Hello Friends and Family,

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Maui Churches, Part 2

Continuing the historical religious tour, we see the Maria Lanakila Catholic Church located in Lahaina. The name means "Our Lady of Victory". The church was established in 1846 — this structure was completed in 1873.

From their website, "The bells of Maria Lanakila have a story of their own. The original set of bells never made it to Lahaina, as they were lost in South America on their way from France. The second set of bells, which were inscribed with the name of Maria Lanakila, made it as far as Hilo, and remained there. The third set of bells finally made it, and are the ones that call us to Mass today."

Not surprising, there is a statue of the Virgin Mary on the grounds — but decorated with leis — a nice Hawai`ian touch.

Just across the street from Fleming Beach is this building which is now the Pre-school at Kapalua. However, originally it was used by the plantation as a meeting hall. Around 1936, it became a church and continued services until 1980 when it was converted to a pre-school facility.

On the road to Hana lies the Paia Hawai`ian Protestant Church founded in 1880.

Across the road is the Paia Mantokuji Soto Zen Temple. It was founded in 1906 and the current building was completed in 1921.

The grounds include this wonderful temple bell. The log to the right is the method by which the bell is rung. I wish I could have loved to heard it while I was there.

Continuing along the road to Hana, I stopped at the Ke`anae peninsula where I found the 'Ihi'ihio Iehowa o na Kaua Church (Ke'anae Congregational Church). It dates to the 1860s and was built from lava rocks and coral mortar — and refurbished in the 1990s. This was the only structure that survived the 1946 tsunami that washed over the peninsula.

The town of Hana features several churches including the Wananalua Congregational Church built in 1938 out of volcanic rocks and coral mortar. According to one account I found, it was purposely build on top of an old heiau, a religious spot for the ancient Hawai`ian religion. The interior features Hawai`ian koa wood. Services are held in English and Hawai`ian.

Just across the street is Saint Mary's Catholic Church. Curiously, I could not find a history of this church online.

On my return from Hana, I wondered down to the Wailua Peninsula just before sunset. I was able to capture St. Gabriel's Mission which dates back to the 1860s although this structure was built in 1937.

Nearby is the original St. Gabriel's Church, built in 1860. The story told about its construction is that a storm washed a lot of coral onto the peninsula — coral that was used to build the church. After construction was completed, another storm washed the unused coral back to sea.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the old churches of Maui.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com