Friday, November 30, 2012

In Hawaii, a meaningful reunion for Fairhaven parishioners

St. Mary's parishioners on a visit to Hawaii pose with
Father Patrick Killilea, second from far left.
Photo courtesy of Lillian Desrosiers

November 24, 2012  FAIRHAVEN — On Thanksgiving, 15 members of St. Mary's Parish were thankful for a pilgrimage of their own. Newly returned from their mid-October missionary trip to the Hawaiian island of Molokai, the Fairhaven residents say they are grateful for the opportunity they had to walk in the footsteps of their Patron St. Damien and for the reunion they had there with beloved pastor Father Patrick Killilea.
Affectionately referred to by parishioners as "Father Pat," Killilea served at St. Mary's in Fairhaven for 13 years before he moved to the St. Francis Parish in Molokai in June. He requested the move to Molokai in part because of its connection to St. Damien, who built the St. Francis Parish and lived there from 1873 until his death. Damien, also a father of the Sacred Heart Congregation, spent his days at Kalaupapa, an isolated peninsula of the island, caring for residents of a leper colony.
In previous eras, those with leprosy, also called Hansen's Disease, were sent to secluded colonies in order to avoid infecting others. Damien worked with those who were infected and ultimately succumbed to the disfiguring disease himself.
Trip organizer Charlie Murphy said he had planned to lead a mission to Molokai to teach congregants about Damien's life and work even before Killilea announced his move. The trip was postponed from August to October in order to give Killilea more time to settle in before receiving visitors.
The reunion was a happy one, Murphy said. "He greeted us wearing a Hawaiian shirt; he fits right in." Murphy said. In Kalaupapa, Killilea led Mass for the pilgrims. "That was my favorite part of the whole trip," Murphy said. "There was such a sense of peace about some people in my life who have recently passed away. "I could feel their presence and just a calming effect that they are in a good spot," he said. Lillian Desrosiers also said she was moved by the Mass, which was "a touching moment to stand there and to worship in the church that so many thousands of people with Hansen's Disease once stood and prayed in and hoped for a cure. "I will never forget that experience," she said.
In addition to visiting Killilea in Kalaupapa, the parishioners also went to other famous sites in Hawaii, including Pearl Harbor. "The contrast between being at this colony with people dying this slow death and then going to Pearl Harbor when you have this huge amount of people who died in seconds was very moving," Desrosiers said. "It changes you." Murphy said he was struck by the generosity of the people the Fairhaven residents encountered. In Molokai, he said, the church threw a potluck dinner for the visitors and presented them with leis made from shells. Desrosiers, who volunteers as a eucharistic minister at a nursing home, said she returned to Fairhaven newly inspired to help others. "It makes you realize that we are all a little bit selfish with our time," she said. "But Damien stopped at nothing to help others and gave his life for it. It just shows you that God wouldn't give you more challenges than He knew I could overcome."
By ARIEL WITTENBERG awittenberg@s-t.com
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Relic of St. Marianne Cope visits island

Joseph Durocher, a student at St. Catherine's School,
holds the Relic of Saint Marianne Cope, flanked by Michela Costa
and Sister Grace Michael Souza, Monday during
the veneration mass at the St. Rafael Church in Koloa.
(Photo: Denis Fujimoto)
KOLOA — Kaua‘i people had two opportunities to visit a relic of St. Marianne Cope Monday. “It’s a beautiful day on Kaua‘i,” said Sister Florence Remata of Immaculate Conception Church who just returned from Rome, where she attended the recent canonization of St. Marianne Cope. “We will host two visitations, one at St. Raphael Church where a Veneration Mass will be held, and the other, a play, at Immaculate Conception Church in Kapai‘a, Monday night. There will be no Mass at the ICC event.” Remata said the visitation of the relic to Kaua‘i was done through the Sisters of St. Francis of Neumann Communities, Order of St. Marianne Cope.
Escorting the relic during its visit to Koloa were Remata, Sister Candida Oroc of Waimea and Sister Grace Michael Souza of Kalaheo. Nearly 200 students from St. Theresa School in Kekaha and St. Catherine School in Kapa‘a formed the major core of the audience at St. Raphael’s, the parishioners of other island Catholic parishes overflowing the remainder of space in the Koloa hall. Joseph Durocher of St. Catherine School was silent as he nervously accepted the gold case encasing the relic from Souza just ahead of the Veneration Mass. “Is that the relic?” a parishioner whispered as the processional formed at the church’s entrance. “I thought it would be in a big box.” Representatives from all the Catholic churches on Kaua‘i participated in the Mass. The students from both Catholic schools offered canned and non-perishable food during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
“This is only the second time the two Catholic schools have gotten together,” said Celina Haigh, principal of St. Catherine School. “The first time was at Kamalani Playground where we got together to celebrate Catholic School Week. This time, it goes beyond the school.” Mary Jean Buza-Sims, principal at St. Theresa School, was also thrilled with the students having the opportunity to visit the relic and be an integral part of the Veneration Mass.  “We’re down to just 99 students,” Buza-Sims said, noting the school was featured in a Honolulu newspaper because of its rapidly declining enrollment. “Once we had 167 students, but that was before the economic crunch hit. We’ve been losing students because parents aren’t able to pay for their children’s school.”  Buza-Sims said the school will be working on a Thanksgiving project to feed homeless and needy people on Nov. 19, starting at 11 a.m.
 Mother Marianne Cope, serving as superior general of the congregation in 1883, responded to the plea sent to 50 religious congregations from the bishop of the Sandwich Islands at the request of the king and queen, for “sisters of charity” to care for the “poor, afflicted people” of the islands, states a solicitation flier on St. Marianne Cope.  Mother Marianne and six sisters traveled to Honolulu where they served at the hospital in Kaka‘ako which provided care to people believed to have Hansen’s disease, or leprosy.  In 1884, Mother Marianne traveled to Maui, founding Malulani Hospital, the island’s first hospital, as well as St. Anthony School.  In 1888, Mother Marianne and the sisters moved to Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, to care for those with Hansen’s disease who had been exiled to the island’s peninsula.
 Mother Marianne brought professional hospital care and infection control procedures to the settlement, and additionally, “a woman’s touch,” working to improve patients’ quality of life by treating them with dignity and respect and by creating a meaningful and supportive community environment. She passed away on Aug. 9, 1918, after caring for Hansen’s disease patients for 35 years. Following a 37-year pursuit of making Mother Marianne a saint, she was canonized on Oct. 21, making her the first Franciscan woman from North America to be named a saint.
Visit www.saintmariannecope.org for more biographical information on Saint Marianne Cope and original article and more photos at "http://www.bit.ly/Ufpt44/"
 • Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Saint ‘Said Yes’ When Hawaii’s Sick Needed Her

St. Marianne Cope of Molokai is pictured
in an undated file photo. (CNS photo)
ATLANTA: As daybreak unfolded, Meg Burnett arrived by 6 a.m. at the entrance to St. Peter’s Square in Rome with prayerful excitement for the canonization for her great-great-aunt, Marianne Cope. As she inhaled the atmosphere of anticipation on the fresh, sunny morn, she quietly rejoiced at the elevation to sainthood of her beloved relative in heaven for her care for those with leprosy in Hawaii for 30 years until her death in 1918.

