The young man approached the manager of Duffy’s Circus and asked for a job as a lion tamer. So the manager took him to the lion’s cage where the lion tamer, a lovely young woman, was preparing for a rehearsal with the lion. The young man watched with fascination as the young woman stepped into the cage, removed her cape with a flourish, displaying a gorgeous costume and a gorgeous figure. Lions love a gorgeous costume  and figure. Then she spoke a command to the lion. Immediately, the lion crept toward her, rolled over twice, sat on its hind legs and begged for a treat. At this the circus manager turned to the young man and said, “Do you think you can learn to do that?” Without any hesitation the young man replied, “I’m sure I can — but first you’ll have to get that lion out of there.”

As you probably know, we do not have any lions here in Kalaupapa but we do have herds of Axis deer and wild pigs and lots of mongoose. In the waters off-shore we have creatures of the deep, including sharks. It is in the deep that Mermaid Kelly Moore, our marine ecologist supreme, exercises her diving talents surveying the marine life and taming the tiger sharks. Accompanying her into the deep is our Aquaman, Glauco Puig-Santana. When this daring duo are not exploring the deep, they are caring for the monk seals which give birth on our local beaches each spring and summer. We salute our daring duo.

Of late we have been privileged to welcome to our shore Bishop Larry, Father Ed, Dr. Maria and other guests, Chaplain Father John and his guests, Father Sean and Father Adam from Oklahoma, Rev. Janet Vincent from the great state of New York and writer, Valerie Monson, and guests. We might say that things are beginning to heat up here in Kalaupapa and we hope and pray that the land tamed by St. Damien and St. Marianne soon returns to being a place of pilgrimage. 


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