Annual “Bagels with Bishop” offers food for thought
By Deborah Manog, Hawaii Catholic Schools
Bagels with Bishop just wrapped up its fifth year but you may be surprised to learn that bagels are not the Bishop’s pastry of choice or that his favorite type of animal is the elephant. These are just some of the interesting things that come during the informal setting in which the “talk-story” gathering between Bishop Larry Silva and high school seniors from participating Hawaii Catholic Schools takes place.
“It’s just really nice that the students are able to meet the Bishop and have a conversation with them, ask them their names and about their plans after graduation. He doesn’t sit with the adults during the breakfast, he pulls up a chair and sits with the students,” said Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry Lisa Gomes.
The wonderful aspect of Bagels with Bishop is that it allows students the rare opportunity to get to know the leader of the Honolulu Diocese beyond that of an authority figure, and to see the Bishop as a human whom they can relate to.
“They find out that he has hobbies, he likes to hike and scuba dive but he also has his struggles too,” Gomes said. “And he never hesitates to answer any questions.”
Questions collected from the students range from wanting to know the Bishop’s thoughts on the zombie apocalypse, same-sex marriage and “what has been the funniest thing that’s happened” in his years as a Bishop.
Prior to answering questions, Bishop Larry Silva speaks to the students about the importance of maintaining a personal relationship with Jesus, not only after high school but throughout the rest of their lives.
Bagels with Bishop was originally started by the Augustine Educational Foundation in 2012 as a way to encourage Hawaii Catholic School seniors to continue to stay actively engaged in their Faith after graduation.
The event allows for the students to meet the Bishop and are introduced to Catholic resources that are available to them, such as the Newman Connection, a non-profit organization that links incoming college students with an appropriate parish once they arrive on their new college campuses.
Photos taken by Island Digital Imaging