SCHOOL REMAINS OPEN - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Damien Memorial School will be open on Wednesday, September 12. Families who are concerned about storm preparedness, the area near their home or their commute to and from school may make the family choice to stay home. Please call the absentee line to report that their child will not be attending school.

We will provide updates to school related activities as the weather situation evolves.  Please  continue to check our website and our school’s social media.

Please visit our Emergency Page here.

DMS Varsity Football Team Travels to Spokane

DMS vs MTSP ad (1).jpg

Our Monarchs will travel to Spokane, Washington this week to take on the Mt. Spokane Wildcats at the Pine Bowl at Whitworth University.

Family, Alumni and supporters who will be traveling to Spokane can buy tickets here:

Follow us to Washington on our Facebook Page:  Damien Monarchs Athletics

keLly McKeague (DMS ’77) Gives Nationally Televised Press Briefing on Human Remains Handed Over by North Korea


Damien Memorial School alumnus Kelly McKeague ’77, director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) on Oahu, delivered a nationally televised press briefing at the White House August 14 regarding 55 boxes of human remains handed over by North Korea.

Although the skeletal remains are in “moderate to poor” condition, McKeague said he has “high confidence” that at least some of bones are from U.S. service members. Approximately 7,700 American troops who fought in the Korean War are still missing.

McKeague said the remains are undergoing a “painstaking, multifaceted” analysis in the DPAA facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the largest and most diverse skeletal identification laboratory in the world.

“The mettle of our scientists and the capabilities of our labs will be challenged,” McKeague told the news media, “but in the months and years ahead, they will make identifications from these remains and give families long-sought answers.”

The remains were turned over to the U.S. in July based on an agreement reached the prior month at a summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

McKeague, who was sworn in as DPAA director in September 2017, oversees all aspects of the agency’s mission to provide the fullest-possible accounting for missing service personnel from past conflicts. This worldwide enterprise involves research, investigation, recovery and identification operations, along with support functions.

Prior to retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 2016 at the rank of major general, McKeague served as DPAA Deputy Director and Commander of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, one of the entities merged in 2015 to form a new Department of Defense agency.

A Liliha native, McKeague earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He began his military career as a civil engineering officer in 1981, entered the Maryland Air National Guard in 1995, and served at the Air National Guard Readiness Center. 

He also served as the Chief of Staff, National Guard Bureau and Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Guard Matters.

Speaking at a Damien honors assembly in 2013, McKeague said the seeds of his success were planted decades earlier at his alma mater. Notably, that included developing leadership principles he calls the “Five Cs” – “character, confidence, communication, challenge and compassion.” By practicing these principles, he said, “there is no doubt in my mind that you will be a great leader.”

In closing his inspirational talk, McKeague urged the students to take pride in their school.

“Be proud, be proud, be proud,” he said, “to be a Monarch.”

No Classes August 16-17, 2018

No classes on Thursday, August 16 and Friday, August 17. 

  • On Thursday, our faculty joins Oahu Catholic school teachers at a mass and day of recollection.
  • The main office will be open from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm.
  • The business office and admissions office will be closed.
  • On Friday, all offices are closed all day.”

Congratulations 1989 DMS Graduate Casey Asato, new Head of School at Saint Francis School

As featured in Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 9, 2018

St. Francis School to have male leader for first time in 94-year history

 Image Courtesy St. Francis School

Image Courtesy St. Francis School

By Dan Nakaso       

August 9, 2018     

Updated August 9, 2018 1:38pm

Saint Francis School will be led by a male head of school for the first time in its 94-year history following the ouster in June of Sister Joan of Arc Souza.

The selection of Honolulu-born Casey M. Asato, 46, represents big changes for Saint Francis School, which no longer has a nun on campus after Souza was removed from her position by Sister Barbara Jean Donovan, who is responsible for Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities from Honolulu to Syracuse, N.Y.

Asato was selected by Saint Francis’ board of directors to replace Souza’s interim replacement, assistant principal Erin Marshall.

School started Monday at Saint Francis with an enrollment of about 440 girls and boys. In 2006, Souza oversaw Saint Francis’ transition to a coed campus.

Asato had been a teacher and administrator at Seabury Hall on Maui since 2006 and its director of curriculum since 2012.

