Franciscan Sisters Serving at St. Theresa Parish, Kekaha, HI

by Sister Julie Ann on March 1, 2008

St. Theresa ChurchFour Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity presently live among the people of St. Theresa Parish on the Garden Island, Kauai in the Diocese of Honolulu. Kekaha has had its share of natural disasters. There were two devastating hurricanes. Iwi in November 1982 and Iniki in September 1992. With great dedication and courage the parish rebuilt and vibrantly continues the mission of Jesus Christ.

St. Theresa SchoolAfter coming to Hawaii in 1946 when St. Theresa School began, Sister Rita Forgash, the first superior and principal wrote:

Our plane, like a graceful sea gull, bent its wings toward the beautiful village of Kekaha. From the windows we observed a delegation of vested sodalists of Our Lady flanked by many other parishioners and well-wishers. Our hearts beat fast and our eyes were moist as we were welcomed with cheers and embraces and showered with colorful, fragrant leis. Amid the singing and words of hearty welcome, our prayer was: ‘Dear God, make us worthy and able to give our very best to these, your chosen children!

Learn more about St. Theresa School from one of its graduates:

47 thoughts on “Franciscan Sisters Serving at St. Theresa Parish, Kekaha, HI”

  1. Siste Hannah Johnecheck says:

    My name is Sister Hannah. I am one of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity that live here in Kekaha, Hi. I must say it is truly a gift to serve in Kekaha. The surroundings and the people are beautiful! I have learned much about generousity from the people of Kekaha. The way that they share their material things, their time, and authentically who they are as a person is amazing! They give with an ease that makes it seem no sacrifice at all. It is a giving that can only come from being close to God. It is a giving that can only come from knowing that we are one human family and we need each other because we are God’s hands and feet for each other.
    One small example of the Hawaiin’s people generousity is a comment from one of my Second Grade students. About two months ago,we had some extra pancakes in our convent. So when I packed my lunch I put meat between two pancakes for a sandwich instead of two slices of bread. I did this for two days. On the third day a student thought that we did not have enough bread at our convent and said to me, “Sr. Hannah, if you need some bread my mom and I will donate some to you.” He said this in the most sincere and and concerned tone you could imagine. I consider it a gift to serve God anywhere, but I appreciate what God is teaching me about selfless generousity through the Hawaian people.

  2. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    Good Afternoon! My name is Sister Marie Bernadette. Since I am retired from the field of education, I prepare meals for the Sisters and do the laundry. Two days out of the week I am on Communion rounds to the elderly in the hospital,extended care,elderly home and to individual homes. This is a privilege and an honor to bring Jesus to those who are not able to attend church. Here in Hawaii we have what we call”talk story.” That just means to sit down and visit with these sometimes lonely souls. A special treat is coffee and a piece of pie that we receive every Friday! The nourishment this Wednesday was a piece of chocolate cake with juice. Two families just think they need to give us something to eat. Bwcause of our long day, we are most happy to receive a treat. Today Mother Nature gave us a treat. Our Wednesday trip takes us out to the boonies to minister to a man with a spinal cord injury. He is to be admired as he always smiles no matter the amount of pain he may be experiencing. But our treat from nature was a Chukar family running across the road. It lives only on the leeward side of Kauai.This bird, male and female is dark in color as are the little ones. If they are not careful, they end up on the table for a meal!

  3. Siste Hannah Johnecheck says:

    This evening I was out walking and I had to smile to myself. As I was walking, a van with a group of people pulled to the side of the road and the diver asked me if I needed a ride somewhere. I replied, “No thank you” and explained that I was out walking for some exercise. I smiled because this is not the first time since I have been in Kekaha that I have been asked if I wanted a ride as I was out walking. To me, it was another example of the goodness and generousity of God shown through the Hawaiian people. They are always willing to help another out. God is a Gentleman who is reaching out to each of us with simple acts of love through the events of each day.

  4. Sister Hannah Johnecheck says:

    Tonight I was able to enjoy one of Hawaii’s sunsets. As Francis says,”Brother Sun” was beautiful.

