St_Damiano_Cross
 
 
The Catholic Church has a rich history in the Ewa plains dating back to the 1840's. At that time, Fr. Arsenius Walsh, known as the "Apostle of Hawaii," made the Ewa district a regular calling point. In 1855 Fr. Aganthange Froult became the first priest to be assigned here. The first permanent structure was built at Honouliuli. As the new sugar plantation was established and began to grow, so did the population. In 1929, a new church was built in the plantation town of Ewa on Renton Road, and was named Immaculate Conception.
In the late 1940's, the Ewa Beach area was attracting new residents. Continued growth was foreseen and the need for a mission church in that area was evident. In 1949, Bishop Sweeney approved the new mission which was built on Fort Weaver Road.
The parishioners of Ewa, Ewa Beach, Barber's Point and their friends all contributed in various ways to raise money such as: private donations, sale of lau laus, fish, sweet bread, pot luck dinners, bingo games, and script. Many donated their labor, time and expertise to complete the new church which remained a mission of Immaculate Conception. It was completed and blessed by Bishop Sweeney in 1951.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help devotions had been introduced to the islands a few years prior to this by Redemptorist priests who conducted retreats in all the parishes. It was suggested by one of the Ewa Beach parishioners to name the new mission church "Our Lady of Perpetual Help." No other church in the islands had that name. The pastor, Fr. Theodore, approved, and the Bishop concurred.
All the church furnishings were donated by the people. It was truly a combined priest-parishioners effort that made the new Catholic church, and the first in Ewa Beach, a reality. In July of 1969, Bishop John Scanlon made Our Lady of Perpetual Help a fully independent parish separate from Immaculate Conception. By then, its Sunday attendance was more than that of Immaculate Conception. Ewa Beach was growing.
It wasn't long after, that a larger church was needed. Adding more Sunday Masses would not adequately meet the needs of the expanding population. 
Like a growing child, Our Lady nurtured and nourished the growth of her little church in Ewa Beach. But there just was not enough space at the Ft. Weaver Road location in which to expand. In fact, expanding the church there would be too expensive and insufficient. New land was needed with enough space to build and expand into the future. But where? Would it be affordable? These were not rich people. They were the “roll up you sleeves” kind of people. They were literally the “salt of the earth” that Jesus talked about. The odds for expansion seemed against this new parish. BUT, the odds did not figure on our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. She would make it possible.  
Click on the links below to continue your journey through Fr. Scott's narration of our Parish History:

 
      From the time of our founding 61 years ago, our parish has always been under the care and benevolence of our namesake - Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH). In fact our parish history is full of examples of our Lady's help during times of growth and challenge. OLPH began as a tiny humble mission church of Immaculate Heart of Mary parish on Renton Road in Ewa. The population of Ewa Beach was just starting and the distance to Immaculate Heart was too far for most people to travel. So the Catholics of Ewa Beach scrimped and saved, fund raised and donated their labors to building the first church. It was hard and difficult, but through it all, Mother Mary helped us in so many ways.
 
      Ewa Beach continued to grow and soon outgrew the tiny church and property on Ft.Weaver Road. Trying to find a larger property and then to be able to build a bigger church was a formidable challenge to this growing yet modest community. The Diocese had little money to help. But Mother Mary found a way through the Federal government surplus land program. To acquire the land for free, we had to build a school first and then after 20 years we could build a Church. To obtain the land, we accepted. But we couldn't wait 20 years to build a church. "Mother Mary, help us!" And she did. Some property was donated to the Diocese and the money used to buy the land outright from the Federal government. We got the land, now we could build. Just one hitch, neither we nor the Diocese had the money to build the church.
 
      It was decided to sell the land behind the parish school to get the money needed. With the old church literally bursting at the seams, we could finally concentrate on building the new larger church. It was simple and bare boned. There was no money for a parish hall, office space, meeting rooms, etc.-just church and parking lot. But this gave us room to grow and it was adequate.
 
      Later, the parish school went through some enrollment and financial hardships. The parish had to work hard and sacrifice much to turn the school around. And with Mary's help we did. Then we were faced with a Federal government requirement to put in a sewer system at an estimated cost of $320,000. We did not have the money. But again Mother Mary made it possible. Through what I can only ascribe as a miracle, we ended up paying only $165,000 instead. Another obstacle confronted us. We lost half of the Campbell school side parking lot and its only driveway to the development being built behind the school -  estimated cost, over $100,000. We were faced with one set back after another. But through another series of divine intervention through the intercession of Mother Mary, we ended paying only $45,000.
 
      During all this time, our Ewa Beach community was growing in leaps and bounds and so too our parish. We were crammed for space. We were using the breezeway, the old rectory garage, the car ports, classrooms, wherever we could find space for all the parish activities going on during the week. Our Sunday attendance had increased almost 30% since I arrived 7 years ago, and it is projected to continue to grow. Since 1990, Ewa Beach has grown over 100%, and is expected to continue to grow half as much again in the next 20 years. Even if we increased the seating capacity of the church, we need to likewise increase our parking lot capacity proportionately to be in compliance with the County. The population projections indicate that our church attendance is expected to steadily rise from 1800 each Sunday to nearly 3000 within the next 20 years and an another 75 more parking spaces. If we ever needed Mary's help to prepare for the future, it is now.
 
     Last November, I heard that the new housing development behind the school (formerly parish land), was looking to sell the remaining undeveloped land. This was our chance to regain the land sold to build the church. It was already next door to the school and would provide the room we need to expand for the future. The infrastructure (sewer, plumbing and roads) are already put in. It also includes 4 partially built homes. Time was of the essence. By the time I found out about this sale, there was only 1 week in which to make a bid. I contacted Bishop Larry who was in Washington, D.C. He agreed with my intention to purchase the property.
 
      Long story short, we closed on the purchase just two weeks ago. The challenge is before us, just as it was two generations ago when the first parish church was built.
 
      Our parish history is the story of faith in God, hope for the future, and the deep love for this community of Ewa Beach. We have been richly blessed by the grace of God and the intercessions of our Blessed Mother who helped us to overcome so many obstacles and difficulties that threatened the future of our parish. We owe so much to those who gave so unselfishly and generously of their time, talent and treasure to bring us to the point where we are today. We stand literally on their shoulders enjoying the fruits of the labors.
 
      Now it is time to continue the legacy that we received to hand it on to future generations. But I know we will not be acting alone. Mary our Mother will continue to be there. Our Lady of Perpetual Help has always there been when needed her. I call upon all of you to join me in rededicating and recommitting, with Our Mother, to continue our legacy just as we have reaped the fruits and benefits of the past from the hard work, sacrifice and dedication of those generations who have gone before.
 
Aloha ke Akua,
Fr. Scott

 

Our Church (10 photos)
Photos of the OLPH Church and its grounds.
Celebration of Fr. Sammy's 18th Ordination Anniversary.
Back to School Supplies Drive August 2010

 

Photos from Our 2010 Ministry Appreciation Dinner

On Friday, January 8th we celebrated our Ministry Appreciation Dinner, click on this link to see a Smilebox photo slideshow that  captured  this memorable evening.

Ministry Appreciation Dinner photo slideshow

Every year, we dedicate an evening to those who served in a ministry the year prior with games, dinner, entertainment and fun. This year's Appreciation Dinner was held on Friday, March 4th at OLPH.
 
August 12th, Saturday
7 am - Mass (Church)
5 pm  - Vigil Mass (Church)
 
August 13th, Sunday
19th Sunday in
Ordinary Time
Masses: 7 am, 9 am. 11 am
& 5 pm (Church)
6:15 pm - Life Night
(Church & Breezeway)
 
August 14th, Monday
8:15 am - Mass (Church)
 
August 15th, Tuesday
Assumption of
the Blessed Virgin Mary
8:15 am - Mass (Church)
 
August 16th, Wednesday
 8:15 am - Mass (Church)
6 pm -  :Mass (Church)
 
August 17th, Thursday
8:15 am - Mass (Church)
 
August 18th, Friday
Parish Office CLOSED -
Admissions Day
8:15 am - Mass (Church)
 
August 19th, Saturday
7 am - Mass (Church)
5 pm  - Vigil Mass (Church)
 
August 20th, Sunday
20th Sunday in
Ordinary Time
Masses: 7 am, 9 am. 11 am
& 5 pm (Church)
1 pm - Senior BINGO (Breezeway)
6:15 pm - Life Night
(Church & Breezeway)
 
If you have any questions,
please call the
Parish Office.
 
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