Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Mules ride again

A new earthquake-proof bridge on the Kalaupapa trail reopens land access to St. Damien’s remote settlement
KALAUPAPA, Hawaii, Catholic Herald:  Thirteen mules lurched their way down the Kalaupapa trail on Dec. 1 for the first time in nearly seven months.  A bridge on the second switchback of the zigzagging trail leading to the remote Hansen’s disease settlement where Father Damien labored had been washed out by a landslide in early April. The famous Molokai mule operation was left at a standstill while a new bridge was being built.  Financial hardship caused the nearly 40-year-old Molokai Mule Ride to close. But now that the bridge is complete, the company is back in business under a new name — Kalaupapa Guided Mule Tour.

A spirit of gratitude and celebration filled both visitors and mule tour workers on the business’ first day back. “We want to thank all the people who called us to offer well wishes,” said Roy Horner, co-owner of Kalaupapa Guided Mule Tour. Family members are offering their time to help out the business. “Everyone is working for love right now,” Horner said. Co-owner and mule trainer Buzzy Sproat and his employees, called muleskinners, have been leading the mules up and down the trail for the past two weeks to get them back in shape for the rigorous trek. The mules also had to become accustomed to the new bridge so they wouldn’t spook while crossing it.

On the hour-long trip back up the 26 switchbacks, Sproat and his lead mule paused several times to give a break to the line of animals behind him who were carrying visitors for the first time in a long while.  “After standing idle for seven months, they get a little winded,” he said. Sproat and Horner are re-starting the business slowly, with only 10 visitors maximum per trip, compared to last year’s maximum of 15. They are gradually getting the word out that they are back in operation.

With the new bridge completed at the end of October, the Kalaupapa trail is once again open to the public, though only those with a permit or sponsor may enter the settlement. The bridge had been scheduled to be completed in July, but was redesigned for extra strength to better withstand the perilous terrain, weather conditions and weight it must hold, according to Steve Prokop, superintendent of Kalaupapa National Historical Park. The bridge often carries five mules at one time, which Prokop said is nearly equivalent in weight to vehicle traffic.

Engineers drilled eight 23-foot long bolts vertically and horizontally into the side of the pali, Prokop said. These were encapsulated in the concrete abutments at either end of the bridge. “The extra safety feature should enable it to withstand violent shaking of an earthquake or a major landslide,” the superintendent said. He added that in the past 25 years, at least three bridges have been built in the same location. “We wanted to do something longer lasting,” he said. “We’re looking forward to having visitors back from near and far.” The completed bridge cost nearly $400,000, paid for in part by emergency funding secured from Washington, D.C. Prokop called the project the number one National Park Service emergency repair job in the Pacific Western region.

To help keep the mule business afloat during the downtime, NPS hired mule tour employees to help with the construction of the new bridge, hauling cement and other materials on mule-back. Other local businesses were also affected by the trail closure. Damien Tours, owned by Kalaupapa resident Gloria Marks, was hit particularly hard. The isolated peninsula has become a much sought-after destination for pilgrims and tourists ever since Father Damien’s canonization by Pope Benedict XVI last year in Rome.

Marks gets much of her business from the mule tours. “We help each other out,” Marks said. Her business has been hurting for the past seven months, with visitors only able to come in to Kalaupapa by plane. During that time, barely 100 pilgrims and visitors took the guided bus tour around the peninsula each month. Normally, that number soars between 500 and 600 per month. The busy season, Marks said, is January through May, and she hopes business will pick up again then. Molokai Outdoors and Molokai Fish and Dive also offer travel packages to Kalaupapa. Clare Mawae of Molokai Outdoors said while the trail was closed, potential visitors to Molokai changed their plans when they heard they could not hike or ride a mule to Kalaupapa. But thanks to its re-opening, they are adding Molokai to their itinerary. Kalaupapa Guided Mule Tour also continues to offer air travel packages into Kalaupapa, something they began while the trail was closed.
“We want to give people a good experience of Kalaupapa,” said Horner.
By Catherine Cluett
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Saturday, December 11, 2010

St_Damien_Mass



A Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating the recent canonization of St. Damien of Molokai, held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., on Sunday, January 31, 2010, World Leprosy Day. Homilist is Father William Petrie, SS.CC., provinicial of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the order of Father Damien.

Duration : 0:3:32
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Disclaimer

No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Mozlink

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Father Damien’s St. Joseph Church Rescued

St. Joseph’s Church is awaiting a new spire. Photo by Judy Bittenbender.
Molokai Dispatch: Dec. 3rd: St. Joseph Church at Kamalo is a State Historic site and one of the most visited on Molokai.  Each year more than 4,000 Hawaii residents, visitors and pilgrims visit the church, built in 1876 by Father Damien and the Kamalo community. Today, due to the grace and generosity of many people, this 134-year-old church is being saved, so it can continue to tell the story of Molokai, and of one of its most famous residents, Father Damien. 

In addition to his work with the Hansen disease patients on the Kalaupapa peninsula, Father Damien also served as pastor and church builder for the Catholic faithful who lived on topside Molokai.  Of the churches built by Father Damien, St. Joseph Church at Kamalo remains in the most original condition.  However, due to time, weather and termites the church was at risk of being lost. A windstorm this past April complicated matters by blowing off the cross and tearing a large, gaping hole in the church’s eight-sided steeple spire. Last August, the church was closed to the public to undertake the desperately needed interior and exterior repairs and restoration.  However, only “temporary” repairs were made to the steeple and it was not repainted.  Initial investigation indicated that the church’s steeple was unstable and that an engineering study was necessary.  Additional fundraising is required before the church’s “praying hands” steeple can be repaired and spire reinstalled. In the mean time, the church has now been reopened to the public.

The St. Damien Catholic Parish is most grateful to the following organizations and persons who have assisted and contributed to this important effort to save this historic church:
Kualapu`u Ranch (roofing team, materials, housing and scaffolding), Huntington Beach Roofing – David and DJ Hoffman and Nicholas Sampson (roofing team), Akamai Tree Trimming –Dolphin Pawn and Travis Phillip (bucket truck), SW Carpenter Training Center – Randy Leavenworth and Nicholas Sampson (fabrication of new cross), Evelyn Bicoy and Napua Silva (meals for roofing team), David Ohst (interior/exterior finish carpentry), David Schneiter (power washing, interior/exterior painting), Makoa Trucking – Chris Mebille (storage container), Bugman-Gerry Garcia (pest services), Art Parr AIA (consultation), Dathan Bicoy (consultation), Judy Bittenbender (project manager), plus over  90 off-island cash donors, and Saint Damien parish cash donors. St. Joseph’s Church is awaiting a new spire. Photo by Judy Bittenbender.
There are still substantial costs ahead to evaluate the structural integrity of the steeple, and to reinstall a new top spire. Father Guerreiro and the parish are hopeful that donors will come forward and join the parish in its effort to “Save the Steeple” at Father Damien’s historic St. Joseph Church.
By Maria Sullivan, St. Damien Parishioner

