Some interesting news from the Pacific, as Hawaii prepares to celebrate its first saint: 

The Catholic parish in Kaunakakai will be renamed St. Damien Church as soon as Pope Benedict XVI declares the sainthood of the missionary to Molokai.

Signs were erected days ago, covered with canvas, awaiting the moment.
The unveiling will be a highlight of late-night festivities as Catholic and non-Catholic residents of the Friendly Isle gather to watch the live broadcast of the canonization in St. Peter’s Square tonight.

The celebration will start with the usual Saturday evening Mass at the church, formerly known as St. Sophia’s. Then people will pass the time with a potluck supper and bingo until the show begins in Rome. Youngsters will perform portions of the one-man play “Damien,” by Aldyth Morris.

“We’ll have one big screen up in the church … and another outside for people who don’t want to be that prayerful,” said the Rev. Clyde Guerreiro, pastor of the consolidated parish covering all of “topside” Molokai, the common description that distinguishes the 630-square-mile island from the 4-square-mile Kalaupapa peninsula at the foot of the 2,000-foot North Shore sea cliffs.

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