Fundraiser will help send Kaluapapa patients to Vatican to witness canonization of Mother Marianne Cope
Their numbers have dwindled since the canonization of Father Damien three years ago, but the patients living in Kalaupapa are no less excited about the upcoming ceremony to make Blessed Mother Marianne Cope a saint.
Only about 10 Hansen’s disease patients still live on the isolated peninsula along Molokai’s north shore. But many of the same people who went to Rome for Saint Damien also hope to return on Oct. 21 when Pope Benedict XVI places Cope among the pantheon of Catholic saints.
“The people here are very excited,” said Father Ambrose Sanar, pastor for Kalaupapa, about the upcoming canonization. Father Ambrose is being replaced this month by Rev. Patrick Killilea as pastor for Kalaupapa.
“I’d like to think that God arranged it that way so the patients from Kalaupapa could enjoy the canonization of these two people that meant so much to them,” says Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva.
To make this possible, a fundraising dinner has been planned for Aug. 4 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu to raise money to send the patients and their caretakers to the Vatican.
In October, Bishop Larry Silva will lead a pilgrimage tour from Hawaii to Mother Marianne’s shrine in Syracuse, New York where she entered the sisters of Saint Francis.
The celebration will cost an estimated $200,000. For the patients, it will be a priceless experience, that’s amazingly come around twice in their lifetime. Tickets are $250 each. Contact the Catholic diocese for details.