Ahuimanu, in 1846; and brought in Hawaii's first nuns, the Sacred Hearts Sisters, in 1859.

Bishop Maigret ordained Father Damien de Veuster in the Honolulu cathedral on May 21, 1864, and in 1873 assigned him to Molokai.  In late 1869, he attended the First Vatican Council in Rome.
Bishop Maigret died on June 11, 1882, after 42 years of service in Hawaii, 35 of those years as a bishop. He is buried in a crypt below the cathedral sanctuary.

Bishop Koeckemann (1882-1892)

German-born Bishop Herman Koeckemann, SS.CC. was a brilliant scholar. He arrived in Hawaii in 1854 as a young priest and was assigned continually to the Honolulu mission. He was made coadjutor bishop, one designated to follow the present bishop, on August 21, 1881, to assist the aging Bishop Louis Maigret.

Bishop Koeckemann became Hawaii's third vicar apostolic following Maigret's death nearly a year later. With a diminishing population of the native Hawaiians, his administration saw a new apostolate with the growing numbers of Portuguese immigrants. A strong advocate of education, he introduced the Marianist Brothers to staff Catholic boys' schools in Honolulu, Wailuku and Hilo. He welcomed then Mother Marianne Cope and her Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse to work with Hansen's disease patients in Honolulu and Molokai.

The bishop's relationship with Father Damien was stormy at times, but he always showed a fatherly concern for the great "Apostle of Molokai."

Bishop Koeckemann died shortly after being stricken with paralysis on February 22, 1892. He was finally laid to rest under the tall iron cross in the Catholic cemetery on King Street near downtown Honolulu.

Bishop Ropert   (1892-1903)

Father Gulstan Ropert, SS.CC. came to Hawaii from France in 1868 and was assigned to Hamakua on the Big Island, where he immediately fell in love with the Hawaiian people. He made Waipio Valley his center and had Father Damien, his neighbor in Kohala, build a couple of chapels there.
After fifteen years in Hamakua and nine years in Wailuku, Maui, he was appointed bishop, despite his protests, on September 25, 1892. He continued his predecessor's support of education by building Catholic schools. and assisted the Franciscan Sisters with their hospital in Kalaupapa.

In December, 1892, Bishop Ropert constructed an impressive two-story residence for the mission fathers on the cathedral grounds and erected the statue of Our Lady of Peace that still stands in the cathedral courtyard.
Bishop Ropert's administration witnessed the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the eventual annexation of Hawaii by the United States. The bishop was a good administrator, mild-mannered, and extremely kind and patient. Many say that his disposition suited well the quiet conducting of the affairs of the Catholic mission through Hawaii's disturbing political era.

After patiently bearing an illness for several years, Bishop Ropert died on January 4, 1903. He is buried next to Bishop Koeckemann at the King Street Cemetery.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Hawaiian Bride
I was so sure that after I was here in Hawaii a year ago, I did a Blog on a wonderful local artist, but find this was not the case. My first day here we went into the small, very choice museum in Waimea to say hello to the director who is the aunt of my sheep shearer.
MADGE TENNENT was a naturalized American artist, born in England, raised in South Africa, and trained in France. And while she ranks among the most accomplished and globally renowned artists ever to have lived and worked in  Hawaii, she is not today that well known internationally,.something the locals are trying to amend!
Madge's parents took a lively interest in comparative creeds that embraced many religions, as well as in matters of psychic and astrological trend. Their efforts to promote tolerance among various races and creeds left a lasting impression on Madge.
A child prodigy, Madge spent her formative teenage years in Paris, where she honed technical mastery under the tutelage of William-Adolph Bouguereau. She was also exposed to the city's leading avant-garde artists, including CezanneRenoir and Picasso, who influenced her pioneering vision. 
After her marriage in 1915 to Hugh Cowper Tennent, she relocated to his native New Zealand. In 1917 they moved to British Samoa where Madge started her love affair with the Polynesian peoples. While on leave in Australia, she studied with Julian Ashton “and learned” she said, “to draw for the very first time". Julian Ashton founded the Sydney Art School in 1890. He was an ardent disciple of Impressionist painting, having served as an art educator in South Africa, New Zealand, and British Samoa.
Local Color
The Tennents arrived in Honolulu with their two young sons in 1923, planning on a three-day stop before continuing on to London to enroll the boys in a proper British boarding school. Almost immediately they were introduced to members of the local artistic community, who saw her Samoan studies and begged her to stay and paint the Hawaiians. She needed no further persuasion.

