|Birth: ||Nov. 3, 1876|
|Death: ||Nov. 9, 1940|
The fifth and last Apostolic Vicar of the Apostolic Vicariate of the Hawaiian Islands, presently the Diocese of Honolulu, Monsignor Stephen Peter Alencastre SS.CC., was born of Portuguese parents in Porto Santo, near Madeira. Migrating to Hawaii with his family when he was just an infant, living in Kauai, and later on Maui, desiring to be a priest, he was sent to Europe for his Seminary studies. Ordained through the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, at Fort Street Cathedral on April 5, 1902, in l9l3, he was assigned to the Punahou Mission in Honolulu and the following year constructed the present Sacred Heart Church on Wilder Avenue.
When Msgr. Libert H. Boeynaems fell ill, Alencastre was appointed Coadjutor Apostolic Vicar with right of succession on April 29, 1924, receiving his episcopal consecration with the Titular See of Arabissus on the following August 24, from Archbishop John Joseph Cantwell assisted by Bishops Joseph Sarsfield Glass CM., and Patrick Joseph Keane. He succeeded Boeynaems as Apostolic Vicar of the Hawaiian Islands on May 13, 1926.
The new bishop realized the changing times and saw the need for training island boys for the priesthood. He founded the first St. Stephen's Seminary in Kalihi Valley, named in honor of the bishop's own patron saint. The seminary is still in use to the present day. 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.
Bishop Alencastre's personal mission included continuing to expand the number of schools and parish churches in the Islands, and to renovate the existing ones. The Bishop was also partly responsible for the increase in the variety of Religious Orders in Hawaii, inviting such groups as the Sisters of St. Joseph de Carondolet to help with the growth of the Catholic faith in the Islands. He was also responsible for the continual building of schools and churches in the islands.
Monsignor Alencastre died of illness on board a passenger ship returning to Hawaii from Los Angeles, on November 9, 1940, aged 64, and was interred at the Honolulu Catholic Cemetery in downtown Honolulu. Following his death, he was given the title "Officer of the Royal Crown" by the Kingdom of Belgium, and a street in Honolulu also carries the Bishop's surname in his honor. With his passing, the mission era of the Catholic Church in Hawaii came to an end.
The first Bishop of Hawaii to have been raised in the Hawaiian Islands, after continuing and completing much of the work begun by his Sacred Hearts predecessors, the mission area of the Hawaiian Islands was successively elevated to the official Diocese of Honolulu by the Pope within a few months following his death. The history of the Catholic Sacred Hearts mission in the Hawaiian Islands was documented by one of the Order's priests and later compiled and published in a book called "Pioneers of the Faith".
King Street Catholic Cemetery
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Oct 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77522109
Added: Mar. 14, 2012
It Was You, O God, Who Made Your Servant Bishop Alencastre, A Successor Of The Apostles By Raising Him To The Episcopal Order. May He Also Be Associated With Them Forever. We Ask This Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.|
Added: Oct. 3, 2011