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Welcoming the Rev. Amy Crowe

By BY CINDY SCHUMACHER - | Feb 19, 2015


LAHAINA – On Jan. 24, 2015, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Innocents in Lahaina officially installed the Rev. Amy Crowe as their new vicar. Spirits were high and the mood festive during the Renewal of Ministry ceremony and the welcoming of Rev. Crowe by the Bishop of Hawaii, Rt. Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick.

“We intend to continue the good work of Holy Innocents as well as learn new ways of ministry,” said Bishop Fitzpatrick.

“However, the goal is the same,” he said. “Love God and your neighbor.”

The service marked the beginning of a new phase for the Holy Innocents congregation and the West Side community. It was an event to which all came with a high sense of anticipation of God’s blessing on the years ahead, and all present were sent out for service in the community with the blessing of the bishop.

“My role as vicar is not only to nurture the faithful, but also to care for the whole community,” said Rev. Crowe, impressed by how community-oriented the congregation already is.

“I anticipate many new ministries and responsibilities at Holy Innocents,” said Crowe, who is succeeding Rev. Bill Albinger.

“I hope to expand the parish by creating more programs for young children and families. There is a great core here. I hope to stretch it, get folks involved and continue the hospitality already present.”

Rev. Crowe’s calling to the priesthood came in her high school days in Wilmington, Delaware, where she helped out in her father’s doctor’s office.

“That’s where I realized the spiritual need as well as the physical need in healing and decided to continue my education in that field of study and experience,” she said, noting her intent to integrate spirituality and medicine as pertaining to the needs of the patient.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern University outside Philadelphia and then earned her Master of Divinity Degree at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her introduction to the islands came in 1997 as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity on Kauai, where she also served as youth program organizer for St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Lihue.

“I felt like I was coming home,” Rev. Crowe said about living in Kauai.

From there, she was accepted into the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Pacific Health Ministry (PHM), a nonprofit organization that provides hospital ministry and clinical pastoral education programs mostly on Oahu. She completed her residency for the program at Queen’s and Kapiolani Medical Centers.

Within time, Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC) contracted Rev. Crowe’s services through PHM, who remains dedicated to the mission of institutional spiritual care and education.

“From humble beginnings, PHM has grown into an agency with chaplains, pastoral residents and summer seminarians placed at 12 healthcare-related organizations in Hawaii,” explained Rev. Crowe.

“Each year, the ministry makes over 47,000 visits to patients, long-term care residents and their family members.”

“I was the first full-time chaplain at MMMC to provide spiritual services to patients and their families in collaboration with social workers and other medical staff members,” said Rev. Crowe, who, as coordinator of hospital ministries, was able to put her divinity school training to good use.

“I also counseled hospital staff and worked on service hospital committees,” she said, noting her continued belief that spiritual services are an important part of comprehensive patient care.

“As human beings caring for another, spiritual care is perhaps one of the most important things we can offer at a hospital,” said Rev. Crowe, who ministered to people of all faiths and traditions.

“It was an honor for me to serve as a chaplain,” she said. “Maui is so small that I still see families that I have worked with all over the island.”

In addition, Rev. Crowe, along with Eve Hogan, Jeanne-Rachel Salomon and Robert Burton, helped initiate the labyrinth at MMMC, a health care aid allowing the opportunity for releasing physical, emotional and spiritual stress. A replica of the Chartes Cathedral labyrinth in France, it is currently available on the patio known as the Wailuku Courtyard to patients, families, staff members and the community. Rev. Crowe plans to continue to use the labyrinth in her ministry at Holy Innocents, where one exists on the property.

“I worked with Rev. Crowe for six years when she was a chaplain at the hospital,” said Rev. Austin Murray from Trinity-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Kihei. “She was a sensitive, loving healer in her ministry there, and she is currently a blessing for Holy Innocents Church and the whole community.”

Rev. Crowe was ordained a priest in 2012 and served as priest associate at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Wailuku, where she had previously served as deacon.

Along with her husband, James, and their 18-month-old son, Jim, the family is excited to become part of the Holy Innocents ohana and their new West Side community.

“All are welcome,” said Rev. Crowe.