(from “Pioneers of the Faith: History of the Catholic Mission in Hawaii (1827-1940)” by Robert Schoofs, SS.CC., Sturgis Printing Company, Inc., Honolulu, HI, 1978)
(continued from May 12th)
Father Damien was, of course, very glad to have this little place of worship [St. Philomena’s in Kalawao], which filled his needs for the time being. But his burning zeal and strong constitution welcomed the opportunity to undertake regular climbing trips over the mountain to attend to the Catholics of leeward Molokai. This extra work he did for almost a whole year, from May, 1873 to February, 1874, when Father Burgermann, SS.CC., replaced him in leeward Molokai. This happened at a time when Father Damien was contemplating building three chapels and a church, at the urgent request of the Catholics of eastern Molokai. He discussed the project with Father Burgermann, who wanted the churches but was much afraid of taking on such a responsible task. In his opinion that was the job of Brothers, and immediately he sent his request to Bishop Maigret. The answer was disappointing: the Brothers had their hands full elsewhere and could not be spared in the near future. And that is why Father Damien built chapels in “topside” Molokai: Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Church at Kaluaaha in 1874; St. Joseph Chapel at Kamalo in 1876; the same year the chapel of St. John the Evangelist at Moanui and the chapel of St. Ann at Halawa.
(to be continued tomorrow)
Blessings, pono and pule!
Fr. Brian, ss.cc.