Having worked for over a decade for her cause, Burnett marveled at the banner above St. Peter’s Basilica Oct. 21, officially declaring her Saint Marianne to some 80,000 gathered. “That banner meant it was finally happening. It was just an exciting experience to be there and witness it. I kept thinking, what she was thinking. She was a very private person and didn’t like publicity. She did her work very quietly and all she wanted was a private corner in heaven to praise her God,” said Burnett, back home on All Saints Day following the trip to Rome.

A Marietta resident and member of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, Burnett joined 220 others on a pilgrimage led by Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu, Hawaii. At the culminating liturgy, St. Marianne, along with Native American St. Kateri Tekakwitha and five others, were canonized as their relics were brought forth in procession and Pope Benedict raised them up as examples through their total dedication to Christ and service to others. The pope praised St. Marianne, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Syracuse, N.Y., for having shown the “highest level of love, courage and enthusiasm for her work” in the tradition of Catholic nursing sisters and the selfless spirit of St. Francis when little could be done for those with Hansen’s disease, known at the time as leprosy. Pilgrims also took part in a reception in the Vatican Museum gardens with U.S. Ambassador Miguel Diaz, who reflected on the American women saints’ service to native populations. The pilgrims celebrated Mass at a different basilica each day that concluded with an interpretive hula dance about St. Marianne.

A spiritual highlight for Burnett was the visit to the Basilica of St. John Lateran where she beheld towering statues of the 12 apostles. The group also attended Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. The daughter of German immigrants, St. Marianne, a naturalized American as a child, entered the Franciscan sisters when she was 24 with the idea of teaching. But she became a leader in the medical field, helping to establish the first Catholic hospital in Syracuse, known as St. Joseph Hospital. She spent the last 30 years of her life on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, living and working among those with leprosy on the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula, taking over a community run by St. Damien de Veuster after his death. She also opened one of Hawaii’s first hospitals on Maui in 1884, today known as Maui Memorial Hospital. She died in Hawaii in 1918 at 80.

For the process of beatification and canonization, two miracles were medically documented and credited to the intervention of St. Marianne. The first was the recovery of a young New York girl dying from multiple organ failure and the second was a 65-year-old New York woman healed of pancreatitis. St. Marianne has always been the patron saint of Burnett’s family and she grew up in awe of her legacy and “overwhelming love of God.” Burnett has always been inspired by her great-great-aunt’s bravery. “It was her willingness to go out to Hawaii to the unknown because she didn’t know what she was getting into. It was a time when Hawaii needed help and she responded.

There were 50 other religious orders asked to help the sick of Hawaii, and she was the only one who responded,” Burnett reflected. “She had no qualms about it, no fear of the disease, and she just said yes and did it cheerfully. I wonder at age 45 would I have been able to do the same and at age 50 to exile myself to Kalaupapa?” Instilling good hygiene practices, St. Marianne was confident that none of the Franciscan sisters who came would contract the infectious disease, for which there was no effective treatment until the late 1930s. “She had predicted that none of the sisters who cared for the lepers would contract the disease, and 128 years later none of them have,” noted Burnett.

Burnett learned a lot about St. Marianne from the efforts of Franciscan Sister Mary Laurence, who researched the saint’s life for 37 years and died days before the announcement she would be canonized. Burnett’s connection to St. Marianne has also led her to Lourdes, France, and to Hawaii seven times where she’s walked the peaceful tropical grounds and reflected on the past horrors there, a place where lepers once were dropped off at sea because of the great fear of the disease. In Kalaupapa, Burnett once heard St. Marianne ask her, “Why are you sitting there? Don’t you know there is work to be done?” From that she discerned a new life direction of service upon retirement from the Coca-Cola Co.

Sharon Smith, left, presents a relic of St. Marianne Cope
as Dr. Richard Hehir and Sister Michaeleen Cabral,
a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities,
carry candles during the canonization of seven new saints
by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 21.
Among those canonized were two North Americans
 — St. Kateri Tekakwitha, an American Indian born
in upstate New York who died in Canada in 1680,
and St. Marianne, who worked with leprosy patients
on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
She now raises funds for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home for terminal cancer patients and helps the homeless through the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta. “I feel her presence daily, and I firmly believe she’s watching over me,” Burnett said. She’ll return to Hawaii in January 2013 when Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will visit Kalaupapa for the first time. Back home, Burnett hopes to give more presentations on St. Marianne Cope’s legacy in the Archdiocese of Atlanta to make her better known beyond Hawaii and New York. “I’m still in awe that it happened. I knew it was going to happen in my lifetime and to say it already has happened is just a phenomenal experience for me,” she said. “When you look back on her life and what she accomplished it’s just unbelievable … considering we’re talking 1883 and a woman’s place in the world was not what it is today.” “Her work is still going on in Hawaii and also in Syracuse, N.Y. The St. Francis Health Care System is very, very alive on the island,” Burnett said.
By PRISCILLA GREEAR, Special To The Bulletin +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Sr. Mary Irene on Background of St. Marianne Cope's Statue at St. Joseph...



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Monday, November 26, 2012

Mother Marianne Cope, editing and producing "A Saint for CNY"



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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why Are So Many People Still Suffering From Leprosy?


Share1 Oct 31 2012, 11:46 AM ET 9 Mystery and misconceptions continue to surround the biblical scourge contracted by at least 250,000 people each year.
leprosy615.jpg
A leprosy affected woman prays at a Buddhist pagoda in an isolated village south of Hanoi, 2010 (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

There was a time and a place when, if one wanted to be canonized, going to a leper colony was a surefire way of earning the requisite "angel of mercy" cred. Just last week, "Mother of Outcasts" Marianne Cope was posthumously recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church for her work with people afflicted by leprosy in late 1800s Hawaii. She was the second person working with that same population to receive this rare honor.
Caring for the afflicted made for compelling narrative as well, as nurse and missionary Kate Marsden learned with the 1892 publication of On Sledge and Horseback to the Outcast Siberian Lepers. While the action-packed details of her journey across the taiga occupies the majority of the tome's 300 pages, little compares to the "peculiar thrill" she describes at her first glimpse of the lepers -- as it was then still acceptable to call those suffering from what we now also refer to as Hansen's disease -- who had been banished to small settlements hidden in the depths of the forest:
Some of the people came limping, and some leaning on sticks, to catch the first glimpse of us, their faces and limbs distorted by the dreadful ravages of the disease. One poor creature could only crawl by the help of a stool, and all had the same indescribably hopeless expression of the eyes which indicates the disease. I scrambled off the horse, and went quickly among the little crowd of the lame, the halt, and the blind. Some were standing, some were kneeling, and some crouching on the ground, and all with eager faces turned toward me. They told me afterward that they believed God had sent me...
The lepers, to Marsden's horror, had been entirely forsaken by their communities. They spent much of their time in their book prostrating themselves before her and admiring her refusal to fear them. But if she allowed herself a bit of a heroine complex, Marsden's main objective was to call attention to the lepers' plight. She certainly didn't sugarcoat the dire realities of their exile. "I began to wonder," she writes several chapters later, "why some of these lepers did not, in their desperation, throw themselves in the way of the bears, and so end their miseries."
lepers-inset.jpgThe exiled lepers encountered by Marsden (Google Books)

