[from Hawaii Catholic Herald, December 23, 2011]
It’s a welcoming church appropriate for a friendly isle. The people of Molokai blessed their long-awaited St. Damien Church in Kaunakakai on Dec. 9 with an inaugural congregation too large for the new building to hold, expressing a joy too great to hold in.
Bishop Larry Silva presided over the two hour and 10 minute evening ceremony, a rarely performed rite he compared to a baptism, using water, oil, smoke and flame.
“Aloha!” bellowed the bishop, crosier in hand, from the sidewalk in front of the parish’s Damien Center at the head of Ala Malama Avenue across from the Post Office precisely at 6pm, bringing the estimated 400 people around him to attention.
“We thank God for this long-awaited day,” he continued, without the aid of a microphone.
“This is one of the most beautiful liturgies of the church,” he said.
Then, as the choir sang “Let us build a house where love can dwell…,” the bishop led a procession of 12 priests, three deacons and a half dozen altar servers up to the entrance of the still-locked church. At least two of the priests were former pastors – Father James Orsini and Father Jose Macoy.
[to be continued…]
Blessings, pono and pule!!!
Fr. Brian Guerrini, ss.cc.