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January 2010 - Special Edition 2

Blessed Marianne Cope Statue Dedication

We are very pleased to be able to provide videos of some of the Dedication Ceremony in Hawaii. These videos were posted on Youtube from the Musings From the Pacific website.

The statue of Blessed Marianne Cope was officially dedicated by Bishop Larry Silva on January 23, 2010, Mother Marianne's birthday and feastday. The statue was placed at Kewalo Basin, which is near the site where Mother Marianne and the sisters accompanying her landed 126 years ago on the ship Mariposa. Sister William Marie Eleniki said the site is a perfect fit because Kakaako was the location of the first government hospital opened for leprosy patients when the disease reached epidemic proportions in the late 19th century.

"When people see this statue, we hope they will understand the unconditional love that Mother Marianne had for those who were shunned from society simply for the misfortune of having Hansen's disease," said Eleniki, chief administrator of the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation.

Near the shoreline, the figure faces toward Molokai. Cope and other sisters went to Molokai in 1888 to continue the work of Father Damien De Veuster at the Kalaupapa peninsula settlement, where more than 8,000 patients were isolated during a century of quarantine. She died there in 1918.

Sister Rosaire Kopczenski of Pittsburgh depicted Cope striding forward, veil swept by the wind, and a foot taller than her 5-foot height. "She never stood still. Her energy and determination reached out beyond her size," said the sculptor, who taught art at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and in Pennsylvania. Sr. Rosaire said she crafted the statue's hands in "hula movements, one reaching out and the other touching her heart in empathy," based on consultation with a kumu hula during a five-week stay in Hawaii in 2008. "Working on the statue was a labor of prayer, a spiritual experience," she said. "I took a lot of contemplative time," seeking to capture the depth of the subject and make it "a spiritual expression of serving God through what a human being can do."

A plaque on the base says:
"This statue serves as an inspiration to never give up caring for those whom society has abandoned."
It quotes Cope's letter to island officials:
"I am hungry for the work. I am not afraid of any disease, hence it would be my greatest delight even to minister to the abandoned...."

For additional info, click on:
The Hawaii Catholic Herald, "Mother Marianne is back, an inspiration larger than life"

Mother Marianne's relatives with Sr. Davilyn Ah Chick posing with statue
Sr. Davilyn Ah Chick with Dr. Paul DeMare and Margaret Burnett, Mother Marianne's great, great grand neice and nephew at the Dedication Ceremony. (Photo from Musings in the Pacific website)

For news coverage video, click on KITV.com


Blessed Marianne the"Saint of the Week" in Ireland

It was found that there are some churches in Ireland that feature Blessed Marianne in their bulletins. The Church of the Sacred Heart in Galway featured Blessed Marianne Cope as "Saint of the Week" on their blog dated January 15, 2010. This is the article they posted:

Saint of the Week, Blessed Marianne Cope

Though leprosy scared off most people in 19th-century Hawaii, that disease sparked great generosity in the woman who came to be known as Mother Marianne of Molokai. Her courage helped tremendously to improve the lives of its victims in Hawaii, a territory annexed to the United States during her lifetime (1898).
Mother Marianne’s generosity and courage were celebrated at her May 14, 2005, beatification in Rome. She was a woman who spoke “the language of truth and love” to the world, said Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. Cardinal Martins, who presided at the beatification Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, called her life “a wonderful work of divine grace.” Speaking of her special love for persons suffering from leprosy, he said, “She saw in them the suffering face of Jesus. Like the Good Samaritan, she became their mother.”

On January 23, 1838, a daughter was born to Peter and Barbara Cope of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. The girl was named after her mother. Two years later the Cope family immigrated to the United States and settled in Utica, New York. Young Barbara worked in a factory until August 1862, when she went to the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York. After profession in November of the next year, she began teaching at Assumption parish school.

Marianne held the post of superior in several places and was twice the novice mistress of her congregation. A natural leader, three different times she was superior of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, where she learned much that would be useful during her years in Hawaii.

Elected provincial in 1877, Mother Marianne was unanimously re-elected in 1881. Two years later the Hawaiian government was searching for someone to run the Kakaako Receiving Station for people suspected of having leprosy. More than 50 religious communities in the United States and Canada were asked. When the request was put to the Syracuse sisters, 35 of them volunteered immediately. On October 22, 1883, Mother Marianne and six other sisters left for Hawaii where they took charge of the Kakaako Receiving Station outside Honolulu; on the island of Maui they also opened a hospital and a school for girls.

In 1888, Mother Marianne and two sisters went to Molokai to open a home for “unprotected women and girls” there. The Hawaiian government was quite hesitant to send women for this difficult assignment; they need not have worried about Mother Marianne! On Molokai she took charge of the home that Blessed Damien DeVeuster (d. 1889) had established for men and boys. Mother Marianne changed life on Molokai by introducing cleanliness, pride and fun to the colony. Bright scarves and pretty dresses for the women were part of her approach.

Awarded the Royal Order of Kapiolani by the Hawaiian government and celebrated in a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mother Marianne continued her work faithfully. Her sisters have attracted vocations among the Hawaiian people and still work on Molokai.
Mother Marianne died on August 9, 1918.


The government authorities were reluctant to allow Mother Marianne to be a mother on Molokai. Thirty years of dedication proved their fears unfounded. God grants gifts regardless of human short-sightedness and allows those gifts to flower for the sake of the kingdom. (photo of Mother Marianne)


Soon after Mother Marianne died, Mrs. John F. Bowler wrote in the Honolulu Advertiser, “Seldom has the opportunity come to a woman to devote every hour of 30 years to the mothering of people isolated by law from the rest of the world. She risked her own life in all that time, faced everything with unflinching courage and smiled sweetly through it all.”

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