The first shipment of lepers landed at Kalawao (Kalaupapa) January 6, 1866, the beginning of segregation and banishment of lepers to the leper settlement. In January 1883, Walter Gibson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and president of the Board of Health, appealed to obtain Sisters of Charity from one of the many sisterhoods in the US to come and help care for leprous women and girls in the Islands. One of the prime supporters of this action was the Mother Superior, Mother Marianne Cope.
On January 11, 1884, Mother Marianne arrived in Hawai‘i with Sister M Bonaventure Caraher, Sister Crescentia Eilers, Sister Ludovica Gibbons, Sister M Rosalia McLaughlin, Sister Renata Nash and Sister Mary Antonella Murphy. On April 22, 1885, a second group of sisters arrived from Syracuse as reinforcements. This included Sister Leopoldina Burns, Sister Carolina Hoffmann, Sister Martha Kaiser and Sister Benedicta Rodenmacher. Shortly after, Sister Antonia Brown, Sister M. Vincentia McCormick, Sister M. Irena Schorp and Sister Ephrem Schillinger. (More came later.)