Descriptions like these seem quaint artifacts of less enlightened times. Surely, there's far less opportunity to be beatified for such self-sacrifice in our era of modern medicine. Multidrug therapy -- while not a full-fledged cure for leprosy -- has caused the number of cases worldwide to drop from 5.4 million to somewhere in the realm of 250,000 since 1985, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The last two leper colonies in the U.S. -- the one attended by Cope, and another near Baton Rouge -- closed their gates to new residents toward the end of the twentieth century. While infections still occur in this country at a rate of about 200 cases per year, you're most likely to contract the disease through foreign travel or contact with an armadillo.
We also know a lot more about leprosy than we did a century ago, when our knowledge hadn't evolved much from that of biblical times. For example, so far as plagues go, it's actually not very contagious: about 95 percent of people may be naturally immune to the Mycobacterium leprae bacilli that cause the disease. While biblical references to leprosy encompass all sorts of plights to the skin -- both literal and metaphorical -- the disease as modernly defined most potently causes nerve damage.
Still, much about leprosy continues to elude scientific understanding, including the exact means by which it is transmitted. M. leprae can't be cultured in the lab, as it replicates at a snail's pace, taking 12.5 days where most bacteria require mere hours. Partly due to these challenges, the disease remains endemic in other parts of the world, predominately India, Brazil, and Indonesia. The worst cases can result in not just disfigurement, but blindness. Outside of the U.S., it's the leading cause of people losing the use of their hands.
And its biblical and historic associations with sin and shunning die hard (quoth the King James Bible, "And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean"). Limited awareness of this sort can prevent full-fledged efforts to eradicate the disease from taking hold. "I can take you to places where people live in an isolated leprosy hospital," said Steve Reed, the founder and CEO of the Infectious Disease Research Institute, a nonprofit working, in part, to eliminate leprosy for good. He spoke of people who had been sent to such wholly unnecessary places as children, and of some who had even been born there. He was speaking of the present day.
leprosyinset2.jpgMargaret Tonga sits between her leprosy-afflicted parents in Mogiri, south Sudan, 2007. Following years of war, they have not been able to receive proper treatment or medicine. (Stringer/Reuters)

Central to the eradication of leprosy may lie not so much in drugs as a switch in the way we think about it. The social stigma it continues to carry keeps it from being perceived, as Reed puts it, as "a disease like any other." WHO considers itself to be in the "final push" of its elimination strategy, and most countries reported meeting its goal of reducing incidences to less than one per 10,000 individuals by the year 2000.
But "the drop-off in the number of new cases just didn't jibe," said Dr. Malcolm Duthie, who heads up IDRI's leprosy work. He cites political motivation in places like India -- where the numbers of reported infections dropped steeply in a short period of time -- to claim the disease is under control. At least one study backs up his claim: In Bangladesh, an active search for leprosy cases turned up five times the number of reported incidences -- in this way, too, people with leprosy have been cast aside. "The easiest way to eliminate a disease is to stop looking for it," said Duthie.
The most recent recommendations released by the WHO are for early diagnosis and early treatment, which can be extremely effective in preventing leprosy's most damaging effects. But drug treatments have a limited scope of efficacy. The disease is extremely slow to manifest -- seven years can pass between infection and the appearance of symptoms -- and it's easy for physicians to misdiagnose. Patients will often be treated, ineffectively, for fungal infections or other skin conditions before finally consulting experts, who are difficult to reach in many parts of the world.
Meanwhile, multidrug therapy requires six months to a year of treatment. During that time, many things can go wrong. While noncompliance isn't a major problem, said Duthie, barriers such as natural disasters may arise that prevent continuous access to the drugs. "It's very difficult to eliminate a disease completely when all you're doing is reacting to cases," said Reed.
He added, "No disease has ever been eliminated without a vaccine." Adding to WHO's efforts, IDRI is in the finalizing stages of two vaccines for those at risk of leprosy and those in the early stages of infection. The first arose from their development of a vaccine for tuberculosis, which, in terms of the bacteria by which it is spread, is a close cousin of leprosy. The second will target leprosy specifically, as is expected to go into phase I testing by late 2013.
IDRI has also developed a blood test -- "similar to a pregnancy test," said Duthie -- that will be ready by the end of the year. The test will be key to getting the vaccine to the right people, and to preventing the damages that, once caused, are permanently debilitating. They are also in the process of putting together an advisory council, and hope to get local governments, doctors, and scientists in affected areas to spearhead the renewed effort at elimination.
In their efforts, IDRI has teamed up with the American Leprosy Mission, a Christian organization that explicitly aims to follow Jesus's example in curing leprosy. In the short term, it's a fine thing to encourage the embrace, instead of exile, of those afflicted ("And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped [Jesus], saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean"). Scientific advancement, from there, may step in for missionaries and saints and finally take us the rest of the way, relegating leprosy itself to the realm of biblical allegory.
He added, "No disease has ever been eliminated without a vaccine." Adding to WHO's efforts, IDRI is in the finalizing stages of two vaccines for those at risk of leprosy and those in the early stages of infection. The first arose from their development of a vaccine for tuberculosis, which, in terms of the bacteria by which it is spread, is a close cousin of leprosy. The second will target leprosy specifically, as is expected to go into phase I testing by late 2013.
IDRI has also developed a blood test -- "similar to a pregnancy test," said Duthie -- that will be ready by the end of the year. The test will be key to getting the vaccine to the right people, and to preventing the damages that, once caused, are permanently debilitating. They are also in the process of putting together an advisory council, and hope to get local governments, doctors, and scientists in affected areas to spearhead the renewed effort at elimination.
By Lindsay Abrams
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This must be the first photograph of two saints together...


The canonization of Marianne Cope, along with Kateri Tekakwitha, on October 21, occasioned the publication of a stunning photograph showing Marianne standing beside the funeral bier of St. Damien in Kalaupapa, Molokai. That was in 1889, and the picture is so sharp that it could have been taken today. It must be the first photograph of two saints together. The holy friendships of Teresa of Avila with John of the Cross, and Francis de Sales with Jane de Chantal illuminated civilization before photography.
St. Damien’s body is scarred with leprosy but vested in the fine chasuble in which he used to offer Mass. St. Marianne, in her timeless religious habit, shows no sorrow for she obviously knows she is looking at a saint, not knowing that she is one herself.
Studying that photograph, one thinks of how hard they worked, not only among the outcast lepers, but all their lives. Damien, born Jozef de Veuster in Belgium, was a farm boy, and Marianne left school in Utica, New York, after the eighth grade to support her family by working in factories.
Not in the picture was their helper, Joseph Dutton, a Civil War veteran who was so traumatized by the ravages of war and his broken marriage that he became an alcoholic. He reformed his life, went to Molokai and worked with the lepers for 45 years — cleaning latrines, scrubbing floors, and binding sores — until his death in 1931. Their great happiness would have been clouded to see how much unhappiness there is in our land today.
As a typical eighteenth-century rationalist, Edward Gibbon was cynical about Christianity, but as an historian he analyzed the decline of once-great civilizations in terms of natural virtue: “In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all — security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”
I expect that Gibbon would have understood modern saints no better than he did the early martyrs and confessors, but he would have seen in them a selfless energy that builds noble societies, and the neglect of such energy pulls them down. Our own nation is facing these realities as it decides what it wants to be. The present crisis in culture cannot be resolved if it is addressed only in terms of economics and international relations. The real leaders are not those who hypnotize naïve people into thinking that they are the source of hope. Those who can rescue nations from servility to selfishness are not on slick campaign posters, but in stark black and white photographs like that taken on Molokai in 1889.
By Father George Rutler  http://tinyurl.com/8w9kt74
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Monday, October 29, 2012


