Father Damien Memorial - Paia, HI
Posted by: silverquill
N 20° 53.935 W 156° 21.840
4Q E 774212 N 2313211
Quick Description: This historic church is located on Baldwin Ave. north of downtown, Paia, the historic plantation town on Maui's north shore. This magnificent memorial, carved from Italian marble, was erected in 1976, revered by visitors and residents alike.
Location: Hawaii, United States
Date Posted: 3/1/2012 1:40:36 AM
Waymark Code: WMDW99
HOLY ROSARY CHURCH
One of the landmarks in this small town on the north shore of Maui is the Gothic style Holy Rosary Church. With its magnificent stained glass windows and the impressive memorial to Father Damien, it attracts visitors from far and wide. But, it is also home to an active worshiping congregation.
The memorial to Father Damien was erected in 1976, carved from Italian marble. The sculptor is not named. It depicts a life-size likeness of Father Damien (without the hat that is often shown in photos of him), seated with his arm around a man who is seated between his knees, right hand resting on Damien's right knee. Damien is wearing a clerical cape, and the man has a lei of stones or nuts. The marble base is mounted on a dais with a backdrop of natural lava stone, and a bronze plaque beneath it. The entire sculpture setting is placed in front of a large display of flowers and plants.
Father Damien was born in January 3, 1840, and entered the priesthood, arriving in Hawaii as a missionary in 1864. When the call went out for volunteers to go to the colony on Molokai which had been established by King Kamehameha V to quarantine people with leprosy (Hansen's Disease), Father Damien was the first of four volunteers to go. He remained there, caring for the spiritual and physical needs of these afflicted and ostracized people, until he himself succumbed to the disease in 1884 at the age of 49."
Father Damien has been revered around the world, among people of many faith, including Ghandi of India, as an example of sacrificial love and devotion. King David Kalakaua bestowed on him the honor Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Kalakaua, and Damien was canonized in 2009. Reference: Wikipedia: Father Damien
The town of Paia grew up around the old sugar mills, and today is known as the "Wind Surfing Capital of the World," and is a major tourist destination being the last town at the start of the fabled Hana Highway.
A bit of history by Bill Tavares in the the Hawaii Catholic Herald:
"The original Holy Rosary Church was built in 1886 in Kuau by Sacred Hearts Father James Beissel on 15 acres donated to the church by a devout Hawaiian named Keakome, according to Sacred Hearts Father Robert Schoofs in his book “Pioneers of the Faith.”
The Kuau church had a seating capacity of 350 people. Along with Makawao, Kuau was one of the main Catholic centers on Maui. With the completion of the Paia Plantation mill in 1905 and the establishment of several large labor camps in upper Paia it became necessary to move the church.
In 1926, Sacred Hearts Father Jules Verhaeghe started construction of the present church which was blessed in February of 1927 by Bishop Stephen Alencastre.
The majestic Gothic style structure has been a much loved center of worship for thousands of parishioners and visitors over the past 85 years. Among its attractions are priceless stained glass windows crafted in Belgium by the famed artisan M. Barry. The windows are among the most beautiful in Hawaii.
Another unique feature are the Stations of the Cross, carved of wood by Brothers of the Sacred Hearts Sylvester Bathe and Wenceslaus Van Vorst.
In 1976, under the direction of Sacred Hearts Father Roland Peters, the parish constructed an outdoor St. Damien memorial featuring a marble statue carved in Italy of the famed priest of the leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa supporting a stricken Hawaiian."