By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis, Kalaupapa
It was some minutes after 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. We had just celebrated our first Christmas Mass in company with our sisters and brothers from our neighboring Congregational Church. Led by members of the St. John Vianney Choir visiting from Kailua, we sang the Hawaiian Doxology after the Blessing, then ended our Mass with a rousing chorus of “Go Tell It on the Mountain That Jesus Christ is Born.” Now it was time to gather in our parish hall, which is said to be part of St. Damien’s original Kalaupapa town church.…
By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa
We had enjoyed a simple lunch of chicken, potato, and mixed vegetables topped off by a strawberry in chocolate pudding dessert created by my brother priest, Father Pankras Kareng SS.CC. from Indonesia. Sometime later, I noticed that that he had disappeared. Concerned that he might have wandered off and gotten into some kind of mischief, I went outside and looked around but he was nowhere in sight.
Then I walked to the rear of the house and called out, “Are you up there?” Immediately a voice came from the direction of the avocado tree which called back, “Yes I am!” Sure enough, when I approached the tree, I sensed some movement at the very top of the tree and there he was like a mountain lion snatching some large avocados.…
By Father Pat Killilea, St Francis Church, Kalaupapa
I had never previously broken into a house in my 70 years of living, though it is not unheard of in my own family. Several years ago, my mother related in her comical fashion how she had awakened in the middle of the night thinking that a burglar was coming in through the kitchen window. It was my younger brother who had arrived home late after the door was locked.
Now here I was at 7:30 a.m. trying to get in through a jalousie window at the rear of Dolly’s house.…
State Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. Linda Rosen has a soft spot for Kaluapapa, but her term is nearing its end, and she visited the settlement last week to speak with residents there personally.
“I just want to let you know what a privilege it has been to be the director of the Department of Health and to have the privilege to be involved with Kalaupapa,” Rosen said.
Rosen, a political appointee, was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in February to fill a vacancy created by the death of former director Loretta Fuddy. With a new governor being elected in November, there will be a change in all of the appointed directors.…
The exhibit’s opening blessing was held gathered around the gravesite of Sarah Miala Meyer Benjamin. Photo by Catherine Cluett.
When many people think of Kalaupapa, images of exile, suffering and disfigurement come to mind – stories from history books that tell a horrific tale from outside eyes. A photo exhibit that opened at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center in Kalae last Saturday seeks to depict the people of Kalaupapa in a new light.
“So much of [Kalaupapa’s] history is based on other people’s accounts and often sensationalized and just not true,” said Valerie Monson, coordinator for Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa, the organization sponsoring the exhibit.…
Though Kalaupapa is historically known as a place of exile for Hansen’s disease patients, the peninsula was also used as a bombing range during World War II. As with other Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDs) across the country, ongoing efforts to locate and remove unexploded ordnance — or bombs that never detonated — have begun. After completing a remedial investigation and feasibility study, the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has proposed a plan to clean up the area.
The former Makanalua Bombing Range, a 937-acre region on the northwest side of the Kalaupapa peninsula, was used by the U.S. Army for military bombing, rockets and gunnery practice from 1941 to 1946.…
Danny Hashimoto pauses as he delivers the community’s mail and newspapers, 1985. Photo by Wayne Levin.
Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release
“A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future,” an exhibit of about 100 photographs of Kalaupapa and her people will open at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center in Kalae on Saturday, Sept. 27, with a blessing at 10 a.m.
Opening day festivities, open to the public, will run through 2 p.m. The museum will waive entry fees on that day only. The exhibit will be on display at the museum through Aug. 29, 2015.
The exhibit was produced by Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa, a nonprofit that includes Kalaupapa residents, family members/descendants and friends of the community.…
Father Pat Killilea, St Francis Church, Kalaupapa
I turned the ignition key and without hesitation my Paddy Wagon began to purr in anticipation of the ride. Then I put the shift lever in forward and suddenly something snapped in the gear box. What a time to have this happen when I was about to take my young college visitors on a tour to Kalawao! Still, it was providential that it happened here in Kalaupapa town rather than on the way. Saints Damien and Marianne were surely watching out for us. Then along came Meli and Randall Watanuki, like the Lone Ranger and Tonto riding to the rescue.…
By Father Pat Killilea, St Francis Church, Kalaupapa
Makani Kai touched down right on time and we taxied in to Terminal 1 at Kalaupapa’s ever-friendly airport. I was immediately greeted by Rev. Richard Matsushita, his lovely wife, and some members of our neighboring Congregational Church who were seeing others off to Topside. Then one lovely young lady presented me with a beautiful lei and I responded with a hug and a smooch. After one month away, I was home again in Kalaupapa.
One month prior to this day, United Airlines and Aer Lingus had carried me on their broad wings to my homeland in Ireland, where I had enjoyed three-plus weeks in the company of family and friends in County Galway.…
By Cheryl Corbiell
Kaluapapa is known worldwide as the peninsula where people exposed to Hansen’s disease, or leprosy, were isolated for life. Once a natural prison, today it is a place where families in Hawaii can reconnect with a relative once considered “lost.” Prior to 1866, Native Hawaiians lived on the peninsula for 900 years and left remnants of rock walls, house platforms, heiau, and other structures as evidence of long-term Native Hawaiian habitation. Davianna Pomaika`i McGregor, Ph.D. Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of Hawaii, Manoa is working with the Kalaupapa National Historical Park (KNHP) and interviewing descendants of the original Kalaupapa Native Hawaiians to piece together Kalaupapa’s early history.…