Tekakwitha and Mother Marianne Cope, two Upstate New York women who lived remarkable lives and will now share the title of saint.
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Mother Marianne Cope Becomes an American Saint

Oct. 21st.  (CNN) -- An American health care pioneer will receive the Roman Catholic Church's highest honor this weekend. On Sunday, Mother Marianne Cope -- along with another North American, Kateri Tekakwitha -- will become a saint, a designation so difficult to achieve that only 10 other Americans have been canonized before her.
Saint Marianne Cope, as she will soon be known, may be best remembered for her work with patients suffering from Hansen's disease -- or lepers, as they were called at the time.
In Hawaii in the late 1800s, people were so afraid of the disease that even those with simple, unrelated rashes were often banished to the remote island of Molokai. They remained at this leper colony for the rest of their lives, far away from family and friends. Their children became orphans.
An island priest who was worried about this health crisis wrote to nearly 50 different religious congregations asking for help. But the work was perceived as so dangerous that only Mother Marianne responded. Before she made her long journey to the remote islands, though, she radically changed medical practices on the mainland.

'A Wonderful Hospital Administrator'
Mother Marianne opened and operated some of the first general hospitals in the United States, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica, New York, in 1866 and St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, New York, in 1869. Both are still in operation today.  At that time, hospitals had a bad reputation. Doctors had limited medical knowledge and even less understanding of how diseases spread. Most patients who turned to hospitals for help never left them alive.

Mother Marianne started to change that, first by instituting cleanliness standards. The simple act of hand-washing between patient visits cut the spread of disease significantly. Word of her facility's success spread quickly, according to Sister Patricia Burkard.  "She was a wonderful hospital administrator and really started the patients' rights movement and truly changed how people cared for the sick," said Burkard, who until recently held the same office Mother Marianne did as head of her religious congregation, now known as the Sisters of Saint Francis of the Neumann Communities.  Leaders at the College of Medicine in Geneva, New York, heard about Mother Marianne's success and decided to relocate to her area.

It became Syracuse University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, and its students went on to perfect their skills at Mother Marianne's hospitals. That meant her patients had access to some of the top medical minds in the country and some of the most cutting-edge treatments.  The addition of student doctors also gave Mother Marianne's patients an unheard of choice. They were asked if they wanted to be seen by a student or cared for by someone with more experience.  Mother Marianne made sure the medical facilities welcomed all people regardless of race, creed or economic standing. That was many decades before desegregated hospitals. She even weathered criticism for caring for alcoholics. She treated their problem -- which was seen by many experts as a moral failing unworthy of help -- like a disease.  "She was clearly far ahead of the times," Burkard said.

Travels to Hawaii
In 1883, Mother Marianne left those hospitals in good hands, Burkard said, and traveled with six sisters to Hawaii. When they arrived in Hawaii, church bells rang and a gathered crowd cheered to welcome them.  Within a year, she established the first general hospital on Maui. The facility was so successful that King Kalakaua honored her with the medal of the Royal Order of Kapiolani. She also opened the Kapiolani Home, which cared for the many female orphans of patients with Hansen's disease.
At the government's request, she took over another badly run medical facility in Honolulu. The hospital, which was supposed to house only 100 patients, housed 200. Its deplorable conditions were described in a diary kept by one of her fellow Franciscans and quoted in a book about Mother Marianne's life, "A Song of Pilgrimage and Exile."  "Fat bedbugs nested in the cracks (of walls). Brown stains upon walls, floors, and bedding showed where their blood-filled bodies had been crushed by desperate patients. Straw mattresses, each more or less covered by a dirty blanket, lay upon the unswept floor. ... Blankets, mattresses, clothing, and patients all supported an ineradicable population of lice," wrote Sister Leopoldina Burns.  "When she got to Honolulu, it was roll up the sleeves and clean the places up," Burkard said. "That was the story wherever they went. The sisters came in with their bucket brigade. They brought order, and I guess a lot of TLC to people no one else wanted to help."
Mother Marianne's efforts were so successful her patients were allowed to remain on the main islands, but in 1887 a new government took charge. Its officials decided to close the Oahu hospital and reinforce the old banishment policy. Mother Marianne decided to follow them to Molokai, even though it meant she'd never return.

On the Island of Molokai
On the island, Father Damien DeVeuster, whom the Catholic Church named a saint in 2009, had established a medical facility known as the Apostle of the Lepers. By the time Mother Marianne arrived, he was dying from Hansen's disease.  At his request, she told him she would care for his patients. Upon his death, she took over his facility that cared for men and boys and established a separate enterprise to treat girls and women.
Saint Damien of Molokai's patients had been living in rudimentary huts. They dressed in rags. Mother Marianne wanted to improve their lives.  She raised money and started programs that gave the ill population a much more dignified life. She set up classes for patients. She worked to beautify the environment with gardens and landscaping. Patients got proper clothes, music and religious counseling. She couldn't cure them, but she could make their lives better.
Mother Marianne died on August 9, 1918, at the age of 80. Incredibly, to this day none of the Franciscan sisters have ever contracted Hansen's disease.  Almost immediately the sisters started organizing her case for sainthood. To become a saint, a person must meet a strict set of religious and otherworldly requirements. Once a person dies, this kind of local effort must be made on their behalf.
The sisters gathered all of Mother Marianne's written work and correspondence. They took testimony from people who knew her. This evidence of her holiness had to be presented to a local council, which made a recommendation that she was worthy of consideration to the Vatican. There, a team of nine theologians pored over the documents.
The theologians voted in her favor, and then the Pope John Paul II named her a "Servant of God, Venerable." This is the honorific after which most cases for sainthood stop.  To become a saint, it's not enough to do good deeds. People must pray to the person under consideration, and the Church must establish that in doing so those prayers resulted in not one, but two verifiable miracles.  "A miracle is some extraordinary fact, especially in the medical field -- a cure that nobody expected and suddenly, against all expectations, this person is cured," said Father Peter Gumpel, a priest who has scrutinized hundreds of sainthood cases in his nearly 50 years as a "devil's advocate," or someone at the Vatican who examines the case made on behalf of a potential saint.  "Miracles are still required because the Church has to be absolutely sure what we are doing in canonizing someone conforms to the will of God," he said. "To do this, we ask for a sign from God."
After a case is made that a miracle has occurred, a team of doctors must verify that there is no medical explanation for the cure. Then the case goes to a second group of doctors who consult for the Vatican, who go over those same records and must make the same determination. The process then starts over again once a second miracle occurs.  Many of these cases take hundreds of years. Mother Marianne's got through in record time.

