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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, April 8, 2005

Priest here finds saying 'our pope' hard habit to break at Mass

 •  Faithful farewell
 •  A tribute to Pope John Paul II

By Mary Kaye Ritz
Advertiser Religion & Ethics Writer

The Rev. Lane Akiona stopped momentarily in the middle of Mass yesterday, looking sheepish.

The Rev. Lane Akiona, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Kaimuki, presided over a special Mass in honor of the late Pope John Paul II yesterday. Several Hawai'i churches have scheduled services dedicated to the pope.

Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

For 24 years the Sacred Hearts priest has recited the prayers of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, offering up Communion to God and to his pope and bishop.

So it's not surprising he stumbled over the words "John Paul, our pope" during the special Mass yesterday dedicated to the late John Paul II, correcting himself and changing the phrase to "the vicar of Rome."

"It's ingrained," Akiona, pastor at St. Patrick Church in Kaimuki, said later.

As Hawai'i's Catholics remember their leader today, on the occasion of his funeral, many will be heading to special Masses their parish priests have arranged in honor of the pope, who served as the leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics for 26 years.

Services are planned at parishes throughout the diocese, some as early as yesterday and others set for today.

The funeral was held this morning in Rome, which was last night, Hawai'i time.

St. Patrick's was dressed for the occasion: Black cloth draped the front of the church fronting Wai'alae Avenue; Easter lilies filled the altar area; and a portrait of the pontiff, festooned with lei, sat in a place of honor near the lectern.

Akiona explained to the St. Patrick grade-schoolers, on hand for the event, that at the end of the period of mourning for John Paul II, the black cloth will be replaced with white and yellow, and they will pray for the cardinals in Rome, entrusted with the job of electing a new pope.

Reach Mary Kaye Ritz at mritz@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8035.