Libert Boeynaems, SS.CC. came from Belgium to Hawaii in 1881
and spent his first fourteen years on the island of Kauai before
being assigned to Wailuku, Maui.
bishop on July 25, 1903, he initiated many building projects
throughout the mission. Three major churches were built during his
term of office: Sacred Heart Church, Punahou (1914) St. Joseph
Church, Hilo (1919), and the renovation of St. Anthony in Wailuku
part of the Sacred Heart Father's building program were St.
Anthony's Orphanage in Kalihi Valley (1909), St. Anthony's Orphanage,
Wailuku (1923), and Father Louis Boys' Home, Hilo (1916).
Boeynaems ambitious plan to convert the Fort Street cathedral into an
impressive Gothic structure began with the construction in 1910 of an
ornate Gothic porch fronting the church as a first phase of his
proposed plan to renovate the church.
of Portuguese parents in Porto Santo, on the Portuguese island of
Madeira, the future Bishop Stephen Alencastre, SS.CC. migrated to
Hawaii with his family when he was just an infant, living on Hawaii,
Kauai and later on Maui.
to be a priest, he was sent to Europe for his seminary studies. He
was ordained a priest at the Fort Street cathedral on April 5, 1902.
In 1913, he was assigned to the Punahou mission in Honolulu and the
following year constructed the present Sacred Heart Church on Wilder
Avenue as its pastor.
April 29, 1924, Father Alencastre became a coadjutor bishop to the
sickly Bishop Boeynaems, succeeding him upon his death in 1926.
new bishop, Hawaii's sixth and last vicar apostolic, realized the
changing times and saw the need for training island men for the
priesthood. He opened the first St. Stephen's Seminary in Kalihi
Valley. Bishop Alencastre also did some major renovation to the
cathedral, importing the marble main altar to coincide with the
100th anniversary of the Catholic Faith in Hawaii in 1927.
was also responsible for the continual building of schools and
churches in the islands. On November 11, 1940 Bishop Alencastre died
of illness on board a passenger ship returning to Hawaii from Los
Angeles. With his passing, the mission era of the Catholic Church
in Hawaii came to an end.