Hawaii Diocese recognizes Napela-St. Damien collaboration

[Reprinted from a press release I wrote on May 12, 2010]

LAIE, Hawaii — The Most Reverend Clarence “Larry” Silva, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, presented the Polynesian Cultural Center and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hawaii with a special Certificate of Appreciation on May 7, 2010, “in gratitude for the collaboration” of Jonathan Napela and St. Damien of Molokai, for their service to Hansen’s Disease patients at Kalaupapa in the 1870s.

Bishop Silva explained that though the two men belonged to different churches, they worked closely together at the isolated Kalaupapa leprosy or Hansen’s Disease quarantine settlement, and the Catholic priest once described N?pela as his “yoke-mate.” Largely for his work there from 1873-1889, Pope Benedict XVI enrolled Father Damien in the canon of Roman Catholic Saints on October 11, 2009, at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

pcc_catholic_plaque5-2010(Left-right): Von D. Orgill, President & CEO of the Polynesian Cultural Center; Elder Scott D. Whiting, Latter-day Saint Area
Authority Hawaii; Most Reverend Clarence “Larry” Silva, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu; and Father Marc
Alexander, Vicar General of the diocese. (Photos by Mike Foley)

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