STAFF & LEADERSHIP
The Rev. David J. Gierlach, Rector
Fr. David Gierlach has lived in Hawaii since 1981. He holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton (1977), a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the Maryknoll School of Theology (1981), and a Juris Doctor from the University of Hawaii School of Law (1989). Fr. David worked with the elderly poor in Chinatown as a VISTA volunteer in the early 1980s; became an alcohol/drug counselor at Hina Mauka for 5 years and departed Hina Mauka for law school as its Deputy Director. During his career as an attorney, Fr. Gierlach became quite active with the Episcopal Church, having found a home at St. John’s By-the-Sea in Kahalu’u. After many years of lay leadership, Fr. Gierlach felt he could no longer run from the call to ordained ministry, a call that was felt since his teenage years. Fr. Gierlach was ordained a deacon in 2006, and after having served as deacon of St. Elizabeth’s for 9 months, was ordained priest in 2007. The call to St. Elizabeth’s has been a great joy for him and his children Elaine (married to Bryce, with children Eden and Evan) Teatuahere and Joseph.
The Rev. Imelda Padasdao, Priest Associate
Mother Imelda was called by St. Elizabeth’s Vestry in February 2008 as Priest Associate. She was born and raised in the barrio of Masikil, Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Ordained to the Diaconate in 1986 and to the Priesthood in 1990, ‘Apo Padi,’ as Mother Imelda also likes to be called, became the first Filipino priest in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion. Bishop Chang assigned her as long-term Supply Priest for Resurrection Parish in Hilo and St. Columba’s in Paauilo as well as to the Filipino ministry in West Kauai. She has been “the flying priest” for these families of faith.
The Rev. Peter Fan, Priest Associate
Father Fan came from the Diocese of Hong Kong and Macau in 1985 to work as a Chinese misssionary in the Diocese of Hawaii. He was called to be Dr. Gifford’s associate at St. Elizabeth’s where his focus is Chinese ministry. He was a graduate of Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he obtained a B. A. with honors and later went back to the theological seminary in the Graduate School. He received a Certificate of Education from the Grangham College of Education in Hong Kong. His wife, Doris, is an artist in Chinese painting and watercolors. They have one son, Joshua, who lives in Texas.
The Rev. Mafi Vakameilalo, Priest Associate
Fr. Mafi has been a priest in Tonga for over 20 years. He and his wife Saane moved to Honolulu in 2018 at the request of Deacon Viliami Langi, to assist in the growth of the Tongan Episcopal community. Fr Mafi is a skilled musician and a wonderful choir director. He is immersed in Anglican tradition and brings a wealth of cross cultural insight to St. Elizabeth's and the Diocese.
The Rev. Dcn. Viliami Langi, Deacon
Deacon Viliami Langi was a life long member of the Weslyian Methodist Church and served his entire life as a lay person spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. In 2008 he encountered the late Fr Saimone Lino, an Anglican priest from Tongan who recently moved to Hawaii with his family. That interaction eventually resulted in Deacon Viliami having a call to the ordained life in the Episcopal Church. Some 48 members of his faith and family community presented Deacon Viliami to our Bishop, Bob Fitzpatrick. After receiving some education in the Anglican way, this elder was ordained by the Bishop and he continues to serve the congregation of St Elizabeth's and within the wider Tongan community.
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2020 Vestry (elected at Annual Meeting):
Senior Warden - Cathy Lowenberg
Junior Warden - Charles Steffey
Secretary/Clerk - Leyna Jean Higuchi
Treasurer - Caren Chun-Esaki
Youth Representative - Leyna Higuchi
Vestry Members and Terms
Leyna Jean Higuchi - 2020
Jerek Jong - 2020
Inaria Repaky - 2020
Caren Chun-Esaki - 2021
Eric Arakawa - 2021
Delphine Shea - 2021
Faith Chock - 2022
Anna Langi - 2022
Dawn Webster - 2022