Saturday, April 30, 2016


I often tell lay people that we are all called to sanctity. So many people feel that they have to have a vocation to the religious life in order to be a saint. But the Church- the world- needs holy lay people as examples to us all.  One lay woman will soon be beatified.  And she was a Benedictine Oblate.

ITALA MELA (1904-57) was an Italian Roman Catholic who was a lapsed Christian until a sudden conversion of faith in the 1920s and as a Benedictine oblate assumed the name of "Maria della Trinità".

Mela became one of the well-known mystics of the Church during her life and following her death. She also penned a range of theological writings that focused on the Trinity, which she deemed was integral to the Christian faith.

She was proclaimed to be Venerable on 12 June 2014 after Pope Francis approved her life of heroic virtue. The Holy Father also approved a miracle attributed to her which allows for her beatification this year- date is to be announced.

Both of Itala's parents were atheist teachers. She spent her childhood in the care of her maternal grandparents from 1905 to 1915 as her parents worked and her grandparents prepared Mela for her First Communion and Confirmation (thank God for grandparents!).

The death of her brother Enrico at the age of nine in 1920 challenged Mela's faith. She wrote of her feelings to the loss: "After his death, nothing". As a result she eschewed her Christian faith and slipped into atheism. However,  on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (8 Dec. 1922), she had a sudden reawakening of her faith. She then took the motto: "Lord, I shall follow You unto the darkness, unto death".

Mela became a member of the Italian Catholic Federation of University Students in 1923 where she met future pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) and Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, OSB (1880-1954), a Benedictine monk who later became Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan during World War II.  At such meetings were Monsignor Montini and the politician Aldo Moro (a  leader of Christian Democracy, he was considered an intellectual and a patient mediator, especially in the internal life of his party. He was kidnapped on March 16, 1978, by the Red Brigades, a Marxist–Leninist urban guerilla organization, and killed after 55 days of captivity). These men and others served as major influences in her life.

She passed her studies in 1922 with recognition of being a brilliant student and was enrolled at the University of Genoa on the following November where she later received a degree in letters and classical studies in 1928.

Itala experienced her first vision of God on 3 August 1928 as a beam of light in the tabernacle in a church of a seminary at Pontremoli, beginning a long stream of visions in her life. She departed for Milan at this time, and chose as her confessor Adriano Bernareggi. She felt a call to religious life but suffered with health problems so in 1933 she became a Benedictine Oblate of the Abbey of Saint Paul outside the Walls in Rome.

As a sign of her new life, Itala took  the name of "Maria della Trinità".  She not only promised the three Benedictine vows of Conversatio, Obedience and Stability, she also made a fourth vow of consecration to the Holy Trinity which she considered as the center of her life and mission in the Church.

She returned to her hometown in 1933 and from 1936 she received ecstasies and visions.

Itala presented an idea for a memorial to Pope Pius XII in 1941, and the pope accepted the Memorial of Mary of the Trinity. In 1946 she composed a series of spiritual exercises for the benefit of the faithful which were well-received.

Itala died on 29 April 1957; her remains were transferred to the La Spezia Cathedral in 1983. While not all  holy people are deemed mystics, or have visions, all Christians are called to be followers of Christ  true to their calling.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


 We never know who the Lord will let us cross paths with, but I am sure that this woman was meant to be in my life.  Some people when you meet, you feel as if you have known them most of your life. And that meeting is just a picking up where you left off.  And while I have no interests in fiber arts (I just raise the fiber) we found we had many passions in common, starting with Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I almost feel guilty trying to do a Blog on her as she is so multi-talented.
While we had not met, I knew of her work, as we both appeared in Wild Fibers Magazine in 2008.  There was a very lengthy article about Our Lady of the Rock and after that article was a sock (yep,socks) pattern done by a local (San Juan Island) woman. Yours truly even modeled the socks!  It would take another eight years for us to meet.

