History About Our Parish

A Glimpse into Our Church History

History is made by people. Small events that create a beautiful mosaic. The master craftsman of course is God.

On July 7, 1827, the first Catholic missionaries arrived in Hawaii.  One week later, on July 14, 1827, the first mass was celebrated on the island.  The first Catholic church was completed  January 18, 1828, on land granted by King Kamehameha III where the sanctuary of Our Lady of Peace Cathedral stands today.   On June 22, 1840, the Hawaii mission’s first bishop, Stephen Rouchouze, began plans to build a coral block cathedral and signed a contract with Honolulu businessman, Travis J. Greenway.  The cathedral's cornerstone was laid on August 6, 1840, and construction began.  The bishop left for France to procure personnel and supplies for the Hawaii mission on January 31, 1841. Unfortunately, in 1843, the ship was lost at sea along with the bishop, six priests, one sub deacon, seven lay brothers, and ten sisters. After many financial difficulties and construction delays, the Cathedral was finally dedicated on the Feast of Assumption, August 15, 1843. Less than one year later, on May 8, 1844, Saint John the Baptist opened its doors. The original stone chapel lasted 12 years until it was destroyed by a windstorm. The present church was rebuilt on the same spot and was blessed on April 16, 1857. There was no rectory back then and the priests commuted for all masses and all other parish activities.  Father Alphonsus expanded the church facilities in 1927, which allowed the pastor assigned to the parish to reside at Saint John.

 

Fr. Juan Pablo  

Galeano-Gonzalez

2015-Present

Fr. John Freddy  

Quintero

2011-2015

Fr. Jack 

Ryan

2006-2011

Msgr. Edgar 

Brillantes

1999-2006

Fr. Karl

Krause

1994-1999

 

Fr. Edgar

Saguinsin

1984-1994

Fr. John 

Stankard

1980-1984

Fr. William

Desmond

1964-1971

   

Fr. John 

Coulchan

1954-1964

 

Fr. Bernard

Welch

1951-1953

Fr. Jon 

Rupert 

1949-1951

Fr. Charles

Gienger

1947-1949

 

Fr. Hubert

Winthagen

1942-1947

 

Fr. Alphonsus

Bouwmeister

1916-1942

Fr. Clement 

Evrard 

1864-1909

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

A Rich History

 

  • 1827  First mass was celebrated on island of Oahu
  • 1916 The first parish hall was built . It was then burned down on July 9, 1919. 
  • June 21, 1933 The present church of St. John the Baptist was completed and blessed.
  • 1930s The Portugese community has contributed an enormous amount to the life here at our parish.  One tradition was to bake sweetbread for the church.

  • 1959 St. John the Baptist School was opened

  • 1962 The convent was opened to the Maryknoll sisters until 1976 when the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary took over operations of the school.
  • 1990 Fr. Edgar Saguinsin invited Fr. James McFadden to start ministry to the growing Hispanic Community.  Fr. Etuale Etuale from the diocese of Samoa help serve the growing Samoan Community. 
  • 1999 The ethnic mix of the parish has shifted from the early days which was largely Portugese adn Hawaiian, to the the present, which is Filipino, Samoan, Hispanic, and Chuukese.
  • 2008 Deacon Peter Soumwei was assigned to St. John to the growing Chuukese community.