The holiday season builds to a high crescendo, ending with fireworks and joyful revelry to usher in a new year. Transition is all around us — closing out accounts and starting new ventures; grieving the loss of loved ones and celebrating the birth of little ones. Whatever develops in our lives, we choose how we react to it — to respond negatively, shrug it off, or get energized. With so many things happening at once, transitions seem harder to manage. We see seniors returning to the God of their youth for comfort.
We asked Father Bill Petrie, pastor of St. Damien Church in Kaunakakai Moloka‘i to address transitions and new beginnings. His story takes us to Kalaupapa, where Hansen’s disease patients faced some of the most traumatic transitions in life. Saint Damien and his team were there to help them. Inspired by Damien, Father Bill spent his life helping Hansen’s disease patients in India, with Mother Teresa. His simple plan for new beginnings involves something we don’t often take time for: quiet reflection. It’s a great message for the holidays and the New Year.
We are very grateful to Wilson Angel’s cousin, Imelda Angel, a nurse who works at the medical clinic at Kalaupapa, and to Father Patrick Killilea, pastor of St. Francis Catholic Church in Kalaupapa, for inviting us to the settlement. Without their kind assistance and long hours ushering us around all the sacred sites, there would be no visual story to show. Father Patrick’s “Paddy Wagon” and Imelda’s truck carried equipment, luggage and the nosey GM crew to places most visitors never see.
In his photos, GM photographer, Brian Suda, captures the profound spiritual peace and sacredness that comforts your soul when you stand on Kalaupapa ground.
Our contributors carry the theme of new beginnings through the magazine, with resources and ideas for transitioning and taking the next step on the path of life — ways to enjoy your retirement and give back to your community. We are so grateful for all the talent and resources that come together in this issue. And to you, our readers for your wonderful support and feedback, we send our blessings for a happy, healthy 2016.
Every Day is Brand New!
Katherine Kama‘ema‘e Smith, Associate Editor
Addendum to Oct/Nov issue, Table of Contents pg. 5: The lovely bronze statue in Ala Moana Park that graced our October/November issue, was sculpted by Gary Alsum and dedicated by Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris in 2000, to the children of Hawai‘i.