Robert Fitzpatrick elected as fifth Episcopal bishop of Hawai'i

October 20, 2006

The Rev. Canon Robert L. Fitzpatrick was elected October 20 to be the fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i.

Fitzpatrick, 47, canon to the ordinary in Hawai'i, was elected out of a field of six nominees on the ninth ballot. He was elected with 87 lay votes and 42 clergy votes. An election on that ballot required 83 votes out of a total of 165 cast in the lay order and 35 of 68 in the clergy order.

The election took place in St. Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu on the first day of the diocese's annual two-day convention.

Fitzpatrick will succeed Bishop Richard S. O. Chang, who turns 65 on November 30. Chang intends to remain in office until his successor is consecrated March 10, 2007. Fitzpatrick is expected to take up duties as the Bishop-elect in January 2007.

Fitzpatrick taught as a Volunteer for Mission at Trinity Theological College in Umuahia, Nigeria. He was the assistant to the rector at St. Peter's Church, Morristown, New Jersey, from 1986 to 1990. From 1990 to 2000, he served as rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has served on the boards of soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food banks and other organizations in New Jersey and Indiana. Fitzpatrick served on various diocesan boards and committees. He has chaired the Hawai'i deputation to General Convention twice and is currently on the board of Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California.

Fitzpatrick lives in Honolulu with his wife, Beatrice Elizondo, who teaches medical technology at a local business college. They have two sons: Edward, a college sophomore, and James, a high school senior.

Under the canons the Episcopal Church (III.16.4(a)), a majority of the bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan Standing Committees must consent to Fitzpatrick's ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.

The other nominees were:

  • the Rev. Canon Howard Anderson, 58, president and warden, Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral;
  • the Rev. Canon Kathleen Cullinane, 51, associate dean and canon missioner, Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, Indiana, Diocese of Indianapolis;
  • the Rev. David C. Moore, 58, priest-in-charge, St. Margaret's Church, Bellevue, Washington, Diocese of Olympia;
  • the Rev. David Y. Ota, 52, rector, St. Ambrose Church, Foster City, California, Diocese of California; and
  • the Rev. Dr. Joy Rogers, 59, rector, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Battle Creek, Michigan, Diocese of Western Michigan.

More information about all the nominees is available here.

The results of all nine ballots are available here.

The Diocese of Hawai'i consists of about 8,800 Episcopalians worshipping in 39 congregations on the Pacific islands making up the State of Hawai'i.

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