1. What did you learn about Hawaii’s history or culture that is particularly interesting to you?
2. The term leper is considered hurtful and inappropriate to use. And the disease of leprosy is now known as Hansens Disease (after Gerhardt Hansen who discovered the leprosy bacilli). What do you think about abandoning familiar terms because certain people groups are offended by them? Is this political correctness or simply being considerate?
3. What do you think are the major themes in this book?
4. In Healing Water, Kamaka nurses Pia back to health and Pia also saves Kamaka’s life. This partially heals their relationship. And yet Pia still reserves a little place inside of him that will not let go of his anger. Why is forgiveness so hard?
5. Someone has said of the missionaries to Hawaii that they came to do good and they did very well. What are some of the positive missionary contributions that you see in Healing Water and what are some negatives?
6. What characteristics of Father Damien did you see in Healing Water that would have been influential in changing the treatment of leprosy around the world?
7. Father Damien is scheduled to be canonized on October 11, 2009. Doing so puts a spotlight on the Kalaupapa Peninsula where a small number of former patients of leprosy still live. How do you think that these residents will be affected by Damien’s sainthood?