Diocese says Orsini will be lone priest at St. Catherine’s

A spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu said this week that the Rev. James Orsini will be the sole priest assigned to the sprawling St. Catherine Church parish, which includes three churches from Kapa‘a to Hanalei, after the Marist priests now serving those parishes leave at the end of this month.

Serving those churches now are Marist priests living at St. Catherine Church, including the Rev. Bruce Lery, pastor; the Rev. Vincent Curtain, associate pastor; and the Rev. Patrick Coyle, pastor emeritus.

They will be reassigned, likely to Mainland parishes, effective Friday, Aug. 1, to help address a shortage of priests there.

Currently, they are responsible for saying masses and other duties at St. William Church in Hanalei, St. Sylvester Church in Kilauea, and St. Catherine Church in Kapa‘a.

A farewell lu‘au for the current St. Catherine parish priests is set for this Sunday, July 20, at 4:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

When the trio departs Kaua‘i, it will end nearly 60 years of Marist service to the Eastside and North Shore.

At a going-away dinner for the Rev. Felix Vandebroek, SS.CC., former pastor of St. Raphael’s Church in Koloa, he said more than his departure, what saddens him is the exodus from Kaua‘i of his order of Sacred Hearts Fathers, who brought Roman Catholicism to Hawai‘i 150 years ago and built the island’s first Catholic church, St. Raphael’s, at Koloa.

Vandebroek, who has been in the priesthood for nearly 50 years and for the last 24 years at St. Raphael’s, has been reassigned to St. Michael Church in Waialua on O‘ahu, as assistant pastor.

The Rev. Christopher Keahi, SS.CC., a Hawai‘i-born priest, is new pastor of St. Michael Church in Waialua. A priest for 38 years, Keahi had been pastor of Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo.

The Rev. Napoleon “Nap” Andres, M.S., and the Rev. Rene “Bis” Bisaillon, M.S., of the order of the La Salette Fathers, are now pastor and associate pastor, respectively, of both St. Raphael’s and Holy Cross churches.

Leaders of the Sacred Hearts Fathers in Hawai‘i made the decision to pull nearly all Sacred Hearts priests from the Neighbor Islands to serve larger O‘ahu parishes.

Orsini, 63, who becomes pastor of St. Catherine Church on Friday, Aug. 1, is currently pastor of St. Jude Church in Kapolei on O‘ahu.

Business Editor Paul C. Curtis can be reached at pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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