(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 13)
The fact that Father Burgermann was appointed to top-side Molokai did not completely end Father Damien’s ministry on leeward Molokai. Father Burgermann was a sickly man. He was also very interested in tropical diseases, with a fair knowledge of medical science acquired from study and from personal experience during his missionary work of ten years in Tahiti. So the Leper Colony attracted him, and when in need of rest he would wind his way down to Kalawao and stay with Father Damien, who would then climb up to fill in for at least two or three days for his visitor.
While in the Pukoo district, Father Damien made friends with a staunch Catholic by the name of Joseph Manu, living in the Pelekunu Valley. There were only half a dozen Catholics in Pelekunu, and Father Damien, for lack of a chapel, offered Mass in the house of Manu, whose son was an altar boy. After breakfast Joseph and his son took the priest to Halawa, where the rest of the day was spent visiting and attending to the little community, for which he offered Mass the next day before returning to Kalawao.
(to be continued tomorrow)
Blessings, pono and pule!
Fr. Brian, ss.cc.