The Sunday Traveler ~ Father Damien’s Churches on Molokai


Father Damien, now Saint Damien, built two churches on the island of Molokai before going to the peninsula of Kalaupapa to minister to the settlement of  leprosy patients; he was a carpenter.


The Sunday Traveler set out from her rented Airbnb condo on her first full day on Molokai, venturing farther east on the island. There is one main two lane road on Molokai going east and west. You will note in the photo above that the ocean is right there off the road; no guard rail, no fence. My heart was pounding as I backed out of the grassy field parking area of this church to go left when I exited. That’s Maui out across the water. I was hoping not to drive over there.


Our Lady of Sorrows is a very small church, with about seven or eight rows of pews on each side. Remodeling has been done, keeping all the original wood; the church was all made by hand by St. Damien and his helpers in 1874.

The Sunday Traveler was the only visitor on this cloudy day, wandering around outside in an old cemetery behind the church. Clouds began looking serious, and a sprint was made for the church.


The simplicity of this tiny church was beautifully perfect, with the rain making it feel extremely cozy and warm inside. The church is left unlocked with a sign asking any visitor to close the door when leaving.



St. Joseph’s is the second church built by St. Damien on Molokai. The Sunday Traveler headed west a couple of days later to stop in here



Again, this church is tiny, but sturdy and beautifully built.


St. Joseph’s is even more simple than Our Lady of Sorrow, with fewer statues and adornment; the walls are a simple stucco.molokaistjoseph3

The cemeteries behind and beside the churches are as interesting as the churches themselves, giving a great sense of history and time for reflection.

The Sunday Traveler will see you next Sunday with a few random photos from Molokai.

Until then, Aloha.




About Angeline M

Love travel and photography. Living in Northern California. Photos of locations visited are personal file photos.
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2 Responses to The Sunday Traveler ~ Father Damien’s Churches on Molokai

  1. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Beautiful photos, Angeline, and the perfect time to visit. It looks like the silence spoke volumes to you.


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