–BEGIN MESSAGE from The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick–
Thank you for your messages and prayers for the fires on Maui. I know some you have experienced such devastation more than once. It was unusual for us. It has been dry and localized fires are not uncommon. This was a “perfect storm” as a hurricane passed south of the islands that whipped up high winds our way with no rain. These winds then rolled over or around the mountains gaining speed fanning the sparks. We are “used” to storms, earth quakes and volcanoes, but this was unusual and totally unexpected.
The fire swept into old Lahaina town. Old buildings made out of wood went up fast. Some of the buildings from the days of whaling and when the town was the seat of the monarchy (early 1800’s) were quickly destroyed. It included our church, Holy Innocents, with roots back to a land grant from King Kamehameha V (and responsibility for the “foreigner’s cemetery”). The Sanctuary, vicarage, preschool and office are gone (as is the public elementary school next door).
Six are confirmed dead. Many are hurt. An estimated 250 buildings destroyed— many more damaged. There is only one road in and out of that side of Maui.
Clergy are safe. We’re tracking parishioners now. We’ve been in touch with ERD. I will fly over next Wednesday if the state clears the travel and we can make it into Lahaina, I’ll fly over next week to inspect what’s left.
So, again, thank you! Your prayers and messages have been a blessing to me.
This was the Madonna above the altar of Holy Innocents.