|A photo of Bro. Joseph Dutton,|
the third Apostle to the Molokai Lepers
So who exactly was Mr. Joseph Dutton? According to various online sources, Joseph Dutton was actually born as Ira Dutton in Stowe, Vermont, on April 27, 1843. His parents Ezra and Abigail were strong Protestants - Baptists - and instilled in their son a measure of their Christian Faith. In his youth, Ira lived for a time in Wisconsin where he worked at a bookstore and also taught Sunday School. When the American Civil War erupted in 1860s, he enlisted in the Union Army and served with distinction until the end of the war.
|Joseph Dutton sitting in the midst of some of the young|
male leper patients of Kalaupapa, Molokai
Seeking a way to atone for his checkered past, Dutton entered the Trappist Monastery of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky and changed his name to Bro. Joseph (after St. Joseph, his favorite Saint). He stayed in the monastery for two years before realizing that it truly wasn't what God had planned for him so he received permission to leave. Some time after, Joseph somehow learned of Fr. Damien's work with the Molokai lepers and, almost immediately, discerned God's call to serve alongside the heroic priest, who incidentally, was also named Joseph. So the former monk sold all his belongings, boarded a ship, and landed on Molokai in July 1886.
Bro. Joseph's holy death occurred on March 26, 1931 and the patients of Kalaupapa mourned his passing deeply. They buried their beloved Brother next to St. Damien's grave in the churchyard of St. Philomena Church in Kalawao, near Kalaupapa. His remains are still there, awaiting further advancement of his Cause for Canonization.
Mailing Address: 1184 Bishop Street - Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
The guild has also published a special prayer to obtain favors through the intercession of Bro. Joseph Dutton, which I included below. Please kindly join us, Hawaii Catholics, in praying for the speedy Canonization of our third Apostle of Charity. Mahalo and God bless us all!