In a statement, Asato said he wants Saint Francis to become “a world class college preparatory school in which students are pursuing their interests, they’re engaged with their learning and they find meaning and purpose through their contributions to society.”

Asato received a bachelor of science degree from Santa Clara University with a major in finance and a minor in Japanese. He also has master’s degrees in social studies from Columbia University and in Asian studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

In 2017, Asato earned a doctoral degree in professional educational practice from UH and interviewed Souza as part of his doctoral dissertation.

“My sister graduated from Saint Francis in 1984 and she had Sister Joan of Arc Souza as a teacher,” Asato said in a statement. “She always admired Sister for her down-to-earth, approachable style.”

Asato is not a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, but is a lifelong Roman Catholic and 1989 graduate of Damien Memorial School.

At Seabury Hall, Asato taught world history, introduction to economics, advanced placement macroeconomics, Asian history, global issues and Japanese art and aesthetics.

Asato has traveled to 24 nations, taken four motorcycle trips through Japan, and bicycled through France.

His wife, Mariangela, is a native of Peru. They adopted a 4-month-old child named Nina Kalealoha.

View the article as published on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser website.

2007 DMS Graduate Chris Yakkel featured in Hawaii Catholic Herald

As featured in Hawaii Catholic Herald, August 8, 2018

Damien grad ‘ecstatic’ about call to priesthood, Air Force chaplaincy

By Anna Weaver
Hawaii Catholic Herald


A 2007 Damien Memorial High School graduate with less than a year until his ordination to the priesthood has aspirations to become an Air Force chaplain.

Chris Yakkel was ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Columbus in Ohio on May 4. Presiding at the ordination was Columbus’ Bishop Frederick F. Campbell, with Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, the head of the Archdiocese for Military Services, concelebrating.

“Regardless of whether I’m serving as a chaplain or as a parish priest here in Columbus, I’m ecstatic to be able to serve wherever God wants me to,” Yakkel said in a phone interview with the Hawaii Catholic Herald.

Yakkel, who was born in North Carolina, grew up in a practicing Catholic family. His father, retired Air Force colonel Ron Yakkel, moved his family with him on Air Force assignments to Washington, Illinois, Oklahoma, England and Hawaii.

While in Hawaii, the Yakkel family mostly attended Mass at base chapels and occasionally at St. Elizabeth Parish in Aiea. Chris and his brother, Stevie, went to Damien Memorial High School in Kalihi.

Chris spent his junior and senior years at Damien and made many good friends there. While he was not thinking about being a priest at the time, he said that in retrospect, the all-boys environment of Damien prepared him for the seminary.

“It was my first initial taste of what brotherhood is,” he said. “Just the whole motto of Viriliter Age, act manfully.”

Yakkel had many teachers at Damien that were influential on his faith life. Also making a big impact was going on an Encounter retreat both of his years at Damien. It got him excited to keep practicing his Catholic faith at college, he said.

Yakkel next went to the Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, getting involved with Catholic campus ministry, going on retreats, and graduating with a degree in health and sports studies.

It was at college where Yakkel said he first seriously considered becoming a priest, thanks to getting even more involved in his faith on campus. After his graduation in 2011, he applied to NET Ministries, which enlists young adult Catholics in youth ministry. As the Yakkel family was still living in Hawaii at the time, Chris asked Bishop Larry Silva if the Diocese of Honolulu would sponsor him during NET. It did.

“Even though I’m not studying for the Diocese of Honolulu, I’m really grateful for Bishop Silva’s support,” he said.

Yakkel did two years of missionary work with NET. Those two years helped him establish a daily, personal prayer life and solidified his decision to enter seminary.

“Having that constant communication with the Lord, and spending time with him every day in prayer and also having a life soaked in the sacraments,” really made an impact, he said.

“It had gotten to the point where I was thinking about priesthood every single day.”

A priest in the military

The idea of being a military chaplain seemed to arise naturally alongside Chris’ realization that God was calling him to be a priest. Not only was his father in the Air Force, but several other family members also served in the military. It was a familiar environment.

There’s also a great need for Catholic priests in the military. According to the Archdiocese of Military Services, 25 percent of U.S. service members are Catholic, but only 6 percent of military chaplains are Catholic priests. Priest chaplain numbers have been dropping steadily since Sept. 11.

The Air Force currently has 59 priests to serve 80,000 Catholic Air Force personnel, or 1 in every 1,350, not including families of those service members.

“There are priests going overseas who are running into service men and women who haven’t seen a priest in months,” Yakkel said.

“If God is calling me to be a priest, I’d love to be a vessel to bring the sacraments to those Catholics who are serving in the military and their families as well.”

After finishing a two-year commitment with NET Ministries, Yakkel entered the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, where he is entering his fourth year of theology studies. He hopes to graduate with his master’s in divinity in May 2019 and be ordained shortly thereafter.

He will do three years of pastoral work for the Diocese of Columbus before going on loan to the Archdiocese of Military Services as a chaplain. However, he’s already started his military training. He’s currently an Air Force reservist and spent this summer serving as a second lieutenant at Misawa Air Base in Japan.

Yakkel says he’d love it if he got stationed in Hawaii as an Air Force chaplain someday.

“It would be a dream of mine to be able to go back and celebrate a school Mass at Damien down the road,” he said.

He wants people to know “how thrilled I am to be ordained a priest.”

“I feel so blessed and honored that God called me to this great vocation and this big responsibility,” Yakkel said. “And I just ask people to pray for me that I would fulfill that vocation faithfully.”

View the article as published on Hawaii Catholic Herald website



Article by columnist and 1982 DMS Graduate Lawrence Downes featured in The Washington Post

As featured in The Washington Post, August 1, 2018

Aloha to you, too, ungrateful mainlanders

Surfing, casual Friday, hula, our shirts and our ukuleles. Hawaiians shared these freely, so what gives with the 'cease and desist'?

By Lawrence Downes August 1 

 “Aloha” means a lot to those with Hawaiian roots. It’s not for sale. (Hauke-Christian Dittrich/Picture Alliance/Getty Images)

“Aloha” means a lot to those with Hawaiian roots. It’s not for sale. (Hauke-Christian Dittrich/Picture Alliance/Getty Images)

Lawrence Downes, a writer and editor in New York, graduated from Damien Memorial High School in Honolulu in 1982.

The Hawaiian dictionary defines “aloha” as “love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity.” It is a synonym for “sweetheart” or “loved one,” “hello,” “farewell,” and “beloved, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, lovable.” It is also a verb meaning “to love” or “to show kindness, mercy, pity, charity, affection.”

The word means a lot to those of us with Hawaiian roots. So we were upset to hear that a fast-food chain in Chicago called Aloha Poke Co. has been sending letters ordering companies in Hawaii and elsewhere to stop using “aloha” in their names. Aloha Poke sells food in bowls meant to resemble poke, a Hawaiian dish made of raw fish and seaweed and other seasonings. Nobody in Hawaii told these guys they couldn’t do this to our beloved poke, even though they are making it wrong, or that they couldn’t make commercial use of our greatest word.

The word is free, of course, and is used by us in a spirit that is open and welcoming to those who want to share. The reaction in Hawaii to the cease-and-desist “aloha” letters has been anger and disbelief. But the trouble, the pilikia, is real. A native-Hawaiian poke-shop owner in Alaska told The Washington Post that after getting the letter, she abandoned the name Aloha Poke Stop and spent thousands of dollars removing “aloha” from her company’s signs, T-shirts and other materials.

[Midwestern restaurant chain tells Hawaiians not to use the words “aloha” and “poke” in their businesses]

The company claims it was misunderstood and meant no harm. Its claim on the word “aloha’’ is irritating and absurd, but because Aloha Poke chose to go down that road, maybe we should all think about this a little. Maybe we should all reexamine the world’s relationship with Hawaii with an eye to reciprocity and ownership and fair compensation.

It’s not that the mainland hasn’t given us things. Christianity, for which many (not all) of us say a heartfelt thank-you. Western diseases and a colonial mind-set, of which we are less appreciative. Spam, which all of us outside our cardiology community love. But the perspective from the islands is that for centuries we have been giving, giving and giving, while the rest of you have been taking, taking and taking.

Taking what, you ask?

Surfing. You may not realize that your ancestors found ocean waves terrifying. Mark Twain, visiting in 1866, saw islanders surfing and freaked out. We give him credit for trying it, though. People the world over have surf, but only the Hawaiians perfected surfing. It’s ours; please return it and find some other way to have fun in the water.

The hula. This is a dance of beauty and grace and spiritual power, a foundation of Hawaiian culture. That thing you do at parties with the plastic leis, grass skirts and flapping arms — could you stop calling it hula, or just stop doing it altogether?

The ukulele. This instrument has a European ancestor, the braguinha, brought to the islands by the Portuguese. But we refined it and gave it a new name, meaning “jumping flea,” and we still make the best ones, out of native koa wood, and our Hawaii-born musicians work wonders with them. We are very sorry, mainland hipsters, this isn’t your fault. But we would like our ukes back.

The steel guitar. Back when Joseph Kekuku, a country boy from Laie, on Oahu, was a child, he slid a steel bolt along the strings of his guitar, making a lovely sound. He trained himself and others on the new way to play, which spread to the mainland and into honky-tonk history. Please remove the twang from your country-and-western music and return it to us.

Cowboys. Speaking of country and western, the idea of men on horseback driving cattle to market — our paniolos did that first, in the 1830s, a few decades before your cowpokes and cowpunchers. If you could please rejigger your movies and rewrite your frontier mythology and have your guys chase those dogies on foot or with ATVs or drones or what-have-you. Thanks.

Sugar and pineapple. You liked those, all those years, didn’t you? You’re welcome.

“Over the Rainbow,” the soulful version. Go ahead and keep Judy Garland’s song, but we would like Iz Kamakawiwo’ole’s back. His voice is the pure heart of Hawaii that contains all the sorrow and joy and aloha in the world, which is why you can’t stop listening to it. Please stop.

Casual Friday and aloha shirts. These floppy floral shirts were invented in Honolulu, as was the practice of wearing them once a week to unstiffen the workplace. Our “aloha Friday” became your “casual Friday,” and “aloha shirts” became “Hawaiian shirts.” You didn’t ask. You have polo shirts and baseball caps; use those.

Your superpower status. Who repaired and refloated all but two U.S. warships destroyed in Pearl Harbor in 1941, so that the U.S. Navy could defeat the Japanese empire? Workers in Honolulu did. Where did those Japanese American soldiers brave enough to give their right arms to protect democracy and freedom in Europe come from? You know where. Today you get to sleep well in places like Chicago, knowing that the United States is projecting its military might into the Pacific, the ocean we are in the middle of. Meanwhile, we are the ones who get spooked by reports of North Korean missiles. How fair is that?

Racial harmony. When civil rights marchers were being shot in Mississippi, and before the Supreme Court, in the Loving case, struck down bans on interracial marriage, the state of Hawaii was sending its governor to Botswana, a new democracy in southern Africa hemmed in by racist regimes. A Honolulu newspaperman hailed the moment: “The Hawaii-Botswana relationship is a long-range friendship, designed to help the earth resound from pole to pole with one famous cry, ‘Aloha!’ ” Why? The two places are antipodes — exactly opposite each other on the globe — but they had in common a culture of racial harmony and peace. Interracial marriage was truly unremarkable in Hawaii then, and Botswana’s new president, Seretse Khama, was married to a white English woman. That was 1966. What took the rest of you so long?

Barack Obama. Are you through with him? A lot of you seem to have moved on. Please send him back to Kailua.

[Island forms from Kilauea volcano]

The aloha spirit. It’s easy to be cynical if you spend any time in Waikiki. But the spirit of aloha is a real thing in Hawaii. It’s what makes honeymooners all honeymooney; they can sense it in the scented air the moment they get off the plane. It’s what keeps us going, despite our many problems of homelessness, income inequality, environmental ruin, rat-race traffic — the kindness of family and friends, the welcome to strangers, the warm, motley, mixed-up way our immigrant forebears and our Hawaiian host culture have blended. It’s the way we are when we are relaxing with poke and beer and ukuleles at the beach.

It’s aloha, and it’s not for sale. I say this with love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace and charity.

View the article as published on The Washington Post website.

2018-19 Student MacBook Pickup

Damien Memorial School MacBook Pickup/Distribution will be given out on Monday, August 6th "BEFORE or AFTER" your class is done with orientation and picture/ID is taken. Please signup so we can make the proper arrangements for your Damien issued MacBook pickup.

Student MacBook pickup will be in room 522

Click on your class to make an appointment:
8/6 - All Grades

NOTE: Please make signup so we can organize all MacBooks before school starts. If you are unable to make an appointment, the MacBook distribution will also be distributed during the first week of school. Signing up will ease the congestion of the distribution.

Any questions please contact us at


Student Orientation - Monday, August 6, 2018



AUGUST 6, 2018


AUGUST 6                  Orientation Day for ALL students

8:00 AM                      SIXTH, SEVENTH & EIGHTH GRADERS

                                     report to the cafeteria

9:30 AM                      FRESHMEN report to the cafeteria

10:30 AM                    SOPHOMORES report to the cafeteria

11:30 AM                    JUNIORS report to the cafeteria

12:00 PM                     SENIORS report to the cafeteria

Orientation usually takes about 1 ½ - 2 hours.  All students must follow the daily uniform dress code – Damien polo shirts and khaki shorts, slacks or skorts.

All students are expected to have their textbooks or ebooks for the first day of school on August 7th.  

*Parents do not need to be present for the orientation sessions*


***Changes to your schedule must be approved by your counselor.  If you need to make a change, please see your counselor during the first week of school.

***A valid Athletic Physical is required to participate in any sport at Damien.  Physicals are only good for one calendar year.  Click here to access Participation Requirements. 

Please turn in completed physicals to the Athletic Department, Athletic Trainer’s Office or your sports’ head coach.  It is recommended that you keep a copy of your child’s physical for your own records.

***Locker assignments will be posted on the school bulletin boards by July 23.

***A school supply list can be found in the Course Catalog.

Dress Code Requirements - 2018 - 2019

Dress Code Guide 2018-19

Student uniforms are purchased through Dennis Uniforms
560 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817

Tops - Polos, Aloha shirts

All students must wear the designated purple or black Damien polo shirt, purchased through Dennis Uniforms. These polo shirts are required all school days, except for Fridays when students may wear the new Tori Richards Damien Aloha shirt. No other Aloha shirts are permitted on Fridays. If students opt to not wear the Damien Aloha shirt on Fridays, they may wear their black or purple Damien polo shirt.

The custom Damien Aloha shirts can be purchased from the Damien fulfillment room. Men’s cut:
Women’s cut:

Bottoms - slacks, shorts, skorts

All students must wear khaki shorts or khaki slacks. Girls have the option to wear khaki skorts. All shorts, slacks, and skorts must be purchased from Dennis Uniform Company. No other khakis are permitted. Rolling of shorts, pants, and skorts is not permitted.


Shoes can be purchased from any store of preference. Shoes must be low-cut, solid white or solid black. The entire shoe must be either all black or all white - not both. Shoes with different colored lines or designs will not be permitted. Below are two acceptable versions:








If students wear socks with these shoes, they must match the shoe color, being solid black or solid white. School shoes, especially white ones, must be kept clean and in good repair.

ID cards

Students are provided student ID cards on picture day. Student IDs are part of the uniform and are required to be worn at all times. Replacement IDs are available from the Dean’s Office for $5.


Outerwear will be limited to the Damien letterman’s jacket and Damien specific Under Armour jackets. These jackets are available for purchase on the Damien website.

Damien Under Armour 1⁄4 zip jacket:
Damien Under Armour Women’s zip up jacket: womens-rival-jacket

Damien Under Armour Men’s zip up jacket:

Damien Under Armour Youth zip up jacket:

No other outerwear is permitted on campus.

Liturgy Attire

Once a month, we have all-school liturgies and other dress-up occasions. These liturgies and dress-up occasions can be found on the school calendar. Schoology announcements and morning announcements are made in the week leading up to the event to remind students to dress up.

Gentlemen are required to wear:

  • approved Dennis khaki slacks

  • a solid white, collared, button down dress shirt (purchased from any store)

  • a black tie (purchased from any store)

  • a solid black or brown belt (purchased from any store)

  • regular school shoes

  • student ID

Ladies are required to wear:
• approved Dennis khaki slacks or skort • a solid white, collared dress shirt (purchased from any store)

• regular school shoes
• student ID

PE Uniforms

PE uniforms can be purchased through the Damien website. Any athletic shoes are permitted for PE classes. Students can wear any Damien athletics gear for PE.


Any questions regarding orders from the school can be directed to:

Any questions regarding the dress code can be directed to: