All of the modern Bishops have had a great influence on the peoples of Hawaii, politically, socially and religiously.
Pius XII, on May 20, 1941, named Father James J. Sweeney of San
Francisco as the first bishop of the newly established Diocese of
Honolulu. He was 42.
Sweeney's appointment occurred seven months before the bombing of
Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. During the war, he organized a
Crusade of Prayer, by which the children of the diocese each adopted
one of the many servicemen who flooded the islands and prayed for him
and his safety. The bishop confirmed nearly 400 troops during this
time, visited hospitals, and worked with the Sisters of St. Francis
to expand St. Francis Hospital to improve medical facilities for the
education blossomed under Bishop Sweeny. When he was appointed in
1941, there were 19 Catholic schools, by his 25th anniversary as
bishop; the diocese had two seminaries (one diocesan, and one of the
Sacred Hearts Congregation), 10 Catholic high schools and 30
elementary schools with 17,150 students enrolled.
Sweeney also established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
(CCD) to teach the faith to children attending non-Catholic schools.
By 1966, there were 22,613 students in religious instruction classes
from the public schools.
Sweeney also created many new parishes: ten on Oahu, six on the Big
Island, three on Maui, one on Lanai, two on Kauai, and one on
increase the number of priests for the diocese, Bishop Sweeney
purchased the Harold Castle home in Kaneohe and turned it into St.
Stephen's Seminary in May 1946.
built up the diocese's Catholic Social Service, reorganized Catholic
Charities in 1943, and again revamped it in 1948.
his auxiliary Bishop John J. Scanlan, Bishop Sweeney also attended
the first session of the Second Vatican Council 1962. Bishop
Sweeney retired and soon after passed to his eternal reward on June
Bishop Scanlan (1967-1982)
Born in County Cork, Ireland in 1906, and serving San Francisco since his
ordination in 1930, Bishop Scanlan was named auxiliary bishop of the
Diocese of Honolulu in 1954. He attended sessions of the Second
Vatican Council starting in 1962 until their completion in 1965. Bishop Scanlan was bishop when I lived in Oahu.
1967, Pope Paul VI appointed him apostolic administrator of the
diocese when illness forced Bishop Sweeney to retire. Upon Bishop
Sweeney's death the next year, Bishop Scanlan was named the second
Bishop of Honolulu.
bishop, he created four new parishes in Hawaii and built nine
churches. He welcomed Hawaii's increasingly diversified ethnic mix by
establishing Masses in different parishes in Korean, Filipino
dialects and Vietnamese, and also helped to establish a Samoan
Scanlan was responsible for inviting nine new religious communities
to serve in the diocese in schools, hospitals, outreach and the
Scanlan led a public demonstration in the rotunda of the State
Capitol in 1970 against a proposed abortion bill, and after the bill
became law was an outspoken proponent for the respect and reverence
of life. As a response to the abortion issue, he opened the Mary Jane
Home for unwed mothers and their babies, inviting the Sisters of the
Good Shepherd to Hawaii to operate the facility in 1976.
1981, he ordained the diocese's first class of permanent deacons.
Scanlan retired at the mandatory age of 75 in 1981, remaining as
apostolic administrator of the diocese until Bishop Joseph A.
Ferrario, auxiliary since 1978, was appointed bishop in 1982.
Bishop Scanlon died on January 31, 1997.
in Scranton, Pennsylvania., Bishop Joseph A. Ferrario came to Hawaii
as a Sulpician priest to teach at St. Stephen's Seminary, a position
he held for nine years.
then joined the diocese, holding various administrative positions
including the directorship of the Catholic Youth Organization. As
head of CYO for five years, he helped recruit island teens and young
adults to serve hundreds of disadvantaged children in camping and
summer fun programs.
1978, after serving as pastor in two Oahu parishes, Father Ferrario
was ordained auxiliary bishop to Bishop John J. Scanlan, succeeding
him four years later in June 1982, as the third Bishop of Honolulu
the goals of "outreach, unity and renewal," Bishop Ferrario
reorganized Catholic Charities, established the Office for Social
Ministry and various ethnic ministries, encouraged parish renewal and
actively promoted the concept of stewardship.
strong supporter of liturgical renewal, Bishop Ferrario also
established the Office of Worship and encouraged the updating of
established the Augustine Educational Foundation to provide tuition
assistance for children in Catholic schools.
his 11 years as bishop, he established two new Oahu parishes, Saint
Jude in Makakilo and Resurrection of the Lord in Waipio. In 1985, he
donated church land in Maui to establish transitional housing for
Oahu's growing population of beach people.
Charities continued to pioneer progressive transitional shelters on
three islands offering not only places for the homeless to live, but
also vocational, medical and counseling services.
Ferrario retired on October 13, 1993 because of ill health. He
died on December 12, 2003.
native Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo was the auxiliary Bishop of
Scranton when Pope John Paul II named him to be administrator of the
Diocese of Honolulu immediately upon the retirement of Bishop Joseph
served as administrator for a year before the pope appointed him as
the fourth Bishop of Honolulu.
on November 30, 1994, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, Bishop
DiLorenzo introduced a diocese-wide parish renewal and review program
called the "Welcoming Parish".
June 2000, Bishop DiLorenzo convened the diocese's second synod to
prepare the church in Hawaii for the 21st century through the
drafting of 12 major proposals. Youth ministry and religious
education were the top concerns of the synod delegates.
bishop increased and strengthened the diocese's ministry to newly
arrived immigrants, in particular Filipinos, Vietnamese, Samoans,
Hispanics, Koreans, and Chinese.
Bishop DiLorenzo's administration, the diocese joined a coalition to
block the legalization by court mandate of same-sex marriage in
Hawaii. The effort led to the adoption of a state constitutional
amendment, which gave the power to ban same-sex marriage to the
DiLorenzo responded to the national sexual abuse scandal by
heightening its response to victims, establishing a victim assistance
program, publicizing its sexual misconduct policies and mandating
safe environment training for all clergy and church and school
nearly 11 years in Hawaii, Bishop DiLorenzo was appointed by the Holy
Father to be Bishop of Richmond, Virginia. He was installed in
Richmond on May 24, 2004.