• 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?

Old Stone Church/Ranger Station

The oldest building in the Kalaupapa Settlement is the Old Stone Church built in 1853. The thick masonry walls are made of lava rock with coral lime mortar. The structure is now being used as the National Park Service Ranger Station.