Today marks the 171st anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawai'i.
On July 9, 1840, after many years of persecution of the Roman Catholic Church in the Hawaiian Islands, the Hawaiian Government issued Edict of Toleration, paving the way of freedom to religious expression. King Kamehameha III, as an act of reconciliation, granted to the Roman Catholic missionaries a piece of royal estate for the building of its first church on the grounds of Hawai’i. Under the leadership of Apostolic Vicar Etienne Jerome Rouchouze, the Holy Mass was celebrated on that day to coincide with the Feast of Our Lady of Peace, the patroness of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary of which the missionaries were members. Among those who were in attendance were 280 Native Hawaiians who received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and first Holy Eucharist. It was not until August 14, 1840 when the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace would stand and, though she would need more improvements, was consecrated and dedicated.
Today, the Holy Mass was celebrated by Bishop Larry Silva, Bishop of the Diocese of Honolulu. It was concelebrated by the Cathedral's pastor, Rev. John Berger, and assisted by Dcn. Clarence DeCaires and Dcn. Keith Galang. The music was provided by Calvin Liu while sacristan service by Jonathan Farinas.