St. Marianne's remains to return to Hawaii from NY

Interesting story…have to say I didn’t know of her.

The remains of a saint known for caring for exiled leprosy patients will be returning to Hawaii.
St. Marianne’s remains will be moved from Syracuse, N.Y., to Our Lady of Peace Cathedral in downtown Honolulu.
Marianne Cope died in 1918 at Kalaupapa, the island of Molokai’s isolated peninsula where leprosy patients were exiled for decades. Her remains were exhumed in 2005 and taken to Syracuse, her hometown.
Her order, the Syracuse-based Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, announced relocation plans for the remains Thursday.
The move is necessary because the buildings of the campus where the remains are housed no longer are structurally sound. The sisters say it makes sense to return Marianne to Hawaii, where she spent 35 years.

If it makes sense to return her body to Hawaii, then it might be wondered why they’re not returning it to her grave on Moloka’i where it rested for 95 years. The answer is probably because the Makanalua peninsula (Kalaupapa) is too isolated to allow for significant visitation. Not only do not many tourists visit Moloka’i, but even fewer make it down to the peninsula which has no roads to connect it to the rest of the island – and the reason it was selected as the site for the colony in the first place…

Something similar happened when Saint Damien de Veuster died. His body was disinterred years after his death and shipped off to Belgium, contrary to his last wishes. Eventually though, one of his hands was returned to Kalaupapa for reburial there.

BTW, there’s a third person associated with the colony who is also a candidate for sainthood by the name of Joseph Dutton – a thoroughly interesting character.

I think returning her remains to Hawaii is the right thing to do. However, I can understand why they were transferred to Syracuse, NY given her strong ties to the area.

Current plans are to keep a relic of St. Marianne Cope in Syracuse. A new shrine is to be built, along with a museum.

*A new Syracuse shrine to the saint is being built at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center in what had been the radiotherapy building, said Smith. Cope’s original reliquary and one “first class relic” - a bone of the saint - will remain in Syracuse as part of the shrine. The building will also house new Marianne Cope museum galleries, archives, a gift shop and staff offices.

Cope was a leader at Utica’s St. Elizabeth Hospital and at St. Joseph Hospital Health Center.*

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