St. Marianne Honored at Home

Monday, January 14th, 2013

St. Marianne Honored at Home

After a week of rain and wind, last Saturday’s sunny dawn was an auspicious start to a special day in Kalaupapa. Hundreds of friends and dignitaries from across the country, as well as community members, gathered to celebrate the sainthood of St. Marianne Cope. While festivities have been held in her honor around the world since her canonization in October, this event brought the celebration home to the place St. Marianne served exiled Hansen’s disease patients for 30 years.

Patient residents were honored during last Saturday’s Kalaupapa celebrations. Photo by Laura Pilz

“This day was a surprise,” smiled patient resident Gloria Marks, referring to both the weather and the reason for celebration.…

St. Marianne Relic Visits Molokai

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

St. Marianne Relic Visits Molokai

A group of dignitaries honoring St. Marianne’s relic at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows. Photo by Catherine Cluett

The newly canonized St. Marianne Cope “came home” last week, in the words of many Molokai parishioners, as her relic visited the island where she served Hansen’s disease patients in Kalaupapa for 30 years. Accompanied by Catholic dignitaries, bishops and Franciscan sisters, the relic — a bone fragment of St. Marianne — made several stops on Molokai last Friday. Prayer services were held at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows and St. Joseph’s chapels on the east end, with a mass at St. Damien Church in Kaunakakai followed by time for personal veneration.…

Mother Marianne Soon to Be ‘Saint’

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Mother Marianne Soon to Be ‘Saint’

Mother Marianne Cope

This month marks long-awaited confirmation of what many Molokai residents and Catholics around the world already knew — Mother Marianne Cope will be officially declared a saint. Mother Marianne, who served Hansen’s disease patients in Kalaupapa for 30 years alongside St. Damien at the end of his life, will be canonized by the Pope in Rome on Oct. 21. Marianne will become the second saint to call Molokai home.

About 400 Catholics from Hawaii, including from Molokai four parishioners, Father William Petrie and a group of Kalaupapa patient residents, will make the journey to Italy to witness the canonization in person.…

Country Fair for the Catholic Church

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Country Fair for the Catholic Church

Catholic parishioners on Molokai have been planning and fundraising for a new church since 1995. Now that the worship structure is a reality, the fundraising efforts haven’t stopped — one of the St. Damien Parish’s biggest annual events was held last Saturday. This year’s Country Fair at the Mitchell Pauole Center had a fundraising goal of $12,000, according to church secretary Rose Brito.

“[The Country Fair’s] purpose is to pay off our beautiful church,” said Brito.

Even with years of fundraising, the parish still has over $1.4 million in loans to pay off on the new church, said Joan Lasua, the church’s finance chair.…

Songs of Praise

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Songs of Praise

Remember Him reunited after a two-year hiatus to perform at the third annual Praise Concert. Photo by Leslie Hibner.

Hundreds gathered to share in the third annual Molokai Summer Praise Concert, held at Kaunakakai Ball Field on Friday. The concert featured four musical groups from off-island, including 2010 Na Hoku Award winners Barrett and Tara Awai.

Photo by Leslie Hibner.

The event, put on by a committee comprised of seven different churches on Molokai, was a free event for families, and offered free food, music and games for keiki.

“It’s a no-strings-attached event and it’s for our whole island,” said Pastor Randy Manley of Molokai Baptist Church.…

New Catholic Priest for Kalaupapa

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

New Catholic Priest for Kalaupapa

July 11 marked what Kalaupapa’s new Catholic priest believes is the fulfillment of his destiny. Father Patrick Killilea was installed as the pastor of the peninsula’s St. Francis Church, replacing Father Ambrose Sapa, who was reassigned to serve on Oahu.

Father Patrick Killilea (left) was installed on July 11 as the new pastor of Kalaupapa’s St. Francis Church by Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva (center). Photo by Mark Miller.

“My story really begins in Kalaupapa in the summer of 2004,” said Killilea, a native of Ireland who had been serving in Massachusetts. He had come over to Kalaupapa to visit fellow members of the Sacred Hearts order — of which St.…

Catholic Parish Gets New Priest

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Catholic Parish Gets New Priest

As a high school student in Arizona at the age of 16, Father William Petrie read a biography of St. Damien in school. That’s what started the priest’s journey in the Catholic faith, which has culminated in his installation as pastor of Molokai’s St. Damien Parish last Tuesday.

“That book inspired me so much that I decided I was going to become a priest and work with leprosy patients,” he said. “And it all came true.”

Bishop Larry Silva and Father William Petrie (right) at his installation at St. Damien Church. Photo by Catherine Cluett

He entered seminary and joined the order of the Sacred Hearts, of which St.…

Leaving a Legacy of Faith

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Leaving a Legacy of Faith

Well-loved priest to move from Molokai.

By Catherine Cluett

While most Catholic priests are known for their spotless black cassocks and distinctive clerical collar, Molokai’s Father Clyde Guerreiro is often found in work-worn denim overalls, a construction tool in hand.

Father Clyde Guerreiro, standing at the current site of the new St. Damien Church before it was constructed. Photo by Catherine Cluett

Described by parishioners and community members as self-deprecating, down-to-earth, quick to laugh, a handyman and a visionary, Guerriero is fulfilling his childhood dream of priesthood. As a member of the Sacred Hearts order, he has been serving on Molokai for five years.…

Mother Marianne’s Canonization Date Set

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Mother Marianne’s Canonization Date Set

The nun who served Hansen’s disease patients who were exiled to Kalaupapa for over 30 years will become a saint in a canonization ceremony to take place on Oct. 21 of this year, the Vatican announced last Saturday. Molokai’s Mother Marianne Cope was green-lighted for sainthood by Pope Benedict XVI in December, after confirmation of a second miracle was attributed to her.

Now, the date is official for Mother Marianne to join St. Damien as Molokai’s second saint. Residents of Kalaupapa have already been planning for the celebration, and some will travel to Rome for the canonization.

Five others will also be canonized the same date as Mother Marianne, including Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian from New York state.…

Parish Prayers Answered

Monday, December 19th, 2011

In the soft glow of dusk and new lights of the bell tower, hundreds gathered in front of the recently-completed St. Damien Catholic church in Kaunakakai last Friday to celebrate its dedication.

Father Clyde Guerreiro led the throng through the doors for the first time, followed by Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva, a host of visiting priests and many Molokai parishioners. The parish has been planning and fundraising for the new worship structure since 1995, with a goal of holding Mass in the church on Christmas Eve 2011, according to Guerreiro.