Star of the Sea Painted Church

Star of the Sea Painted Church, Kalapana

Star of the Sea Painted Church

Star of the Sea Painted Church
4.5
Religious Sites
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
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243rodb
Cottonwood Heights, UT14 contributions
May 2019
When we visited we were the only people there. Super quiet and serene. Not an architectural marvel but a humble house of worship. Some historical information and NO CHARGE! There is a donation box where we were happy to donate and some hand made beads for a nominal donation, all on the honor system. The entire visit was so low key and comfortable. I saw in the photos there was a cemetery but I did not see that. I would have loved to pay my respects there. Sorry I missed it. I would also have loved to enjoy a Sunday service.
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mike H
Phoenix, AZ1,913 contributions
Jan 2020
This is a church that has a little history. Fr Damien was in the area when he arrived in the islands. This curch was built in 1927-28 after he was here but is dedicated to him. Stain Glass is int he church of Fr Damien and Sister Cope. Worth seeing and right on the road to Kalapana.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ellesor826
Bradenton, FL1,508 contributions
Oct 2019
Pat of our tour from our cruise ship after visiting the black sand beach. This is a beautiful little church which is reminiscent of days gone by. A nice little stop, look, snap a photo and be on your way kind of "attraction" on a tour but I think just a very special vibe and place if you're not with a large group of tourists. A place that somehow feels sacred.
Written April 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Becky053
Bloomington, IN275 contributions
Dec 2013 • Couples
This little church was moved to its current location from ocean level about the time that it was painted. Obviously very lovingly done. Folk art. The artist was Father John Viege, the priest of the church, who had no formal training and painted with ordinary house paint. When we were there a large tour bus pulled up which made the experience less enjoyable from the quiet we experienced when we first walked in. I would say worth a stop if you are nearby, but not worth going out of your way unless you really like this sort of thing.
Written January 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

chillyw
San francisco103 contributions
Jul 2019
This little church was quite a chore to locate as it has been re-located due to the volcanic eruptions that occurred close by the past few years. We needed to ask at least over 5 individuals before we actually found it by serendipity! Despite everything, do not rely on your GPS! It will not guide you here!!

It is located right on Hwy 130 - just above the town of Kaimu. It was moved here in 1990 due to the impending lava flow in its original spot. There are limited opening hours from 9a.m. - 4p.m. A quaint and quiet spot to relax and enjoy the remembrance of Father Damien & Mother Marianne's story of helping the leprosy patients on Kalaupapa, Molokai, There is also a nice stain glass of both of them in the church. Look at the painted ceiling and walls as approaching in this church- there is a lot of fine details and nice colors that blend in with the decor and feels like this church goes on and on. Absolutely worth it to try and find the Star of the Sea Painted Church.
Written November 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Denise L
1 contribution
Sep 2015 • Business
Star of the Sea Church is one of the last remaining treasures of Kalapana. As a long-time resident of the area I'm writing this review because some of the info I've read in other reviews is flat out wrong.

This church was built by Father Evarist Gielen in 1930 after he built Sacred Heart church in Pahoa. (Barb053 is simply wrong in giving credit to another priest.)

Father Evarist spent four months painting the murals on the ceiling before the church was officially opened in 1931. Back then it located in the heart of Kalapana about a half mile past Uncle Robert's Awa Bar.

An artist from Georgia added 14 wooden stations of the cross in the 1960s and the pictures you see on the walls on the right side of the church were painted in the 1970s by Hilo artist George Lorch.
Lorch's images include pictures of Father Damien, who lived and taught in Kalapana before moving to Molokai where his work with leprosy patients resulted in his being named Saint Damien.

The church is culturally significant for its ties to Saint Damien (who built the first Catholic church in Kalapana) and the fact that it is one of the few remaining examples of folk art painted by Father Gielen.

Star of the Sea is open from 9 am to 4 pm every day and mass is held at 4 pm on the first Friday of every month.

The church relies 100% on donations to stay open. Please consider leaving a donation when you visit the church! Mahalo!
Written September 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jsteak
Rochester, MI197 contributions
Sep 2013 • Family
Not sure this church is always open. I did it with a guide trip to the black sand beach and lava watch with this as a stop on the way. We had a barbeque dinner at the church. There are paintings on all the walls and ceiling. The Father painted this during the leprosy era of Hawaii. If you can get to it I recommend it. A guide can explain the history. Donation requested.
Written October 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jacy
Buena Vista, CO31 contributions
Jul 2013
This church is beautiful and old with lots of history on those walls. Hard to find but a sweet stop if you do. Not too far from an incredible scenic drive along the coast.
Written August 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jon
13 contributions
Feb 2019 • Family
Father Damien's initial parish on the islands, before heading to Molokai to live with the lepers in their colony - where he eventually succumbed to this illness. An important and influential part of Hawaii's history is tied to this event and this man, and although we are not particularly religious it was an unexpected highlight to our trip. It is just off the road, and was recently moved to protect it from the recent lava flows in this region.
Written March 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

babachico
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic124 contributions
Aug 2017 • Family
... on your way to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, Two Step Beach and Kealakekua Bay. The church is only five minutes off SR 160. It offers a beautiful vista of the Kona coast. The little vendor shed in front of the church has some very fresh fruit that you can buy.
Written August 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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