Help Save the Steeple
Make your check payable to: “St. Joseph Church Fund”
Attn: Fr. Clyde Guerreiro
Saint Damien Parish-St. Joseph Church Fund
P.O. Box 1948
Kaunakakai, HI  96748
For more information about the church and project, contact Maria Sullivan, St. Damien Parishioner (808) 553-5181; mjs@aloha.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
Disclaimer 
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise. 
Mozlink

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Biography Captures the Spirit of Beloved 'Leper Priest' Saint Damien

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 22, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ -- Ignatius Press has just released a new biography about Father Damien, the priest who is famous for his missionary work with exiled lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, who is now finally Saint Damien. His sanctity took 120 years to become officially recognized, but between his death in 1889 and his canonization in 2009--amid creeping secularization and suspicion of the missionary spirit he so much embodied--Father Damien De Veuster never faded from the world's memory.
What kept him there? What keeps him there now?
To find an answer, Belgian historian and journalist Jan De Volder sifted through Father Damien's personal correspondence as well as the Vatican archives. With careful and even-handed expertise, De Volder follows Father Damien's transformation from the stout, somewhat haughty missionary of his youth, bounding from Europe to Hawaii and straight into seemingly tireless priestly work, to the humble and loving shepherd of souls who eventually succumbed to the same disease that ravaged his flock. "The Spirit of Father Damien" is illustrated with many photos of Damien throughout his life that paint a vivid picture of his work and missionary spirit.
De Volder finds that--as spiritual father, caretaker, teacher, and advocate--Father Damien accomplished many heroic feats for these poor outcasts. Yet the greatest gift he gave them was their transformation from a disordered, lawless throng exiled in desperate anarchy into a living community built on Jesus Christ, a community in which they learned to care for one another.
De Volder says, "I have known Damien since my childhood, as has every Belgian. It struck me that, even in so secularized a country as Belgium, he's still widely admired for what is seen as his humanitarian deeds for the leper-outcasts of his time. Yet, you cannot grasp the meaning of Damien's self-gift without an understanding of his deep faith and obedience: he shows that love for the Gospel, love for the Church, and love for the poor belong together. And Damien's witness has been so powerful that even today his story inspires many to live lives devoted to Jesus and the sick, the poor, and the weak."
To request a review copy or an interview with author Jan De Volder, please contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press,  rose@ignatius.com
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Saturday, November 13, 2010

‘Traveling relic’ of St. Damien available for veneration



The reliquary made of monkeypod tree wood from a tree planted by St. Damien on Molokai. The box was made by Maui residents Edwin Ferreira and Allan Marciel.
Nov. 12th: Hawaiian Catholic Herald: The Diocese of Honolulu has a “traveling relic” of St. Damien, available for veneration wherever it is welcome.  "We are putting the word out to bishops,” Bishop Larry Silva said.   The relic is made up of bone fragments shed from another relic, a talus (ankle) bone now on permanent display in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace. Bishop Silva said he was planning to send an e-mail message this month to every bishop in the country to tell them that the traveling relic is available for veneration in their dioceses.
Typically, the relic of a saint would be put on display in a church or chapel for the faithful to approach it, view it, perhaps touch the box it is in, and pray in its presence. The bishop has assigned Sacred Hearts Father Paul Zaccone as the person who “will normally be the one to take the relic to its various locations.” “He will be prepared to give talks and to lead prayers, if desired,” the bishop explained in an e-mail message. Father Zaccone will also arrange for any accompanying literature, art and religious objects that would supplement the display of the relic, the bishop said.
The relic is owned by the Diocese of Honolulu. Bishop Silva said that he would consider future requests directly from individual parishes, convents, monasteries or other church entities. The diocesan Office of Worship would handle requests. The bone fragments are held in a 6-inch by 9-inch by 4-inch reliquary of polished monkeypod wood, and are visible behind a thick oval glass window on the lid. The box is secured by a brass Louis Vuitton padlock made in Paris. It is carried in a donated 16-inch long black leather bag by Prada. The reliquary was made by two Makawao, Maui, craftsmen, Edwin Ferreira and Allan Marciel. The wood comes from a 100-year-old tree Father Damien planted on topside Molokai near the church he built in Kaluaaha, Our Lady of Seven Sorrows.
The traveling relic has already been on the road. When the bishop and Father Peter Dumag visited Hawaii’s seven seminarians at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon for two days in October, they brought the relic along. It was incorporated into the student and faculty evening prayers. The relic is now in Wisconsin, at Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, where two other Hawaii seminarians are studying. It was carried there by Father Thomas Knoebel, the seminary vice rector who was returning to Hales Corners after spending several months in Honolulu. Seminarian Nick Brown will bring the relic back to Hawaii.
According to the bishop, the transportation costs of the traveling relic will be the responsibility of the diocese or other entity that requests it. This includes coach class airfare, ground transportation, and room and board for the person accompanying the relic. The relic will always be hand-carried, the bishop said, never mailed or checked in as luggage. “The Transportation Security Administration supervisor at the Honolulu International Airport has given approval for the relic to pass through security,” Bishop Silva said. “Should any agent question it, they can be referred to TSA in Honolulu.”
The original talus bone that is the source of this relic had been in the possession of the Sacred Hearts Congregation in Belgium ever since it was unintentionally separated from the rest of Father Damien’s remains when his casket was opened there in 1956 and his bones catalogued, separated and stored in a dozen zinc boxes before being returned to his tomb. That bone, sealed under glass in a small wooden reliquary made in Belgium, was presented to Bishop Silva by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome on Oct. 12, 2009, the day after Father Damien’s canonization in St. Peter’s Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.
While the relic was transported around the islands for veneration last year following the canonization, small pieces of it began to fall off. The bishop had a forensic specialist chemically coat the bone so it would not shed any more pieces, and the loose fragments were collected for the second relic. Yet another St. Damien relic, the remains of his right hand, lies in the priest’s original grave alongside St. Philomena Church in Kalawao, Molokai, where he was buried in 1889. Father Damien’s body was exhumed in 1936 and carried to his home country of Belgium at the request of the Belgian government. The bones of the priest’s right hand were returned to Hawaii during his beatification ceremony in Brussels, Belgium, in 1995.
By Patrick Downes Hawaii Catholic Herald
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Leper on Molokai, 1880

Depicted next to Pope Pius XI and below Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, is Bishop Stephen Alencastre who was the fifth Vicar Apostolic of the Hawaiian Islands.
The following poem appeared in the 15th November 2010 issue of ‘America’ magazine. 
A Leper on Molokai, 1880

To the Father and to the sea
I confess my gross being,
embrace with withered arms
our rank God
here at Kalaupapa.
My eyes dull moons,
I know the sun by its smell.
More corrupt than Lazarus
I live this death before death,
live the reciprocity of flesh.
The death of our death stuns even the sky,
wailing birds reel in the unclean air.
The cemetery at Kalawa’o
vomits our pitted bones,
and the blind sun stares.
Kalaupapa is an open tomb—
three walls of water, one of rock.
When Lazarus died, Jesus wept.
With corrupt voices we sang
Mozart. The bishop wept.

