Hawaii Catholics honor Father Damien's canonization - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Catholics honor Father Damien's canonization

Madeline Costa Madeline Costa
Evelyn Starkey Evelyn Starkey
Elizabeth Lum Elizabeth Lum

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Catholics in Hawaii who can't be there for Father Damien's canonization in person are celebrating and honoring his accomplishment island style.

The countdown to the big event means crunch time. Blessed Sacrament Church puts the finishing touches on a stage and a special service. Kukui nut leaves and lei perfect the pews.

"Father Damien loved Hawaii so we're trying to do everything hawaiian for him," said Church member Madeline Costa.

Thousands of donated items are collected for a rummage sale. Books, bowls to porcelain bunnies, all proceeds will go towards helping the sick on Molokai just as Father Damien did.

"Because he is a hero of Hawaii we wanted to do something special especially the weekend of being canonized," said Church member Evelyn Starkey.

Elizabeth Lum was in Kalaupapa back in 1995, where Father Damien practiced. She says he was a man of the people.

"He had compassion, care and love, that's what we need today," said Church member Elizabeth Lum.

While they can't be in Rome to witness history firsthand, these church members will watch across the world in admiration. As for it's importance and impact, church members say that's up to the individual.

"It's not just a hip hip hooray celebration, it's something that has to be internalized," said Lum.

Blessed Sacrament Church has a full slate of activities to honor Father Damien starting Saturday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. On Sunday, the activities switch to St. Stephens Church from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

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