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New Residence for Our Priests

Posted on September 19, 2014 in: General News

[This note will appear as a supplement to the 09.21.14 parish bulletin.]
 
Aloha, Parishioners of St. Elizabeth Parish.
 
Many of our parishioners may not be aware that for many years the master plan for our parish included: 1) the renovation of the parish church which was completed under the care of pastor Fr. Mike Dalton on November 27, 2007; and 2) the construction of a new residence for the priests on the corner of Moanalua Road and Puakala Street. Over the past several months I have been reviewing the master plan, while considering other options for a priests’ residence and consulting with our parish leadership and with officials at the Diocese offices. I believe the original site for the house is no longer suitable for this purpose, primarily because of the traffic, noise and serious lack of privacy. There are also challenges with the site itself that would be problematic for construction. At my last parish assignment, I lived away from the parish campus and would drive to the parish church and offices each day to be on duty. This experience proved to be very beneficial over nine years. The needs were always met. There was never a problem with me living off campus. I note here that two other local parishes – Resurrection in Waipio and St. Rita in Nanakuli – recently made this kind of arrangement and the priests now live off campus with the endorsement of Bishop Larry.
 
With that in mind, and because I do not believe the corner site off Moanalua Road is suitable, I have been housesearching in the Aiea area over the summer months. It has been a challenge to find a house that would meet our needs and within easy driving distance of the parish campus. Recently, however, I did find a house and after careful consideration, I made an offer to purchase it. As I type this
note to you, the offer is being considered and I pray it will be accepted. What about financing? The parish has been saving funds for many years specifically for the construction of a new priests’ residence. Plans were drawn and the low bid came in at $1.5 million. The purchase price of an off campus house will be lower than $800,000. The funds are available and I sincerely thank all our parishioners who have made contributions to our building fund. Many thanks also to the building and finance committees who have worked so diligently over the years and offered their good advice.
 
Now that we are heading in the direction of the purchase of an off campus house, which would also be a tremendous asset to our parish, the corner lot where a house was originally to be built can be used for other purposes, for use by other ministries. The current building is falling apart and is something of an “eyesore” in the area. Our committees will be studying other possibilities, such as renovating the building or even demolishing the building altogether to construct a smaller facility. It is zoned for “housing” so we will be very careful to meet local requirements and restrictions. With the Lord’s grace being showered on our parish community, we continue to move forward to build the Kingdom of God. May the Lord bless you and your loved ones in every way.
 
Aloha ke Akua+
Father Arnold

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