For a number of years, I have played the part of a priest from Belgium whose service to the exiled leper community on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai during the late 1800’s eventually led to his canonization to become Saint Damien in a Vatican Ceremony in 2011. To just pretend to be Father Damien for the hour-and-a-half duration of this one-man play, I emerge with a deeper sense of compassion and understanding of being willing to fight for what is right, particularly when you are the voice of those who are unable to do so by themselves. This character has become ingrained in me and I welcome him in my life. Each time I have the privilege
“This powerful, true and gritty story is presented in the form of a one-man play named Damien by the late playwright Aldyth Morris, with additional writings of Wayne Messmer who brings this great man of faith to life with an awesome sense of connection with the audience,” said the Chicago Review.
Excerpts from the added monologue that I wrote, came to me as if Father Damien himself was speaking directly to me:
Father Damien speaks:
“It was not my doing that put the lepers in such desperate need. It was not my faith, nor my skills as a priest alone that comforted these hungry souls. I was simply trying to do what I could, with whatever means were available to me to bring the message to my flock, that God had not forgotten them.”
“Imagine the daily frustration of knowing of their hunger and being helpless to feed them? Imagine the inner conflict of praying the breviary each evening that these souls, who had done no harm to cause this dreaded affliction, may live through the night, when many of them were praying that they would not? “