St. Joachim Church History

Punalu'u, Oahu
This charming mission church in St. Roch's Parish is uniquely located
on a scenic country beach in Punalu'u.  The church sits at the base of
the Ko'olau mountains on a grassy meadow surrounded by palm trees
and bordered by the Pacific Ocean and a mountain stream that flows
from the Ko'olaus into the sea.
      In the late 1870’s Bishop Louis Maigret, the first bishop of the vicariate of Honolulu, acquired a piece of land in Punalu’u which he enlarged in 1885 by acquiring the adjacent property.

      Though sparsely populated, the Punalu’u district was close to the heart of the Catholic missionaries. Even in those early days it was a kind of oasis where the missionaries visited for a few days of solitude and rest.

       Bishop Stephen Alencastre fell in love with the place, and when the old chapel on the property had outlived its usefulness, he decided to build not only a new church, but also a bungalow for himself and his priests and then a larger structure as a recreation center for Oahu's Catholic youth.
      Unfortunately, due to the tidal wave in 1946, the bungalow was destroyed. Today, only the church remains and is used every Saturday for the Vigil Mass.
      We hope one day, in accordance with the visionary wishes of Bishop Alencastre, that the church and it's site will once again become a restful center for the priests of the diocese and also a recreation spot for the Catholic youth of Hawaii.

    The church with its scenic, oceanfront setting has been attracting young people, and mainland couples who want to arrange their marriage or renew their wedding vows in this charming country church. Our mission church continues to attract locals and tourists alike every Saturday for the Vigil Mass.
Our Lady's Ocean Grotto
The Church's Beach

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St. Joachim's