Nurse recalls service on Kalaupapa

Helen Lintz

Being a true public servant means giving unconditionally.

That’s what a young California woman did more than 66 years ago.

On Monday, she met others who have followed a similar path.

“Oh this lovely,” Helen Lintz stated

91-year-old Helen Lintz swells with emotion as she slowly walks through the chapel at St. Francis School in Manoa.

“That’s beautiful, That’s how they took a photo of her when and she was the Mother Superior,” Lintz said.

A friend has organized this special meeting with St. Francis nuns. They all share a common bond.

“During your time now can you imagine. This is wonderful,” said Lint.

They’ve all served at Kalaupapa.

“Who is this now?” asked Lintz.

Sister Frances Costca 1947-1950,” answered an aquatint.

“I remember her! These are great pictures!” said Lintz.

“Sister Martina?” asked an aquatint

“Oh yeah!” said Lintz.

Lintz was 25 when she arrived in Hawaii in 1947. The young registered nurse from California came here to work at the Queen’s Medical Center. A year later she took a giant leap of faith.

“I saw an ad in the paper and I said I’ve got to go because maybe I can help,” according to Lintz

Lintz volunteered to care for Hansen’s Disease patients at Kalaupapa.

“Were you ever at all scared, concerned, ever?” asked KHON2.

“No I never thought of it that way,” answered Lintz. “No I wasn’t afraid I didn’t think of it!”

For three years she served unconditionally, in the same spirit of those who came before her.

“Was that some of the most fulfilling, enriching moments of your life?” KHON2 asked.

“I have the best life. I don’t legacy that they gave me seriously. It’s lasted all my life,” said Lintz.

Today she calls Santa Rosa California home but memories of Hawaii are still vivid. And the legacy that touched her life more than six decades ago, still lives in young women like Leialoha Mattos.

“What’s your message to this generation about service, about community service, about being a public servant. As you were, what’s your message,” asked KHON2.

I think is just giving some kind of service no matter what you choose and do it and be happy in it, because I was happy in mine,” said Lintz.

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