Kalaupap Peninsula and Kalawao County news, articles, and stories.

Once in a Century

Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

Community Contributed
By Fr Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

The chatter of excited voices was momentarily hushed, then broke into loud cheers and applause as he entered McVeigh Hall, weighed down by numerous leis and topped by a colorful hat. The setting compared with the aftermath of the super bowl when Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs was showered with accolades. It was like those die-hard fans greeting the second coming of King Elvis. It was reminiscent of the president entering the Hall of Congress prepared to give the State of the Union Address. He took his seat at the head table.…

New Fuel Facility at Kalaupapa

Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

NPS News Release

The National Park Service (NPS) is requesting public input on a proposal to construct a new fuel facility at Kalaupapa National Historical Park and is releasing an environmental assessment (EA) for a 30-day review period from April 19 to May 19, 2024. The EA has been prepared to meet both the project implementation requirements of the state and federal government in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act, and analyzes the environmental impacts of a no action alternative and the proposed action alternative.
The proposed facility would be located east of Staff Row and the Damien Loop intersection.…

Happy Birthday, St. Marianne

Thursday, February 1st, 2024

Community Contributed
By Fr. Pat Killilea ss.cc., St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa
Glory be to God, Mokulele Flight 999 touched down and taxied to a stop at Kalaupapa Airport only a few minutes behind schedule. We had neglected to lay down the red carpet, but who needs that when there is a warm welcome awaiting. Down the steps came Msgr. Robert Sarno, his golden dome glowing in the morning light. He was accompanied by Dr. Maria DeVera, Sisters Joan Souza, Davilyn Chick and Margaret Burnett, James Jackson, and Fathers Andrew Baranski and Paul Houlis. They received a standing ovation on arrival at Terminal 1.…

Dutton on the Path to Sainthood

Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

Dutton on the Path to Sainthood

Molokai is one step closer to having its third Catholic saint. Joseph Dutton, who served in Kalaupapa for 44 years, will be submitted to the Vatican for canonization consideration on Jan. 21. If approved, Dutton would join St. Damien and St. Marianne Cope as Catholic saints serving Hansen’s disease patients exiled in Kalaupapa.

A formal cause of canonization for Dutton was opened by the Diocese of Honolulu in May of 2022. Now, the nearly 2,000 pages of evidence gathered since then will be reviewed by the Church. Dutton needs proof of one miracle after his death to be named as “Blessed,” which is one step before sainthood.…

Kalaupapa Month

Thursday, January 4th, 2024

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release

January is Kalaupapa Month.

Two years ago, Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa proposed designating January as Kalaupapa Month to the Hawaii State Legislature which gave the bill unanimous approval. Governor David Ige signed the legislation into law.

Ka ‘Ohana President Charmaine Woodward, whose great-grandparents are buried at Kalaupapa, sees Kalaupapa Month as a “time of remembrance and celebration — it is the time we celebrate their lives, their legacy, and their love. By overcoming adversity, the people of Kalaupapa guide us on how to traverse difficult situations by portraying characteristics of unconditional love, true faith, and family.”…

The Gathering Place

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

The Irish parliament (Dail) members were gathering for an important legislative session. As they all filed in to take their seats, there was a lot of semi-formal chatter with some money being exchanged. One member rushed in somewhat late, sat down, then unsure what already happened, he leaned over to his neighbor and asked, “Has the meeting started yet?” 

The other member chuckled and said, “No. This is the time for placing of bets for the Sunday game.” 

Well at least the Irish members of parliament get their priorities straight, unlike other gatherings of government representatives!…

The New Recruits

Wednesday, October 18th, 2023

Community Contributed 

Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

“There is a season for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens,” Ecclesiastes 3.

It was the time for police recruitment in a small town and the story goes that the police sergeant was in the process of interviewing a candidate for a position in the town police department. 

He asked the candidate, “if you had to arrest your wife for reckless speeding, what would you do?” 

The applicant replied, “I would call for backup, Sir.” 

The sergeant followed up with, “what’s your biggest weakness?” 

The applicant replied, “my principal weakness is my problem with reality.…

Kalaupapa Barge Day

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St Francis Church, Kalaupapa

It was Saturday morning and I was enjoying my extra hour of rest since Saturday Mass is celebrated at 7 a.m. rather than at the usual weekday hour of 6 a.m. Suddenly, I was awakened by a couple of really loud and enthusiastic “meows” and when this did not receive the intended response from me, Titus The Tiger, the number two of my seven cats, launched his plump body onto my bed. Titus had never done this previously, even though I often permit him and Bailey, my number one cat, to stay in the house overnight.…

Electric Upgrades for Kalaupapa

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

By Jack Kiyonaga, Reporter 

Residents of Kalaupapa will soon benefit from essential upgrades to their electrical distribution system, including a comprehensive eicr inspection to ensure safety and efficiency.

Superintendent of the Kalaupapa National Historic Park, Nancy Holman, explained that the Kalaupapa community faces problems with the electric system at least once every couple of months. 

“The components of the system are pretty old,” said Holman, “lots of exposure to the elements down here.” 

The last time the Kalaupapa electric system was upgraded was in 1969. 

“Any project at Kalaupapa is challenging due to logistical restraints such as barge access, transport and lodging for workers, environmental impacts such as salt air, high winds and pests all deteriorate materials quickly, sensitivity for impacts to patient residents, protection of cultural and natural resources, cost… just to name a few,” explained Holman.…


Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

Flight 583 from Honolulu to Kalaupapa was rather bumpy but we made it safely across the treacherous waters of the Ka’iwi Channel. The plane looped around the south side of Molokai island, then headed north before turning to the right and shortly thereafter preparing to land. At which, the cry went up, “This is not Kalaupapa.” Sure enough, we were about to land at Ho’olehua, the topside Molokai airport. We were not happy. We had landed at the wrong airport and it was close to sunset.

Sunday, Feb. 19, had started well for me.…