• View of the Kalaupapa Peninsula

    Kalaupapa

    National Historical Park Hawai'i

St. Philomena Catholic Church in Kalawao

St. Philomena Catholic Church, Kalawao, 1905
St. Philomena Catholic Church, Kalawao, 1905
Photo by Gartley, Bishop Museum.
 

A small wooden building was being used for Catholic church services when Father Damien arrived at Kalawao in 1873. He and patient helpers enlarged the church twice. Brother Joseph Dutton completed the work after Damien's death in 1889.

This historic church's breathtaking physical setting and nearby graveyards illustrate both the tragedy and the peace of Kalawao.

 
Photograph of St Philomena Church.

Front entrance to St. Philomena Catholic Church.

 
St. Philomena Church.

St. Philomena Church.

NPS photo.

The St. Philomena Catholic Church with a view of the older church on the near right side.
 
Photo of the decorative window above the entry of the old section of the Church.

The decorative window above the entry of the old section of the Church.

Did You Know?

Pali Cliffs

Sea cliffs rising two thousand feet above the peninsula and ocean separate Kalaupapa from the rest of the island of Moloka'i. In 1972 this area was designated as the North Shore Cliffs National Natural Landmark, recognized as a significant example of sea cliffs in the nation's natural heritage.