Fr. Maurice G. McNeely, author of the newly released book, ”’Catholicism Without the Guilt,”’ will be reunited with former parishioners at Holy Family Church, the parish he headed for two decades, at a special mass on Sunday, August 12, at 11 a.m., which is open to the public.
In addition to heading Holy Family parish, McNeely was the headmaster of Holy Family Catholic Academy before retiring in 2001.
Despite relocating to Las Vegas, where he says mass at Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer on 55 East Reno Avenue, often to standing-room only crowds, he continues to have a substantial following in the local Catholic community.
Charisma, words of wisdom, optimism and a down-to-earth approach to Catholic teachings and the Catholic faith, and his sharing of his own real life experiences, are what attracted thousands of people to his masses, his supporters say.
A chaplain in Vietnam during the war, McNeely had a large military family following, adding to the many Hawaii residents who attended his weekly masses.
One of his major landmark creations was the Hawaiian outdoor masses at Ft. DeRussy in Waikiki. Working with the Catholic Youth Organization, McNeely launched these series of summer masses in the early 1970s, which are still celebrated today.
At the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Downtown Honolulu in the 1980s, McNeely began Sunday night