Visit a Sacred PeninsulaO‘ahu

The tiny community of Kalaupapa on the island of Moloka‘i is widely known as the site of Hawai‘i’s former leprosy colony. The first leprosy patients were shipped to Kalaupapa in early 1866; seven years later, in 1873, a Catholic missionary priest from Belgium by the name of Father Damien de Veuster arrived and served the island’s patients until his death from the disease in 1889. Another revered servant, Mother Marianne Cope, devoted 29 years on the peninsula as an administrator, nurse and educator.

Father Damien became Saint Damien October 11, 2009, and Saint Marianne followed suit October 21, 2012. They are the only two saints from Hawai‘i, and only the tenth and eleventh people, respectively, from the United States to be honored as such by the Catholic Church.

Today, the National Park Service operates the

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KALAUPAPA NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK and has restored most of the colony’s original buildings and churches. A limited number of visitors are allowed each day to the settlement, but for the first time, PACIFIC HISTORIC PARKS is offering scheduled daily air service from O‘ahu to Kalaupapa. Operated by Makani Kai Air Charters, these oneday tours depart at 8 a.m. and meet up with Damien Tours at 9 a.m.; groups return to O‘ahu by 3 p.m. the same day. A boxed lunch and bottled water are provided. Call (808) 834-5813 or (877) 255-8532 to book a tour, or go online to www.makanikaiair.com for more information.

NOTE: While Kalaupapa is a National Historic Park, it also is home to a few former patients. Public access is, by law, strictly regulated.

Makani Kai Helicopters (808) 834-5813