Molokai History:

[from Hawaii Catholic Herald, May 20, 1966]

The parish of St. Sophia’s in Kaunakakai is debt-free and hopes for the day when it will have resident Holy Family Sisters to conduct weekly instruction classes for the children. The parish suffers from the fact that most of the young people leave the island and the parish for schooling on Oahu or the mainland and others seek employment on Oahu. They never return except for visits. Thus the parish consists of the very young and the old.

The distance from Kaunakakai to Kamalo, St. Joseph’s Church and a mission of St. Sophia’s is eleven miles, but the road is good. St. Joseph’s was built in 1876 by Father Damien and is still in use today. It never had a resident priest but it did serve a large congregation in the Kamalo area with its important boat landing. This was the second church built by Father Damien on the “top-side” or the leeward side of the island.

Blessings, pono and pule!

Fr. Brian Guerrini,