New York City and Flemish Governments Collaborate to Name Street after Hawai'i Saint
NEW YORK, New York – A portion of New York’s 33rd Street (between 1st and 2nd avenues) has been co-named Father Damien Way after the 19th-century Roman Catholic Priest from Belgium – born Jozef De Veuster – who won recognition for his ministry to people with leprosy in the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. Also known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy forced a government quarantine to all who contracted the disease to a remote location on the island of Moloka‘i known as Kalaupapa.
"This is a special moment, not only for Hawai‘i, not only for Flanders, I think for all people interested in human rights," said Geert Albert Bourgeois, Minister-President of Flanders.
Concluding his remarks, Bourgeois said, "he was, let's say, an early human rights activist. That's why we are honoring him and why we try to bring honor to his legacy, that's what we are doing here and we hope he inspires a lot of people in Flanders, in the States, in Hawai‘i and all over the world. I want to thank everyone that helped us to realize this and I'm especially grateful to the people of Hawai‘i."
In the excitement His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, exclaimed "today we have a street named after him [Father Damien] in New York and all I can say is, 'Alleluia! Thanks be to God!'"
A Hawai‘i State Senate Resolution was delivered to Flanders' Minister-President and the Archbishop of New York by Maui's Senator J. Kalani English (Hāna, East & Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and Kaho‘olawe). The resolution can be seen here.
Raw clips, courtesy of New Evangelized Television (NET | www.netny.tv) is available via a WeTransfer link, click here. Please be sure to give credit to New Evangelized Television - a divison of DeSales Media Group, the communications arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
About Flanders House NY
Established as a non-profit organization in the United States, Flanders House NY is the official representation of and funded by the Government of Flanders, a regional government of Belgium in the U.S. Flanders House promotes a better understanding of the region of Flanders through the arts, science, technology, and education in U.S.
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