In the wake of the deadly wildfires that swept through Maui, resulting in at least 93 deaths and reducing entire blocks of Lahaina to ashes, a glimmer of hope arose.
The Maria Lanakila Catholic Church, a historic structure in the heart of Lahaina, remarkably appears to have survived the blaze. Monsignor Terrence Watanabe conveyed the community’s surprise and relief, stating: “For us, it’s like a miracle. When we saw the news and saw the church steeple rise above the town, it was a great sight to see.”
Father Kuriakose Nadooparambil and the parish staff are safe, and the community eagerly awaits a full assessment of the 19th-century church that serves hundreds of families and hosts countless ceremonies for visitors globally.
Bishop Larry Silva, during a brief layover, led an impromptu Zoom rosary. Over 300 joined to pray for the victims, first responders, and all affected by this unprecedented disaster.
Pope Francis also expressed “solidarity with all those suffering from this tragedy, especially those whose loved ones have died or are missing” and prayed “for the dead, injured, and displaced, as well as for the first responders and emergency personnel.”
The unity and strength of the Maui community shine through as they begin the long journey to recovery.
Pray for the victims of Maui’s wildfires!