Priest held top positions in isles
The Rev. Raymond Nishigaya / 1938-2006
The Rev. Raymond Nishigaya, who held top positions in the Honolulu Catholic diocese for 22 years, died Thursday at his home after a long illness.
Nishigaya, 68, was named vicar general, the second-highest position in the diocese, in 1982 by the late Bishop Joseph Ferrario. Ferrario's two predecessors also appointed the island-born priest to high positions, said diocesan spokesman Patrick Downes.
The late Bishop James Sweeney named him vice chancellor in 1966, and the late Bishop John Scanlan chose Nishigaya as chancellor and personal secretary in 1969. He was given the honorary title of monsignor in 1989 in recognition of his service.
Nishigaya, a priest for 41 years, also served in parishes, as associate pastor of Our Lady of Peace Cathedral and as pastor of St. Stephen's Church in Nuuanu, from which he retired in 2000. He was a chaplain with the Air Force Reserve, holding the rank of lieutenant colonel.
He was born in Honolulu. He graduated from Maryknoll High School and attended the former St. Stephen Minor Seminary in Kaneohe and St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif. He earned a licentiate degree in canon law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
A funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Church. Friends may call after 9 a.m. Burial will be at 12:45 p.m. in Diamond Head Memorial Park.
He is survived by brothers George and Alan, and sisters Janet Ledbetter and Linda Nishigaya.