As Maui rescue continues, families and faith leaders cling to hope but tackle reality of loss

by | Aug 16, 2023 | Religion

KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — For scores of families in Hawaii still hoping to reunite with loved ones, it was not yet time to give up — even as the staggering death toll continued to grow, and even as authorities predicted that more remains would be found within the ashes left behind by a wildfire that gutted the once-bustling town of Lahaina.But many others are already confronting a painful reality. Their loved ones did not make it out alive.
At a Sunday Mass at a church in Kapalua, the Most Rev. Clarence “Larry” Silva, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Honolulu, appealed to somber parishioners not to abandon their faith.
“If we are angry with God we should tell him so. He can take it,” he said in his sermon, adding later that “God loves us in tragedies and good times and bad times.”
Taufa Samisoni sat in the pews with his wife, mournful over the loss of an aunt, uncle, a cousin and grandnephew.
They tried to flee but did not get far, engulfed in an inferno while in their car just outside their home.
His wife, Katalina, in a quivering voice, spoke about the faith that allowed the Apostle Peter to walk on water. Like Peter, she said, “we will get to shore.”
Thus far, the remains of more than 90 people have been pulled from flattened homes, blackened cars or on streets just a few strides from their front doors — unable to outrun the smoke and flames that were just too fas …

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