Father Damien Oratorio 
by Antone Aerts, English by Fr. Reginald Yzendoorn, ss.cc
Below is a photocopy that I prepared, thanks
to Fr. Harry Yim’s help, in 1982.
In a personal conversation (ca. 1990) with Fr. Arsene Daenen, ss.cc. (1923-2002), he indicated that he believed the music was composed by a Belgian seminarian around 1916, and Rev. Reginald Yzendoorn ss.cc. (1872-1935) provided English for this cantata to be performed in the Hawaii Theatre in 1927, the year of the Catholic church’s centennial in Hawaii.
It may have been performed the time of May 14, 1927, which was when a 4-day celebration of the centennial began with a historical pageant and parade with many floats. The pageant took and hour and a half to in passing, starting at Thomas Square going along Beretania St., passing by the Cathedral and concluding on Iolani Palace grounds. Several publications were intended to coincide with the centennial celebration: Rev. Reginald Yzendoorn, ss.cc.’s “History of the Catholic Mission in Hawaii” [Star Bulletin Press] printed in 1927 and a reprinted and simplified edition of the “Lira Katolika”, which took longer to finish, being released in 1935.
Other interesting events in the Hawaii of 1927:
1st inter-island commercial aviation commences.
1st civilian flight from the mainland, Smith and Bronte, forced to land on Molokaʻi.
McKinley Auditorium is constructed, the largest in the city, capacity 2500.
Kamehameha II’s feather cape is donated by the English Starbuck family, given to the Archives, and thence to Bishop Museum.
The Hawaiian Congregational Church Choir Concert (Ho’ike) was held at the Princess Theatre, with Haili Choir of Hilo winning 1st place.
Jascha Heifetz (violin) performed at the Princess Theatre., while in transit…
Ignace Padereswsky (piano) performed at the Princess Theater, while in transit…
Tandy MacKenzie [Kipahulu born, Kamehameha graduate] did summer concerts on the islands with his Caruso–like tenor voice; also performed at Princess Theatre. (side-note: he almost always encored his performances with “Ka Makani Ka’ili Aloha” by Matthew Kāne, who himself dedicated said song to Tandy’s mother.)
(researched by) Robert M. Mondoy, May 7, 2020
Sample Text Item #16 "Arise Now Festive Throng"
Arise now, festive throng,
Intone a joyful song in honor of Damien de Veuster.
Let it sound far and wide oʻer plain and mountainside,
Thru city thoroughfare and cloister. (soundclip below)
mp3 sample: No 16 "Arise Now Festive Throng"
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