(From “Father Damien’s Letters”, Congregation of the Sacred Hearts SS.CC., Rome, 2017)
From a letter from Father Damien to Father Gabriel Germain ss.cc., procurator of the Congregation, from Kalawao, March 1876:
The gifts received last year for the leprosarium have been used in great part to cover the costs of a beautiful chapel, which I built in replacement of the small one that had become insufficient for the second parish in the settlement [in Kalaupapa]. I have transported the first one [St. Anthony] to a nearby bay [Pelekunu Valley] from which the Government draws the food supplies for the lepers. I go there from time to time to visit the few Christians who are there. The only way there is by sea, often quite stormy. These are my only trips out of here in eight months. Habitual residence is urgent here in this location because of the dying. Father Andre is in the habit of coming here to hear my confession. He is used to climbing our famous mountain cliff; his health continues to be good as is mine.
Recommending myself to your good prayers, I am for life, my reverend Father,
Your very grateful brother,
Blessings, pono and pule!
Fr. Brian, ss.cc.