  5. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    This is Saturday, a rather warm one also. We just returned home from the Funeral Mass for Virginia who is three months short of being 104 year old! We sang for the Mass,went to the cemetary to bury the dead(a corporal work of mercy)and then to the school hall for a most delicious meal. The other Sisters are in school working so I have free time on the computer. Not for long however, as the wash is dry on the lines and needs to come in before the sun bleaches it out. Have a great Franciscan day in the Lord!

  6. Sister Pat Sevcik says:

    We have piles of snow here yet and I was just thinking of Sr. Marie Bernadette bringing in clothes from drying on the line. It will get into the high 30’s this week in Manitowoc…maybe even 40 degrees. I have heard cardinals singing; we “know” that spring is coming to Wisconsin…eventually! Angela and I recently enjoyed tours of Holy Family Medical Center and its’ campuses, as well as those of St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna. This gave Angela a couple more opportunities to experience life on a small mission. Our Sisters were so hospitable. Each of you is sister to the people of Kekaha. May God continue to bless you and those you serve. May you remain open to all that the people share with you. Blessings on your continuing Lenten journey!

  7. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    Good Morning! Do you hear a sigh of relief? We tried to act like Hollywood(ers.)This is not quite true. Since Friday and through out the week end we have been taped in order to make a DVD of our work in Hawaii. We do want to encourage vocations to religious life, but this was a hard way of doing it for us. It’s what you call pride. Anyway the filming crew were terrific and tried to put us at ease. Since some of us wear white in the heat here, we were not recognized by the people because we had to wear black for filming. I had many a laugh at the side glances of people who knew me but not in black. The crew was exhausted because they were used to Wisconsin temperatures and not to our 80’s. As they caught their plane, we rewarded ourselves by going out to eat! Already we are being asked for a showing of the DVD.

  8. Aloha from St. Theresa’s in Kekaha, HI. My name is Sr. Mary Ann and I teach the Kindergarten class at St. Theresa School. I’d like to share something that happened during our Tsunami Drill on Tuesday, March 4. I was driving the van filled with my 12 students. They were getting very excited and the noise level was climbing. I suggested that we say a prayer as we drove up to Kokee’. We prayed the Our Father and after we finished I had expected to hear a moment of silence. To my surprise I heard them say, “I pledge allegiance…” All the librian and myself could do was to smile. They were so precious!

  9. As the days begin to get longer and daylight lingers a bit longer each day, I took the opportunity to walk back to the convent after the 6:00 p.m. Mass. There was a warm breeze, fishermen and surfers ending there time at the ocean.There was a different kind of silence as I walked along the ocean. At one point I turned around to see if the sun had set yet. When I looked up the sun was a big, round, orange ball. It was so beautiful! I continued to walk further and I met a little girl, about 4 or 5 years old. She got my attention by calling out to me. We talked for a while and then she said, “When you pass by here again I’ll be here.” The presence of Jesus was right there with us. God is a God of surprises. Last night was a total gift!

  10. Sr. Delores Wisnicky says:

    I am one of those four Sisters presently serving in Kauai. My students and I are preparing for a class trip to Big Island next week for three days. We will visit museums, the active volcano and national parks. Parents and kids have been fundraising together for the experience. We are excited…

  11. Sister Hannah Johnecheck says:

    I am reading the writings of Mother Theresa. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but think about her courage and about how many times her stomach must have done a flip as she mustered up the courage to what God was asking of her and to put the poor before herself. I had to smile because it gave me hope to know that when our stomach flips as we attempt to do something good for God it is okay; Mother Theresa’s probably did! It actually may be a little ressurection within ourselves.

  12. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    Dear Tito,
    I have tried several times to contact you but I have no success. Hopefully, you’ll read this. What great pictures you took of our church. Many of us are able to forward this to our loved ones on the mainland to show them where we worship. You sound so blessed to have been educated at St. Theresa’s. Do you realize that a graduate is now principal? She is the marvelous and wonderful Mary Jean Buza Sims.

