Rev. John Timbreza Molina

Parish Pastoral Administrator




Fr. John Molina interviewed by Sister Malia Dominica Wong, OP Hawaii Catholic Herald

Perseverance cannot be gauged by how long one has stayed in whatever vocational path one has followed, but by how much one has prayed. If our prayer is lacking, everything else will be lacking. As a priest who loves celebrating each Mass as if it were my first and last, I really believe in what St. Augustine said of the Eucharist, “May we become what we receive.” This is important as we go out to wherever we are needed and witness to Jesus.

Inspired by a vocation campaign by the Somascan priests and brothers, I entered the seminary in the Philippines at the age of 14. The Somascans are involved in many charitable works, including taking care of orphans in our orphanages. We are also involved in parish ministry.

Young and idealistic, I did not realize that it would be a long time before I would be able to see my parents again. The year I entered, they left the Philippines for Hawaii. That created a void; I was left behind.

My parents came for my ordination and stayed through as I celebrated my thanksgiving Mass. After ordination I was sent to Italy where I stayed for 15 years. Being in another country added to the gap between being able to see my parents. We tried to coordinate being able to see each other through times I would be back in the Philippines and when they would return, but that too was not so easy. I can count the number of Masses I was able to celebrate with my father in attendance before he passed away.

In 2014, I was sent to Vietnam for one-and-a-half years. It was then that my sister asked me why I couldn’t come to Hawaii. I pondered the idea as my mother was aging. With Bishop Larry Silva’s permission, I entered into a collaboration with the Diocese of Honolulu, substituting at different parishes. I have enjoyed meeting and serving the community here.

My guiding principle is mutual respect. It is very important. We need to be open to everything even though we may have a strong attachment to what we believe. We only live once. It is also important to try our very best to be happy, and to make others happy. This is one thing that can attract others to our faith. When we are happy and others see it, then we live, as St. Augustine said, “becoming what we receive.”

Father John Molina a priest of the Ordo Clericorum Regularium a Somascha, known as the Somascan Fathers. He is 28 years professed and 19 years ordained. Since arriving in Hawaii he has served as a substitute priest at Malia Puka O Kalani in Hilo and at Sacred Hearts Church in Waianae. At present he is helping out at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu and will begin his ministry at Pahoa Sacred Heart Parish at the end of June 2018.




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Bernice Walker

Parish Business Administrator