(from “Father Damien’ Letters”, Congregation of the Sacred Hearts SS.CC., Rome, 2017)
From a Letter from Father Damien to his Superior, Father Modeste Favens, SS.CC., from Kaluaaha, July 16 1874.
Dear Reverend Father,
Thank you very much for the beautiful ornament etc., which I received today, I have been painting since Monday. Since I wish to finish everything the way it should be, please send me two cans of paint (zink paint) with the first schooner. (It’s the nasty white lead paint which fooled me.)
I would like to make a few benches, 5 or 6, but I have only 200 feet of board left for that purpose if you please. Alaila pau ka hana a kana, a hoi ae au ma Kalawao? (When the work is done, then I return to Kalawao?)
His Excellency thinks it is better to repair the old house with stones. Kapulu ka! Ke hana me ka laau pela io no. (Right now, it is not good! When you make it with wood, that’s how it gets.) It will never turn into a nice house even if a mason does the work. I will thus leave it to Rev. Father Andre the way it is.
While my paint is drying, I will make an excursion tomorrow and Saturday, to the Koolau-Halawaiki ridge. May the Sacred Hearts find us some good souls. I hope soon to have some lodging in the beautiful bay of Halawa.
Would that I could go on a retreat, but where and when? There is hardly any oil left in the lamp. Pehea la vau. (How can I keep going?)
Brother Damien ss.cc.
Blessings, pono and pule!
Fr. Brian Guerrini, ss.cc.