Mother Marianne's Miracles
Mother Marianne's first official miracle came in 1992. That's when Syracuse resident Kate Mahoney recovered after her doctors had given up hope.  The then-14-year-old had a near-fatal reaction to the chemotherapy she received to treat ovarian cancer. In December of that year, she was admitted to the hospital suffering from severe abdominal pain.  Doctors performed surgery to remove an internal buildup of fluid. During the surgery, she suffered a serious hemorrhagic shock followed by cardiac arrest. Many of her vital organs shut down. Machines kept her alive when her heart, kidney and lungs stopped working.

According to the medical file submitted to the Vatican, three doctors determined Mahoney's body was in the process of overall deterioration. They thought she would die.  It was around then that friends reached out to Sister Mary Laurence Hanley. Hanley was the director of the Cause of Mother Marianne and the person who put her case for sainthood together.  The sister visited the sick girl. She prayed for Mother Marianne's help, enlisting others to do the same. She touched Mahoney with a relic from the soon-to-be-saint.  That week, Mahoney showed signs of improvement. By the next week, her medical records show doctors recording their "surprise" that her vital organs started to work again "for some unknown reason." Eventually local and Vatican doctors determined there was no medical explanation for her full recovery.

In 2005 Pope Benedict XVI agreed that Mahoney had experienced a miracle. Mother Marianne was beatified, one step away from sainthood.  It was in that same year that the second miracle happened.  Sharon Smith, then 58, was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse. She says she had been at home and fainted.  "I woke up two and a half months later in the hospital," Smith said.  Her doctors told her she had developed a severe inflammation that was killing her pancreas and was spreading to other vital organs. Several surgeries did little to help. Her doctor consulted several experts. None could remember anyone recovering from similar cases. The doctor told Smith there was little they could do for her.  "When I heard that, I started thinking about my time in the Navy," the Gulf War veteran said. "I thought, 'I have led an interesting life. I have great friends. I have some wonderful memories. Lord, if you have to take me, at least I have these.'"  Smith mentally prepared for death.  "But for some reason He was nice enough to leave me here," she said, laughing.  Smith says the doctors did what they could to keep her comfortable. They even tried surgery to repair a huge hole that had opened between her stomach and intestine, but it didn't work. That's when the Franciscan sisters stepped in.

"My friend was sitting in the waiting room with my longtime roommate Pat while I was in surgery," Smith said. "The doctor came in to tell them, 'She is not going to breathe on her own again.' My roommate came in and said goodbye, and then my other friend came in and told her that this lady in the waiting room gave her a prayer card with Mother Marianne on it and suggested they pray for her help.  "They did, and I woke up. I started breathing on my own," Smith said.

The nuns paid regular visits to Smith, who is not Catholic. They kept her company. They prayed with her. They brought her communion. Then Sister Michaeleen Cabral pinned a small plastic bag on Smith's hospital gown. Inside was dirt from around Mother Marianne's grave -- known in the church as a relic.  "When they pinned that relic on me, I started feeling a little better," Smith said. "A little while later, when I opened my eyes, my doctor started pulling out my tubes.  "When he started pulling out the last one, I said to myself, 'This is it.' But instead he said, 'Now I want you to order a sandwich.' I didn't think I heard him right. I hadn't eaten in nine months. I said, 'Are you kidding me?' But he said, 'No, order anything you want to eat. I don't know what happened, but the hole I couldn't fix between your stomach and intestine has healed itself. Your inflammation is gone. You're better.'"  Mother Marianne had helped one last patient.  Smith finally left the hospital in January of 2006. "I had never heard of Mother Marianne before this, but all those prayers with the help of God and Mother Marianne's intercession, I survived," Smith said. "I'm still flabbergasted."

'You are Our Miracle'
To give back to the sisters who helped her, Smith started regularly volunteering at Francis House, a medical facility the sisters run to care for the terminally ill. Smith spends much of her time there cleaning rooms and visiting patients.  As she walked out of a patient's room one day, she ran into the nun who used to bring her communion at the hospital.  "She said, 'Oh my God, are you the girl I saw in the hospital who was so sick?'" Smith said. "I thought Sister Michaeleen was going to pass out.  "She told me, 'You've got to see Sister Mary Laurence. You are our miracle. I know you are.' They dragged me up to Sister Mary Laurence, who was amazed. They thought they had their miracle."
And so it was, the Catholic Church concluded. After multiple doctors examined her medical records and could find no other explanation, the case went on to Pope Benedict XVI. In December 2011 he announced Mother Marianne would become a saint.
This weekend, Mahoney and Smith are both at the Vatican for the canonization service. Smith will present Pope Benedict XVI with a cross that contains a dirt relic from Mother Marianne's grave. To this day, Smith wonders why she has been chosen to be a part of something so big.  "I can't imagine that someone like me would experience a miracle. I'm an ordinary person," Smith said. "But the sisters explained that's who God and the saints use."  Sister Burkard is at the Vatican, as well.  "Every time I think about the large banner with her image that will hang on the Vatican for the ceremony, I get chills," she said.  "People tend to think of saints as these very special otherworldly people, but so much of (Mother Marianne's) life parallels so many other good people we know today," Burkard said.  "She probably could have done anything with her natural talents for leadership and organization, but she chose to make the world a better place. She would not let people's fear determine what she did or how people should be treated.  "She is a wonderful example for these difficult times. She gave people that others feared hope. She restored their dignity. That is the path she chose to walk."
By Jen Christensen CNN

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mother Of Outcasts' To Be A Saint For Leprosy Work

Oct 19, 2012 (Weekend Edition Saturday) — During a tragic era in Hawaiian history, more than 8,000 people with leprosy -- now known as Hansen's disease -- were banished to the island of Molokai. Mother Marianne Cope began caring for these patients in the late 1800s, answering their desperation with hope. Sunday, the nun became a saint.
A German-American nun became a saint Sunday, nearly a century after her death. Mother Marianne Cope is the second person to be honored in this way for caring for people in Hawaii with leprosy, now known as Hansen's disease.
During a tragic era in Hawaiian history, more than 8,000 people with leprosy were banished to Kalaupapa, a remote peninsula on the island of Molokai. Back then, there was no cure. The patients were treated as outcasts until a Belgian priest, Father Damien, came to care for them in 1873. Eventually he contracted the disease himself and died. He was canonized by the pope in 2009.
Just five months before Damien's death, Cope arrived in Kalaupapa. She worked in Hawaii in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sister Alicia Damien Lau says Cope risked her life to care for people with leprosy.
"They had no idea what leprosy was all about and did not speak the language," she says. "They didn't understand the culture."
Cope, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, spent 35 years caring for leprosy patients in Hawaii, mostly in Kalaupapa. She died there of natural causes at the age of 80.
Today, Cope continues to inspire Lau in caring for Hansen's disease patients. Lau says listening to their stories over the years has moved her to try to help some of them resolve their anger.
"Being in Kalaupapa and being here in the early days was worse than prison," she says.
Mother Marianne Cope (in wheelchair) before her death in 1918.
Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva says Cope also gave people hope and dignity.
"I think she took a situation where there was a lot of sadness and disfigurement, and tried to bring joy and beauty to it," he says.
Silva points out that Cope planted flowers and fruit trees so the settlement would be beautiful and the residents would have food.
Silva is in Rome for Cope's canonization. For him, it's a personal journey: He grew up knowing his great-grandfather and great-aunt were sent to Kalaupapa, though some of his relatives kept their exile a secret.
"So I asked my aunt, 'How is it that your children never knew this?' And she said, 'We were told never to talk about this because if someone in the family had leprosy, the whole family was suspect,' " Silva says.
Today, only 17 Hansen's disease patients remain in the state of Hawaii. One of them is Gloria Marks, who has lived in Kalaupapa since 1960.
"You know, it takes a lot of courage for somebody to give up and come to Kalaupapa to care for the patient," she says, in tears.
Marks attended Damien's canonization and is in Rome to see Cope elevated to sainthood.  "We are very, very proud of it. We can ... walk on clouds," she says.  Marks says Hawaii should be proud to have two saints from this little island.
Today, Cope's legacy lives on in Hawaii through the hospital she established, and through the work the sisters do in health care and education. They continue to take care of the elderly, the poor and the last remaining Hansen's disease patients in Kalaupapa.
by Heidi Chang
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Saints Canonised by Pope Benedict