  13. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    Nature is always with us, sometimes in unexpected and unwelcomed ways.Sister Hannah thought she saw a mouse in the house while she was eating breakfast. We had invited Father Fred over for dinner this Sunday and I was counting on a Christmas gift for dessert of a brownie mix that had been placed in an oven mitt. Guess where the mouse was feasting? There went the dessert idea as well as the mouse’s food. Little mouse rummaged around in the box of plastic bags the following evening looking for something to eat. The Sisters heard him in the next room and they immediately departed to their bedrooms. Sticky traps were of no avail so I put out two regular traps. One had cocoa on it and the other had cheese. The cheese trap committed murder and now I have shelves to clean.

  14. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    If you opened the above web site,you have found beautiful pictures of our church. Now imagine the scene on Palm Sunday. Usually there are very large palm fronds to the entrance to the church. The children are the first to march in procession into the church. Each one carries a palm frond and stands at a pew to form an arch entrance for the people and for Father Fred. When all are in, the children place the palms in a large vase which is in front of a cross. Truly Palm Sunday in the land of palms.

  15. Leslie says:

    Thank you sisters for writting such beautiful feelings about where you live and work. It is very interesting to hear what you are doing. I just thought I’d let you know that someone is reading. So just keep on wrotting on the blog. Happy St. Patrick’s day and have a blessed triduum.

  16. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    How wonderful to hear from you, Leslie! I just decided to take a rest from the kitchen and saw your response. Our biggest fund raiser for St. Theresa’s School is our annual carnival held this year on April 18 and 19. Come join us for good food,games and entertainment! We have bananas in abundance; so I was putting them thru the food processor in order to make banana bread. I have enough bananas to make 352 banana breads! Or I could make 176 banana nut breads in a jar. Just a little too much. I could make smoothies out of them but that would be hard to make and serve at the carnival. I need to search the cook books and the Internet for more recipes. Presently, I don’t care to see another over ripe banana! Come help us eat them.

  17. Neil Nitta says:

    I frequently come to this website to read the comments and to see what is happening with the Franciscan Sisters. I too am a graduate of St. Theresa School (Class of 1983) and I grew up in Waimea. Going to a Catholic school was very important to my parents (getting a Catholic education), but because of my upbringing by my grandparents and how important the Catholic faith was to both of them. I am also very fortunate to having an aunt, Sister Thereselle Arruda, who is also a member of this order. She will be celebrating her 50th Anniversary in May. I was also very said to hear that one of my teachers, Sister Leola Yobst, recently passed away. She was my 2nd and 4th grade teacher. It is because of people such as Sister Leola and others Franciscan Sisters whom I had the privilege of having as teachers, that I have continued on with my Catholic faith for all these years. Currently, I am a Religion Department Chair and Sophomore Religion Teacher at Damien Memorial School in Honolulu, Hawaii. I have been teaching for the past 15 years now and it is very
    satisfying to teach about the Catholic faith.
    I enjoy coming back home to Kauai every now and then when I have the chance and it is always a delight to going to Sunday Mass at St. Theresa Church. Growing up in such a small community, where everyone knows you and where you can appreciate the simple things in life and to finding God in all things.
    Now that we are nearing the end of this Lenten season, let us be remindful of the self-sacrifice that Christ made for each and every one of us and that we too may join with him in the eternal and glorious resurrection that awaits us.

  18. Sister Hannah Johnecheck says:

    Leslie and Neil, thank you both for your encouraging comments!
    Yesterday the four of us sister went to the 3:00 Good Friday service at St. Theresa. The morning and early afternoon had been a beautiful, sunny day. At about 2:30,a light rain began. Just a little before 3:00 there was a downpoor. I couldn’t help but notice the smbolism between the hour of Christ’s death and the rain. Then, a little after the service I saw two rainbows. There was Christ’s joy, beauty, and resurrection. By the way, I have seen 63 rainbows since I have been serving here in Kekaha. Happy Easter!

