(excerpts 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 14)
After Father Damien had completed the churches on topside Molokai with the help of a few dedicated Hawaiians, among whom was a certain Andrew Poaha [grandfather of Elizabeth Kauila Poaha Reyes and buried at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows chapel], he persuaded Andrew to move to the [Kalaupapa] peninsula, where there would be steady employment. The Poahas did so and lived at Makanalua, midway between Kalawao and Kalaupapa. Andrew was Father Damien’s right hand man, and his wife did the laundry of the priest and the physician at the settlement, until in 1895 they moved back to topside Molokai.
By 1885 it had been firmly established that Father Damien had contracted leprosy, and that stopped all traveling for him. For the next 15 years topside Molokai was periodically taken care of by a priest of the Honolulu Catholic Mission.
(to be continued tomorrow)
Blessings, pono and pule!
Fr. Brian, ss.cc.