Thursday 2nd October 2014

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Another Molokai Saint? Diocese Of Honolulu Investigates Brother Dutton’s Life

April 26, 2014 Frontpage No Comments
By PEGGY MOEN

  “I wish to guard you against having too high an estimate of the work here. Work performed with a good intention to accomplish the Will of the Almighty God, for His glory, is the same in one place as another. One’s Molokai can be anywhere” — Brother Joseph Dutton.

+    +    +

  “He wore a blue-denim shirt, which fitted his well-knit, slim, lithe, muscular figure. He stood about five feet seven inches tall; had dark brown hair and grayish blue eyes; a low voice, placid features, and a pleasant smile. He was reserved and thoughtful, had nothing to say about the reason for seeking seclusion and work at Molokai, and turning his back on the world” — physician Arthur Mouritz, quoted in Holy Man: Father Damien of Molokai, by Gavan Daws (University of Hawaii Press: 1973), about Brother Joseph Dutton’s arrival on Molokai, July 29, 1886, at the age of 43.
  The Civil War “Company Descriptive Book” gives the same basic details about Ira B. (later Joseph) Dutton’s appearance, except that it says his hair was light.
  Dutton’s road from service in the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company B, to 40-plus years on Molokai was as rocky as the shores of the Kalaupapa peninsula, the leper settlement’s home.
  But it is for those Molokai years — almost three of them spent with Fr. Damien before his 1889 death — that Dutton is best known, and that could provide the best evidence of his heroic sanctity.
  Bishop Larry Silva of the Diocese of Honolulu told The Wanderer that Dutton’s sainthood cause cannot now be described as being underway. The diocese is doing “preliminary work,” he said — looking for evidence of widespread devotion to Brother Dutton and biographical proof of his holy life and exceptional virtue, and his “intercessory power.”
  A more intense investigation has begun, said the bishop, because three people — an Army psychiatrist, a priest-psychologist from New York State, and a priest of the Diocese of Honolulu —independently approached him to say that they thought Dutton should be proposed for sainthood.
  As to interest in Dutton’s possible cause, “it seems to be gathering,” said the bishop, but is not yet sufficient to meet the criteria of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Nothing has yet been submitted to Rome.
  If any readers have any relevant information about Dutton’s life or about devotion to him, they are invited to send it to: joseph
dutton@rcchawaii.org.
  Should his cause succeed, Dutton will be the third Catholic missionary to Molokai to be canonized, following Fr. Damien (1840-1889), who was canonized in 2009, and Mother Marianne Cope (1838-1918), who was canonized in 2012. He will be the first U.S. Civil War veteran to be raised to the altars.
  Dutton’s earlier years of “sins and errors” — his words — following the Civil War remain somewhat shrouded in mystery, but it is known that he married someone against the advice of his friends, the marriage failed, and he drank heavily, a barrel of whiskey a year, by his own estimate.
  During the Civil War, he served as a quartermaster and attained the rank of first lieutenant. His regiment saw little combat, but, writes Charles J. Dutton (no relation) in The Samaritans of Molokai (Dodd, Mead and Company, New York: 1932), “the function assigned to the 13th [Volunteer Infantry] usually was that of holding positions that other units had won — not an unimportant job, since often the loss of such a position would have brought disaster.”
  He added that the 13th was, through garrison and picket duty, associated with Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga, and Sherman’s March to the Sea.
  Dutton’s work during the Civil War helped him develop skills in leadership, medicine, and carpentry that would serve him well on Molokai.
  Shortly after his mustering out, Dutton married in 1866 in Ohio. Also according to Charles Dutton, he didn’t seem to have any regular employment at that time. Nonetheless, his wife “ran up bills — bills that he had to borrow money to pay.” She was unfaithful to him a number of times — Dutton’s friends had told him before the marriage that she had an unsavory reputation. He consistently forgave her unfaithfulness, but to no avail.
  He was in Memphis in January 1867 looking for work and his wife ran off to New York City with another man at the end of that year, according to The Samaritans of Molokai. Dutton apparently continued to hope for a reconciliation, but that never happened. He sued for divorce in 1881 and obtained it.
  His work following the Civil War included two years of gathering the Union dead and arranging their burials in national cemeteries.
  The 1870 U.S. Census cites his home as Memphis and his employment as railroad clerk. He worked from 1875-1883 for the government, settling war claims.
  During much of this time Dutton drank heavily, which — among other unspecified matters — started to weigh on his conscience. He took a pledge to drink no more in 1876, and began to think of reparations for his misdeeds.
