When we hiked to Kalaupapa in October, I never mentioned we were packed with fresh fruits from Kauai. We originally planned to bring them down in a large ice chest. One look at the steep and muddy trail changed our mind. I could just imagine sliding in the mud and making an impromptu fruit smoothie. We opted to carry the fruits in our backpacks and shopping bags for the steep three mile hike.
Why would Beat of Hawaii do this? Two words: Father Felix. His dear friend is our neighbor and had asked us to make the delivery.
The priest from Belgium has been a fixture in Hawaii for fifty years serving parishes on almost all the islands. For the past three years Father Felix has been at St. Francis of Assisi Church at Kalaupapa, following in the footsteps of St. Damien and ministering to Hansen’s Disease patients.
When I heard of Father Felix’s passing a few days ago, I was thankful for the opportunity we had to meet him last year.
At the end of our hike a cheerful Father Felix was waiting for us. We presented the gifts from our neighbor which made the trip without any damage. I was drawn to his energy and kind spirit and enjoyed and will never forget our meeting with him.
Many people in Hawaii and throughout the world are remembering Father Felix Vandebroek today. We join them and celebrate his life.
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