THE RICH TRADITION OF THE HOLY GHOST FEAST
2013 Holy Ghost Feast - The 2013 Holy Ghost feast took place this year on May 18 and 19 at the Holy Ghost Mission. Please go to the Parish Calendar link for the complete schedule of events and pictures of last year's event. Many volunteers and donations are needed to prepare for this annual event. Contact Feast Chairman, Fred Janosko at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-8261 to volunteer or donate money or goods. Check out the Schedule of Events
THE CELEBRATION OF PENTECOST The Holy Ghost Feast has been held at Holy Ghost Mission annually at Pentecost since about 1891, before the church was even completed. The date changes each year because it falls fifty days after Easter.
The event celebrates the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, preparing them to carry out their mission to spread the Good News and build the church after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Pentecost, therefore, is considered the birth of the church and the beginning of the church's active mission. Decorations and vestments for Pentecost are red, symbolizing the love and fire of the Holy Spirit. Other symbols of the event are the dove (peace), tongues of flame (inspiration), and wind (breath of life). Read Acts 1 and 2 in your bible for the full story of the first Pentecost.
The original Holy Ghost Feast was held during the reign of Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal, who lived from 1271 to 1336. She was known as a peacemaker and as "The Holy Queen" who was devoted to the Holy Spirit. She built a church dedicated to the name of the Holy Spirit in Lisbon and often demonstrated her devotion to her people and their well-being. There are many stories of the Queen's piety and service, but the dearest to the Portuguese people of the Azores is the one explaining their devotion to Queen Elizabeth and the Holy Ghost. In the 13th century, the Azores Islands suffered from many violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The most seriously hit was the Island of Pico. The people of these Azores Islands could not survive the drought, crop failures, and famine that now plagued them. They gathered together in prayer to the Holy Ghost for help. On the morning of Pentecost Sunday, there was a great rising sun, and the people of these islands saw in the sunrise a ship coming into the Port of Fayal. This ship was laden with necessities of life. The food was distributed among the people of the various islands, and they were very grateful that their prayers had been answered. When their Queen heard of this providence, she organized a solemn procession in honor of the Holy Ghost. Accompanied by her maids she carried her Crown through the streets of Lisbon to the cathedral, where she left it on the altar as an offering of thanksgiving for the favors the Holy Ghost had given her people. In addition, she began a tradition of feeding the poor at Pentecost. Each year she chose twelve people to whom she gave a new suit of clothing and personally served them a meal at her table. The people of the Azores vowed that they and their children and their children's children would commemorate the day by giving thanks to their Queen for the sacrifice she made. Since then, many Portuguese churches have displayed replicas of her eight-sided crown in remembrance of her goodness and God's grace. Later, in the 16th century, the church canonized this holy queen in recognition of the miracles that were attributed to her pious life.
KULA'S HOLY GHOST FEAST The Portuguese who came to Hawaii in the late 1800's brought with them the devotion to the Holy Ghost and the traditions of St. Elizabeth. Some believe that the Holy Ghost Church's octagonal shape is related to the shape of her crown. In 1891 a replica of the crown arrived in Kula as a gift of the Azorean people, and the first recorded Holy Ghost Feast was held in
2011 Queen and Attendant
Kula shortly thereafter. In 1896, when the church was completed, the crown was housed in a special altar at the front of the church. Unfortunately, in August of 1985 the replica was stolen from the church. With the help of John Henry Felix, a new crown was received from the people of Portugal in 1987 and is now displayed in a special case near the entrance of the church. In the early days of the Kula Catholic Community, a drawing was held on Easter to determine which seven families would have the honor of keeping the crown in their homes for one week each between Easter and Pentecost. At the end of each week, the crown would be carried in procession to the next home chosen. Then it would be displayed at the Feast in a prominent place where other parishioners could make sacrifices to the Holy Ghost for prosperity, good harvests, and rain for drought parched pastures. A local queen, representing Queen Elizabeth of Portugal, accompanied the crown in procession, and ladies of the church served a free meal made from beef and pork donated by local ranchers. The family holding the crown at Pentecost held it until the next Easter drawing. Today the Holy Ghost Feast celebrates Pentecost, as well as these traditions of the early Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii. A free lau lau meal is available to all who come, carrying on Queen Elizabeth's tradition of feeding her cherished subjects. Her crown is carried in procession following mass, accompanied by a local queen, and it is displayed prominently on the grounds in respect for St. Elizabeth. Many parishioners and visitors offer their personal sacrifices in the form of donations to the church in the name of the Holy Ghost. In addition, many other activities, auctions, traditional foods and crafts, and entertainment take place throughout the two-day festival, which also provides income for church facilities and activities for the coming year