December 21, 2012 – The Feast of St. Thomas

Beloved in Christ it is fitting that I am writing this on the morning of the longest night. I have three things to share with you this week, and each item is tinged with sorrow.

The Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

 One week ago our nation was shocked by this tragedy. Enough has been said on the subject, but there is work to for us to do as God’s hands and feet in the world. This morning our Cathedral Bells were tolled 26 times in honor of those who died. I was down the road at the Nagasaki Peace Bell with a group of interfaith leaders where we also tolled that bell. Several people have asked me how they can get involved, and I am directed them to Washington National Cathedral. That Cathedral has begun a forum for conversation and action. I encourage you to visit their website  I leave you with the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, which I hope provide comfort in the days ahead.

“Emmanuel does not give good advice from a safe distance. Emmanuel is God with us by entering the fiery furnace and is there in the furnace, in the massacre, in the dying, the shooting, in the anguish. May our God, Emmanuel, wipe your tears all of you and embrace you, and comfort you all, including the remaining members of the gunman. God is weeping too that God’s children can do this to one another.”

In Memoriam Senator Daniel Ken Inouye

 Today at Washington National Cathedral the funeral of this great Hawaiian patriot was held. This Sunday he will be buried here in Hawaii. Soldier, Senator and Statesman he left a life of service and sacrifice for us to follow. Requiescat en pace Senator.

In Memoriam Reverend Canon Darrow L. K. Aiona

 Last night Fr. Darrow Aiona died at Straub Hospital. He was a priest of the Diocese, an honorary Canon of the Diocese and this Cathedral, educator and leader, and friend and in his later hears an Assisting Priest of the Cathedral. Fr. Aiona had been in declining health of several years but he displayed grace and courage throughout his journey from life to beyond life. I remember when Tina and I visited the Cathedral in May 2011, Fr. Darrow was the preacher. He warmly welcomed me as Dean last year. We shall hold Teena and the entire Aiona in our prayers. Please read Bishop Fitzpatrick’s statement below. Requiescat en pace Father.