The beginning of our pilgrimage; landing on the island of Molokai...
"Dear Fr. Bill, Your gift is received with gratitude. What has been given to me freely, I can give freely and I look forward to next year. As a final thought for your pilgrimage group from the Molokai experience: Damien, Marianne, Dutton, and all who seek union with God do not allow others to define who they are. They grow spiritually to Divine Intimacy realizing Jesus knows who they are. By not trying to define others, all is directed to Divine Love…there is no burnout. God Bless and Aloha Fr. Bill Petrie, sscc Heal Me, Hands of Jesus, by Michael Perry Heal me, hands of Jesus, and search out all my pain; restore my hope, remove my fear, and bring me peace again. Cleanse me, blood of Jesus, take bitterness away; let me forgive as one forgiven, and bring me peace today. Know me, mind of Jesus, and show me all my sin; dispel the memories of guilt, and bring me peace within. Fill me, joy of Jesus; anxiety shall cease, and heaven’s serenity be mine, for Jesus brings me peace! "This is a lovely affirming work from Father Bill Petrie to all of our Pilgrims
"The plain is in the form of a tongue of land, three sides being washed by the ocean, the fourth or continuation of the base of the tongue ending in perpendicular cliffs, washed by the sea, affording no egress, or ingress, except by boat or canoe." Dr. Robert Mouritz
This was an incredibly diverse group of pilgrims. We were on different missions, on different journeys, yet united in this incredible experience of exploring the history of two incredible saints. The varied conversations that I was privileged to be a part of were awe-inspiring, energizing, and educational. Some of these folks I’ve known for a while, others I’ve just met, yet we were able to engage in some wonderful sharing of ideas and experiences during our brief time together. I will cherish those moments. -Jo Woltman
"He showed his love by taking care of the orphans. I know because I was one of them". Merle Meheula
A group of ambitious hiking pilgrims following the very steep trail which is 2000 feet above the peninsula. The trail is a total of 3.5 miles of uneven trail with numerous switchbacks
Many acts of kindness and generosity took place among the pilgrims, especially on the day of the hike to Kalaupapa: John loaned Joanne his shoe so she could protect her bandaged toe; Julie gave me her seat on the plane after the sole of my hiking boot came unglued on the descent…But the one person who provided us with a living example of self-sacrifice in the tradition of Father Damien and Mother Marianne was Tom Hazelton. Truly, he was a “brother on the road” to John Lydgate after he fell off his mule. Tom did not hesitate to abandon the main event of our pilgrimage and to “walk the mile and bear the load” with John. As a physical therapist, he was uniquely qualified, but he was under no obligation to give up all that he had invested in the trip to Kalaupapa. That he did so joyfully is a testament to all that is good. -Lindsay Kamm
"We cannot travel here by either train or trap and not always by foot. How do you think we manage these long journeys? With good mules and excellent horses" Father Damien
A quick way too down with fellow pilgrims who were unable to travel by foot or mule...
The gun metal clouds a vestige— dark night of the soul; The fiery clouds a promise— bright days of joy and freedom; The sunrise over the horizon only a tease— a reflection on the water, not yet revealing God’s full glory. Day breaks over Kalaupapa— a community of exiles, the Body of Christ broken; Day breaks over my life— I too know exile, I know brokenness; Light bursts forth from the sea as a volcano spewing new life into the world. Life is changed, transformed, new— God’s redeeming Love in Christ is real, as clouds disappear only to reappear another time; A cosmic dance comes into view— dark and light dance as partners, exile and reconciliation a single movement of grace, brokenness and wholeness in God’s loving enbrace The deep and beautiful mystery of God in the Light of the Resurrection. -Phyllis Meighen
"His Highness expressed the wish that one of us would visit Molokai. I saw coming the realization of the project of the Providence." . Father Damien
"A steamer landed me here, together with a batch of fifty lepers whom the authorities had collected." Father Damien
"He was very hospitable and made a practice of meeting the weekly steamer at Kalaupapa. For a long time the steamer arrived very early in the morning, and, in order to reach the landing in time, he used to say Mass, on those mornings, at four o'clock, so that he was among the foremost in meeting any passengers." Joseph Dutton
The settlement was a bare promontory, pounded by surf and walled in on the landward side by a Pali, a cliff of more than a thousand feet-a natural prison.
"There are many empty places in the church, but in the cemetery there is hardly room left to dig the graves". Father Damien
"The other day I could not help but be annoyed because someone had started to dig a grave close to the big cross, right at the spot that I had reserved for myself a long time ago! By insisting, I kept my place vacant. ". Father Damien
" As the cemetery, the church and the presbytery form a single park, I am the sole night-watchman of this fine garden of the dead- all my spiritual children- I find pleasure in going there to say my rosary and to meditate on the eternal happiness which a great number of them already enjoy, on the eternal unhappiness of some who would not obey me. The cemetery and the dying-ward are my finest books of meditation, both to nourish my own heart and to prepare my instructions." Father Damien
"I knew I could not last long,and many years I have been begging our Dear Lord to send someone to fill my place-And now I see he has answered my prayer, praise, glory and thanks be to our great and Mighty God." Father Damien about Mother Marianne
When I with salted tears upon my cheeks Do look beyond the endless tide of time And see the sails of ships sad peaks, My youth is furling, flying, towards its prime. Wishing me free like a bird in flight Back to the rock of birth where love caressed My future be in warmth; My nest there blest. I’m but a speck of sand upon the shore, My future none can see. The tides, they tug and pull my soul And wash it out to sea. -Julie Hagensen
The trip to Molokai and the experience – emotionally, physically, and spiritually – was awe-inspiring. It felt like the pilgrims on the trip were hand selected by God to come together for a greater good and for all our individual journeys. I continue to be changed: I continue to see miracles around me that is connected to Saint Damien. I am filled with love that surrounds me; I cry when I see so much compassion around in everyday life; I see miracles that I never saw before; I am touched! I have seen the continued miracles of Saint Damien and St. Marianne through my mothers miraculous journey of recovery of her brain infection. She insisted she must wear my St. Damien/St. Marianne medallion during and after her emergency surgery for months throughout her recovery. She is now declared healed. She turns 90 in January. I am motivated to share and give of myself to others. -Deborah Gillikin