Father Damien

St. Philomena Church, Kalawao - Kalaupapa

[Bust of Father Damien - St. Philomena Church]

Bust of Father Damien

This is in the church where Father Damien ministered to those condemned to face the ravages of leprosy (now curable, and respectfully referred to here as Hansen's Disease).

Indigenous Hawai'ians were displaced beginning in 1865, as 'lepers' were dispatched to this 'isolation colony', condemned to horrid conditions and little comforts. Father Damien arrived at Kalawao in 1873 and fought long and hard for things like basic necessities - such as beds, medical care, and spiritual support. He was later joined by Sister Marianne Cope, sainted along with Father Damien, for their dedicated and difficult work, and increasingly supported by public, church, and private - and even Royal - contributions. By the 1930's, most of this original (Kalawao) settlement had moved from here (windward side) to the warmer, calmer leeward-side of the peninusula, in Kalaupapa.

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This page last updated: Saturday, 12-Mar-2016 03:00:50 EST
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