  19. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    Dear Neil,
    Thanks for reading and adding to the web site. Your dear Grandmother Mary must have had an influence on your life also, as I hear it told. It was my privilege to travel many a mile with her to the ill and elderly. She taught me so much and I felt free to ask her any question I had about Hawaii and its people. But she never could teach me the difference between the races as far as facial features are concerned. One day she thought she finally got it in my head as we visited an elderly in ICU. But then I had to spoil it all by saying the individual looked just like one of our Indians in Topawa! I was a failure. Auntie Mary’s favorite thing to do was to present me with a new food to taste every time we went on Communion rounds. She marveled that I liked everything she could find from the many ethnic groups we have on the island. Neil,Auntie Mary was so proud of your father and he was mighty good to her. To this day I frequently drive past her home, stop for a short while and ask her to help me say and do the right thing as Josephine and I continue your grandmother’s work of bring Jesus to the elderly ill and home bound. She is proud of you, too! God bless you and your work.

  20. Neil Nitta says:

    Dear Sisters Hannah and Marie Dorn,
    Thank you very much for your kind words and comments. It has already been a year and a half since Grandma Nitta passed away and there is not one day that I do not think about her. It was because of her strong faith and her devotion to St. Theresa School and Church, that I am also strongly involved with the church as well. On Oahu, I attend Sts. Peter and Paul Church and I am involved in a wide variety of ministries as well. I am also involved with the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Committee on Scouting (Boy Scouts).
    As I said in my previous comments, Aunty Kuulei (Sister Thereselle Arruda) will be celebrating her 50th Jubilee this coming May. My parents and an aunt and uncle will be making the trip to Wisconsin to share in this celebration. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend because that weekend, is also Damien Memorial School’s graduation. I remember going to Wisconsin when she celebrated her 25th Jubilee and staying at one of the cottages at the Motherhouse. That summer I remember seeing several of my former teachers as well as seeing several of the sisters that taught my father and his siblings.
    Just recently, I found out on this website that Sister Leola Yobst, who was my 2nd and 4th grade teacher recently passed away. She was the one teacher that I appreciated very much because she took the time to help me, especially when I was having trouble with some of my subjects. It is because of her and other Franciscan Sisters, that I decided to get into the teaching profession, but more specifically, teaching in Catholic schools. Please continue on with the spirit of
    Saint Francis and may the Risen Christ continue to bring us all the hope and assurance of eternal life as we all strive to bring the Kingdom of God to one and all. Happy Easter!!

  21. Sr. Delores Wisnicky says:

    Aloha, Leslie and Neil!
    God blessed our time on Big Island in every way. The mountains, the green ranch lands, volcanoes, place of refuge, holy places, museums, the zoo… It was great class trip. The last day a huge rainbow filled the sky over Hilo and I knew God was telling us again of His great love for us. He pours out his love daily for us.
    Saturday, I was decorating Chapel for Easter. I asked Sister if I could to Big Save in Eleele for a lily. I go there and they have beautiful lilies and mums. I pick one of each and a lady gives me money for them. I thank the Lord for her kindness and gift to us.
    There are angels among us…. God bless you, kind person out there. Our chapel is beautiful and we pray for you as we gather there. Your kindness touches us deeply…

  22. I enjoyed a year,l983-84,teaching Junior High at St.Theresa’s and also administering the Religious Ed program. I had one eighth grade history class and a very special group of 7th grade students.I enjoyed each schoolday with them. With only a road separating our classroom from the beach and ocean,we heard the sounds of the ocean day in and day out. Some days we needed to speak louder than other days! We often started our schoolday with our morning prayers while facing the ocean. We enjoyed watching the whales, as the students repeated, “She blows; she blows.” I would so enjoy seeing them again. God bless them.
    With prayers and happy memories,
    Sister Teresa Luetkenhaus

  23. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    One never knows what blessings one may receive in Hawaii. We were given a gift of a ride around the Na Pali Coast on a platoon boat this past Saturday afternoon. No wonder there is no road around the island! The cliffs are taller than the cliffs of Dover. In fact, ours are the tallest in the world. We observed billy goats up high nibbling on some grass. The scenery was out of this world! Such beauty! The whales did a real show for us,too. One even breached. A baby must have been milking as he kept flipping his tail in and out of the water so contently. Babies need to gain one hundred pounds a day in order to swim to Alaska for the winter. We left the harbor at three and returned home at six thirty. It was marvelous and we thank our benefactors.

