Ti Biag Ken Pammati

A Double Celebration on June 10, 2022

Deacon Patrick Constantino | Photos courtesy Patrick Constantino

The Maui Council of Filipino Catholic Clubs held a double celebration on June 10 at Christ the King Church. We celebrated the end of the 500-year celebration of Christianity in the Philippines and my retirement as a Deacon.

After a day of workshops, Bishop Larry Silva challenged us in saying: “Let’s not end this celebration but continue to take it to the Future!” It sounds broad but challenging. We can take it to any direction. We all have different paths and journeys. Let us pray and find it with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Bishop Larry asked Deacon Pat, “What is retirement?” Deacon responded, “We pass away, we don’t retire.”

“Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.” Luke 9:62. My friends, our Church does have a past. (We give honor and praise to our past.) Some good and some not so good, of course.

And something incredibly important did happen long ago. No doubt about that. And Jesus was a real person who lived in a particular time and place. And his passion, death, and resurrection were two thousand plus years ago. All of that is true.

But faith—true faith, deep faith—is always forward looking. Put another way, a life of faith is not about who we were yesterday. It’s not about the mistakes and sins we have made or the hurt inflicted on us or the troubles that have come our way. Rather, faith is all about making honest assessments of who we are today and imagining who we want to be tomorrow. It’s about embracing a whole new way of thinking and seeing and acting. And it’s about following—not someone who is behind us but following someone who is right in front of us and within us—inviting us to love more and give more and be more. (We live in the present and believe in our faith.) And we can’t do that if we are constantly focusing only on what was and not on what can be. That’s the power of the Resurrection and power not simply on display in a story from long ago but a power that can change us and transform us this very day, this very moment. But it requires something—us. We must look at ourselves and prepare for the future. With God’s help we can do this.

Deacon Pat and Cora, Manny Baltazar, Dr Ulep (DCFCC Executive Secretary) and Nora Takushi (President MCFCC) at the celebration.

As for me, my path and journey is one of retirement as a Deacon. In response to my retirement letter dated March 29, 2022, Bishop Larry Silva wrote “I am hereby accepting your intention and granting you retirement status as a deacon, effectively July 1, 2022. Let me emphasize that even as a retired deacon you remain in good standing with the full diaconal faculties of the Diocese of Honolulu. After retirement you may continue to minister as a deacon at your own discretion. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your 35 years as a deacon. You have done outstanding ministry and have touched many lives as you witnessed to Jesus the Servant. We are most grateful to you for all you have done, and we pray that your ministry will bear much good fruit for generations to come. I look forward to the June 10, 2022 celebration at which you will be honored. May the Lord bless you and Cora with good health and many more years of service to the Lord!”

Bishop Larry and the clergy.

I’ve been blessed with many families and friends—even strangers—and I thank God for all of you! Thank you, Maui Council of Filipino Catholic Clubs, led by President Nora Takushi, Manny Balthazar and Liezl Oandasan, co-chairpersons for this special celebration and all the committee members and to my brother priests, deacons and religious.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m proud of my Filipino heritage and I’m proud to be a Filipino! You have made me who I am and I thank you for that. One does not become successful without you and God! Thank you for making me who I am. You will always be in our prayers! We Love You!

Special thanks to my lovely wife, Cora for 61 years, my everything, through the years. Jesus, I trust in You!

On July 1, 2022, Patrick Constantino retired as a Deacon for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii, after serving for thirty-five years and becoming on June 18, 1987, the first Deacon of Filipino ancestry for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii. For twenty-two years, he served as Administrator at Holy Rosary Church in Paia, St. Rita Church in Haiku and St. Gabriel Church in Keanae. His last assignment before retiring was at 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 is married to his lovely wife Corazon for sixty-one years.