(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 18th)
Also in Kaunakakai Father Thomas accommodated with the occasional celebration of Holy Mass the score of Catholics of this then tiny and unimportant village. Pukoo was the important and most populated section of East Molokai, with Kamalo and Kaluaaha the main towns, and for good reason. In Kamalo there was the pier, and in Pukoo there was the Courthouse; and it was in nearby Ualapue that were found the hospital, the Post Office and the Tax Office building. Both Catholic and Protestant faiths had their main and largest church in Kaluaaha as early as the 1870’s, whereas Kaunakakai got its first Catholic chapel only in 1914. By that time the tiny Catholic congregation of Kaunakakai had grown to the point that no private home could accommodate their number. Father Thomas referred the matter to Bishop Libert Boeynaems, who acquired a quarter of an acre of land in the heart of Kaunakakai. On it a small church with a seating capacity of about 50 was built. To show his interest, Bishop Boeynaems came over for the solemn blessing of this new chapel in January, 1914.
(to be continued tomorrow)
Blessings, pono and pule!
Fr. Brian Guerrini, ss.cc.