Lei Queen Fantasia

The Hawaiians are really to me the most beautiful people in the world:, she once said, “no doubt about it – the Hawaiian is a piece of living sculpture. They are strong, serene and proud.” . Using grand swirls of oil Madge portrayed Hawaiian women as solidly fleshed and majestic- larger than life - capturing in rhythmic forms the very essence of their being.
Her method of applying thick layers of paint to achieve a graceful, perfectly balanced composition is evident in “Lei Queen Fantasia”. Everything on the canvas whirls. The paint is applied in whirls in what might be called the “Tennent whirl” – the colors bright and luminous. Madge envisioned Hawaiian Kings and Queens as having descended from Gods of heroic proportion, intelligent and brave, bearing a strong affinity to the Greeks in their legends and persons. She was criticized for her portrayal of larger size women but to her Hawaiian women fulfilled the standards of classic Greek Beauty.

In Madge's enchantment with color and use of the bright, warm hues she gave us insight into the colors endemic to Hawaiʻi. Generously applying paint with a palette knife, she avoided sensuousness in the representation of skin texture, instead imbuing the trademark sense of strength and grandeur tinged with a fragility. Just as she constructed her women layer by layer in paint, she built her canvases to equally monumental proportions; when standard issue could no longer satisfy her vision, she sewed pieces of canvas together to attain the desired size.

Dancer at Rest
Her refusal to feel entirely satisfied with her output, even in the face of widespread acclaim, reflected her conviction that the artist “evolves through conscious effort.” This conscious evolution became strikingly apparent in the early 1940s, when her famously vibrant, swirling colors and thick, granular strokes gave way to a subdued monochrome. Thereafter followed paintings in shades of ocean blues and earthy island sepias on linen. 

Madge's prolific output spanned paintings, drawing and sculpture. Her reverent fascination with Hawaiian women inspired her sweeping aesthetic quest that would culminate in her iconic signature style, resulting in enormous paintings of voluptuous female figures of brilliant, swirling hues morphing into graceful, harmonious compositions.

A prominent figure on the international circuit, she exhibited to critical and popular acclaim around the world. At the time of her death, many critics considered her the most important individual contributor to Hawaiian art in the 20th century

In 2005, Hawai'i Preparatory Academy (which Karen's two children attend) was chosen by the Trustees of the Tennent Art Foundation, founded in 1954 by Madge Tennent herself, to become the caretaker of the collection. You can be sure I will go back many times to bask in this glorious collection- which is the largest of Madge's works anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017



Calley O'Neill (Hawaii)

It is no coincidence that the monastery's patron saint of the year is Saint Marianne (Cope) of Molokai, since I once again find myself in this glorious paradise, where I will spend 2 mo. of water PT staving off back surgery. I will focus on history, news, etc. of the Big island of Hawaii.

Our first artist is a local,  who did the windows in the Annunciation Church where we go to Mass. This Madonna and Child is in the small side Eucharistic chapel, where I daily receive the Eucharist.

Calley O'Neill graduated from the Pratt Institute (NY) Summa Cum Laude, getting her Master's at Goddard College (Vt), where I got my Master's. She considers herself an ethno-visionary artist, whose themes are indigenous cultures, which have become vulnerable, through politics or mismanagement of natural resources.

Endangrered Frog
She was inspired by Frances Moore Lappe's “Diet for a Small Plant” (which had a profound impact on many of us in the 70s). It made her aware of the world's plight, especially hunger. She decided to dedicate her art to making affluent countries aware of vulnerable peoples and endangered animals across the globe, while at the same time offering hope for the future.

She is also noted for her murals in public 
places throughout the islands.

Mural of the Annunciation