Maria Lanakila Catholic Church, La Haina, Maui, was established in 1846 by the Rev. Aubert Bouillon of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; it was officially dedicated in 1858. There is no word yet if it was destroyed in this fire. It is the oldest Catholic church in the islands.
NOTE: Maria Lanakila is miraculously still standing, including the Catholic school & (Our Lady of Victory) rectory. Praise God.
The Papal Artifacts’ Collection is primarily dedicated to artifacts connected to the papacy. Individual popes, their biographies and multiple items belonging to them, including first and second class relics, make up the majority of this Collection. But that isn’t all it is.
Father Kunst has a deep devotion to the saints as can be readily seen in viewing the Saints & Blesseds section of this site. We invite you to visit Papal History/Saints & Blesseds to view the many canonized and beatified men and women who make up this section of the Collection.
Another category is also included with this Collection: Notable Individuals. These are people significantly associated with the Catholic Church who have not been canonized but contributed in outstanding ways to the church.
St. Damien of Moloka’i is one of them.
The Featured Image
Bishop Larry Silva of the Diocese of Honolulu, will bless a bronze image entitled Father Damien, created by Maui-based sculptor Dale Zarella in honor of Saint Damien, the Belgian priest who volunteered to care for patients exiled to Molokaʻi.
The blessing comes as part of the St. Damien’s Feast Day celebration at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Wailuku on Wednesday, May 10. A mass will be held at 8:15 a.m., and the blessing takes place at 9:15 a.m.
Saint Damien of Molokaʻi offered his life in service of those suffering from what we now know as Hansen’s disease.
It was at the dedication of Saint Anthony Church in 1873 that then Bishop Louis Maigret asked his priests if any of them were willing to go to Molokaʻi to tend to those afflicted with Hansen’s disease, and St. Damien was among those who volunteered.
Zarella’s sculpture depicts St. Damien on his second day at the colony after surveying the pain and suffering, with an orphan child at his side. Knowing he had found his purpose, St. Damien went on to care for these people for the rest of his life.
The sculpture is an exact replica of the one Zarella created for Pope Benedict in 2012.
Zarrella’s private studio and gallery is located at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Weekly tours led by Zarella are held on Mondays. These tours share the inspiration and stories behind some of his best known works including Father Damien, Mother Marianne, Freedom, and Resurrection.
To learn more about Zarella or to book a tour visit dalezarrella.com. You can also view Dale’s sculptures throughout the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, where he is the artist in residence.
Contents of the Letter
Part of the Papal Artifacts Collection
“On your arrival in Honolulu, you will first make acquaintance with the members of the Board of Health. And by gaining their Confidence you will easily obtain permission to come and pass here a few weeks. You do not need to hire a schooner in which to make your home. A special home for receiving visitors will be willingly put at your disposal and you will find our new doctor, Dr. Swift, a good-hearted Irishman!! When you write to our friend Chapman, please give him my thanks for his kindness towards me. Our workmen are now covering in our church. The Stations of the Cross will be received with many thanks. If you bring any value with you for the church, please deposit it at Bishopham to my credit or if I am no more on this world, at the Catholic Mission in Honolulu…with the hope of our soon meeting here, J. Damien Deveuster”.
In Word Shadows of the Great, Thomas Madigan writes, “Without doubt Damien wrote few letters and it is not unlikely that many of those which come from his pen during the leper colony days were destroyed by the recipient.” He adds that he had owned the only two know letters by Damien. I must agree that Damien can be considered excessively rare. I can find no record of sales, at any rate, in auction or dealer catalogs for the past ten years. This letter is used to illustrate Damien’s autograph in Ray Rawlin’s Stein and Day Book of World Autographs.