Monday, May 14, 2012

St. Damien of Molokai – Activities for the Family

The Footsteps of the American Saints program is offered by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, but it is open to everyone, Scouts and non-Scouts alike. This program provides age appropriate religious activities to help young people learn more about the lives of Blesseds and Saints from America.

One of the sets of activities revolves around St. Damien of Molokai. His feast day is May 10. He volunteered to serve at a leper colony on the island of Molokai in Hawaii in the late 19th century. Eventually he contracted leprosy and died from the disease. Fr. Damien was canonized in 2009.

As part of the Footsteps of the American Saints program, participants can earn a patch with Fr. Damien on it. (This image says “Blessed”. I don’t know if they have changed it since his canonization.)

There are a list of requirements and activities to earn the patch. Participants in 1st  through 5th grades must complete 4 requirements and 2 of the activities. Participants in 6th through 12th Grades must complete 5 requirements and 3 of the activities. But even if you don’t want to earn the patch, you might still want to teach your children about St. Damien and do a few of the activities:

 •He took the name of a 4th century physician and Saint when he became a priest…Fr. Damien. What was his original name and why do we call him Saint Damien of Molokai?
 •Before going to Hawaii, Saint Damien of Molokai worked as a missionary. What were the circumstances that allowed him to travel to Hawaii?
 •When did he become a priest?
 •Saint Damien of Molokai was given a memorial feast day by Pope John Paul II in 1995. When is that day celebrated?
 •What is Saint Damien of Molokai most known for devoting his life to?
 •King David Kalakaua bestowed what honor on Damien?

 •Discuss with your family or counselor, some of the values that you admire most about Saint Damien of Molokai . What is he known for? How can you be more like him?
 •Draw a picture showing some of his accomplishments. Share this picture with your family.
 •Create a poster of hope and deliver it to a children hospital in your community.
 •Visit with the sick or elderly. Spend time learning what they like. Possibly bring a kitten or puppy from the pound to visit with the elderly for a couple of hours.

As you can see, this program really encourages students to learn more about the saint. You can find additional resources and an order form for the patches at the National Catholic Committee on Scouting website: Footsteps of American Saints – Saint Damien of Molokai
Thanks to My Catholic Family at 
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