  Born in Stowe, Vt., April 27, 1843 and raised in Janesville, Wis., Dutton had a Christian upbringing. He attended two different Sunday schools, mostly a Baptist school but also a Methodist one, according to The Samaritans of Molokai.
  But as he realized a need to do penance in his adult life, he began to see the Catholic Church as the ideal means of accomplishing that. He began to study the catechism.
  Dutton was baptized at St. Peter’s Church in Memphis on his 40th birthday. Dominican Fr. Joseph Kelly — who had nursed the sick during several yellow fever epidemics — baptized him.  In a tie-in with Dutton’s Civil War background, his godmother was Mrs. Benedict J. Semmes, who was married to a cousin of Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes.
  He took the baptismal name of Joseph because of his great devotion to the foster father of the Lord. He soon began using Joseph as his given name as well.
  He is universally known as Brother Joseph Dutton, but he never was a religious, remaining simply a layman for all his life. Fr. Damien began referring to him as “Brother Dutton,” and the name stuck.
  Dutton’s road to Molokai was as indirect as the path that winds up the pali (cliff) on Molokai. After being received into the Catholic Church, he stayed at the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, for almost two years. Ultimately, he decided he was called to an active, not a contemplative, vocation.
  Dutton traveled with a Redemptorist priest friend to New Orleans where, in a convent reading room, he discovered a Catholic newspaper’s account of Damien’s work on Molokai.
  “It was a new subject and attracted me wonderfully,” he wrote years later, according to Gavan Daws.
  “After weighing it for a while I became convinced that it would suit my wants — for labor, for a penitential life, and for seclusion as well as complete separation from scenes of all past experiences.”
  And: “Yet I was not looking to hide, exactly; it was a good deal the idea of ‘beginning again’.”
  He wondered, however, if he could make himself useful at the Molokai settlement.
  This practical side led him to consult with Professor Charles Warren Stoddard of the University of Notre Dame, who had traveled to Molokai and met Damien, to see if his services would be of use there. Stoddard assured him they would be.
  Dutton reached Molokai in 1886, 20 years after the first leprosy sufferers were banished to Molokai under Hawaii’s 1865 isolation law.
  Damien, wrote Daws, “took to him immediately,” and the priest described Dutton as “truly an exemplary self devoting man.”
  Daws wrote that Dutton was “extraordinarily industrious, and always calm: preternaturally so. No one ever heard him raise his voice or saw him lose his temper.”
  After Fr. Damien came to Molokai in 1873, conditions for those suffering from leprosy (now known as Hansen’s disease) began to improve. Initially, misery and lawlessness had prevailed, with inadequate shelter and supplies and the relatively strong preying upon the weak.
  Dr. Mouritz referred to Dutton’s “seeking seclusion and work at Molokai.” But his decades there involved more work than they did any real seclusion, as he bandaged, counseled, and instructed victims of leprosy, further improving their living conditions.
  Dutton managed the Baldwin Home for Boys, established in 1895 for the leprosy victims; the Brothers of the Sacred Heart also served there. Similarly, Mother Marianne and the Franciscan Sisters ran the Bishop Home for Girls.
  During Dutton’s years on Molokai, the patient population there hit its peak: The National Park Service web site (nps.gov/kala) says that it reached 1,100 people between 1888 and 1902 when the isolation laws were vigorously enforced.
  Conditions improved materially in the settlement after Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1898.
  Dutton remained an ardent patriot throughout his life, holding a membership in the Grand Army of the Republic.
  At Dutton’s request and by President Theodore Roosevelt’s order, the Great White Fleet in 1908 diverged from its course and sailed along the Kalaupapa peninsula to salute him and the residents. The battleships dipped their flags in respect as they went by.
  When he was 80, Dutton received a letter of appreciation from President Warren G. Harding. He wrote to thank the president for his “beautiful letter.”
  Dutton kept up a mountainous correspondence. The National Park Service web site says his address book contained 4,000 names and bags of mail delivered to him at times weighed up to 50 pounds.
  Dutton lived to be almost 88 years old, dying on March 26, 1931 in a hospital in Honolulu. In his four decades on Molokai, the only time he left was when his failing health forced him to go the hospital.
  Not long afterwards, in 1946, sulfone drugs came to Molokai and proved effective in treating Hansen’s disease.
  Hawaii’s isolation laws were not lifted until 1969.
  Brother Joseph Dutton is buried at St. Philomena Catholic Church Cemetery, Kalaupapa.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Cardinal Burke Rebuts ‘Outrageous’ Claim That Cardinal Kasper Speaks For Pope

burk

Cardinal Raymond Burke strongly defended his criticism of the “Kasper proposal,” and said it was “outrageous” for Cardinal Walter Kasper to suggest that such criticism was actually aimed at Pope Francis, during a teleconference with reporters on September 30. “I…Continue Reading

There Are Dirty Political Games Behind The Iraq Conflict, Says Chaldean Patriarch Sako

Louis Raphael I warns: Our Church risks disappearing and not just because of the jihadists Gianni Valente Rome “There’s no future for us if the Lord does not help us.” There’s suffering and concern in Louis Raphaël I Sako’s words.…Continue Reading

On the Way to a Troubled Synod

synod

Cardinal Newman once remarked that anyone boarding the Barque of Peter shouldn’t look too closely at the engine room. Sometimes when there are storms brewing in the Vatican – as there are right now over the Synod on the Family…Continue Reading

Liberalism, Choice and Compulsion

Social liberals consider traditional moral restrictions cruel in their very essence. Each of us, they believe, should be as free as possible to pursue his happiness as he sees it, consistent with the equal ability of others to do the…Continue Reading

Vatican says bishop’s dismissal not the result of sex abuse

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican denied Pope Francis had dismissed a controversial Paraguayan bishop because of his mishandling of sex abuse accusations, attributing the decision instead to other failings of governance and…Continue Reading

Padre Pio Was The Opposite Of A Fan-hugging, Autograph-signing Celebrity

Brusque to the point of being rude’, the Italian saint was only interested in one personality – the Son of God By FR ALEXANDER LUCIE-SMITH on Friday, 26 September 2014 There is a somewhat strange passage of scripture which by…Continue Reading

Music Director Hasn’t Resigned Despite Archbishop’s Request

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) – On Sept. 12, Jamie Manzi-Moore was asked by Archbishop John Nienstedt to resign from the church where he has served as music director for more than 17 years — but he hasn’t done it yet.…Continue Reading

“The Teachings Of The Church Must Be Upheld.”

Minnesota Archbishop Backs Removing Gay Liturgist Who Married Partner LifeSiteNews reported Thursday that Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis backed the removal of parish liturgist Jamie Moore after “marrying” his partner on September 20 in strict violation of the Catholic…Continue Reading

State Medical Board Lets Clinic Get Away With Killing Woman in Botched Abortion

The State Medical Board of Ohio has stunned pro-life supporters by dropping all complaints related to the death of abortion patient Lakisha Wilson. Those who filed complaints seeking an investigation into Wilson’s death at Preterm, a Cleveland abortion facility, have…Continue Reading

Former Crystal Cathedral Undergoing Catholic Makeover

(CNA/EWTN News) – “Through this innovative design process an insightful plan has emerged that will establish Christ Cathedral as a place for involvement in the sacraments, a place to hear the Word of God proclaimed and a place for personal…Continue Reading

True Mercy and the Indissolubility of Marriage

September 25, 2014 In his foreword to a new book, Cardinal George Pell argues that “one cannot maintain the indissolubility of marriage by allowing the ‘remarried’ to receive Holy Communion.” Cardinal George Pell The following appears as the foreword to…Continue Reading

Professor Douglas Kries on Cupich

Well, this is interesting.  Professor Douglas Kries at Gonzaga University in Spokane gives his assessment of Bishop Blase Cupich, the Spokane Bishop tapped to head the Chicago Archdiocese: Bishop White Seminary at Gonzaga, which was nothing short of an extraordinary…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope At Santa Marta: Good Reason To Complain

pope515

2014-10-01 Vatican Radio (Vatican Radio) In moments of darkness, our lament becomes a prayer, but we must guard ourselves against overdramatizing our complaints and remember that there are people experiencing “great tragedies” who have good reason to lament, like the Christians driven from their homes for the faith, said Pope Francis Tuesday during Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Reflecting on…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: The Angels Defend Us

pope532

(Vatican Radio) The angels battle Satan for the destiny of mankind and win.  They defend and custody  the greatest mystery of the Church, God-made-Man.  Even though in Satan often presents “humanistic explanations” for his attacks on mankind.  This was the focus of Pope Francis homily at Mass Monday morning at Casa Santa Marta, marking the Feast of the Holy Archangels…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Says… Media Are Hijacking Synod On The Family

By ANN SCHNEIBLE VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — The upcoming Synod on the Family has undergone an attempted hijacking by some media sources, which are fueling expectations that impossible changes will be made to Church doctrine, said the head of the Church’s highest court. “I don’t think you have to be brilliant to see that…Continue Reading

Mistakes Of The Past Are Back

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if the American invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction? What if whatever weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein once had were sold to him in the 1980s by American arms dealers with the express permission of the U.S. government? What if he no longer…Continue Reading

Is Burger King An Economic Patriot?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.” Jefferson’s brutal verdict comes to mind in the fierce debate over inversions, those decisions by U.S. companies to buy foreign firms to move their headquarters abroad…Continue Reading

How The Eastern Orthodox Misunderstand Catholic Marian Doctrine

By JAMES LIKOUDIS It is not only Protestants who seriously misunderstand the Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church. Surprisingly, various Eastern Orthodox who have traditionally manifested a deep and devout veneration of the Theotokos (Mother of God) are seen to deviate from their own ancient traditions. Thus one finds astonishing the views of Archbishop John…Continue Reading

Where Do We Begin?

By DONALD DeMARCO It often happens that the statement of a perceptive writer becomes more true many years after he originally framed it. Such is the case with George Orwell. The author of 1984, which he penned in 1948, stated: “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Reparation For Black Mass . . . “The Chaotic Forces Of Evil Are Very Real”

By MOST REV. PAUL COAKLEY (Editor’s Note: The black mass took place as scheduled Sunday, September 21 in Oklahoma City’s Civic Center. Various news outlets reported that hundreds protested against the black mass while only dozens attended it. Below we reprint Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley’s September 18 statement, followed by his homily at the holy hour held shortly before…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . God Does Not Come Through The Computer

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Virtual reality can never serve as “parish replacement therapy” for “Catholics on leave.” Many believers remain alienated as a result of personal choices from the life of the Church. Some of them have been known to post about their frustrations on Facebook, writing such things as, “Continue to wait for answers…” God, however, does not…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or…Supernatural? The Biblical Foundations Of Celibacy: Summing Up

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 MThe Catholic priesthood is God’s holy calling (2 Tim. 1:5-9) to some men to follow Jesus’ footsteps more closely (St. Augustine). The priest is called to be an angel of the Lord, always keeping His Law in his mouth (Mal. 2:7). A truly celibate priest is one who is a real man, who…Continue Reading

Catechism Of the Catholic Church: Prologue

By Don Fier “Father, . . . this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ” (John 17:3). This Scripture verse, the opening words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), succinctly and beautifully expresses its very purpose. The CCC’s first paragraph goes on to expand on…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. What do you know about the Concordant Literal Version of the Bible? — G.P., Florida. A. It is published by the Concordant Publishing Concern in Almont, Mich., which describes itself as “a nondenominational, nonprofit association founded in 1909 for the purpose of disseminating the facts and truths of the ancient manuscripts of the Scriptures.” The company’s website says that…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower

By CAROLE BRESLIN As you drive into Lisieux, France, from Caen on highway D613, you can see clearly the Basilica of Lisieux — it dominates the landscape rising high above the hills and other buildings. A little to the north is the cathedral where Therese received her sacraments and where her family dedicated an altar. A little farther north is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Saints Cosmas And Damian

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the last book of the Old Testament, 2 Maccabees, we read of the mother who stood by her seven sons, encouraging them to hold true to the law of their fathers and not give in to the attempts of Antiochus IV Epiphanes to get them to abandon their faith by eating the flesh of a swine…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading