President Joe Biden has been asked to take a look at going to Maria Lanakila Catholic Church as he has a trip planned to Lahaina on Monday to speak with fire survivors and first responders. The 1846-founded historic church was spared the destruction of the wildfire that engulfed the historic Lahaina town on August 8 and 9. Over 2,000 structures were demolished.
The Maria Lanakila Church’s interior can be seen in photos to appear to have been spared from the fire. The church, whose name translates to “Lady of Victory,” is unaltered and includes an altar, pews, church columns, and even flower arrangements.
“The Maria Lanakila Catholic Church endures as a miraculous representation of the tenacity and fortitude of the residents of Lahaina. The church and its interior are essentially unaffected by the Lahaina town conflagration, despite the destruction all around, according to the Rev. Monsignor Terrence A.M. Watanabe, Pastor & Vicar Forane of the Maui/Lanai Vicariate.
The church rectory was spared as well, and Maria Lanakila’s priests, nuns, and personnel were all found to be alive and well.
President Biden’s visit could draw attention to Maria Lanakila’s miracle and the pressing need for our community to recover from this calamity, according to Watanabe. “We are aware that President Biden’s visit will be very time-constrained, and we anticipate that he will spend the majority of his time meeting with survivors, first responders, and government officials. We are also fully aware that recovery works are still being carried out in Lahaina’s fire-affected areas, which are still off-limits to the general public.
“We never stop praying for everyone who has lost family members and their homes. Our first concern is for the residents of Maui, in particular our parishioners at Maria Lanakila in Lahaina, to provide for their spiritual, material, and other needs during this difficult time.
Watanabe prayed that “our loving God” would bring peace to everyone who had lost homes and loved ones. Even though we are grieving, we have a deep confidence in the Lord that we will find comfort in the unchanging love of God.
We are grateful that the church and its rectory are still standing, said Watanabe. We now look forward to coming together as a community and rebuilding Lahaina with the strength of the human spirit, faith, and community.