Damien students honor their namesake - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Damien students honor their namesake

Father Damien Father Damien
Bryce Ursua Bryce Ursua
Michael Casem Michael Casem
Keith Martin Keith Martin

By Caroline Julian

HONOLULU (KHNL) - On Saturday, The Pope will declare Father Damien a Saint during a mass in the Vatican City.

As the ceremony gets closer, students from Damien Memorial School, paid tribute to their namesake, by giving back to the community.

The young men got a break from the classroom, to learn a lesson about giving back.

"We are out here helping the community because that's what Father Damien did," said Keith Martin, a Damien student.

More than 50 the students spent their morning here, at Lanakila District Park.

This was just one of a number of places students were serving the community.

"Even through the heat and the hotness, the walking and everything l ike that, we still pushed on and remained devoted like we are today picking up trash," Bryce Ursua, a Damien student.

By voluteering at this clean up, the young men honored the priest who brought comfort to Kalaupapa residents inflicted with Hansen's disease.

"This week we're trying to tie in Father's Damien's principles. What we try to convey to them, every single trash that you see on the floor, what you see on the ground is a service to god," said Michael Casem, a Damien Teacher.

Damien was not only a priest but, but served as a doctor to Kalaupapa residents.

He also built their homes, beds and their coffins. He also dug their graves.

"Father Damien was the type of person who got down on the dirt to serve others and that's what we want to model to the students, have them sweat for the lord, said Michael Casem, a Damien Teacher.

A lesson they've learned through the legacy of Father Damien.

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