Monday, October 4, 2010

Molokai's Father Damien

Father Damien statue

The Kalaupapa Peninsula juts out from the north coast of Molokai, where in the 1800s Father Damien de Veuster founded a colony for islanders afflicted with leprosy.

The colony, now a National Historic Park, is reachable via a switchbacking trail (closed due to heavy rains in April, open late October 2010) that drops 1,600 feet. Molokai Stables and Damien Tours take visitors to the site.

On the other end of the island (the southeastern coast) are St. Joseph's Church, built by Damien in 1876, and, a little farther along the lazy highway, Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Church, his first effort dating from 1874.

Visitors to Maui can ferry to Molokai from Lahaina. See pages 188 to 198 of Maui Trailblazer for the details of a day trip.