A Message from the Marianists:
Society of Mary to withdraw from St. Anthony’s Parish, Maui
Local diocese to assume parish operations as part of agreement
ST. LOUIS, MO — The Society of Mary (Marianists,) an international congregation of Catholic priests and brothers, announced today that it is withdrawing from St. Anthony’s Parish on the Hawaiian island of Maui, effective July 1, 2021. The departure results from multiple factors, including a declining and aging population of priests and brothers in the congregation. As part of the withdrawal, the Diocese of Honolulu will assume day-to-day operations of the parish and its spiritual community, with full details to be announced in the coming weeks.
“This was a difficult decision that we didn’t take lightly, especially given the Marianist’s historic presence in Hawaii and special relationship with the St. Anthony’s community,” said Father Oscar Vasquez, SM, Marianist provincial. “However, after reviewing all of our available resources, it was ultimately decided that the spiritual, physical and social needs of St. Anthony’s parishioners would be best served by the diocese moving forward, and we’re grateful for its support.”
Current Marianists assigned to the parish community include Pastor Rev. Roland Bunda, SM, Associate Pastor Rev. Sylverius Kerketta, SM, Pastoral Assistant Bro. Fred Silbereis, SM, and in residence Bro. Dave Quigley, SM. All will be assigned to other duties. Although the withdrawal will result in no active Marianists serving the island of Maui, the society will still maintain a significant presence in the region, including Chaminade University of Honolulu and Saint Louis School. The Marianists will continue to provide ongoing support and resources to the existing Lay Marianist groups both on Oahu and Maui. Similarly, we are pleased to continue our sponsorship of St. Anthony’s school.
St. Anthony’s is a special community, with its roots on the island dating back more than 150 years. Founded by the Fathers of the Order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1848, the parish has grown over the decades to include a diverse parish of more than 900 families, many focused ministries, a preschool, cemetery and the only Catholic High School on the island of Maui. Although the Marianists formally assumed leadership of St. Anthony’s Parish in 1976, the order was already well known to the community, having founded the Wailuku School for Boys in 1883 at the invitation of the Sacred Heart’s Fathers.
The Marianists are planning a parish farewell event on May 23, 2021 to honor the many brothers and priests who have served the parish there and to thank the St. Anthony Community for their collaboration and support.
About The Marianists
The Society of Mary (Marianists), an international Catholic religious order of brothers and priests, was founded in 1817 in France by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade. The Society of Mary, together with a religious order of women, the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, and numerous affiliated lay groups, form the Marianist Family.
The Marianists first arrived in the United States in 1849 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Marianists arrived in Hawaii in 1883. In 1908, this American Province was divided into two: the Province of Cincinnati and the Province of St. Louis. The Cincinnati Province was divided in 1948 to form the Pacific Province and again divided in 1961 to form the New York Province. On July 1, 2002, the four Provinces united as the Province of the United States, headquartered in St. Louis.
The Marianist Province of the United States comprises about 230 professed brothers and priests serving in the United States. The Province also includes communities and ministries in India, Ireland and Mexico. Province ministries include sponsored universities, high schools, middle schools and primary schools; parishes, retreat centers, and programs of spiritual formation; works of social justice and environmental integrity; service to the Marianist Family, formation, administration and art.
A Message from the Diocese of Honolulu:
MAUI TO BID FAREWELL TO MARIANSTS ON JUNE 30, 2021
The weekend of January 16/17, Marianist officials announced at St. Anthony Parish, Wailuku, Maui that the Marianist Priests and Brothers will be bidding farewell to the island of Maui on June 30, 2021. Fr. Tim Kenney, S.M. made the announcement on behalf of the U.S. Provincial, Fr. Oscar Vasquez, S.M. After much discussion within the Marianists’ Provincial Council and with Bishop Larry Silva, it was decided that the Marianist personnel resources have become sufficiently thin that they can no longer staff St. Anthony Parish, Wailuku after June 30, 2021.
The Marianists have served at St. Anthony School for 138 years, and they have staffed the parish for 45 years. The pastoral care of the parish and school will be turned over to the Diocese of Honolulu on July 1, 2021. The new pastor will be announced soon.
We are most grateful to the Marianists for their faithful and loving service at St. Anthony Church and School and for their ministry and presence on the island of Maui. Many lives have been touched by the service and witness of the Brothers and Fathers over many generations, and we are certain their presence will continue to bear good fruit for generations to come.
The following are the Marianist pastors who have served St. Anthony Church: Fr. James Orsini (now a diocesan priest); Fr. Jack Reilly, S.M.; Fr. William O’Connell, S.M.; Fr. Charles Oyabu, S.M.; Fr. Raymond Malley, S.M.; and the current pastor, Fr. Roland Bunda, S.M., who has served for 14 years.
Bishop Silva will be celebrating the 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Anthony Church, Wailuku, on Sunday, June 13, 2021, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. At that time, he will formally thank the Marianists for their faithful service in Maui for 138 years. He will also celebrate the Marianists’ 45 years in the parish, the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the current church, and the 175th anniversary of the founding of St. Anthony School.
The Marianists maintain their presence at Chaminade University of Honolulu and St. Louis School. We are most grateful for their continuing service.