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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, December 3, 2005

Hawai'i welcomes new priest

Advertiser Staff

The Rev. Johnathan Hurrell offers a blessing to his parents, Christine, left, and Sebastian after being ordained as a priest of the Sacred Hearts Nov. 25 at St. Patrick Church in Kaimuki. He is the second priest from Hawai'i ordained in the past year.

JOAQUIN SIOPACK | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The Rev. Johnathan Hurrell, who was born in New Zealand and raised partly in Tonga, became Hawai'i's first Sacred Hearts priest in more than a decade in an ordination that took place Nov. 25 at St. Patrick Church.

In many ways, the day was a big one for Hurrell.

"It was wonderful having the whole family there," said Hurrell.

Hurrell said an uncle who is a priest and an aunt who is a nun were among the estimated 500 attendees, including 53 priests. It was the first ordination of a priest by new Bishop Larry Silva since taking over earlier this year.

The 40-year-old Hurrell entered religious orders at age 33 after attending the University of Auckland, working in sales and marketing and teaching for several years.

"(It was) all part of the discernment," said Hurrell, adding he'd felt the call for priesthood in his early teens, "but when you're young, you play rugby and date girls and things like that. Every time the feeling of the call came up, I tried to put it on the back burner. 'You sure, Lord?' "

But the call was persistent that's why they call God "the hound of heaven," he said with a laugh.

The Rev. George Busto was ordained May 26 in the Philippines with the Oratorian order here two new priests from Hawai'i in less than a year.

There's also one diocesan seminarian studying theology in Washington, D.C., as well as three others whose requests have been accepted to become diocesan candidates.