A Year in Review: Father Richard McNally, SS.CC.
What have been some adjustments you've had to make since moving to the islands?
I’m not conscious of any major ones but I’m sure there have been some. For instance after the Christmas decorations went up I was standing under a wreath. I smelled the evergreen and I sensed something different but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I realized that I always smelled that smell in the cold and here I was in shorts. So I’m sure there have been adjustments that I am not even aware of.
What have you come to appreciate most about Wahiawa?
I like the fact that Wahiawa is not a major (or minor?) tourist destination. The folks are just the folks. I like walking around and just being in this place where God has called me to be pastor. I like meeting the people in the wider community. I love the view of the Waianae mountains from the second floor of the rectory. One surprise was becoming part of the Wahiawa Ministers’ Association. I always come away from the monthly meeting with the sense that I’ve been with brothers and sisters in Christ.
What have you come to appreciate most about Hawaii in general?
I’ve loved Hawaii since the first time I visited in 1977. There’s the ss.cc. connection. Hawaii is so much a part of our Congregation’s history, even before Father Damien arrived. A few times in my life I wondered if I was being called to live in a monastery. Being on an island is akin to living in a limited space like a monastery. Maybe my “inner monk” allows me to find joy and peace living on an island.
What has been the greatest blessing as pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows?
Blessings? The people minister God’s presence to me. I learn so much from the parishioners. Celebrating the liturgy and preaching God’s Word is a blessing in this community. As I’ve said in homilies, I love our church building and how open it is and what that tells us about who we are as the Church here at OLS.
What has been the greatest challenge as pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows?
One challenge is remaining focused on the Lord and being pastor and not just becoming an administrator going from one meeting to another. Another challenge is giving time and attention to the construction of our new hall and the fundraising to make that a reality. Construction and fundraising are not things that naturally interest me, so I have to be disciplined to keep at that. It’s important for our future.
What major goal(s) do you hope to accomplish this year for our parish?
It’s not so much my personal hope but I think a lot is captured in the pastoral plan that the Pastoral Council is developing. We are just about to finalize goals in three areas: evangelization, community and faith formation. A big hope is that we can remain focused on mission. How can we call people to Jesus Christ in his Church? How can we invite people to follow Jesus with us here at OLS? How can we call the straying back?
What role do you envision our young adult ministry having in the parish in the coming year(s)?
I believe that our young adults are a valuable part of what I spoke of in my previous answer. Two young adults are on our pastoral council. They are involved in developing our pastoral plan. Our young adults can be an important part of our mission. For instance, most of the people coming to have babies baptized are young adults. After baptism we don’t see many of them too often. How can our young adults reach out to those young adults?
Where is your favorite eatery in Wahiawa?
I’m a bit conflicted on that one. One week it’s Dot’s and the next Zippy’s. My favorite eatery in Hawaii is Haleiwa Joe’s.
What is your favorite local dish?
An easy one, poke.
What specific message would you like to convey to our young adults?
I heard a priest say once that a pastor should tell his parish at least once a year, “I love you.” I do! And I want to say thank you for welcoming me and being such good sisters and brothers in Christ.