Deacon Patrick Constantino | Photos courtesy Garcia Family
Our Confirmation and First Eucharist celebration was held on Friday June 3, 2022 at St. Joseph Church, Makawao, weekend of Pentecost Sunday. We had eighteen candidates who were Confirmed and received their First Eucharist from Bishop Larry Silva. I thank God and the religious education teachers for preparing my great grand son Izaiah Garcia in receiving these special gifts of these Sacraments. I told my great grand son you are now a soldier of God! He is our number one great grand son and has grown to be a wonderful and handsome young man! God Bless him and may our family continue to guide him in his faith journey as to his calling from God!
On the evening of that first day of his of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ! John 20:19-23
Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the Church. When the Apostles were gathered, the Holy Spirit came to them as a strong wind, descending upon them as tongues of fire. Inspired and empowered by the Spirit, Peter and the others began preaching the word. We are told later in this chapter, in Acts 2:41, that about three thousand persons were baptized that day. The Church was born. Over two thousand years later, Jesus is still alive in the world and the Spirit continues to work through us, his followers. It must have been something to be in that room when the Holy Spirit entered the midst of the disciples gathered there! Though that must have been amazing, the truth is the Spirit is still present today. He comes to us as well. You and I are ordinary people capable of extraordinary things because of the power of the Spirit in us and in the world. His grace inspires us to spread His word, care for those in need, comfort those who suffer and to live as believers in this world in need of God’s love. Birthdays are often an occasion for gift-giving.
Pentecost is no exception. The Holy Spirit bestows abundant spiritual gifts on believers. These gifts may not come in a brightly wrapped box but their worth is beyond measure. They give us strength when we are weak and courage when we are afraid. We are granted wisdom to inform our judgment and understanding to help us see God in what surrounds us. The gift of counsel allows us to be directed by God in matters necessary for our salvation. Fortitude and fear of the Lord give us a firmness of mind to do good and avoid evil and help us understand God’s power as we hold him in awe and adoration. We are granted knowledge to correctly judge matters of faith and right actions and piety to devote ourselves to God and open ourselves to His will. These gifts are freely given and provide all we need to live as children of God. We are called to use these gifts to fortify our faith and serve the Father.
If someone gave us a new phone, we would not keep it hidden in its box. A new bike would not be left unused in the garage. Instead, we would put them to good use and think of the person who gave them to us whenever we used them. In the same way, the Holy Spirit remains with us and wants us to use His gifts to help us grow in our faith and become closer to God. His gifts can also help us call others to join us on our journey. These gifts are not meant to be kept hidden or to be used only for our own needs. They are meant to be shared. They are meant to inspire others and invite them to join us in the family of God! Jesus fulfilled his promise to send the Spirit to dwell among us!
This is what I mean, when I say, “You become a soldier of God!” When you receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it’s meant to give it away, where it is needed! Like love isn’t love until you give it away! “Peace be with you!”
On June 18, 1987, Patrick Constantino was ordained as the first Deacon of Filipino ancestry for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawai‘i. For twenty-two years, he served as Administrator at Holy Rosary Church in Pā‘ia, St. Rita Church in Ha‘ikū and St. Gabriel Church in Ke‘anae. Constantino is presently assigned to St. Joseph Church in Makawao.
Prior to his ordination, Constantino was in government—first appointed in 1966 as Assistant Sergeant of Arms by the Speaker of the House Elmer F. Cravalho. When Cravalho became Maui’s first Mayor, Constantino became his Executive Assistant—the first of Filipino ancestry. Later, Constantino became the first County Treasurer of Filipino ancestry and the first County Grants Administrator and Risk Manager of Filipino ancestry.
Constantino has served as a Deacon for thirty-four years and married to his lovely wife Corazon for sixty years.
[Editor’s note: Congratulations to Deacon Patrick Constantino for recently being nominated as an Outstanding Older American for the County of Maui: There are so many lives that this person has touched. As a church deacon, Deacon Pat has counseled many couples before they received the sacrament of matrimony. He has used his life experience to guide couples as they start their new journey of life together. He seeks the good in people and reflects the virtues of others so that they can see the good in themselves. He also provides comfort to those who have lost their father, mother, spouse, siblings or friend. He always listens to those who are grieving by providing comfort to them and validates their emotions/feelings in the moment. He has been a mentor to many. Now at the age of seventy-eight, his current adventure is being a new columnist for The Fil-Am Voice newspaper. He is also currently the Spiritual Director and Leader of the Hawai‘i Catholic Filipino Council. Deacon Pat was part of the Formation Team that guides Catholic men to become Ordained Deacons in the State of Hawai‘i. He continues to baptize infants, marry and counsel couples and is available to do funeral prayer services. Pat has also worked in city government as an Executive Assistant to former Mayor Elmer Cravalho and was the County Treasurer at one time.]