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 CNS Story:

COPE-PILGRIMAGE Oct-2-2012 (560 words) xxxn

Hawaiians gear up for Rome for Blessed Marianne Cope's canonization

Mother Marianne Cope, circa 1883. She will be made a saint Oct. 21 at the Vatican. (CNS/courtesy of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities)

By Darlene J.M. Dela Cruz
Catholic News Service

HONOLULU (CNS) -- More than 225 people from Hawaii are on the official Honolulu diocesan tour to see Blessed Marianne Cope become a saint Oct. 21 in St. Peter's Square.

The group was advised to get their euros ready, buy a good pair of walking shoes and break them in, and pack cool weather clothes to layer.

Randy King, president of Seawind Tours and Travel, offered these tips Sept. 18 to the canonization pilgrims who gathered at St. Augustine Church in Waikiki.

The travelers, scheduled to arrive in Rome Oct. 16, will be given about a week of spiritual and cultural activities leading up to the canonization.

"It's special -- once in a lifetime," said Jean Maria, a parishioner from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Ewa Beach, who will be traveling with her husband, Stan.

Seawind Tours and Travel, selected by Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva to coordinate the diocese's official pilgrimages for Mother Marianne's celebration. It is the same company that organized diocesan tours for the 2009 canonization of St. Damien de Veuster of Molokai and before that his beatification and that of Mother Marianne, in 2005.

Seawind has created four different tour packages for the event. Two of the packages include accommodations, transportation and activities primarily in Rome. The other two feature excursions to additional cities.

One tour group will be making a two-day stop in Syracuse, N.Y., before crossing the Atlantic. These pilgrims will visit the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, Blessed Marianne's order. A shrine and museum of the life of the soon-to-be-saint are located at the motherhouse.

Another group will visit the Italian city of Florence -- home of famous works of art and other historical sites -- the day after the canonization.

All four tour groups will be in Rome together Oct. 16-21.

A total of 228 people will be traveling with Seawind for the canonization. The number of pilgrims for St. Damien's canonization in 2009 was more than double that at 550.

The smaller number of travelers caused Seawind to change some of the logistics from its last canonization trip. Instead of two hotels, they only need one. And five buses will be used for getting around Rome, compared to the 11 used during St. Damien's ceremonies.

More than 20 religious sisters from Hawaii will be trekking to the Eternal City on the official tour, along with eight priests and several deacons. Also making the trip will be nine patient-residents from Kalaupapa -- the community where St. Damien, succeeded by Mother Marianne, ministered to people with leprosy, now called Hansen's disease.

A group of music ministers from various parishes will be with the group, along with some Hawaiian dancers.

One couple particularly anticipating the trip are Teri and Bernie Bernales of St. John Vianney Church in Kailua who have serendipitous connections to Mother Marianne Cope.

The couple lived in Syracuse for almost 40 years before moving to Hawaii. Their eldest son was born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, where Mother Marianne served as head administrator in the 1870s.

The Bernaleses are looking forward to seeing familiar places and faces again when they stop in upstate New York. They are also looking forward to witnessing the proclamation of Hawaii's second saint.

"It will be a nice homecoming," Teri Bernales said. "We really feel a kinship to Mother Marianne."

- - -

Dela Cruz is a reporter for the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Honolulu's diocesan newspaper.


Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
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