A Native American woman is among seven new saints canonised by Pope Benedict.
The canonisation coincided with a Vatican meeting of the world's bishops on trying to revive Christianity in places where it has struggled in recent years.
Kateri Tekakwitha, known as the "Lily of the Mohawks," was born in 1656 to a pagan Iroquois father and an Algonquin Christian mother.
Her parents and only brother died when she was four during a smallpox epidemic that left her badly scarred and with impaired eyesight.
She went to live with her uncle, a Mohawk, and was baptised Catholic by Jesuit missionaries.
However she was ostracised and persecuted by other natives for her faith, and she died in what is now Canada when she was 24.
Native Americans in beaded and feathered headdresses and leather-fringed tunics sang songs to St Kateri as the sun rose over St Peter's Square ahead of this morning’s mass.
Another of the new saints is Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino teenager who helped Jesuit priests convert natives in Guam in the 17th century but was killed by villagers opposed to the missionaries' efforts to baptise their children.
The other new saints are: Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for lepers in Hawaii; Jacques Berthieu, a 19th century French Jesuit who was killed by rebels in Madagascar, where he had worked as a missionary.
Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian who founded a religious order in 1900 and established a Catholic printing and publishing house in his native Brescia; Carmen Salles Y Barangueras, a Spanish nun who founded a religious order to educate children in 1892.
Anna Schaeffer, a 19th century German lay woman who became a model for the sick and suffering after she fell into a boiler and badly burned her legs.
The wounds never healed, causing her constant pain.
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sr Marianne Cope & Molokai

 Mother Marianne, far, right, led a group of six volunteers from the Sisters of St. Francis to Hawaii to combat the health care crisis there. Their help was so welcome the Hawaiian government awarded her a medal. Behind them stands Prime Minister of the Hawaiian Kingdom.




 In 1883 Mother Marianne Cope and five other sisters volunteered to travel to Hawaii to work with people afflicted with Hansen's disease. The disease, then known as leprosy, was so feared they were the only religious congregation to respond to a request for help. Mother Marianne wrote "I am not afraid of any disease." To this day none of the sisters has gotten sick.



 The government resumed its policy of banishment for Hansen's disease patients in 1887. The island of Molokai became the location for Hawaii's banished citizens. Mother Marianne lived the rest of her days working with the afflicted in the remote location, separated from the rest of society.



 There was a real orphan crisis when the Hawaiian government started its policy of banishment. Most institutions would not care for them nor would their families since they were so afraid of the disease. The children would roam the streets homeless. Mother Marianne Cope started several programs to house the children near their parents.



 While there was no cure for the residents of Molokai, the sisters tried to bring dignity to their lives. Before the sisters arrived, patients dressed in rags. The sisters gave the girls proper clothes and taught them embroidery, sewing and gardening. They also gave them music lessons.




 Hansen's disease patients often lived a long life, but their daily needs were often neglected when they were banished. The sisters' arrival on Molokai brought the girls lessons in traditional education subjects and religious training, including giving the girls a proper first communion ceremony.


 Prior to the sisters' arrival in Molokai, patients lived in ramshackle huts. Mother Marianne and the religious sisters were able to raise the money to build proper buildings for patients and give them beds instead of the straw mats they slept on.




 Mother Marianne was beatified at the Vatican in 2005 after it declared a 14-year-old girl miraculously recovered from nearly total organ failure. The Franciscan sisters heard about her case and started praying to Mother Marianne for her recovery. The girl, Kate Mahoney, is still healthy today and is attending this weekend's ceremony.

 
The Sisters of Saint Francis still minister to the sick and elderly in Hawaii. They run a hospice program, provide home health service and run adult day care programs. From left, Row 1: Sisters Ancilla Yim, Charlene Epil, Rose Fatima Leite, Frances Cabrini Morishige, Laurenza Fernandez, Agnelle Ching and William Marie Eleniki. From left, Row 2: Sisters Jovita Agustin, Norise Kaiser, Agatha Perreira and Pat Schofield. 

Mother Marianne Cope (in wheelchair) with other nuns and the women and girls of Bishop Home in Kalaupapa, Hawaii, shortly before her death in 1918.
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

St. Marianne Cope, the woman who received a piano from Robert Louis Stev...



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In Rome, for the canonization of Mother Marianne and Kateri Tekakwitha

SYRACUSE -- Hundreds of Central New Yorkers are in Rome for Sunday’s canonization of Mother Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha.
More than 350 people in the official pilgrimage of the Syracuse Diocese, led by Bishop Robert Cunningham, left Tuesday. Approximately 250 from the Diocese of Honolulu are also in Rome.
The pilgrims will spend time touring the Vatican, sacred sites and Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi, before attending the canonization of Mother Marianne, the former Syracuse Franciscan leader known for her 35-year ministry to leprosy patients in Hawaii.
Nine patients of the former leprosy settlement in Kalaupapa, where Mother Marianne ministered from 1883 until her death in 1918, will attend the canonization. The patients, who began their pilgrimage with a stop in Central New York last weekend, represent the 8,000 patients exiled by Hawaii over about 100 years.
The Upstate group will also celebrate the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th century Mohawk convert who lived in the area that is now Albany.
Kateri and Mother Marianne are among seven people Pope Benedict XVI will formally declare saints in an outdoor Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
Pilgrims celebrating Mother Marianne’s canonization include Sharon Smith, of Chittenango. The Vatican in December said it could find no medical explanation for Smith’s recovery in 2005 from severe pancreatitis and infection. That miracle was attributed to the intercession of Mother Marianne, and was a final step in the Vatican procedure that made her eligible for sainthood.
About 200 people connected with the Albany Diocese are in Rome, and the Archdiocese of Seattle has sent 67 people on its official pilgrimage. That group includes 12-year-old Jake Finkbonner and his family. The Vatican says the Ferndale, Wash., boy miraculously recovered from a flesh-eating illness in 2006 after prayers to Kateri Tekakwitha (pronounced Gah-deh-LEE Day-gah-GWEE-deh in Mohawk) on his behalf.
The Finkbonners are of Lummi descent; Kateri is the first Native American saint.
Hundreds of Mohawk Catholics from the North Country and Canada are also in Rome, as is a large group organized by the Kateri Tekakwitha Conference, a national organization based in Great Falls Montana. A small group of Syracusans is led by the Rev. Jim Carey, who was the first priest of the Syracuse Diocese assigned to minister to Native American Catholics in the late 1970s.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops estimated that up to 4,000 pilgrims from at least 15 diocese will be at the canonization.
On Saturday, the Hawaiian and Syracuse pilgrimages will attend a prayer service at the Church of San Gregorio Settimo, in Rome. The group will attend a Mass of Thanksgiving Monday at the Basilica Dei Santi Apostoli, in Rome.
A Mass of Thanksgiving for Saint Kateri is planned for Monday morning at St. Peter’s Basilica. The Shenandoah Trio will perform at the event.
The Post-Standard will cover the canonization.
Watch the canonization Mass live on EWTN or EWTN.com at 3:30 a.m. (Rome is six hours ahead of Syracuse) and 11 a.m. Sunday.
By Renée K. Gadoua, The Post-Standard 
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Sainthood ceremony for religious leader who cared for Hansen’s Disease exiles in Hawaii