J O S E P H  S O L D A T I

JOSEPH A. SOLDATI, of Portland, Ore., has published numerous poems and essays, most recently in New Millennium Writings.
(Note: Under the direction of Father Joseph Damien de Veuster, the patients sang a Mozart Mass for the visiting bishop (vicar apostolic) on June 8, 1875)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise. 
Mozlink

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Damien, the play, comes to North Vancouver

The Busy Catholic Blog: By now you're likely familiar with the story of Father Damien de Veuster who lived among the lepers on Molokai Island in Hawaii. (Saint Damien is the unofficial patron of those with HIV and AIDS.)

Now the play Damien is coming to North Vancouver's Presentation House Theatre, Nov. 16-28. The San Francisco Examiner says the play confronts Saint Damien's struggle with self-doubt and undying compassion towards what he originally describes as a dumping place for human beings. “Damien is a heartrending portrait of a selfless priest determined not to let the lepers think that God has abandoned them.”

Meanwhile, the other San Francisco paper, The Chronicle, has this account of a writer's experience visiting Molokai. It's worth a read.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer 
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise. 
Mozlink

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Canonization anniversary celebrated from Michigan to Molokai

Members of the St. Damien halau perform  a hula at the anniversary Mass, Oct. 11, in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu.                                                    HCH photo/Darlene Dela Cruz
 Hawaii Catholic Herald Oct.29th:   Parishes in Michigan and on Molokai named for St. Damien celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Belgian missionary priest’s canonization on Oct. 11.   The famed 19th century Sacred Hearts priest spent the last 16 years of his life bringing dignity and compassion to the exiled Hansen’s disease patients of Kalaupapa. Pope Benedict XVI declared him a saint in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 11, 2009.
St. Damien Parish, Pontiac:
Michigan may be the only mainland state with a parish bearing the name of Hawaii’s saint. The parishioners at St. Damien of Molokai Parish in Pontiac, in the Archdiocese of Detroit, take pride in their island patron.
The parish itself is the result of archdiocesan downsizing measures which resulted in the merging in July 2009 of three churches — St. Vincent de Paul, St. Michael and Shrine of St. Joseph. Seeking a new “neutral” name and patron, the churches were first grouped under the title “Blessed Damien Parish” by Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, a close friend of Hawaii’s Bishop Larry Silva. The name was changed to “St. Damien” at the moment of canonization.

The Pontiac parish sent 21 people to Rome for last year’s canonization. The pastor, Father Jim Kean, said the trip was helpful in bridging the three different church communities together.  “We needed something that gave us an extra cause with which to unite. It helped us recognize our own birth, that we are a new reality,” he told The Michigan Catholic newspaper in October 2009.

In an Oct. 20 e-mailed message to the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Father Kean highlighted the progress of St. Damien of Molokai Parish since the canonization:   "One of the parish’s Spanish-speaking choirs composed a song about St. Damien. Father Kean describes it as having “a calypso feel,” influenced by the church’s many Puerto Rican parishioners. He hopes to record the song soon and send a copy to Honolulu.  The parish still uses all three of its churches. One of the churches is being repainted, and an artist has been commissioned to create a mural there as a tribute to St. Damien.

Shortly after the canonization, the parish received a poster from Leonce Eraly, a great-great-great grand nephew of St. Damien. The poster sits behind the altar at one of the churches.  According to Lourdes Smith, the confirmation and youth ministry program coordinator at St. Damien of Molokai Parish, the parish hopes to organize a 2012 pilgrimage to Molokai around the second anniversary of St. Damien’s canonization.  Father Kean said his parish continues to grow slowly, and that he is optimistic about the faith of the budding community.“This gives even more reason to look to St. Damien, who, by the grace of God, took on his problems with determination and only over time was able to achieve success little by little,” Father Kean said.

Honolulu cathedral celebration:
Bishop Silva marked the anniversary with Mass at 6 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu. About 100 people, including a few patients from Kalaupapa, attended the Monday evening liturgy.   “We are here to thank God for what happened a year ago today,” the bishop said in his homily. “Damien was made a saint — something people around the world knew for a long time.”

“Damien could’ve had a comfortable life in Belgium, but that would not be the freedom to which God called him,” the bishop said. “Freedom was traveling halfway around the world to these islands. He made himself a slave to Jesus to share a message that would last for generations.  “We were given the gift of this saint so we can free ourselves to do what might not seem to be free at all,” the bishop added.

The St. Damien choir and halau sang and performed Damien-inspired hymns and hula written for canonization-related events a year ago.  The Mass ended with a public veneration of a St. Damien relic, bone from the saint’s foot.

Meanwhile, on Molokai:
Maria Sullivan, a parishioner and the special project manager of St. Damien Parish on Molokai, said that St. Damien was remembered with special prayers on Sunday, Oct. 10.  The parish, on topside Molokai, is comprised of three churches, two of which were originally built by Father Damien.  Sullivan said a special collection was taken up on Sunday at each of the Masses to raise money for the preservation of the tiny St. Joseph Church in Kamalo, which Father Damien built in 1876.

Molokai’s Catholic community also has been progressing in its efforts in building a new St. Damien Church, which will replace Kaunakakai’s St. Sophia Church which fire destroyed earlier this year. A contractor has already been selected for the project.  Sullivan said that Sacred Hearts Father Lane Akiona celebrated a special canonization anniversary Mass in Kalaupapa.
By Darlene J. M. Dela Cruz |
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Monday, October 18, 2010

Looking back one year

Hawaiian Catholic Herald: How time flies. Oct. 11 is the one year anniversary of the canonization of Father Damien of Molokai in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI. Bishop Larry Silva will celebrate with a Mass in the cathedral at 6 p.m.

Father Felix's selfless service was a testament to his faith

Father Felix Vandebroek worked at many different churches during his 50 years in Hawaii, and was assigned to Kalaupapa in 2007. Here, Vandebroek visited Father Damien's grave with Audrey Toguchi, left, and Sister Margaret Wouters, a Belgian nun.
Star Advertiser: Sept. 19th 2010: A crowd of people poured out of the yellow Yamaguchi school bus and surged into the church like the tide. They rented the bus to take them from Waialua all the way to Kaimuki on a Thursday evening to attend the funeral of their beloved priest. Some people flew in for the funeral from Kauai, because he was their beloved priest for 24 years. For the last several years, he was Kalaupapa's humble, sturdy priest, too.

Father Felix Vandebroek had a way of being at home wherever he was. He made dear friends everywhere he lived. When he was the priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Honokaa, he would ride a horse with the cowboys. When he was assigned to Kalaupapa, he asked friends to mail him nails -- hard to come by on the isolated peninsula -- so he could build things people needed. He worked at many different churches during his 50 years in Hawaii, and people never wanted to see him moved to another parish.

