Concert to honor St. Francis group
The Sisters of St. Francis will sponsor a free public concert by the Royal Hawaiian Band next month as part of a yearlong celebration of their 125 years of service in Hawaii.
The performance at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at Kapolei Hale, 1000 Uluohia St., will mark the anniversary of the death of Mother Marianne Cope in 1918. Cope led the first contingent of Franciscan nuns from New York to Hawaii in response to a call to provide care for leprosy patients. She died at the age of 80 after ministering to Kalaupapa residents for 30 years.
The concert will include a composition by Henry Berger, the band's first bandmaster. His "Ode to St. Anne" was first performed in 1917 for Cope, taking the name of her patron saint.
The first Franciscans took over management of a Kakaako hospital for leprosy patients, and opened a home on Oahu for healthy daughters of patients. They later opened a Maui hospital, now Maui Memorial Medical Center, and schools on Maui and Hawaii.
Members of the religious order have served in Hawaii since their 1883 arrival, founding St. Francis School and the former St. Francis medical centers in Liliha and Ewa, which they sold two years ago. They continue to provide community health and social service programs through the St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii.