Couple Carries Home Message from Lahaina Fire Victims
Patricia SzPekowski, Observer Correspondent
April 25, 2024
MARENGO—Now, more than ever, Steve and Bobbi Busam, parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Marengo, are determined to make a difference and help the victims of the fires that ravaged Lahaina, in Maui, Hawaii, last year.  
The Busams’ trip to Maui in late January was a planned visit to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. “The common name of our parish and the school drew us to turn our vacation into something more,” said Steve. “We turned our trip into helping rebuild the Sacred Hearts School in Lahaina.”
While there, they saw the after-effects that still boldly linger throughout this beautiful portion of the island. They witnessed up close the burned-down historic Sacred Hearts School and convent of the Missionary Sisters of Faith and hundreds of devastated properties leaving thousands of residents without homes. 
Memorials with pictures of residents who perished were reverently lined on crosses with flower leis gently placed over them. Steve and Bobbi also saw a miracle of hope as they were able to enter, with permission, the stately Maria Lanakila Church which stands intact amid the rubble all around it. 
Before they left, Steve, a member of the Knights of Columbus Sacred Heart Council 13476, received support from his fellow Knights who provided a donation from their education fund already in place. 
With donations from parish members, relatives, and friends, the Busams were able to donate $6,000, which they gave to Grand Knight Lorenzo Magano of the Knights of Columbus Council 15774 and Tonata Lolesio, principal of the temporary Sacred Hearts School, relocated to Ka’anapali, Kapalua in Maui, north of Lahaina.
“We were able to have dinner and spend some time with Lorenzo and his wife Emie, as well as several displaced residents who lost everything,” said Steve. “The people are so very nice and very resilient,” adds Bobbi, “in spite of everything that has happened to them.”
The Busams were able to see the Sacred Hearts School temporary tent and the good works of the Knights of Columbus Council 15774, which has taken the lead in helping all of the fire victims. “Lorenzo told us stories of how the Knights served as first responders to help the people after the fire,” notes Steve,  “arriving in boats and on jet skis. The money they receive from donations is given to people in gift cards so they can purchase what they need. There are many bins with clothing for people to take, too.”
Before they left on their trip in January, Father Matthew DeBlock, pastor, Sacred Heart Parish renewed the Busams wedding vows. They were also blessed again in Hawaii.  “We were so surprised and happy when Father Peter Laupapa Tauf A’Asai, parochial vicar, Sacred Hearts Church in Ka’anapali, asked us to come forward and renew our wedding vows.”
The Busams have carried home a message from the people of Lahaina. “They have asked for three things, in this order,” Steve says. “One, pray for us; two, don’t forget us; and three, please make any monetary donation you can to help us.”
Donations are still being accepted at two sites for the Lahaina wildfire fund. Contributions can be given for the school at, or to the Knights of Columbus wildfire relief efforts at 
As a remembrance of their trip, Steve and Bobbi have put together a nine-minute presentation chronicling their visit to Sacred Hearts School, Maria Lanakila Church, and the Lahaina sites of devastation.  “I’d be happy to visit any parish that would like to find out more about how we can help the Knights of Columbus Council 15774 continue their extraordinary efforts to help those in need.”
Contact Steve Busam at [email protected]  
Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM