A Year in Review: Father Yohanes "Yanto" Budiyanto, SS.CC.
What have been some adjustments you've had to make since moving to the islands?
I had to adjust myself to the people who live in this island. Here, people speak English, so I need to speak English too. When I speak in English, I can know them better and support the mission in this island. Secondly, I had to adjust to the rhythm of life in this parish, beginning at 9:00 in the morning and ending at 4:00 in the afternoon. This was challenging to me because in the seminary, I always had a siesta. Finally, I had to learn how to drive in Hawaii. I was frightened at first because I saw many signs and had to learn the laws of Hawaii. I still have further adjustments to make.
What have you come to appreciate most about Wahiawa?
Wahiawa is a safe, religious place. Wahiawa is said to be a religious place because of the many churches that we can find along California Avenue. It indicates that many people who live in Wahiawa are Christians, followers of Jesus Christ. Because we have the same identity as followers of Christ, we, as Christians, participated in a Christmas parade. Many others joined in this parade and there were about a thousand spectators. I was amazed at their enthusiasm in celebrating the birth of Jesus. The Christmas celebration unites and brings joy to all of us and the world. Wahiawa is a safe place because it is in a high elevation far away from floods and tsunamis, so people are safe from these disasters. I can walk around Wahiawa town and not worry about being mugged. The people in Wahiawa are very friendly, hospitable, and welcoming.
What have you come to appreciate most about Hawaii in general?
Hawaii is a beautiful place with many beaches, parks, and mountains, and there is much respect for the Hawaiian tradition. I see that Hawaii truly respects its ancestors that lived before them and their respect for these ancestors is still maintained even in modern times. For instance, officials will stop any kind of construction project if they find human bones. This amazes me because we do not live in an ancient world. We live in a modern world. They still respect the ancestors that shape their life. I remember someone once said, “those who respect history will move forward in their lives.” So, Hawaii is advanced because history is respected.
What has been the greatest blessing as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Sorrows?
The greatest blessing as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Sorrows is the spirit of aloha. Since I came to Hawaii, I felt the spirit of aloha, the spirit of love, in this parish. And the spirit of aloha is manifested in different kinds of virtues, such as acceptance, welcome and hospitality, etc. Because the spirit of aloha, I am at home living with all of you here. Because of spirit of aloha, I'm not a stranger or foreigner anymore, but I am a friend. Because of the spirit of aloha, I feel that all of you are my family. You are my brothers and you are my sisters in God’s family. Because of the spirit of aloha, I am still here, enjoying my mission in Our Lady of Sorrows. Because of the spirit of aloha, my vocation is strengthened to be more faithful in following Him.
What has been the greatest challenge as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Sorrows?
One of the greatest challenges as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Sorrows is continuing to maintain my relationship with the greatest blessing that I have experienced—the people who surround me. Another challenge is that it is very difficult to say “no”. I have difficulty saying “no” when someone offers food. I usually will say “yes” because I don’t want to hurt anyone. I know that it is not so good for my health especially living with diabetes. So, I need to work on saying “no”.
What major goal(s) do you hope to accomplish this year for our parish?
I think there are three major goals that I hope we can accomplish this year. First is community. Second is faith formation. And third is re-evangelization. We have a good community in our church, but unfortunately, after Mass, we have no fellowship. I wish that we could have a time to get to know each other and become good companions in this journey.
What role do you envision our young adult ministry having in the parish in the coming year(s)?
I envision members of our young adult ministry becoming the future leaders of Our Lady of Sorrows. I think it will be good if our young adult ministry engages in all kinds of ministries, such as social ministry: food pantry, Kokua Kupuna ministry, Respect for Life ministry, etc. My reason is someday, young adults will take over and continue these ministries. And by being a part of these ministries, you put your faith into real action.
Where is your favorite eatery in Wahiawa?
My favorite eatery in Wahiawa is Golden Coin Bake Shop.
What is your favorite local dish?
My favorite local dish is chocolate meat. At Golden Coin, the chocolate meat is so delicious. I once tried it, and I want try again.
What specific message would you like to convey to our young adults?
My special message for our young adults. I quote Teresa of Avila’s statement: You Are Christ's Hands. Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ’s compassion to the world; Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now. From her statement, I am sure that Christ needs you, young adults, to be alter Christi--another Christ. He also needs you to develop his Church in Our Lady of Sorrows. He entrusts his Church to you for you are the future of this Church.