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25th Anniversary Reflection: "Celebrating Commitment"

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

By Father Tom Gross, retired pastor of Saint John Vianney Church, Kailua

Anniversaries mark the passage of time, but more importantly they take notice of and celebrate commitment to a person, a vocation, or an ideal. Anniversaries also help us to remember those people and events that have gone before us and have changed our lives and our world. For 25 years FACE has been committed to the people of Hawaii who often had no one to speak for them and no one willing to be committed to making the needs of the voiceless heard in the political, social and religious realms of society. In 1997, Rev. Stan Bain, a neighboring pastor, approached me at St. John Vianney Catholic Church and asked to share the story of FACE with me. Stan's enthusiasm and dedication, his idealism and down-to-earth presence, inspired me and eventually the Parish Pastoral Council to "sign-up" as a FACE church member. The rest is history, as they say. It was my privilege to be involved in FACE in varying degrees and in varying roles for the rest of my time as pastor at St. John Vianney. When I retired in July of 2015 after 19 years as pastor, I was confident that the parish and its parishioners had contributed to the efforts of FACE and supported its ideals and goals. The parish has continued to do so to this very day. Happy Anniversary, FACE! And many more!

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