Oahu-born Father Herbert Won Ching, the fourth Island-born man to be ordained for the Diocese of Honolulu, died May 2 at Queen’s Medical Center. For most of his adult life he had suffered from a disability which required an early retirement. He was 96 and priest for 70 years.
Father Ching’s funeral is May 31 at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. Viewing and visitation is 9 a.m. followed by the Mass celebrated by Bishop Larry Silva at 9:30. Lunch will follow in the Kamiano Center. Burial is at Hawaiian Memorial Park.
Father Herbert Ching was born on Jan. 5, 1921, in Aiea. His family then moved to Honolulu and Sacred Heart Parish where he attended Maryknoll Grade School for six years before going to St. Louis College, as the school was called in those days, for grades seven through 12.
He received his seminary education at St. Joseph College in Mountain View, California, and at St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park, California.
Bishop James J. Sweeney ordained Father Ching on June 21, 1947, the diocese’s fourth local-born priest. He was also the first of Chinese ancestry to be ordained at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace.
Father Ching’s first parish assignment was at St. Joseph Church in Hilo for three years, followed by one year as assistant pastor at St. Anthony Parish in Kailua. In 1951 he was transferred to the cathedral.
Serious illness required that he take a leave of absence from public ministry. He recovered enough to be again assigned to the cathedral in 1968 before he retired permanently.
He lived in retirement first at the cathedral, then at Kahumana Community in Maili, and more recently in a care home.
He is survived by his brother Philip Ching.