It came to me last week during our annual Sacred Hearts Retreat at St. Anthony Retreat Center in Kalihi Valley. My next article would be entitled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” after the movie of that title, starring Clint Eastwood. This “inspiration” came to me during one of Father David Reid’s dynamic conferences. Forgive me, David, for being momentarily side-tracked at such a solemn moment! When I shared this “inspiration” with Sister Dolores Pavao, SS.CC., my longtime friend and co-worker during our time in Southeastern Massachusetts, she came back with, “Oh, I don’t like that.” So being stubborn, I replaced the Ugly with the Beautiful. Interestingly enough I have just discovered that “The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful” is also a movie. This movie is about the private lives and loves of politicians. I will not comment further on it lest I find myself in hot water with the Roman Catholic Bishop of Honolulu and all of Hawaii.

Of course, politicians of all nations are forever finding themselves in hot water regardless of whichever side they take. We have seen this particularly during this era of the Covid. Some would like to mandate that everybody get the shots while others hold that such mandates are an infringement on our freedom as citizens. So, what is Good, what is Bad and what is Beautiful? I say that getting the “Jab”, as my brother, Johnny, calls it, is Good since it protects those who have gotten the jab as well as others who come in contact with them. The Bad is when those who have not received the jab, come down with the virus or lose their jobs because of the mandate. And how about the Beautiful? Well, the Beautiful is when a lovely young nurse tenderly gives one the needle.

     This is what occurred here yesterday when we received our booster shot for the Covid, as well as one for the flu. We did have to wait about 45 minutes past the scheduled time in order to thaw out the medicine. I offered to hold the vial in my hands to quicken the melt but Sister Alicia, R.N., said that I might make it too hot. So, Johnny and I waited patiently while the lovely young nurses prepared the clinic which took place in the visitors quarters dining room. I asked whether the medicine to be injected was Jameson or Jack Daniels. The smiling nurses replied that that was a good idea but unfortunately, they had not brought either.

Then one of the young lovelies gave me a shot on the left arm, then one on the right arm. It was Beautiful, the smile on her face, that is. Hopefully this will open the settlement to visitors and eventually to tours and pilgrimages in the land of Saints Damien and Marianne. Yes, we have the Good, the Bad and the Beautiful here in Kalaupapa, but mostly the Good and the Beautiful. 


Anchor columnist, Father Killilea is pastor of St. Francis Church in Kalaupapa, Hawaii.