On January 6, 1866, the first of an estimated 8,000 people diagnosed with Hansen's Disease—90 percent of whom were Hawaiian—were exiled to Moloka‘i's remote Kalaupapa Peninsula.
Despite being hungry, cold, and, at times, neglected, the people of Kalawao worked hard from the very beginning to build their own community, establishing a church the very first year. Siloama Church—the Church of the Healing Spring—gave residents something to cling to, a refuge in God.
Today the church stands as a monument to the patients of Kalaupapa and the legacy of love and faith they have left for us.
At the 191st ‘Aha Pae’aina, delegates passed a resolution to establish Kalaupapa Sunday. Kalaupapa Sunday is a time to remember, commemorate and honor all the patients of Kalaupapa, many of whom came from or had connections to our families and churches.
It is suggested that Kalaupapa Sunday be held on the fourth Sunday of every January (or any other Sunday of the year that is appropriate for each individual church) to commemorate the landing of the first exiles to the Kalaupapa peninsula in January 1866.
Resources for Kalaupapa Sunday have been compiled and are available here for churches to utilize:
2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the first patients sent to Kalaupapa. This order of worship commemorates the first twelve sent on January 6, 1866, and remembers those who came afterwards. It can stand alone as a memorial service or be incorporated into a Sunday worship service.
Sermons from 2014 Kalaupapa Sunday:
Adjourned with a Prayer, which chronicles the Kana’ana Hou-Siloama Church’s history through meeting minutes taken from 1866 to 1928, is available for purchase. Cost of the book is $20 (plus shipping) and can be purchased through the Conference Office. Click HERE to view order form.
Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory presents the story of Kalaupapa as told by its people, preserving their place in history and keeping Kalaupapa sacred. The book (575 pages, illustrated) is available for purchase at www.uhpress.hawaii.edu and commercial retailers.
Ili Na Ho‘omana‘o o Kalaupapa: Casting Remembrances of Kalaupapa presents a continuous history of Kalaupapa, from the first people sent to this remote peninsula with Hansen's Disease to modern day residents and families who carry on its legacy. Priced at $24.95, it is available for purchase at www.pacifichistoricparksbookstoreorg.
Kanaana Hou Boys Chorus & Kanaana Hou Choir; recorded in 1952:
St. Francis of Assisi Church Choir; recorded in 1952:
All recordings are courtesy of Nancy Chang Talino. For a written description of the recordings, click HERE.