The Western Commandery of the Grand Priory of America held its annual Pilgrimage to Kalaupapa to celebrate Saint Father Damien’s Feast Day. It began with a laying on of leis and flowers for the statue of St. Father Damien at the State Capitol. This was followed by a tour of Pearl Harbor on the Admiral’s Barge. The next day, we toured the archives at the Franciscan monastery to see the personal effects of St. Father Damien. This was followed by a lecture in the evening.
On Saturday, we flew to the colony at Kalaupapa. There we toured the hospital for the Hansen’s patients and checked up on the medical equipment and supplies that we have donated. This was followed by two church services, the blessing of our mantles of the Order, and a luau that we sponsor every year for the patients and staff. Lastly, we went to St. Philomena, the church that St. Father Damien built with his own hands, and then visited his grave.
Our thanks to Grand Prior Ken Moritsugu, Steve Brock, Father Lane Akiona, Sister Alicia Damien Lau, Shirley Tamara, June Segundo, and Pila Tulua for their help in making this wonderful event happen. Our thanks also to those who attended.