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Lum family to be honored as ‘Living Legends’ at Sacred Hearts Bazaar

By Staff | Apr 11, 2019

The Lum family includes, from left, Mary Kujat (blue shirt), Natalie Naleieha, Juliette Rickard Lum, Kristie Felicilda, Mary Clare Lum and Eloise Kujat.

LAHAINA – The Sacred Hearts School Living Legend Award is becoming tradition in Lahaina; and, in 2019, the Lum family will receive the honor on Saturday evening, April 13, at the 47th annual Bazaar.

Ninety-year-old Juliette Rickard Lum is the family matriarch; her devotion to God is unwavering, a guiding light of the Maria Lanakila Catholic Church community.

“Legend” founder Joanne Stockham is excited by the selection.

“Ninety years of the Lums is what we are celebrating” – all of the blessings, baptisms, weddings, burials, communions and confirmations – “all that history, all that love and all that living,” she said.

“Juliette’s grandfather, who is buried in the church cemetery, was born in 1879. The school was founded just 17 years earlier in 1862. This one family can recall over 90 percent of our 157-year history! How lucky are we to have someone to remember back and share stories of our humble beginnings?”

She was the second of ten Rickard siblings, all attending Sacred Hearts School. She later married Jacob Solomon Lum Sr. and had eight children, four boys and four girls, all second-generation alumni, including Allyn Ester Napualani Lum (deceased), Natalie Naleieha, Eryck Lum, Gerri Lum, Joseph “Joey” Lum (deceased), Mary Clare Lum, Jacob S. Lum Jr. and Kristie Felicilda.

The Catholic community on the West Side is close-knit, with a common thread of the church and faith binding them together.

Juliette cited other ‘ohana that “are all intertwined,” including the Kahahanes, Neizmans, Sylvas, Castros and Dizons.”

“We are all one big family,” she described.

The Lahaina News met with Juliette and daughters Natalie, Mary Clare and Kristie at the church last week along with close cousin Mary Kujat and Juliette’s younger sister, Eloise Kujat.

It was a happy, nostalgic occasion.

Bar none, all agreed that the best description of the elder Lum was: “She is a very, very, very devout Catholic.”

Driving to 7 o’clock mass on Sundays, the siblings would recite the Rosary in the far back seat of their station wagon along the way.

Every Sunday, they sat in the second pew.

Juliette now has a front pew seat.

“It is part of the tradition of the family to sing in the choir,” Kristie added.

Their father, Jacob, sang in the 7 a.m. “Folk Choir.”

Natalie, Mary Clair and Kristie sing in the 7 a.m. choir with Kristie’s in-laws, the Neizmans.

The family remembers Juliette’s favorite words of advice, “Pray on it.”

She taught her children true: “We do not go to church to serve the priest. We go to serve God.”

She made sure they went to church every Sunday.

“The church has always been here for us when we needed it. It is our stability; it is the foundation for our faith.”

Family is everything, they all agreed. “We are all close. We try to stay close. We may fight. We may whatever, but we are still a family. We still are siblings. It is because of our faith.”

Juliette is a Secular Franciscan.

“We are the order that St. Francis started. You have to apply and have a recommendation from your pastor or other religious leader,” she explained.

One of the oldest living alumni and former school librarian, Lum shared a unique experience with the group.

“When I first came to this school, I was in the seventh grade. That was when the war began, in 1942. We had trenches along the side,” she said, “that were used as our air raid shelter. It was packed with sand bags The planes were flying overhead.”

Laurie Lei DeGama helped to organize the Lum gathering and considers it a vital task.

“So many families of Lahaina have made up the foundation of the church and school, and each family holds memories and history that should be shared for all to learn and enjoy. Each family adds to the story and tells us how Maria Lanakila and Sacred Hearts have been a staple for many families from previous generations and for many generations to come,” DeGama concluded.