"Wherever he was assigned he would adhere himself wholeheartedly to his parish family," said Father Christopher Keahi, provincial of the Sacred Hearts Fathers in Hawaii, the order to which Vandebroek belonged. "I have never heard a disparaging remark from anyone, but rather praise and earnest pleas to allow him to be with them throughout his priestly life."

Vandebroek died Aug. 28. He was 82 and had been a priest for 56 years. At the funeral Mass for him at St. Patrick Church in Kaimuki on Sept. 9, the church was full of people who came to say goodbye still wearing their work jeans and T-shirts. There was a procession of priests and brothers from his order, the Knights of Columbus in their regalia, the Bishop, the busload from Waialua and wiggly children he had baptized as newborns.

That was the one thing that saddened him about his time in Kalaupapa. Children are not allowed in the former Hansen's disease colony. "There are no children, so no baptisms, catechism, or First Communion," Vandebroek wrote in his 2008 Christmas letter to friends. "I say morning Mass at 5 a.m. Two people. And a Sunday Mass at 9 a.m. Ten people."

Otherwise, it was a dream come true for the Belgian-born priest to serve where his countryman Father Damien de Veuster served more than 100 years ago. Vandebroek was worried that at almost 80 years old, he was going to be asked to retire. He was not the kind of man who looked forward to retirement. Instead, in 2007, he was given the Kalaupapa assignment, and it was he who led the congregation through the excitement of Damien's canonization. He didn't travel to Belgium for the ceremony, preferring to stay behind on Molokai with those who couldn't make the trip.

"It has been hectic days. Interviews with journalists, TV crews, bringing them back and forth between Kalaupapa and Kalawao," he reported to his friends. He also served in churches in Waianae, Hana and Wailuku, but his longest assignment was 24 years at St. Raphael in Koloa, Kauai from 1979 to 2003. "He baptized, married and buried countless parishioners and visitors from all over the world," said Lori Parsonson, who served as his church bookkeeper for 17 years. "Sunday morning Masses were standing room only."

Vandebroek was at St. Raphael during Hurricane Iniki and oversaw the rebuilding of the church. As part of his many fundraising efforts, Vandebroek went on a daily walk around the church yard, which was once quite isolated but is now adjacent to a golf course. He collected stray golf balls every morning, asked his parishioners to wipe them, and sold them after Mass 10 for $1 in what he called a "Lil Grass Shack" along with local papaya, oranges and bananas. The tourists thought it was the most darling thing. "When Father Felix was transferred from St. Raphael's, not only was the rebuilding debt paid off, he left the parish with $305,000 in savings," Parsonson said.

Vandebroek was someone who could be counted on to help whether the need be prayers or Pampers. He kept Big Save Supermarket gift certificates on hand for those who needed food and diapers. He would go to the Koloa Pharmacy to pay for people's medicine or to the gas station to pay for people's fuel. "When Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai, Father Felix received checks totaling $45,000 in the mail from all over the world," Parsonson said. "He turned those checks into cash and immediately gave it to those local families in need. No committees, no paperwork. He just gave. So simple."

For an old-time kind of priest, the type not given to guitar Mass or websites, he navigated contemporary issues with great compassion. He never tsk-tsked at things like unwed parents or divorce, and would tell people, "God loves you. Be happy."

A memorial Mass is being planned for Father Felix at St. Raphael's Church in Koloa on Friday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m. Vandebroek composed a simple prayer that he liked to share with people, a blessing that personified the idea of God:

May the eyes of the Lord watch over you,
May the feet of the Lord walk beside you,
And may the arms of the Lord encircle you in His everlasting love. Amen.

By Lee Cataluna
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Mozlink

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kalaupapa pastor was well-loved

HAWAII CATHOLIC HERALD: Sept. 2nd:
The Rev. Felix Vandebroek, pastor of a church in Kalaupapa, where a dozen of his parishioners have leprosy, died Friday at the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts Center in Kaneohe. He was 82.
Vandebroek had just returned from a monthlong visit with his family in Belgium, and wasn't feeling well during the week he stayed at the center before returning to Molokai, said the Rev. Chris Keahi, provincial superior of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Vandebroek didn't answer Keahi's knock on the door Friday evening and was found on the floor on Saturday morning, Keahi said. The priest had heart problems and diabetes, he added.

Vandebroek was born n Belgium and came to Hawaii in 1956 as one of the country's last missionaries. His longest ministry was at St. Raphael parish in Koloa, Kauai, for 24 years, Keahi said. He was transferred to St. Francis of Assisi Church on Molokai in 2007, the latest in a line of priests to follow in the footsteps of Father Damien De Veuster, who was declared a saint in 2009 for his work with leprosy patients.

Meli Watanuki is among a dozen patients who still live on Kalaupapa. She and husband Randall assisted Vandebroek with church matters. She cried as she talked about the priest, describing him as a strong man and a private person who had a sense of humor. They often bantered over who really ran things, she said. "If I no like something, I tell Father straight. He say, 'You not da boss, I da boss.' But if something broken, I go office and get work order to fix. ... Father say, 'You and me, we are boss together,'" she said. Watanuki said she and others would always laugh when Vandebroek would say at the end of a service, "OK; we pau." "I miss him a lot," she said. "He was a really smart man. He understands everything." Like the priests before him, Vandebroek "take care of us like their children," Watanuki said.

Vandebroek "was always kind and well-loved by people no matter where he went, especially on Kauai, where he was for 24 years," Keahi said. "They would always send him care packages after he left. Most of all, he enjoyed children wherever he went. He was sad there were no children on Kalaupapa, but I told him his children were adults." Keahi said until another priest is found for Kalaupapa, he will send whoever is available on a weekly basis.

The funeral is next Thursday at St. Patrick Church, 1124 7th Ave. in Kaimuki. Visitation is at 5:30 p.m., followed by Mass. Tentatively, the burial is set for Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. at the Valley of the Temples in Kaneohe.
By Pat Gee
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer

No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kalaupapa Access on the Edge

A weathered sign for Molokai Mule Ride stands in front of the now-empty stables on topside Molokai.
A poignant history is contained on a tiny peninsula off Molokai, guarded by the world’s highest sea cliffs – a history of pain and exile, saintliness and triumph. Access to Kalaupapa, the remote home of Saint Damien, has always been difficult. Since April, however, it has been nearly impossible.

The settlement’s lifeline, the pali trail, was closed after a landslide washed away one of the trail’s bridges. The closure has left some local businesses on the brink of survival, and many tourists and pilgrims without access to the famed peninsula.

Gloria Marks, Kalaupapa resident, patient and owner of Damien Tours, said there has been a significant decrease in visitors since the trail closure. She said her business, which offers guided bus tours of the peninsula, usually has 500 to 600 customers per month. Last month, there were only about 200. Access to Kalaupapa is now available only by plane.“The trail is significant in the sense that you are spiritually walking the journey that Father Damien walked and even more significantly in the steps of Christ,” said Father Clyde Guerreiro of the Saint Damien Parish on Molokai. “You need to do it once or twice in your life,” he added.

The National Park Service (NPS), which maintains the trail, constructed a temporary wooden bridge to allow employees to hike to work. But the trail is closed to all other hikers, visitors and the famous Molokai Mule Rides. NPS is working to install a permanent 65-foot prefabricated aluminum bridge to span the gap. It likely will not be complete until late September or early October. NPS first estimated the completion date to be just weeks after the washout. “It’s sad; I wish they would hurry up,” said Marks. “First they tell us in July, then August, now October. I just keep hanging on.”

Damien Tours is not the only business feeling the harsh effects of fewer customers from the closed trail. “We’re slowly dying,” Molokai Mule Ride owner Roy Horner said of his business. “It’s going to take creativity, some good fortune, and a little magic to make it until fall.” Molokai Mule Ride, a well-known and bumpy experience that guides visitors on the narrow trail winding down 1,700 feet of cliff on mule back, has been closed since the trail shut down in April. They normally offer daily treks to the settlement. Horner said he hopes to continue on a reduced scale after trail repairs are complete.

Steve Prokop, NPS Kalaupapa superintendent, said he has employed the ‘muleskinners” – as mule drivers and guides are known – to help with the bridge repairs whenever possible. But the business is still struggling for survival. “We’re hoping and praying we can find some money,” said Horner. The options left for pilgrims and tourists hoping to visit Kalaupapa are few and expensive. The only commercial air carrier that flies into the settlement, Pacific Wings, charges $250 one-way for the 10-minute flight from topside Molokai.

Molokai Mule Ride has adapted to provide air charter packages with Makani Kai Air Charters, offering a package deal that includes a round trip air ticket as well as a spot on the guided Damien Tours. Charter packages from Oahu are also available. “Not having the trail has hurt the whole island, not just Kalaupapa,” said Clare Mawae, owner of Molokai Outdoors. Her business offers Molokai tour packages, outdoor equipment rentals and activity bookings.

Molokai Outdoors offers day hikes for those coming from Maui on the ferry, hike-in and fly-out packages, and also special pilgrimage hikes for those who want a more slow-paced spiritual and historical focus. Charter flights to Kalaupapa are also available through Molokai Outdoors. Molokai Fish & Dive offers similar options. “We’ve had people cancel because they can’t hike or do the mule ride,” said Mawae. Marks said the bridge failure not only affects visitors, but Hansen’s disease patients who still live in Kalaupapa as well. She said family and friends who used to hike down to visit cannot afford the air fares. In addition, she said she believes it is important that people continue to visit Kalaupapa to learn about the patients and the rich history of the peninsula. “They take it back home and talk about it,” Marks explained.

Trail or no trail, no one is allowed in Kalaupapa without a permit from Damien Tours or by special invitation of a patient or employee, per patients’ request. Prokop said three bridges have given out in the past 15 years in the same location – switchback No. 2 toward the top of the 2.9 mile trail. The soil is unstable in this section, he explained, prone to washing out with heavy rain.

The new bridge will be built to last. Prokop said eight holes have been bored in the cliff side 23 feet deep to hold steel pins that will secure the bridge. Next, concrete anchors will be installed at either end. The actual bridge will be flown in in sections, scheduled to take place in another few weeks, Prokop said. Bridge repairs are estimated at $200,000 to $500,000, paid for by the NPS. Walking in the footsteps of Saint Damien and the exiled Hansen’s disease patients he served, and gazing at breathtaking valleys populated by ancient Hawaiians is an experience coveted by people around the world. Until bridge repairs are complete, even fewer can have this privilege.

Posted on
by Catherine Cluett [Appeared in the Aug. 20, 2010 issue of the Hawaii Catholic Herald]
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Sunday, June 6, 2010



HCH photo by Patrick Downes

HCH photo by Anna Weaver

Saintly celebrations

Left, Sacred Hearts Sister Julie Louise Thevenin kisses the relic of St. Damien after a Mass on his feast day, May 10, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa celebrated by Bishop Larry Silva and a dozen priests. The church was about 75 percent filled for the evening liturgy, Father Damien’s first feast day celebration since his canonization last October.

Right, Bishop Silva processes past Sisters of St. Francis during a Mass celebrating the fifth anniversary of the beatification of their fellow Franciscan, Mother Marianne Cope, on May 14 in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace. Blessed Marianne, Hawaii’s second candidate for sainthood, was beatified in Rome in 2005.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Saturday, June 5, 2010

(Polynesian Cultural Center President Von D. Orgill, Elder Scott D. Whiting, Bishop "Larry" Silva and Father Marc Alexander with a certificate of appreciation from the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. The certificate is "in gratitude for the collaboration" between Catholic Saint Damien and Mormon convert Jonathan Napela, who worked together to serve patients at the leprosy quarantine settlement on the isolated Kalaupapa Peninsula in the 19th century.)

LAIE, Hawaii — Soon after the Catholic Church canonized Saint Damien of Molokai in October 2009, largely for his 19th century work at the leprosy or Hansen's Disease quarantine settlement on the isolated Kalaupapa Peninsula, senior service missionaries in the Polynesian Cultural Center's Hawaii Mission Settlement began wondering how they might add that information to the exhibit in the small, thatched-roof chapel that tells how Christianity came to the islands.

They had no idea, however, that the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Honolulu would respond by presenting the PCC and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a unique certificate "in gratitude for the collaboration" of St. Damien and Jonathan Napela, a traditional Hawaiian ali'i or chief who was among the earliest converts and leaders in the Sandwich Islands Mission. The lives and stories of the two men became inseparably entwined at Kalaupapa in the 1870s.

The Most Rev. Clarence "Larry" Silva presented the certificate to Von D. Orgill, president and CEO of the Cultural Center, and Area Seventy Elder Scott D. Whiting, during a meeting on May 7, 2010, that began with flower lei greetings and a Hawaiian chant. Also participating in the presentation were Father Marc Alexander, Vicar General for the Honolulu Diocese; Steven C. Wheelwright, president, Brigham Young University-Hawaii; R. Eric Beaver, president and CEO of Hawaii Reserves Inc., and his assistant, Steve Keali'iwahamana Hoag; John A. "Jack" Hoag, Hawaii public affairs director for the church; and Elder Marshall and Sister Jolene Ogden, the service missionaries, as well as several other PCC officers and leaders.

Bishop Silva said that though the two men belonged to different churches, they worked closely together at Kalaupapa in selfless service to the patients; and that each eventually contracted the dreaded disease, died from it and were buried there. St. Damien once described Napela as his "yoke-mate" in the work.

Josef de Veuster left his native Belgium and was ordained Father Damien, SS.CC., soon after arriving in Honolulu in 1864. Following nine years of ministering on the island of Hawaii, he volunteered to serve at Kalaupapa, which the Kingdom of Hawaii had established as a confinement colony for Hansen's Disease patients in 1865. By early 1885 it was confirmed that Father Damien was a patient as well as a priest. He died from the ravages of the disease in 1889 at age 49.

Napela, who was among the first Hawaiian chiefly children educated at Lahainaluna by Protestant New England missionaries, helped Elder George Q. Cannon translate the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian soon after joining the church. He also served as a missionary and helped establish a short-lived church settlement on the island of Lanai as well as the Laie Plantation in 1865. In 1869 he traveled to Utah where he became the first known Hawaiian to receive temple endowments and be ordained a seventy. When his wife, Kitty — once described as the most beautiful woman in Hawaii — was diagnosed with Hansen's Disease in 1873, Napela chose to leave his leadership responsibilities behind and accompany her to Kalaupapa as a non-patient kokua, or helper. He soon began working with Father Damien, but he, too, became a patient within one year and died on Aug. 6, 1879. His wife died a short time later.

Orgill thanked Bishop Silva for "allowing us the opportunity to share this message with the people who come here from everywhere in the world." Then, following Polynesian custom, he presented the Catholic bishop with a gift: a hand-carved Hawaiian koa wood paddle, which represents that "we're all on a journey, and hopefully, we're much more often paddling together, trying to make good things happen, to preserve in the world the things that are worth preserving, and to share those things with everyone that we know, love, care about and associate with."

In addition to the new certificate, Jonathan Napela also continues to be remembered in Laie, where a heroic-sized statue outside the BYU-Hawaii Cannon Activities Center recognizes him and George Q. Cannon for their work in translating the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian. The school's Hawaiian Studies program is also named in Napela's honor.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Monday, May 24, 2010

Damien's Body arrives in Belgium



In 1936 Damien's body was transported from Molokai aboard the Mercator via San Francisco to Belgium. The video is a clip on the arrival of the Mercator and the procession which followed.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Damien of Molokai

Sr. Mary Peter
On my first flight to Hawaii where I lived for three years, I was impressed to hear the attendant tell in brief the story of Father Damian. Our plane had lots of people headed for an island vacation. I was amazed that Hawaiians had adopted Damian as one of their own, and were very proud of what he did for them.
Today the Catholic church celebrates the feast of St. Damian of Molokai. Damian was born in Belgium and joined the Missionary order of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He volunteered for the Hawaiian missions and was ordained in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu. He served on Hawaii--the Big Island--and on Oahu. At that time there seemed to be an epidemic of leprosy or Hansen's Disease. Since it was thought to be highly contagious, lepers were sent to a smaller island, Molokai to a settlement called Kalaupapa. The Hawaiian government assumed that the people could farm the land and support themselves, despite their disease. When Damian volunteered to be their pastor, he found sickness of body and rampant sickness of soul. Due in part to their illness, people found it close to impossible to farm the land. Many lived in rundown shacks because they did not have the energy to build houses. Fresh water was hard to come by. Morale and morality were at a low ebb.
Damian set to work to cure illness, build houses, schools, and a church.
He used his imagination and strength to fashion water pipes from bamboo to bring fresh water to the colony. His enthusiasm and energy set an example for people who until his arrival had little or no hope. Robert Louis Stevenson, the famous author, was not a Catholic, but he defended Damian who was criticized by a Protestant minister who referred to him as a sort of unwashed peasant. Stevenson's defence helped to spread the good news about the missionary priest's heroic efforts to do all he could for the people on Molokai. Mother Marianne of the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse came and brought Sisters who would staff a hospital. Joseph Dutton, a native of Vermont and a Civil War veteran, came and offered his services full time. He became known as Brother Dutton. Doing what he could to bring hope to lepers, Father Damian made his life a sort of torch shining on a remote Hawaiian island. That torch beckoned people far and wide to come and help. Many did come and now Kalaupapa still has the leper colony which is much smaller. People in Hawaii never forgot the priest who became a leper with the lepers to bring Christ to them. May St. Damian pray for all of us, especially for all our Hawaiian people.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Friday, May 7, 2010

Three priests and a Sister are honored in the US National Statuary Hall?

Immediately south of the Rotunda in the United States Capitol is the National Statuary Hall, where each of the 50 states gets to honor and immortalize two famous people with a larger-than-life sized statue. But did you know three four states have honored a Catholic priest?(Apparently these states don’t buy the ACLU’s argument that you establish a state religion simply because you decide to honor a clergy member.) So can you name any of the four priests honored in the National Statuary Hall? The answers are after the jump.

Wisconsin honors the missionary priest Father Jacques Marquette, a French Jesuit missionary priest who brought the teachings of Jesus to Native Americans living in what we now call Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

Blessed Junipero Serra was another great priest who established missions up and down California. His first mission was established in 1769 in what we now call San Diego. Father Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988.

Fr. Eusebio Kino SJ was born on August 10, 1645, in Segno, Italy. He became a missionary to Mexico. Fr. Kino built missions extending from Sonora 150 miles northeast to San Xavier del Bac, a building which still stands outside of Tucson. He built 19 rancheras, which supplied cattle to new settlements. He was also instrumental in the return of the Jesuits to California in 1697. Father Kino remained in southern Arizona until his death in 1711. [***Special thanks to our reader Mark for reminding us of the Fr. Kino statue.]

Saint Damien of Molokai was born Joseph de Veuster in Belgium in 1840. The Kingdom of Hawaii placed lepers on the island of Molokai. Father Damien ministered to the lepers for 16 years before eventually contracting the disease himself. His statue depicts the scars that the disease caused on his face. Last October, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Father Damien, making him the first Catholic saint to be honored with a statue in our United States Capitol.

This upcoming Monday, May 10, is a special day for those who love Saint Damien. It marks the first time we’ll celebrate his feast day as a saint.

Saint Damien, pray for us

We also wanted to note that a Catholic nun is also honored in the National Statuary Hall. A bronze likeness of Mother Joseph rests in the Capitol courtesy of the State of Washington. (Which is ironic, given their state’s Blaine Amendment.) Mother Joseph was born in 1823. She entered the Sisters of Charity of Providence in Montreal. She lead a group of five missionaries to the Pacific Northwest Territories of the United States. She was responsible for the completion of eleven hospitals, seven academies, five Indian schools, and two orphanages throughout an area that today encompasses Washington, northern Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.
by CatholicVoteAction on May 5th, 2010
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Statue ceremony, Mass to mark Hawaii saint’s first feast day

Detail from the statue of St. Damien at the Hawaii state capitol
The first feast day of Hawaii’s first saint will be celebrated modestly. May 10 will be the first observance of St. Damien’s feast since his Oct. 11 canonization. That morning at the state capitol, the outdoor bronze statue of Father Damien will be the site of the now familiar ceremony of songs, prayers and lei presentations. That evening, the bishop will celebrate a feast day Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa. The ceremony at the state capitol starts at 10 a.m. and will last about 45 minutes.

It will begin with a welcome by Sacred Hearts Father Lane Akiona, a performance of Hawaii Ponoi performed by Maryknoll School students, and an invocation by vicar general Father Marc Alexander. The program will include a Scripture reading, a reflection by Sacred Hearts Father Herman Gomes, a hula by students from Sacred Hearts Academy, the draping of the statue with leis, the singing of E Kamiano and Hawaii Aloha, and a benediction by Sacred Hearts Father Christopher Keahi. The ceremony is being organized by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts.

Bishop Larry Silva will celebrate the feast day Mass at 6 p.m. at the co-cathedral. The relic of St. Damien, now on display at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, will be brought to the Kapalama church for veneration that evening. Many of the members of the choir created for the Hawaii pilgrimage to the October canonization in Rome will reassemble for the co-cathedral Mass. Light refreshments will be served after the Mass.

Pope Benedict XVI canonized Father Damien on Oct. 11 in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica. Prior to his official feast day designation, “Damien Day” had long been celebrated in Hawaii on April 15, the date of his death, the traditional choice for a saint’s feast day. After his beatification in 1995 made him eligible for a spot on the liturgical calendar as an “optional memorial,” the May 10 date was picked because April 15 fell during Lent when optional and obligatory memorials are not celebrated. May 10 is the date he first stepped onto Molokai to care for the leprosy patients quarantined there. But his feast has actually switched back and forth from April 15 to May 10 a few times.

In November 1999, Honolulu Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo asked the U.S. bishops to place Father Damien’s feast on the American Catholic calendar on May 10 as an “optional memorial.” The bishops voted overwhelmingly in favor of the request. However, on Dec. 20, 1999, when the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments approved the U.S. bishops’ decision, it changed the date back to April 15.

In April 2000, Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote back to the Vatican congregation asking that the observance be returned to May 10 as originally requested. In a letter dated April 24, 2001, the congregation approved the request. The bishops were informed of the change in early May. Last Oct. 25, another Vatican degree elevated the feast from an “optional” memorial to an “obligatory” memorial in Hawaii. That change, made by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments at the request of Bishop Larry Silva, means that all Masses celebrated in Hawaii on that day — unless it falls on a Sunday — must be for St. Damien. It is not a holy day of obligation.

The Mass prayers will be specific to Father Damien. They are essentially the same ones used since Father Damien’s beatification except that the title “Saint” replaces the title “Blessed.” The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship also changed the day’s Gospel reading from the verses about the Good Shepherd in John, chapter 10, to the account of the washing of the feet in John 13. According to Sacred Hearts Sister Helene Wood of the Office of Worship, this is because the Good Shepherd narrative is also the reading for the Third Sunday of Easter which falls near to St. Damien’s feast. Everywhere else in the United States, the feast of St. Damien is an optional memorial.
By Patrick Downes | Hawaii Catholic Herald
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

VIETNAM - Diocese vows to defeat poverty among lepers

A sister talks to former leprosy patients.
PLEIKU, Vietnam (UCAN) May 5th: — A diocese which has Vietnam’s highest number of leprosy cases has pledged to eliminate poverty among sufferers by providing education and health care for their children. “Local people with leprosy will not escape from poverty and integrate with society unless their children are given formal education,” said Father Pierre Nguyen Van Dong.

The head of caritas in Kon Tum diocese was speaking to 120 leprosy sufferers and church workers at an annual gathering in Pleiku city, in central Vietnam on May 3. He said this year; his first priority is to provide health care and education for children from families affected by leprosy. “We will provide children with milk and vaccines against polio, measles, tetanus and diphtheria — which are the most common diseases among them,” he pledged. The local Church will also provide health care for pregnant women, he added.

Father Dong, 67, pastor of Thang Thien parish, said he will also provide scholarships and accommodation for students whose parents suffer from leprosy, so that they can receive further education. He noted that most children suffer malnutrition and few get an education as a result of poverty and many develop a complex about their situation. He said 70 students are currently staying at hostels run by local Saint Paul de Chartres nuns and 10 others have recently graduated from local colleges or universities. Father Dong said the diocese, covering Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces, serves 3,570 patients out of a diocesan total of 7,000 leprosy sufferers. Most of them are from ethnic minority groups, he added.

The priest said 150 caritas workers, Religious and lay volunteers take patients to state-run hospitals for treatment, build houses for them and provide clothes, clean water and food for them. The sufferers and their families are also given money to cultivate crops and raise pigs, cows and poultry, he added. He said the diocese spent 3.5 billion dong (US$184,892) on those activities in 2009.

Ama Pua, a former sufferer, told UCA News that he is grateful to Church workers who helped cure him of his disease and covered his three children’s school fees. The ethnic Jarai man now works with local Franciscans taking sufferers to hospitals.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Monday, May 3, 2010

An Uncommon Kindness


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Simple Courage



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink

Thursday, April 22, 2010

THE LAST DAYS OF FATHER DAMIEN, THE HERO MARTYR'..

The Brisbane Courier June 17th 1889
In reference to tho death of Father Damien, the Hawaiian Gazette of 23rd April says: - By the steamer Mercoli that arrived from Molokai on Saturday morning, news was brought of the death of Father Joseph DeVeuster Damien, the Roman Catholic priest, who had gained worldwide fame for devoting his life to ministrations among the inmates of the Molokai leper settlement. He died on Monday morning, l0th April. Father Damien had been sixteen years in that living tomb, and three years ago contracted the terrible disease that has ended his days. Upon his death he was dressed in priest's vestments and the following day the body was laid in a coffin that the Sisters had lined with white silk. A requiem high mass was said on Tuesday by Father Wondelin, who preached to a crowded church from the words, "The Good Shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep." The body was borne to the tomb by white lepers. There had been a vault prepared under the lauhala tree, beneath which the departed Father was wont to sleep when he first arrived at the settlement. This last resting-place had been chosen by himself.

The following sketch of Father Damien's early life and instalment at the settlement was written by Charles Wan-en Stoddard, after getting the story from the priest's own lips at Kalawao. It is reprinted from a little work, " The Lepers of Molokai," by that well-known author, and the copy used for this purpose was mailed by the late priest to the local editor of this paper only a few weeks ago, for use in writing a sketch of Father Damien and the leper settlement to the order of an Australian newspaper editor. An autograph letter from the then dying Father, pathetic in its statement of the writer's weak condition, was re-mailed to the gentleman soliciting tho article. Mr. Stoddard, who wrote the book four or five years ago, said: "Born in Louvain, Belgium, 3rd January, 18-10. When he was but four-and twenty, his brother, who had just entered the priesthood, was ordered to embark for Honolulu, but at the moment fell sick with typhoid fever. Young Damien, who was a theological student at the university, having received minor orders and belonging to the same order - the Society of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (commonly called Society of Picpus) -at once wrote to his superior and begged that he mighty be sent upon the mission in his brother's stead. In one week he was on his way to that far country. He was ordained upon his arrival in Honolulu, and for a few years led tho life of toil and privation which invariably falls to the lot of the Catholic missionary.

