Historic Preservation > Historic Properties > Molokai Non-Designated
St. Sophia Church (Demolished)
What threatens it?
The congregation wants to replace the aging structure with a new one. Maria Sullivan, who is spearheading the fundraising efforts, says it s not meeting the needs of the 300 families who attend.
It's termite ridden; it's too small; there are structural problems; people in wheelchairs can't access the building. It is a sad situation.
Even the church's name will be lost in the replacement; the new church will be called the Blessed Damien Church, in anticipation of the canonization of Damien.
At this point, the church has raised $1.3 million of the $3 million required for the project, and hopes to hold its first service in the new church on Christmas Eve, 2011.
What can be done?
Historical preservation advocates such as Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of the Historic Hawaii Foundation, hope that there's still time to find a compromise. The congregation of immigrants worked and saved to build a fitting sanctuary, she points out. A meaningful way to honor their contributions would be to restore the historic church and to build a compatible addition or annex to accommodate the needs of the pilgrims.
Photo Richard A. Cooke III
By Michael Keany, Courtesy of Honolulu Magazine