Saturday, June 29, 2013

Maria Lanakila Catholic Church, Lahaina Maui Hawaii

This impressive church is the Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in Lahaina Maui Hawaii.  The Church was established in 1846 with the present church having been built in 1873. Renovations were done in 1918, including the cleaning of the impressive paintings that are located within the church, gifts of Maui residents who might possibly be King Kalakaua or his sister, Queen Liliuokalani.

One of the very unusual features of this church is the chicken weather vane that is affixed atop the cross on the steeple.  I have no idea what the story behind this is.

 The name of the church means Mary Victorious in Hawaiian.

St. James the Less Catholic Church, Ulupalakua, Maui Hawaii

This is St. James the Less Catholic Church in Ulupalakua, Maui, Hawaii.  It's a mission church served by Our Lady Queen of Angels, which is actually fairly close to it on the same highway.  Being used to the large distances of most rural areas of the West, to find two churches of the same faith so close together is surprising, but even in such locations as Denver Colorado that still occurs, so perhaps this should not be surprising.  This church is actually older that Our Lady Queen of Angels and the original church built in this location was constructed at least as early as 1875, with missionary activity having dated back to the 1850s.  The current structure was built in 1950 and renovated in 2002.

Lahuiokalani Kaanapali Congregational Church, Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii

This is the Lahuiokalani Kaanapali Congregational Church in Kaanapali, Maui. Located just off the beach, the church dates back to 1840, indicating early missionary activity. 


I've already heard the complaint.  Hawai'i? That's not part of the West.  I thought that this blog was about churches of the West.

Well, point well taken. We don't normally think of Hawai'i as part of the American West.  But perhaps in this context, we should.  Or at least I don't think these posts are too far afield.  Here's why.

Part of the acknowledged history of the American West is the missionary history of the West.  This occurred everywhere in North America, to be sure, but the individual Protestant and Catholic missionary activity, undertaken by the churches on their own, is a particularly strong part of western movement in North America.  And by the second half of the 1800s, it had a particular style to it, in which individual faiths endeavored to establish missions in geographic regions.

That's really what occurred, and highly successfully, in Hawai'i  The pattern of missionary activity strongly fits into the same pattern of that of the American West.  For that matter, US colonization and annexation of Haawai'i, while unique in many ways, also strongly resembles what occurred in the American West.  So, exotic Pacific locality aside, these posts are not really out of place.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Kula, Maui, Hawaii

This is Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Keokea, Maui Hawaii.  This church was opened in 1940 after a need for a new Catholic Church in the area was discerned in connection with a nearby sanatorium.  As it was centrally located, and had sufficient grounds, it became the mission church for two churches in the nearby region, those being St. James the Less and the unique Portuguese styled Holy Ghost Mission.

Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, Lehaini Maui Hawaii

This is Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Lehaini, Maui, Hawaii.  It's very near the beach in Lehaini.  Other than these details, I don't know anything else about this church.

Shingon Buddhist Church, Lehaini Maui Hawaii

This is clearly outside the focus of this blog, but it is included due to the oddity of it being labeled a "church".  This is actually a Buddhist temple, in the common vernacular, which dates back to early Japanese migration to the Hawaiian islands.  The building, which is in the historic district of Lehaini, was built in a church like style, probably reflecting the extensive presence of Christian missionaries on the island prior to the date of its construction, and it is actually called a "church" rather than a temple.

St. Augustine By The Sea Catholic Church, Honolulu Hawaii

This is St. Augustine By The Sea Catholic Church just off of Wakiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The church dates its history back to 1845, but it's obviously been rebuilt several times, with the modern church's origin going back to 1910, with additions since then.  The current structure appears very modern, and I don't know of the date of its construction.