(From “Father Damien’s 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 24, 1874:
Dear Reverend Father,
I am sorry to report that the bell I just received is not worth being installed in the nice tower; it has a large crack and sounds like a broken pot. I am thinking of sending it back to you unless you tell me it is unnecessary/ Will you please send me another one (only the bell, not the other gadgets)? Since our church is more beautiful than anything the Calvinists have around here, we should not have bell inferior to those of the others.
Our “Komohale” (Dedication) is set for the Feast of the Assumption. Many people from Maui are coming. I have started fixing the old house. I will do it as I can. It is a “kapulu” (mess). I am fixing it as best I can; I will only be spending about $20. If 2 cans of paint are not on their way yet, then as soon as possible please; otherwise the work will be unfinished. There is only one side on the exterior that has clean paint. Inside we still have to do the “kala” (gable) above the door. To have something to offer the numerous guests, I will need a bag of flour, rice, and a supply of coffee. “Pau loa kekope vahi ake kuke.” (We are all out of coffee, says the cook.)
Since he cannot come to perform this ceremony, will you please ask the Bishop to assign the oldest Father to come to bless the chapel? And who would that be?
Your very humble servant,
Brother Damien ss.cc.
Blessings, pono and pule!
Fr. Brian Guerrini, ss.cc.