LIHU’E — Clarence R. “Larry” Silva, new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu that includes all the Neighbor Islands, presided over a rare, all-island Mass Wednesday night at the Kaua’i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu’e, and proudly announced his Kaua’i roots.
“I don’t know if I’m related to any of you, but I might be,” said Silva, whose grandmother, Mercedes Ledo Silva, was born in Kekaha, and whose grandfather, Joseph Motta Silva, was born in Koloa.
“Grandpa Silva was born in Koloa, and Grandma Silva was born in Kekaha,” Silva said of his father’s side of the family. His mother’s family is from Maui.
Larry Silva said he is not sure how long his grandparents lived on Kaua’i, but said he thought they met each other on O’ahu.
Even beyond his roots on this island, Silva professed to a special place in his heart for the Catholics of the island, too.
“I want you to know you’ll always be in my prayers,” said Silva, asking the 700 or so gathered for the special Mass to remember him in their prayers, because he’ll need their prayers while presiding over the diocese.
During his homily remarks, Silva talked about the need to live in peace, to end wars in the world, and about the wrath of God and Jesus.
There are “lots of wars” in the world, Silva said. “We need to learn to live in peace. Perhaps the Lord is going to be wrathful until we learn to live in peace,” he said.
“Sometimes, God knows we just don’t get it.” He pounds his fist, as if to say, “woe to you,” Silva said. The gospel also says that Jesus is not always patient, he continued.
“What’s important is to do God’s will always,” he said.
What’s also important to understand is that that “masterful, wonderful teacher, Jesus, always loves us,” he added.
Silva said that Jesus says, even when people are tired, hungry and downtrodden, they need to understand that Jesus still loves them.
Word of Silva’s hands-on approach to his work and his faith have been spreading through-out the state, too.
George Freitas, former Kaua’i Police Department chief and a member of the Immaculate Conception Church parish in Kapaia (Lihu’e), said he heard a story about a trip Silva made to Moloka’i.
A sick man in Kalaupapa who heard Silva was coming to Moloka’i wished to go and meet Silva, but upon doctor’s orders he was not able to travel from Kalaupapa to Kaunakakai.
When Silva heard about the man, he made a special trip to his home, and spent half an hour praying and chatting with him, Freitas said.
Silva, the fifth bishop of Honolulu, has been a priest since 1975, ordained in Oakland, Calif., and was installed as bishop in July this year, on O’ahu. This week’s trip to Kaua’i was his first official visit as bishop.
In addition to the Mass attended by around 700 Catholics from around the island, Silva spent all day Thursday in meetings with the island’s Catholic priests.
?ç Paul C. Curtis, associate editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or email@example.com