Hawaii_Honolulu_Molokai_saintBlessed Marianne Cope, a member of the Roman Catholic Sisters of St. Francis who cared for Hansen's Disease (leprosy) patients on Oahu and Molokai for three decades beginning in the late 1880s, will be named as a saint during a ceremony set for this Sunday (Oct. 21) at the Vatican in Rome.

At the ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict XVI, the church will also canonize six other sainthood candidates, including Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th century Mohawk Indian who spent most of her life in upstate New York.   

About 250 Hawaii residents are in Rome for the ceremony, among them nine Hansen's Disease patients who reside at the former Molokai exile settlement at remote Kalaupapa Peninsula. Although cured, about a dozen people still live at the site, which is now part of Kakaupapa National Historical Park.

The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities petitioned Pope Paul VI to open the cause for Mother Marianne’s canonization in 1974. Nine years later, an official registration took place, which then led to the titles of venerable, blessed and, now, saint. Canonization is conferred when the Vatican attributes two cases of miracles to a candidate for sainthood. In 2004 and 2011, Vatican officials ruled that cases of inexplicable medical recovery were due to the intercession of Mother Marianne, who died 96 years ago.  

Barbara Koob (now officially "Cope") was born on Jan. 23 1838 in West Germany. The next year, her family moved to the United States and settled in Utica, N.Y. At age 24, Barbara entered the Sisters of St Francis in Syracuse, N.Y., where she received the religious habit, the name "Sister Marianne" and began working as a teacher and principal in several elementary schools in New York state.Hawaii_Honolulu_Molokai_saint Quickly recognized as a deft administrator, Cope was tapped to help establish two general hospitals in New York state. Working alongside doctors, she picked up medical knowledge on everything from sanitation procedures to pharmacy skills, which she later put to use in Hawaii.

In 1883, when an emissary from Hawaii sent letters seeking capable leaders to provide health care for patients with Hansen’s Disease, Mother Marianne was the only religious leader — out of 50 contacted — to respond positively. She reportedly wrote to the emissary: “I am not afraid of any disease, hence, it would be my greatest delight even to minister to the abandoned 'lepers.'"

During the decade preceding Mother Marianne's arrival in Hawaii with a group of sisters of the St. Francis order, thousands of Hansen's Disease patients throughout the Islands had been sent by government order to the Kalaupapa Peninsula. In 1873, Father Damien de Veuster moved to the island to live among the patients and minister to them. (Saint Damien was canonized in 2009.)

Mother Marianne first met Father Damien in January 1884, when he was in apparent good health. Two years later, in 1886, after he had been diagnosed with Hansen's Disease, Mother Marianne was reportedly the only religious leader to offer hospitality to the priest. (His illness made him an unwelcome visitor to church and government leaders in Honolulu.)

Several months before Father Damien's death in 1889, at age 49, Mother Marianne agreed to provide care for the patients at the Boys' Home at Kalawao that he had founded. Subsequently, Mother Marianne, along with two other nuns, ran the Bishop Home (for girls) and the Home for Boys at Kalawao.

Mother Marianne never returned to Syracuse, and neither she nor the nuns she worked with contracted Hansen’s Disease. Mother Marianne died on Aug. 9, 1918 in Hawaii and was buried on the grounds of Bishop Home.

During Cope's lifetime, the chronic, contagious disease then known as leprosy was shrouded in fear and mystery, despite having afflicted humankind for millennia. About a decade after Cope died drugs were developed that could effectively cure the bacterium-caused disease. Left untreated, the disease, which weakens the immune system, can open the door for potentially deadly infections, such as pneumonia. 

For more information about Blessed Marianne Cope’s work in the Islands, click here.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Synod on Evangelisation - Comments of Irish Bishops

H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Diarmuid MARTIN, Archbishop of Dublin (IRELAND)
The challenge of language is especially felt in those countries where English dominates, characterized by linguistic philosophies with known epistemological challenges. There is however a further challenge of the day-to-day language, not just of the media, but of a culture of the manipulation of language and the management of information where the meaning of words is changed and manipulated for commercial, ideological or political motives.
The concern I wish to particularly address is the challenge that this manipulation of language represents for young people in their search for the message of Jesus Christ. Young people live in a culture of relativism and indeed banalization of the truth often without even being aware of it. It is a culture which they did not create. They may not know any other culture, yet they must find Christ in the midst of this culture while they have little familiarity with the language of faith.
I am not thinking here of the large groups of young people who have found strength and support in events such as World Youth Day, but of the many young men and women who, at what is a complex and difficult time in their lives, in their search for meaning find themselves very much alone among their classmates and fellow students and indeed may experience hostility and incomprehension as they try to find or maintain their faith in Jesus Christ.
Where are we present among the large student population, especially for those whose basic Christian education may well have been all but superficial in either family or school?
The challenge of the New Evangelization must be marked by a robust confrontation of ideas, not in terms of ideological aggression, but in helping young people in the discernment of ideas.
The culture of individualism can be counteracted by the creation of a variety of new ecclesial communities, not just those of the ecclesial movements, but around our parishes, which will be the building blocks of the Eucharistic communities of the future.

H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Kieran O'REILLY, S.M.A., Bishop of Killaloe (IRELAND)
The momentum created by the recently held International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland has been further enhanced by the publication of a New National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland titled: Share the Good News. This document from the Bishops Conference is a blueprint for the Church throughout Ireland.
Share the Good News points to the complete statement of faith, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, searching out sure ways of making the treasures to be found in the Catechism more readily available to people in Ireland today. It is also a call to action with the aim of seeking to help members of the Church speak confidently of the Gospel message which each generation of believers must assimilate anew. It is a programme with a ten-year horizon: the first two years are given over to a period of implementation and making the Directory known, followed by full implementation throughout the dioceses of Ireland.
Hand in hand with Share the Good News must go a more profound knowledge and understanding of the Good News as preached and lived in the New Testament. Quoting Verbum Domini #: 51 ... “the church is a community that hears and proclaims the word of God. The Church draws life not from herself but from the Gospel, and from the Gospel she discovers ever anew the direction for her journey” This calls for a fuller and significant biblical apostolate
The Irish Church has lived, and continues to live, the recent crises in a dramatic way. At the same time, we are faced with the same effects of secularisation as many other countries, particularly in Europe. As a result, the church must now speak with a voice which is hopeful yet humble, confident yet compassionate, with a claim to authority that must be more evidently rooted in the Gospel and the love of Christ. This is the context in which the new evangelization will take place.
I hope this Synod will send words of encouragement to all the agents of the New Evangelization, in particular, to the many women who play a significant role in the life of our Church, expressing our gratitude to them for their generous activity in spreading the Gospel in the various settings of daily life where they are centrally present - at work, in schools, in the family and in healthcare. These, and other committed members of our faith communities, expect and await a message of hope and encouragement from this Synod, as we invite them to engage with evangelical courage the new evangelization in the different Aeropagii of our time.
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Supporters arrive in the Vatican for canonization of Mother Marianne Cope

DAN NAKASO / DNAKASO@STARADVERTISER.COM


Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva spoke to Hansen's disease patients from Kalaupapa just before the pope drove within a few feet of the patients after the event. The group got a front-row seat for today's papal audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

ROME -- Pilgrims from Syracuse are now walking the streets of Rome in anticipation of Sunday’s Canonization of Mother Marianne Cope.
Bishop Robert Cunningham, the leader of the Diocese of Syracuse, touched down at da Vinci Airport just outside of Rome early Wednesday morning. By mid-morning he was joined by the rest of more than 200 who were part of his pilgrimage to the Vatican and Assisi.
The Sisters of St. Francis and their group of 100 arrived the day before. They were off first thing Wednesday morning to a Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square. Their sacred time will take them away from Rome on Thursday as they head to the hometown of St. Francis the founder of their order.
St. Francis lived in Assisi in the early 13th century. He took a vow of poverty and service that his followers have continued ever since. While in Assisi the sisters will visit a Leprosaria where people with Hansen’s disease still live today. It is a home similar to the one in Molokai where Mother Marianne ministered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the Hawaiian Islands.
In addition to the groups from Syracuse there is a contingent that came 8,000 miles from Hawaii to celebrate the Canonization of Marianne Cope. There are also hundreds of Mohawks, other Native Americans and others supporting Kateri Tekawitha as the first Native American saint in the Catholic Church.
by Matt Mulcahy CNY Central News
Our Matt Mulcahy is traveling with the pilgrims from Syracuse in Rome and the surrounding areas. He will continue to share their story on NBC 3, CBS 5, CW 6, CNYCentral.com, Facebook and Twitter right through the Canonization Sunday morning.
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Before a Nun Is Sainted, Honoring Her Upstate Past

UTICA, N.Y. — But for a wooden sign at its edge, the vacant field resembled any other in a neighborhood of factories and worn-out buildings here, not far from the Erie Canal: a few trees scattered across thick green grass, a patch of shaggy weeds growing beside a boarded-up garage at its rear.
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Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
(Photo Right) Ivy Kahilihiwa, part of a group from Hawaii celebrating the canonization of Mother Marianne, greeting Sister Rosanne LaManche at St. Anthony Convent in Syracuse last weekend.
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
A statue of Mother Marianne, who will be canonized on Sunday. 
And yet, on Sunday, three tour buses bearing more than 100 Hawaiian pilgrims arrived. Ignoring a steady stream of rain, they climbed across the buckled sidewalk to pray for a woman who once lived on this land, whose favorite hymn, “O Makalapua,” they know by heart and whose face they wore on pins, medallions and specially made Hawaiian shirts: Mother Marianne Cope.
Mother Marianne will be one of seven Roman Catholic saints — including another New Yorker, Kateri Tekakwitha — canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday. The pilgrims had stopped en route to Rome to celebrate the canonization of a woman beloved in Hawaii and known as “Mother of the Outcasts” for her work among the sick.  “She was just an ordinary person, like us,” said Charlotte Recarte, 67, a retiree from Oahu. “Inside all of us, we can be saints. We just have to do the work. That’s what Mother Marianne did.”
Born Barbara Koob in what is now Germany, Mother Marianne moved with her family to Utica in 1839, when she was a year old. Her faith was formed at St. Joseph’s church and parish school, which she attended until eighth grade. When her father grew ill, she left school to work for in the city’s factories to help support her younger siblings. In 1862, when they were old enough to care for themselves, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse.
In 1883, she answered a call to help thousands of Hawaiians who were ill with a mysterious and disfiguring disease known as leprosy and who were being taken from their families and exiled to a remote peninsula on Molokai called Kalaupapa.  Would the nun take charge of the hospitals and lead a ministry among these patients? “I am not afraid of any disease,” she wrote, agreeing to what would become a more-than-30-year mission serving those banished to the towering sea cliffs of Kalaupapa. She also paved the way for others in her order to continue her work, connecting communities in Hawaii and New York.
Eight thousand people with leprosy, now known as Hansen’s disease, lived on Kalaupapa from 1866 until the isolation laws were lifted in 1969. Among the 17 still alive, 9 traveled to New York to visit the life that the nun had left behind.  “I wanted to come to learn about what she was before Kalaupapa,” Ivy Kahilihiwa said.
Ms. Kahilihiwa arrived on Kalaupapa in 1958, after a small mark on her back signaled her illness. By that time, medicine was available to help ease her pain, but she saw in the older patients the disfigurement that was widespread before treatment became available.  “It made me so grateful for Mother Marianne,” Ms. Kahilihiwa, 76, said. “Not anybody could go there and do that work to help so many who suffered.” As they crisscrossed central New York visiting her home, her convent and her first parish, the pilgrims — patients, parishioners and clergy members from across Hawaii, including Larry Silva, the bishop of Honolulu — saw pieces of Mother Marianne’s youth.
At St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church, opposite the site of the original wooden building where Mother Marianne first prayed, parishioners welcomed the Hawaiians for a prayer service.  “Shalom.” “Aloha.”
“We are so joyful you are here.”   Incense filled the air of the towering Italianate-style church. Hymns were accompanied by ukulele and pu‘ili, a Hawaiian bamboo rattle. Stephen Prokop, the superintendent of Kalaupapa National Historical Park, performed a reading in his forest green uniform, a kukui nut lei strung around his neck.  “Mother Marianne is a major, major figure in the history of Kalaupapa,” he said afterward, adding, “I wanted to learn more about Mother Marianne’s life.”
The group traveled between Utica and nearby Syracuse throughout the day.  At St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, one of two hospitals in central New York that Mother Marianne helped establish, a group of Hawaiian nuns dashed into a parking lot, hugging two nuns who had been waiting to glimpse members of their order, whom they had not seen in years. And during the final stop of the day, at St. Anthony Convent of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Syracuse, the last patients of Kalaupapa met with now-retired nuns who had continued the work of Mother Marianne, ministering on the peninsula before the isolation ended.
At the convent where Mother Marianne began her religious life and where her remains lie, the former patients and nuns clasped hands and steadied one another, recalling the beauty of the landscape and the nicknames of those on the island: “tip toe,” “tom boy,” “the fishing nun.”  Sister Rosanne LaManche, 92, smiled while listening to the shared memories of long ago. She recalled her arrival on the island in 1949.   “Driving in along the peninsula, I saw that along one road there were graves, graves, graves,” she said, shaking her head. “Mother Marianne should’ve been canonized the day she died.”
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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.
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