When I was a junior in high school, my family embarked on an amazing adventure... we moved from the New York Metro Area to Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii. If Kailua sounds familiar to you, it's probably because that's where President Obama set up his “Winter White House”. We lived in a tiny house (which could probably be classified as a bungalow) two blocks from the beach in a traditional, native Hawaiian neighborhood. When I began my junior year at Kailua High, I quickly discovered I was one of the very few, non-Hawaiians in the school... and the only haole (an anglo from the mainland).
As the native people at school and in my neighborhood came to see how much I respected them, their culture, and their island... they “adopted” me and shared with me one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced... OHANA! Ohana means “family”; but not just the immediate family, as the word is generally used in English. Ohana is the ultimate manifestation of the Hawaiian, “Aloha” spirit. It means that anyone who comes into my life, anyone I am associated with, is part of my family... part of my “ohana”; no one is excluded... no one left behind.
This is the spirit of … brothersister; welcome to our ohana! This, of course, is also the Spirit of Jesus... who , through his love, draws us into his own, trinitarian family. Pope Francis himself seems like a Hawaiian when he repeatedly tells the Church that we must reach out to the “peripheries” so that no one will be excluded. As you listen to my songs, you may notice there is a certain “vitality”, or newness to them. This is not an accident. We wanted the music to be a unique combination of contemplative depth and missionary “spunk”!
I hope you enjoy these beautiful songs. May your communion with God and one another be deepened and enhanced by them. Fr. Larry +