"In 1873 he, in common with others of the clergy, was invited to be present at the dedication of a beautiful chapel, just completed by Father Loonor, at Wailuku, on the island of Mam. There he met the Bishop, who expressed regret that he was still unable to bind a priest to Molokai, for the demand was far in excess of the supply. Father Damien at once said : ' My Lord, I hear that a small vessel will next week take cattle from Kawaihae to Kalaupapa ; if you will permit mo I will go there to help the lepers make their Easter duties.'

"His request was granted and in company with the Bishop and the French Consul, he landed at the settlement, where he found a colony of 800 lepers, of whom between 400 and 500 were Catholics. A public meeting was immediately called, at which the Bishop and the consul presided. His Grace arose to address the singular gathering, and said : “Since you have written to me often that you have no priest, I leave you one for a little time” and imparting the benediction, he returned immediately to the vessel, which was to sail that very hour. Father Damien added: “As there is much to be done here, by your leave I will not accompany you to the shore.” Thus the good work was at once begun. It was high time; tho lepers were dying at the rate of from eight to twelve per week. Tho priest had not time to build himself a hut - he had not even tho material with which to build it - and for a season he slept in tho open air, under a tree, exposed to the wind and the rain.

"Soon after, he received a letter of congratulation from the white residents of Honolulu chiefly Protestants - together with some lumber and a purse of $120. Then he put up his little house, and began to feel at homo. After remaining some weeks at Kalawao, he was obliged to go to Honolulu, there being no more convenient priest to whom he could make his confession.'''

Tho sketch proceeds to relate the cool reception Father Damien received from the President of the Board of Health, who in the course of an interview said, “the priest might go to Molokai, but, if so must remain there for good. It was in vain that the father urged the necessity of one priest having to make confession at stated intervals, to another. "An eminent physician," one of the board, pleaded the cause of the priest and aided by the French Consul, a special permit was obtained, on which Father Damien returned to Kalawao. Mr. Stoddard continues : "Shortly after his return he received official notice that he must remain where he was; and that on any attempt to leave the island, or even to visit other portions of Molokai, he would be immediately put under arrest. Tho notice was sharply worded. This roused the indignation of the priest and he notified tho Board of Health that if they would attend strictly to their duties he would attend to his. When it became necessary for him to visit a priest on a neighbouring island he did so, asking no odds of any man. He also visited his scattered flock on the circuit of Molokai, attending faithfully and fearlessly to the wants of his people.

"Often on these rounds he was the welcome guest of a gentleman, tho son of a Protestant missionary and on one occasion the host said to him playfully: “I suppose you are aware that I have orders to place you under immediate arrest if you presume to leave your leper settlement” And this was the Sheriff of Molokai. “Six months later a permit came, granting Father Damien leave to come and go as he pleased; but in eleven years how seldom has he cared to use it!"

"Office of the Board of Health, Honolulu, April 22, 1889. - The Very Rev the Bishop of Olba, Honolulu.
Sir, - It is with feelings of pain that the board received by mail last week from Molokai the sad intelligence of the death of the lamented Father Damien, Catholic priest at Kalawao, Molokai, who passed away on Monday last, 19th April, 1889. 'On behalf of the Board of Health, permit me to express to you as his spiritual adviser our condolence and sincere feeling of sympathy; with you in view of the sad event and our high appreciation of his long and faithful service to the Board of Health and to humanity. I am, rev. sir, very sincerely yours, N. B. EJÍBUSOIÍ, President Boaid of Health."

"Honolulu, 23rd April, 1889. - Dr. N. B. Emerson, President of the Board of Health.
Dear Sir, - Please accept for yourself and for the other members of the Board of Health, my sincere thanks for the kind expression of your condolence and feeling of sympathy in view of the Rev. Father Damien's death. I highly value your appreciation of his long and faithful service to the board and humanity. Allow me to add that the members of the Catholic

Mission will always be happy to co-operate with the Board of Health in the work of humanity and Christian charity after the example of the late Father Damien, as far as it may be desirable-Very respectfully, you, obedient servant, HERMAN, Bishop of Olbar V. Ap."

(Click Here) TO VIEW BRISBANE COURIER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer

No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Mozlink

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Molokai Church Damaged

The high winds of Holy Week took a toll on St. Joseph Church in Kamalo, on Molokai, tearing a gaping hole in its fragile steeple and blowing the cross off. The damage to this historic church, one of several St. Damien built, is the second calamity to strike the island’s St. Damien Parish in recent months. On Feb. 11, the parish’s main church in Kaunakakai, St. Sophia, was destroyed in a fire.

Sacred Hearts Sister Jessie Kai called Sacred Hearts Father Clyde Guerreiro, pastor of St. Damien, early on Holy Thursday, April 1, to tell him that someone reported the steeple cross missing. The cross had adorned the church since Father Damien built it in 1876.

“I immediately went out to check on it and found the cross lying directly at Father Damien’s feet,” said Father Guerreiro, referring to the life-sized statue of Father Damien standing in the graveyard next to the church.

Tiny St. Joseph is significant among the three Molokai churches built by Father Damien because it remains in the most original condition. The 40-seat chapel is a regular stop for pilgrims. It was one of the places Bishop Silva and 12 mainland bishops visited while accompanying St. Damien’s relic on an island tour last October following his canonization.

Father Guerreiro had already started to raise money this past fall and winter to repair, re-roof and repaint St. Joseph. “The church has not been re-roofed since the late 1960s,” he said. “Last year I began a letter-writing campaign to 563 visitors to raise funds to repair St. Joseph Church.”

The pastor’s effort led to one benefactor agreeing to re-roof the church, plus $6,000 donated for window restoration, painting and fumigation. However, the steeple damage has raised the price beyond what the parish has available. “The repair projects are critical to the preservation of this Damien church,” Father Guerreiro said, “because now when it rains, it rains inside the church.” Father Guerreiro says the church had so far survived on “borrowed time,” but the time is now up.

The new damage has added yet another strain to the 300-plus family parish which has two other churches and stretches across topside Molokai. Other priorities, including building St. Sophia’s replacement, have challenged the parish’s limited budget. With the island’s unemployment chronically in the double digits, the parish has relied on donations from friends and supporters throughout Hawaii and the mainland.

But Father Guerreiro is optimistic. “When I saw the cross lying at Father Damien’s feet I thought, ‘Well, I’m a Sacred Hearts priest and my challenges are minor, compared to those that faced my predecessor Father Damien.’ However, I am at the point that I need to ‘Let go, and let God,’ and trust that our benefactors will come forward to help us. We need to preserve this Damien Church before it disappears.”

How you can help: Send your check payable to “St Damien Parish — St. Joseph Church Fund” to: Father Clyde Guerreiro, SS.CC., St. Damien Parish — St. Joseph Church Fund, P.O. Box 1948, Kaunakakai, HI 96748. For more information contact St. Damien parishioner, Maria Sullivan at mjs@aloha.net, or (808) 553-5181.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Disclaimer
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.
Mozlink