Sunday, February 22, 2009


I learned about Father Damien of Moloka`i back in 1998 and was hooked immediately. Inspired by this compassionate priest, I began researching and plotting a story about Hawaii’s leprosy settlement

A friend gave me a newspaper article which said that Robin Williams would be playing Damien in a feature film and that Father Damien was close to being canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church (pending verification of a miracle performed through his intercession).

So naturally, as I began marketing my manuscript, I was quick to point out these two items of interest. (Surely they would help me land a publishing contract!)

However, as far as I could tell, editors were not impressed. Rejections rolled in. (Hmmmmm – perhaps movie stars and saints are not enough to sell a story – perhaps one has to write well also!)

Fortunately I met Editor, Carolyn Yoder who nurtured my storytelling over a several year period. She offered me publishing contracts – first for Blue and then for Healing Water.

All along, I watched the Blue Ryder Pictures website to see how the movie prospect was coming along. But apparently Robin Williams had other things to do…

In the end, he did narrate a documentary - An Uncommon Kindness about Father Damien. It’s very well done, of course. As far as I can tell a feature film, with Robin Williams playing the lead, is not in the offing.

And as for Damien’s sainthood?

Last July, just 3 months after Healing Water was published, the Vatican announced that the final miracle needed for Damien’s canonization had been verified.

Yesterday, the Vatican announced the date. On October 11, 2009 Damien DeVeuster will become a saint.

As it turns out - miracles really do happen!

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