CAT (yes, this is her real name) BORDHI is funny, gentle, and very dedicated to her profession, which includes generously helping others. Her website is very informative so I will use a lot of her own words:

            I never know how to answer the question, “What do you do?” 
                    Once on an airplane I replied, “I’m an archaelogical forensic topologist.”
           The two men sitting beside me suddenly sat up straighter. “So you’re a medical examiner?”                                         one asked. "No, I’m a knitter,” I replied.
"And I wasn’t fibbing or even exaggerating. Knitting is indeed topology (the study of knots and pathways) and I am filled with immense curiosity about how it’s been done and how else it might be done, which is forensics. As for archaeology, my passion for Perú and its textile traditions have been leading me in that direction as well... But most of all I am a person who loves the innocent, unfettered intelligence and sense of wonder that rises in knitters as we explore this sensuous world of pulling loops through loops and rearranging them to create beauty."

Moebius cowl

“I absolutely love to teach, and it is natural to me to perceive each student as their best self. This, and my passion for teaching, make each workshop whole and fresh.”

 One of her workshop participants wrote:
“Cat Bordhi is that quirky, fun and inventive teacher that you loved in high school. The one that made you want to come to class and do your best. And you always listened to everything spoken in class, lest you miss even a bit of wonderful information. Cat is full of tips and tricks, and the skills she teaches in this class take you far beyond moebius knitting. But of course, knitting a moebius is so fun that it may be a while before you apply   her great tips to other knitting. Cat is a natural born teacher. She loves to share what she has discovered with others. Her enthusiasm and humor shine through and the camera loves her. She’s completely relaxed and you feel like she’s sitting next to you, sharing her latest discovery that came to her in the middle of the night.”

Cat has a “partner in crime” who often travels with her. Unfortunately, when they came with a knitting group on retreat to visit our lambs and farm, I did not get to spend much time with him. But I can tell by the twinkle in his eye he is as much fun as Cat (and merits a Blog on his own). Jim “Pecos” Petkiewicz of Community Links International (a nonprofit that responds directly to the complex realities of marginalized humans, communities and environments in many parts of the Americas) co-leads groups to Peru and other fab places (Ireland and the Aran Islands, Iceland, and in the future, Cuba) with Cat.  

Cat & Pecos

Pecos and I have a brother-sister relationship and our work together is fluid and inspired. Pecos and his wife Mags lived and worked in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico for many years, and raised their two children, now    grown, in Oaxaca, Mexico. Pecos’ knowledge and love of Spanish and Latin America is a rich resource that allows all of us to experience the  beauty of this land and people directly and spontaneously.”

Cat and Jim “Pecos” have a passion for bringing out the best in others. People call them “travel whisperers” who help them have their own spontaneous, magical experiences.

"We recognize that service without the attempt at developing profound relationship produces debilitating charity, while service with deep relationship can lead to lasting and productive solidarity. We invite you to join us in these deep relationships."

Cat is the author of one novel and the artisan publisher of eight knitting books, as well as a number of single patterns.  Go to her website for lots more information. And if you knit, she is the gal for you!

Saturday, April 23, 2016


For Good Shepherd Sunday I posted an image by an artist whose work I think merits recognition because of its uniqueness, spirituality and timelessness.  I emailed him and asked him if I could do a Blog on him and his art, to which he graciously replied, yes. It was hard to choose a few images from his vast array of work,  but I present a few of my favorites.

