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."
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.

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 for more biographical information on Saint Marianne Cope and original article and more photos at ""
 • Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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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...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++DisclaimerNo 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, November 26, 2012

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

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.