1184 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 585-3300 Fax: (808) 545-5063
Roman Catholics

Roman Catholic Church in the state of hawaii

Diocese of Honolulu

Witness to Jesus

News & Events

News & Events

Help me find...

News Articles

Legacy of Hawaii Saints Reminds Us Everyone is a Child of God

January 2, 2024

From the Office for Social Ministry

As we begin the New Year, we remember that in 2021 Governor Ige designated January as Kalaupapa month in Hawaii. On January 3rd, we celebrate the birthday of St. Damien de Veuster and on January 23rd we celebrate the birthday of St. Marianne Cope. Through their service in Kalaupapa, these beloved saints lived out Christ’s call to share with the those marginalized by society, echoing the very essence of the Christmas message that we are all children of God. As the Sisters of St. Francis still serving on Kalaupapa remind us, the “outcasts” in Hawaii made saints out of Damien and Marianne by bringing out the best in them, just as on Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany, the outcast Christ in the manager made saints of Mary and Joseph, and millions more down through the ages. This is the true blessing, the gift, and the hope of the season from the Feast of Christmas through the Feast of the Epiphany.

We are called to share our blessings with the vulnerable who are often marginalized in our own midst. Let us keep our Christmas focus on the image of the outcast Christ in the manager to help us recognize Emmanuel, “God with us” in the outcasts or on the margins striving to survive and thrive as were the children of God on Kalaupapa in the time of Sts. Marianne and Damien – and in our time, the houseless refugees from wars and natural disasters around the world, including so many still suffering in the aftermath of Maui wildfires. (The last weekend of January is World Leprosy Day – stay tuned to eNews for more information planned for that weekend on Kaulaupapa. For more detailed information on how all can help the Diocese accompanying persons impacted by the Maui fires, please visit the Hawaii Catholic Community Foundation website www.hawaiicatholiccommunityfoundation.org.)

May a clear focus on the vulnerable Christ child open our hearts and bring out the best in all, helping us become saints us by sharing our gifts and blessings with others and by being instruments of God’s loving, caring, healing presence in our families, communities, and planet, which is our common home. The simple yet profound truth that everyone is a child of God resonates deeply in the enduring legacy of these Hawaii saints. In our celebrations, let us embrace the spirit of Kalaupapa, where Aloha knew no boundaries, and outcasts became cherished members of a compassionate community. Let us approach the New Year nourished by a grateful focus on the vulnerable Christ child in the manger, Emmanuel - God with us, and with a renewed commitment to living and sharing our faith as the daily Kalaupapa Saints prayer concludes: Through their intercession, grant us the courage to follow their footsteps our love for those most in need of our love and care. Help us to love you with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as they modeled for us. For You have said, “Love one another as I have loved you!” We ask this through Christ our Lord Amen.” Mahalo!