St. Benedict Catholic Church AKA the Painted Church dates all the way back to when Catholicism first came to South Kona in 1842. At that time, the church was sitting on the shore of Honaunau. However, by the mid-1880s, most Hawaiians had moved up the slopes of Maua Loa for cooler temps and more fertile land.
In 1899, when Father John Berchmans Velghe, a Sacred Hearts Belgium priest arrived, he decided to follow the residents up the volcano. He dismantled the church, moved it to its present location and repaired it to look like new. It was in 1902 that the church was consecrated and named to honor Saint Benedict.
St. Benedict Painted Church is listed on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
Copyright 2017 Susan Rissi Tregoning
October 21st, 2017
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