Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa Board of Directors

Clarence “Boogie” Kahilihiwa President

Pauline Ahulau Chow Vice President

Pauline Ka‘iulani Puahala Hess Treasurer

Sister Davilyn Ah Chick, OSF Director

Mark Ellis Director

Sol Kaho‘ohalahala Director

Colette Machado Director

Gloria Marks Director

Aulani Shiu Director

Jason Umemoto Director

Charmaine Woodward Director

Valerie Monson Coordinator and Secretary

December 14, 2015

Sister Robert Smith, General Minister Sisters of St. Francis

960 James Street

Syracuse, New York 13203 sent via fax and US mail

Dear Sister Roberta,

As President of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa and a resident of Kalaupapa for more than 50 years, I am writing on behalf of our Board of Directors to oppose the forced relocation of the Sisters of St. Francis living in the St. Francis Convent in Manoa, Hawai`i.

Ka ‘Ohana is a nonprofit organization made up of Kalaupapa residents, family members/descendants and friends of the community.

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa strongly urges the Mainland-based leadership team of the Sisters of St. Francis to come up with a workable alternative that will allow these dedicated Franciscan nuns to live out their lives in the place they know as home.

These strong women embody the same selfless spirit as Saint Marianne Cope and have given totally of themselves to others since they became adults. To force them out of the home they have made together and shared for so many years is hardly a way to thank them for their decades of service in the name of God and Saint Francis.

Those of us at Kalaupapa are particularly upset about these plans. The Franciscan nuns came to Hawai`i from Syracuse in 1883 under the leadership of Mother Marianne to provide care for people who were being treated for leprosy. With the Sisters in charge, conditions improved dramatically.

Mother Marianne and the Sisters went to Kalaupapa in 1888 to open The Bishop Home for Women and Girls – and have remained an important and beloved part of our Kalaupapa family ever since. Whether they are with us here in Kalaupapa, in the Manoa convent or living elsewhere, they are always part of our family.

The people of Kalaupapa have shown their love and thanks for the Sisters of St. Francis in many ways, including making one of the first substantial donations ($1,284) to establish the first convent in Manoa.

To move the Sisters from their home at this stage in their lives reminds me of when the State announced that all the people affected by leprosy who were living at Hale Mohalu in Pearl City would be relocated to Leahi Hospital. Many in Hawai`i were outraged and came to the support of those at Hale Mohalu, protesting this move for years, even though it eventually happened.

These Sisters took a vow of chastity, poverty and obedience. Their entire lives have been devoted to God and making life better for those who might be in need. Even today, the Manoa Sisters are part of the lives of the students who attend St. Francis School next door. This connection will be severed if the Sisters are forced to move to

Pearl City.

We strongly urge the Mainland Sisters to immediately drop these relocation plans and think of an alternative way for the Manoa Sisters to remain in the St. Francis Convent in the community that they love and to remain close to the students they care about.

It is the right thing to do.


Thank you for listening to our concerns. With aloha,

Clarence “Boogie” Kahilihiwa President

cc: Sister Louise Alff, General Councilor of Franciscan Sisters of Neumann Communities; Sister Samuel Marie Settar, Minister

Sister Francis Regis Hadano, Minister His Holiness Pope Francis

P.O. Box 1111 Kalaupapa, Hawai‘i 96742 |