Theotokos (Mother of God)
NIKOLA SARIC, born 1985, comes from Bajina Bašta, Serbia. In 2000, he moved to Belgrade to study at the Tehno Art School. In 2005, he began studying at the Academy of Applied Arts in art restoration and conservation. One year later, in 2006, he moved to study at the Academy of Serbian Orthodox Church for Arts and Conservation in the art fresco painting, where he graduated in 2014.
Nurtured in the practice of church art, his artistic expression is deriving from sacred Greco-Roman art and generally speaking the art of the classical antiquity and the medieval period.
St. M Magdalene 
"In his works, through the immediacy and simplicity of visual elements. he is trying to convey the intuition of a “transfigured world” and its everlasting glow, harmony and beauty. Using different techniques and materials, Nikola is trying to describe this unimaginable world. His interpretations reflect the personal spiritual experience as well as the tradition that breathes and evolves within the concepts of contemporaries." (from his web-site)
He breaks some of the traditional “rules” to create images which feel both ancient and contemporary.  “Art plays a significant role, not just in religious practice, but represents a time document about persons, events and ideas that had and will continue to have impact on people.”

I love how many of his saints have their heads bent to the side as if listening only to the Word, which is Jesus Christ.

Besides working as an independent artist, he holds mosaic courses in adult education. He also does sculpture, calligraphy, and design.  Since 2011 Nikola lives in Hannover, Germany.

One of his most powerful pieces is his Holy Martyrs of Libya. In this work 21 Christians are lined up on their knees before hooded ISIS terrorists with  drawn knives. In the middle stands Christ welcoming them into His kingdom. The men are depicted with their eyes looking to Christ, except for one who looks at us. The Coptic Orthodox church acknowledged them as new martyrs.

This icon is displayed in the exhibition at Brenkhausen Monastery in Höxter, Germany. This Medieval monastery was obtained in 1994 by the Coptic Church, and is now the monastery of the Virgin St. Mary, and is the Coptic bishop seat.
On this beautiful icon, the New Liturgical Movement wrote: Notice 
how the waves of the sea stained with the martyrs’ blood are shown around the edge of the image; Matthew Arayiga, from Ghana, who was not himself a Copt, but on witnessing the martyrs’ courage in choosing death over denial of their Christian faith, joined them in confessing Christ, and professing their faith as his own, saying “Their God is my God”, is distinct among the group on the top right. The men were killed wearing orange prisoners’ jumpsuits.  

It all started with seeing media reports about (the martyrs) which struck me immediately. Out of that grief, something creative came up. I was thinking about them, empathy and love towards them grew, and that became a corner stone of the project”, Nikloa has said..

...I think that in any tragedy there is no sense in it, but I also think that we can overcome a tragedy and see beyond the harsh reality, with another perspective or with spiritual eyes, as I would like to say. That is what I try to do in my work and in my life.”
When Nikloa looked at those men on the beach facing execution because they chose to hold to their faith, he saw the unseen. “In their minds they were with God. They prayed. Faith changed their captivity into freedom, death into life.”
Nikola saw Christ as reaching down to comfort the martyrs, even as ISIS soldiers grab each man by the hair. Every prisoner but one looks to heaven. The last prisoner looks us squarely in the eyes. Is he testing our own sorrow for such brutality? Or is he telling us not to worry as today he is with Christ?

St. Anthony of the Desert
St. Ignatius of Antioch

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I always like to present people who are generous to us and this woman is no exception.  A few weeks ago we had a knitting retreat here for the morning from San Juan Island. They came to see the lambs, do a bit of work and  buy wool.  A week later I heard from EVELYN CLARK who asked if she could donate some of her work to us for sale.  Being clueless in the fiber arts (I only raise the sheep), I had no idea who she was and when I mentioned it to Cat who led the retreat (more on her in next Blog) she told me to look up Evelyn’s site. You can do the same.  If you are a knitter I would advise you to see her patterns. Her work is absolutely lovely and we will save some of the pieces for our own use. 

Evelyn is a Pacific Northwest native who learned to knit and crochet from her grandmothers. After leaving a corporate career in marketing for a simpler life, she was inspired to pick up her needles again by Elizabeth Zimmermann's empowering approach to knitting. Along the way, she discovered a passion for lace knitting and enjoys sharing this addiction with others.

Spinning is her new obsession, inspired by a Cheryl Oberle Knitaway in Taos and Spinning the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. Now handspun yarns are influencing her designs.

Evelyn was the winner of the first Wild Fibers Magazine and Buffalo Goldcontest. Her designs have been published by Fiber Trends and Leisure Arts, as well as knitting magazines and yarn companies. Knitting Lace Triangles, her first book, was published by Fiber Trends in July 2007. Her limited teaching schedule is on the Home page.

Thanks Evelyn for your generosity and new friendship and for staying in a long tradition!

15 C. Master Bertram of Minden

Saturday, April 16, 2016


David Popiashvili (Dem. Republic of Georgia)

Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays of the year. I am always reminded what it is to be shepherdess to the sheep entrusted to me.

As I get older, I still love my sheep, but must entrust their care to the interns who come to help with daily chores. Fortunately, the past two years the "neo- shepherds" have been wonderful. This year's lambs follow them around like dogs.  And while I educate the interns and other helpers in the fine art of shepherding, I no longer am able to daily go down to the field and handle the lambs and ewes.  The more the lambs are handled the easier is their care when they get older, so this daily contact is important. 

In days not too long ago, even in our own country, a shepherd would lead his sheep to the best pastures that he could find, while he kept close watch over them to protect them. 

The good shepherds loved their flocks so much that they would put their lives in danger for their sheep, especially when one went astray. 

Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd, gave His life for us and watches over us especially in these modern times so filled with danger. He laid down His life for us and now He leads us to spiritual nourishment which we daily receive in the Eucharist.  

Lost Sheep -Nikola Saric- Serbia
Now Christ, our Paschal Lamb, is slain
the Lamb of God that knows no stain,
the true Oblation offered here,
our own unleavened Bread sincere….

We pray Thee, King with glory decked,
in this our Paschal joy, protect
from all that death would fain effect
Thy ransomed flock, Thine own elect.
          Hymn of Easter Vespers

  Let us rejoice in our GOOD SHEPHERD!.

Monday, April 11, 2016



SERVANT of GOD JOSEPH DUTTON could be another new England saint one day.
He was born Ira Barnes Dutton in Stowe, Vermont, son of Ezra Dutton and Abigail Barnes.
He carried out his studies at Old Academy and Milton Academy, Wisconsin and in 1861 enlisted in 13th Wisconsin Infantry under Colonel Maurice Malooney. He served in the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War.
He had been raised Protestant and was for a time married. The marriage did not last as his wife (whom he never mentioned by name) was unfaithful and Ira developed problems with alcohol. He quit drinking in 1876,  experiencing a spiritual reformation.
He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1883 taking the name of Joseph, his favorite saint. He later spent 20 months at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani.
Meeting Fr. Damien- A. Girard- Stowe
He concluded that his life should be one of penitent action rather than contemplation. He remained lifelong friends with the monks, even remembering them in his will.
In 1886 Joseph went to Moloka'i to aid the dying Father Damien. “ The work attracted me wonderfully… the labor, penitential life, and seclusion.”
At Moloka’i he served as administrator, carpenter, repairman, baseball coach, as well as care of the lepers, bandaging their sores and encouraging them on.
On Moloka’I he found peace and joy, never leaving again till his final illness, when he was sent to Honolulu for treatment.  Before his death Father Damien said of him: I can die now. Brother Joseph will take care of my orphans.
After Father Damien's death he founded the Baldwin Home for men and boys with financial assistance from Henry Perrine Baldwin.
Joseph was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. He spent 45 years on Moloka’i, dying in Honolulu in 1931 and later buried at St. Philomena Catholic Church Cemetery, Kalaupapa. Like St. Damien and St, Marianne Cope, he was much loved by his people.

Friday, April 8, 2016


Approaching cyclone

 A few weeks ago when some workmen were visiting, they asked me about an area in our woods with new growth trees. I explained that 15 years ago we had a CYCLONE  that tore through 15 acres of that area- so we replanted.  They exclaimed they had never heard of cyclones in the PNW, so of course that led me to the ever- faithful Google search.

HURRICANE? CYCLONE? TYPHOON? They're all the same- officially tropical cyclones. But they just use distinctive terms for a storm in different parts of the world. Hurricane is used in the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, central and northeast Pacific. They are typhoons  (well none of us have ever heard of a typhoon here) in the northwest Pacific. In the Bay of Bengal and the Arabia Sea, they are called cyclones. Tropical cyclone is used in the southwest India Ocean; in the southwestern Pacific and southeastern India Ocean they are severe tropical cyclones.

A storm gets a name and is considered a tropical storm at 39 mph . It becomes a hurricane, typhoon, tropical cyclone, or cyclone at 74 mph . There are five strength categories, depending on wind speed. The highest category is 5 and that's above 155 mph .

Our water is too cold for hurricanes but we do get damaging, destructive windstorms,  known as cyclones. These storms cause millions of dollars of damage and leave thousands without power. Some of the destructive, powerful windstorms that have struck the Pacific Northwest over the years:

The Big Blow of Columbus Day October 12th, 1962 was the most destructive windstorm in West Coast History and it remains the mother of all windstorms. This storm was originally a strong cold front; it merged with dying Pacific Typhoon Freda to become an intense mid-latitude cyclone, which slammed the California Region first and then slammed Washington and Oregon.  Along the Washington, Oregon, California and British Columbia Coasts south winds reached 119 mph, with gusts to 130 mph.

Millions were left without power as trees blew onto power lines and plunged millions of residents in each region into darkness along the West Coast. The storm blew down more than 100 board feet of timber in what remains to this day to be the most destructive windstorm in West Coast history. Damage cost was over 10 million and 46 deaths were reported.

 At the time my parents were staying in Longview (WA) and I was home from a college break.  After a few minutes of winds throwing trees around like matchsticks and the roof of a nearby house flying into our front window, we sought shelter for hours in a nearby basement, having grabbed flashlights, blankets and a radio.  Never had we  Californians experienced anything like this so while it was frightening it was also exciting!

The next morning, being a Sunday, we headed for Mass but had to walk the few miles due to so man fallen trees blocking the roads.

Another giant storm we experienced here was The Inauguration Day Storm of 1993.  This one brought ice and cold  and we had to have  (volunteer) firefighters from the mainland come to Shaw to cut us out. Winds were 120 mph, with gusts to 150 mph.  The Evergreen Point floating bridge in Seattle had $500,000 in damage.  750,000 people were left without power in Oregon and Washington  and power restoration took ten days in some areas.

 Destructive Cyclone of December 12th, 1995 was another "Cyclogenic Bomb". Along the Washington and Oregon coasts south winds reached 100 mph, with gusts over 140 mph.  It was my birthday and we had no electricity, so very cold.

The Major Windstorm of March 3rd, 1999 with gusts up to 120 mph. The 520 Bridge in Seattle was destroyed during the storm.

The Major Cyclone of February 4th, 2006 on Superbowl Sunday  along the Oregon and Washington Coasts with south winds of 100 mph  and gusts to 129 mph.

Obviously we are having more wild storms than in the past , but every time the high winds start up, and the tall Douglas firs start creeking and bending, we pray to our angels for protection!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


"The hero of this story enters . . . well . . . rather slowly. It doesn't don a cape or sport a lightening bolt on its chest, but its effects are monumental. The actions of this tiny mollusk become all-consuming . . . Everything about this slip of a book is unassuming, yet its petite size, prose, and characters rise like quiet giants from its pages."

In the Pacific Northwest, at least on our small island, we have few snails but many slugs which Mother Felicitas has an aversion to, since they devour her herb garden.  She has tried everything, including pans of beer set out at night.  When I came across this small book I thought it would make a fun Christmas gift. Little did I know! And as spring is in full bloom here the tiny creatures are coming out.

The author, Elisabeth Bailey,  shares an inspiring and intimate story of her encounter with a  common woodland snail. Elisabeth was in her mid-thirties when she was struck with a mysterious illness that soon led to her complete incapacitation. Without knowing the cause, much less the cure or the course that it might take, the disease was frightening. One day, a friend stops by with a rather odd gift- a snail she has found in the yard. First placed in a flower pot  with a small violet,  the snail becomes Elisabeth's constant companion. Because of her lack of mobility and energy, much of her time is spent observing the creature.

She discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this  creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confinement. Life with her snail covered only a year of her nearly twenty-year struggle with illness, but it was an important one. In a big way, the tiny snail gave her reason to go on. She wrote her doctor: "If life mattered to the snail, and the snail mattered to me, it meant something in my life mattered, so I kept on..."

Intrigued by the snail's  behavior, Elisabeth becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this tiny creature. The first surprise is that snails have a daily routine. They have certain times to eat and sleep and travel. They often return to the same place to sleep, and they sleep on their side.  As she watches the daily activities of the snail, she manages to study research on snails in general and in detail.

Elisabeth could actually hear the snail eating in the silence of her room. "The sound was of someone very small munching celery continuously...the tiny intimate sound of the snail's eating gave me a distinct feeling of companionship and shared space."

This small book is a great meditation and one Mother Felicitas will pass on to an invalid friend.  I recommend this book to everyone who has the time to ponder its message. Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

Sunday, April 3, 2016


On MERCY SUNDAY I present  a little known saint, who  is a great example of Our Holy Father's insistence on care of the poor, the wretched, the handicapped, etc. One wonders what would have happened to him if he had not been placed in the care of the monks who saw his brilliance and cultivated his gifts.

An interesting BENEDICTINE saint, not much spoken about in our modern world, but one who is an inspiration to all who suffer disabilities, is BLESSED HERMAN the CRIPPLE.  He was crippled by a paralytic disease from early childhood. Born July 18, 1013 with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy and possibly spina bifida, was a son of the earl of Altshausen.  Based on the evidence, however, more recent scholarship indicates Bl.Hermann possibly had either amyotrophic lateral sclerosis  (Lou Gehrig's disease) or spinal muscular atrophy. As a result, he had great difficulty moving and could hardly speak.

At the age of seven, he was placed in the Benedictine Abbey of Reichenau (an island on Lake Constance, Germany) in  the care of Abbot Berno by his parents who could no longer look after him. He grew up in the monastery, learning from the monks and developing a keen interest in both theology and the world around him.

Abbot Berno himself was famous as orator, poet, philosopher, and musician and most probably had a great influence on Bl. Herman and recognizing the child's intelligence, cultivated those gifts. Educated in the school of St. Gall, Berno visited Rome with the Emperor Henry II, and upon his return introduced many reforms in the liturgical music of his native land.

Bl. Hermann contributed to all four arts of the quadrivium (mathmatics, geometry, music, and astronomy).  He wrote a treatise on the science of music, several works on geometry and arithmetic and astronomical treatises.  He wrote instructions for the construction of an astrolabe, and ancient astronomical computer for solving problems related to time and the position of the sun and stars (at the time a very novel device in Western Europe). He built musical instruments as well.

As a historian, he wrote a detailed chronicle from the birth of Christ to his own present day, ordering them after the reckoning of the Christian era. One of his disciples Berthold of Reichenau continued it.

At twenty, Bl. Hermann was professed as a Benedictine monk, spending the rest of his life in the monastery. He was literate in several languages, including Arabic, Greek and Latin and was also a famed religious poet. When he went blind in later life, he began writing hymns, the best known  are the  Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) and  Alma Redemptoris Mater.

In his day, the heroic cripple who achieved learning and holiness was called ‘The Wonder of His Age’.Bl. Herman died in the monastery on September 24, 1054, aged 40. He  was beatified in 1863.

In our day, he is an example of why those born with disabilities should be nurtured, cultivating whatever gifts they may possess.

Friday, April 1, 2016


During the last weeks of Lent I finished:  Pilgrimage & Exile: Mother Marianne of Moloka’i . It is a massive work of almost 500 pages, with at time, minute details that may seem to bog down the story, but in the end it is a well worth journey.  I did a blog on St. Marianne 10/21/2012 at the time of her canonization. In the meantime I had my trip back to Hawaii last November, plus the "fates" found other connections for me.

My friend Judy drew St. Damian of Moloka'i as her patron for the year and decided to dig into his history.  One of the treasures she found and sent to me was a pictorial history of Kalaupapa. While reading the book on St. Marianne I was able to follow with the photos. It was almost as though I was there. I had visited Kalaupapa, flying in with the mailman, fifty years ago- an experience I never forgot, so the book was very special.

For months I have been trying to rack my brains for the name of the professor at Univ. of Hawaii I interviewed for a class I took on Literature of the Pacific.  We were to do a book review and in the library I found a book on Moloki’a written by this local. I decided to interview him for the paper.

I vividly remember him but not his name.  When one reads on Kindle, access to authors is not in the forefront of one’s reading as is the case when one holds a book.  While I knew the author of this work on St. Marianne was a nun from her order, I did not realize there was a second author. When I finished the story I was surprised to find a name  that rang a bell, so I looked him up and behold it was my lost professor!

Prof. Bushnell- as I remember him

O.A. (Oswald Andrew – Ozzy) BUSHNELL descended from contract laborers from Portugal and Norway and a mechanic from Italy. He was born in the working-class neighborhood of Kakaʻako. His friends and classmates in the area were Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Hawaiian, and "hapa-haole" (part-white), so he grew up "local," mastering Hawaiian "pidgin" as well as English as his novels attest. As a youngster he developed a love for the cultures of Hawai`i as well as literature and classical music. He graduated in 1934 from the University of Hawaii, where he served as student body president. 
By 1937 he had earned both his MS and PhD degrees in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin and later worked and taught  at George Washington University Medical School in Washington D.C. He returned to Hawai`i in 1940 working for the Department of Health on Kaua`i and Maui before joining the U.S Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Following the war he taught at the University of Hawaii, retiring in 1970 as emeritus professor of medical microbiology and medical history. 
Dr. Bushnell's first novel, The Return of Lono, won the “Atlantic Monthly’s fiction award" in 1956, at a time when most books about Hawaiʻi were written by outsiders. His later novels dealt with other aspects of Hawaiʻi's history and he encouraged and inspired many other local writers to tell their own stories. Molokaʻi (1960) tells the story of leprosy patients quarantined at Kalaupapa; Kaʻaʻawa (1972) describes life on Oʻahu in the 1850s, during the great smallpox epidemic when many native Hawaiians were dying of newly introduced diseases. In 1974, the Hawaiʻi Literary Arts Council presented him an Award for Literature, saying he "brought life to fact and reality to fiction."
His historical works include Hawaii: A Pictorial History (1969) with Joseph Feher and Edward Joesting, and A Walk Through Old Honolulu (1975.

His last work, Gifts of Civilization: Germs and Genocide in Hawaii (1993), combined his interests in microbiology, Hawaiian history and literature. It remains the definitive study of how Native Hawaiians, having lived in isolation for centuries, were very nearly wiped out by exposure to newly introduced diseases such as TB, smallpox and leprosy.

Dr. Bushnell was a member of the Historical Commission for the Cause of Mother Marianne. Pilgrimage and Exile, the fruit of his careful research, is the inspiring story of a great and holy woman, who lived a life of extraordinary dedication, sacrifice, and faith.

Today, she continues to remain an example of faith, courage, and spiritual connectedness to all. While Dr. Bushnell did not live to see her canonization, I am sure he was in a place to rejoice with her! And I am glad to have found him again!

In retirement- still with the twinkle in his eyes