  24. Sister Marcolette Madden says:

    Sister Marie Bernadette, Sister Hannah, Sister Mary Ann, and Sister Delores,

    It’s so fascinating to hear about “talk story,” the pancake sandwich, the “Pledge of Allegiance” prayer, and plans for the class trip to the Big Island. Thanks for sharing the vivid details of your life in Kekaha. Are the main cultures Filipino? Chinese? Portuguese?

    The Motherhouse Sisters have given the College Sisters the challenge of predicting the day on which the last drop of snow from the bank on the south side of the Generose Center will melt. Many of us have signed the calendar. Fun!

    The Higher Learning Commission (4 members) is here to review our programs for re-accreditation. Please keep us in your prayers. Thanks

  25. Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn says:

    I need to make a correction. We were on a pontoon! Not a platoon. Sorry and have a great day with the Lord!

  26. srosangela says:

    Dear Sisters,
    How wonderful to hear about all that you are doing and about the beautiful people you serve. After our winter, there are probably a lot of us thinking we wouldn’t mind being in Hawaii!! God bless you as you continue to serve God and our Community.

  27. My name is Ashley Dela Cruz. I graduated from St. Theresa in 1998, I grew up a few houses down from the current convent. Reading this little article, looking at the photos, and going on to that other link, definitely brought back a lot of wonderful memories. I am currently residing in Las Vegas and have been here for the past 6 years. I’m doing great up here and wouldn’t trade it for the world (maybe except for my times back at St. Theresa). I shared wonderful memories there with friends, teachers, and the Sisters. It’s because of all of them that I am who I am today.

    I currently volunteer at the local church here, St. Thomas More Catholic Community (a community of over 4,000+ parishioners)…as a Life Teen CORE member, I also lead the Altar Teams at the Life Teen Mass, and I represent the Life Teen volunteers for the parish council. I have St. Theresa’s and her members to thank for for providing me with the spiritual and religious background that makes me who I am today. Today, I am looked up at by 300+ high school students who were first “forced” to go to church every Sunday…but now, enjoy every moment they spend with God and their fellow Catholics at church. I never thought about the importance for all I learned as a Pre-schooler to an 8th graders at St. Theresa until now…everything I learned there has been embedded in me by St. Theresa and her members.

    Thank you, Sisters, for all you have done for me in becoming who I am today. Just to name a few, THANK YOU so much – Sr. Kathleen Murphy and Sr. Jacqueline Spaniola for constantly “planting that seed” in me…everyday I continue to water that seed and live up to what God has planned for me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I try to live up to the Life Teen Mission: “Lead Teens Closer to Christ”

    L.I.G.H.T. (Living in God’s House Together) camp retreat! 300+ teens & volunteers for a 5 day retreat

    Young Disciples 2007 @ “Meant to Be” Retreat. high school teens who decided to take the next step after Confirmation (juniors and seniors). I help coordinate this team.

    Our. St. Thomas More community @ Confirmation 2008 with Bishop Pepe.

    This is my life today…because of the Sisters who never gave up on me! Thank you!

  28. Sister Jacqueline Spaniola says:

    Aloha from Two Rivers, WI! I am Sister Jacqueline Spaniola a former teacher at St. Theresa at Kekaha. I spent seven beautiful years in Kekaha. I miss the people of the beautiful island.

    I had many new experiences in Hawaii. I did the yearbook with the 8th graders, helped organize the May Day and had some wonderful kayaking trips and the wonderful hike into the island to the hidden waterfall.

    Most of all I miss the people who were so much a part of my life. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers often.

    Hi to Ashley Dela Cruz who wrote. It is so good to hear from former students of St. Theresa. Glad that she is very active in her parish helping other young people come closer to God.

    In Christ,
    Sr. Jackie

  29. Sister Kathleen Murphy says:

    Aloha to all, but special love to Ashley and Neil!
    I join the chorus of sisters who have left part of their hearts in Kekaha! Neil and Ashley I am so proud of what you are accomplishing in cooperation with God’s Holy Spirit! St. Theresa’s has a uniquely graced spirit about it that will always be one of the great gifts of my life. I was blessed to be there for 10 years and saw wonderful Christians grow and develop. I can still see little curly headed Ashley during her preschool years and I remember Neil’s serious face as an altar server. of course, we had our challenges with termites and plantation mules finding their way onto our playground and tourists on the beach who forgot that their attire should be appropriate for the eys of many students in their seaside classrooms. I love to recall the beauty of worship there with the glorious flowers and the artistic touch of Aunty Ipo and Aunty Rochelle. I can see so many of our girls with their graceful hula renditions of songs for Mass and the culturally unique choir. It’s nice to know that we are remembered and I hope that those who passed over those holy lanais know that they are often remembered in prayer. I am now teaching Kindergarteners in Mississippi. This is another cultural adventure and I’m still learning and growing. Thanks to Ashley for the kind words and know of my aloha and prayers for you all!
    Sister Kathleen

  30. Diane Rini Hunt says:

    Dear Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn,
    It has been over 25 years since I last taught with you (actually, you were principal) at San Roque School in Santa Barbara, California. You were always a source of inspiration to me, and I counted on your good prayers more times than not! You sound well and happy in your mission in Hawaii! God is good!
    Tom and I have been married for 25 years and have two children: Tyler (21 yrs. old), and Lindsay (19 yrs. old). Both are in college now.
    I still see my dear Poor Clares in Cleveland, Ohio every once in a while, but my teaching career keeps me busy most of the time. I teach art (grades K-5) in the Brunswick City School district near our home. (Outside of Cleveland, Ohio)
    Please give my regards and love to my SB Sister friends. God bless you abundantly! Keep me in your good prayers!
    Diane(Rini)Hunt (former second grade teacher, San Roque 1978-79)

  31. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    Dear Diane,
    That was a long time ago! I had to have your message poited out to me! Terrible. Yes and wasn’t there a Charles who taught the next grade or did he replace you? I have been “retired” from education and for the past seven years have been a home maker for the teaching Sisters. I am just completing my fourth year in Kekaha. Like you, I also keep up correspondence with Mother Clare of the Poor Clares in Santa Barbara. Bet you have lovely children and a beautiful family with Tom!

  32. Neil Nitta says:

    Dear Sr. Kathleen Murphy,
    Hello from Honolulu, HI. It is nice to hear that you still have fond
    memories of Kekaha. As of today, I just completed another school year at Damien Memorial School and this weekend we are having our Baccalaureate Mass (Saturday) and Graduation (Sunday). Still, there are a lot of things to do as we graduate 107 Seniors as the Class of 2008.
    Also this weekend at the Motherhouse, Aunty Kuulei (Sr. ThereselleArruda) will be celebrating her 50th Anniversary. My parents as well as several relatives are already in Wisconsin and will be celebrating this special occasion with her. I know that I will be hearing lot of stories once they get back home to Kauai.
    Whenever I have the chance to go back home to Kauai, it is always a pleasure to worshiping with the parishioners of St. Theresa.
    I am very fortunate and blessed to have such a connection and that
    the spirit of St. Theresa and the Franciscan Sisters must be kept alive and well for many generations to come.
    Even during times of joy, there are also times of sadness that comes upon the parish as well. Just recently, Mrs. Anna Bisano, a long time parishoner recently died after her battle with cancer. Her
    funeral will be this Saturday. I remember Mrs. Bisano as the cafeteria cook, along with Mrs. Martha Kruse. She will be dearly missed.
    Well Sr. Kathleen, thank you very much for your kind words and
    remebering me as well as your time teaching at St. Theresa. I hope that you will have the opportunity and chance of coming back home to Kauai to being with the people of Kekaha once again.

  33. Sister Elena Gonzales says:

    Aloha Bloggers!

    Yesterday I had one of the greatest experiences known to humankind. The experience took place about 3000ft above sea level on the island of Kaua’i. Sister Hannah and I went hiking up in the cool canyon of Waimea. Two other women, teachers of St. Theresa School, were our guide to the deep refreshing pools of Waimea’s waterfalls. Sister & I had a great opportunity to hike through the jungle, over a ridge, and down a canyon side. Once the brush of ginger was cleared, out of our way there we stood before a 20ft waterfall that went right down the canyon wall,10ft away. At this spot was an open landscape view of the canyon and straight out one could see the green valley and the distant shoreline. Also, I stood there at the edge of the canyon veiwing the 3000ft drop to the floor. The canyon breeze rushed upon me with peace and it stirred my soul awake to see God’s glory, God’s goodness, God’s greatness, and God face to face through nature. Still today my soul stays stirred with peace and beauty of the Lord.
    “I have gazed on you in your sanctuary to see you power and glory. Your love is better than life, my lips shall praise you; all my life I will bless you.” (Ps.62)

    Sister Elena

  34. Molly Hudson says:

    I love learning about the sisters of the poor.
    They used their talents to help others. They risked there life to save people.
    love, Molly hudson

  35. Molly, thanks for taking the time to learn more about our Sisters serving in Hawaii. Peace and all good.

  36. Jordan Lieb says:

    hey it is me i went to your school about 2 years ago and i have to that it was really fun!

  37. Steve Huber says:

    Are all your teachers at the school female? I and my wife are looking for a place to be of service and we visited Kekaha in August and found it wonderful. I would appreciate your imput. God’s blessings, Steve Huber

  38. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    Good Morning, Steve!
    We have a male teacher in first grade who claims he’ll never go back to public school teaching. He has fallen in love with our students and the Catholic school system. Our eighth garde teacher is also a male who came to us after his many years of teaching in the public system. He is a strong teacher who adds much joy to the faculty and staff. So Steve the next time you are at St. Theresa’s Church identify yourself to one of us. We’d love to meet you. As we say” Have a great Hawaiian day.”

  39. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    Dear Steve,
    After I wrote to you this morning, I attended a beautiful children’s Mass prepared by the First Grade. Wish you could have heard that lead singer sing and students read! Fantastic.
    That brings me to the Principal,Mary Jean Buza-Sims. I told her that maybe your email meant new students for next year. She responded by,” Or maybe a teacher looking for a job. I do have an opening.”So Steve, is it both or neither? Have a great Hawaiian Day!

  40. noel fuentes says:

    Really wonderful to see my grammar school principal (Sr. Marie bernadette) blogging! Lots of love and prayers for the continued success of all the good work the Lord is accomplishing through all of you!

  41. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    Dear Noel,
    Good to hear from you again. I was waiting as I wanted to send you something about our Motherhouse.Are you ready for this address? I hope a Motherhouse Sister checks this before it is sent so that it is correct,please.Mahalo

  42. Ellen LaJoie says:


    I am thrilled that I was connected to this website when I googled ST Theresa School. My husband was stationed at PMRF in the mid 80’s. Our daughter attended the ST Theresa and I was an avid volunteer. We were all involved in Parish activities. Two of her teachers were SR Jan & Sr. Henrietta. SR Kathleen taught there as well. There was a happy reunion for me when all 3 returned to ST Theresa School at the same time and we reminisced. I’ve kept in touch with SR Jan since 1987.

    I return to Kauai each year for a 2 week visit with my friend Lucy Thiis. In the past I visited in May for her birthday. This year I am coming April 14-28 so that I can be there for school carnival and possibly lend a helping hand if there is a need. I’m not acquainted with the Sisters since SR Delores was transferred but I look forward to meeting all of you. I will be at Mass with Lucy but I will be the “new” person sitting in the back of the Church. Also I e-mailed the picture of the interior of the Church. It is far better then any picture I have.

  43. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    Hi Ellen,
    I know you won’t read this until you are home but it was good to see you working out in the booth. It all helped to make the carnival a success. God bless you!

  44. Rita Munley Gallagher says:

    Do any of you (or your parentsgrandparents) remember Sr. Rita Forgash? She was at the school in the mid 1940’s. I am her niece and both of have the name Rita in honor of her sister who died in 1940.

  45. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    Dear Rita,
    Good Morning. Yes, I do remember Sister Rita by name only as I did not live with her. Living with another Sister one learns their good qualities. I am sure your Auntie had many great qualities. Blessed Easter to you.

  46. Aloha,
    I'm looking for former teachers of Cathedral School (nka Cathedral Catholic Academy) in Nuuanu, Oahu. The school is celebrating it's 75th Anniversary this year and would like to recognize the Sisterhood who spent 35 years there. Mahalo.
    Please email:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: