Sisters Of St. Francis

Photo from Nathan Kam

The Sisters of St. Francis, who were featured on MidWeek‘s cover Oct. 24, 2007, and the Diocese of Honolulu present November’s Song at St. Francis School’s Sister M. Almeida Student Center Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 10 at 4 p.m.

The purpose of staging November’s Song at St. Francis School’s theater is to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the school’s inception.

This special performance also will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Francis’s arrival in Kalaupapa, the 130th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Francis in Hawaii, and the 175th anniversary of St. Marianne Cope’s birth and her contributions to Hawaii’s people.

November’s Song tells the story of Cope and her work with patients afflicted with Hansen’s disease.

According to Sisters Norise Kaiser (above, left) and Alicia Damien Lau (right), November’s Song is an amazing way to take a look into the Cope’s life and relive her story to feel the struggles she went through and “to really understand and see her (Cope’s) compassion and what it is like to leave family, come to such a faraway place to a culture that was so unknown to her.

“Eva Andrade, director of communications for the Diocese of Honolulu, reprises her role as St. Marianne. Told from the saint’s perspective, the play recounts her travels to Hawaii and her decision to take on the challenge of serving patients with Hansen’s disease,” says Kaiser.

She goes on to say she is amazed at how many people’s lives have been touched by the sisters over the past 130 years in the fields of education, parish ministry, health care, etc., and Lau adds that the work the sisters have done has been phenomenal.

“To me, it’s just an exciting time for our sisters to really look at the history of where our sisters have come from and continue to be a witness to the people in Hawaii,” says Lau, “and not be afraid to take the risk to look at the need and answer that need.”

Kaiser says the goal of the sisters is to be good neighbors to people, and they have Cope to look toward as a role model.

“She’s just an awesome influence that we’ve had, and we look to going forward in the future,” she adds.

Tickets for November’s Song are available online at General admission is $20; students under age 18 with valid ID pay $10. Proceeds go toward care of the eldest Sisters of St. Francis in Hawaii.