Oratorian Father Halbert D. Weidner celebrates his jubilee


Oratorian Father Halbert D. Weidner, a priest of The Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Rock Hill, has been in residence in Hawaii since the early 1990s. He serves at Holy Trinity Parish in Honolulu and has been working for the past several years to establish The Oratory in the Aloha State.

Father Weidner was born on July 18, 1946, in Edina, Mo. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 1974, by Bishop Ernest L. Unterkoefler.

Father Weidner has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., a master of divinity degree from the Franciscan School of Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and a doctorate in theology from Oxford University in England.

As a graduate student on the West Coast, the seminarian worked in ecumenical social justice and prayer groups at the Graduate Theological Union.

He formally entered The Oratory in Rock Hill in 1964. Among his pastoral assignments he served as associate pastor at St. Anne Parish in Rock Hill as well as in campus ministry at Winthrop University from 1974 to 1977. As campus minister he was a founding member of the official ecumenical body of campus ministers for Winthrop, and he served as the group’s secretary and president.

From 1978 to 1980, Father Weidner was associate pastor at St. Joseph in Chester and St. Theresa in Winnsboro. During this time, he also served on the Board of Directors at The Oratory.

In addition, from 1974 to 1980, Father Weidner was the director of religious education for parishes in Lancaster, York, Chester and Winnsboro. This led to serving as the Roman Catholic partner in the official Presbyterian U.S. dialogue group for Bethel Presbytery in York County. The Oratorian priest was a participant in the York and Chester County Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue group for clergy, which is ongoing.

Father Weidner served as provost of The Oratory and parish priest at St. Anne in Rock Hill from 1983 to 1989. During those years, he was a theology instructor at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., an instructor at Sacred Heart College, also in Belmont, and an ethics instructor at Winthrop University.

He served as vicar general of The Oratory from 1989 until the early 1990s, when he relocated to Honolulu.

Prior to his ordination, Father Weidner was a teacher at San Joaquin Middle School in Stockton, Calif., from 1960 to 1970, and a teacher at Cathedral High School in San Francisco, Calif., from 1970 to 1971.

Father Weidner had a number of articles and reviews published in popular religious periodicals during the 1970s and early ’80s. This included stories featured in The Catechist, The Christian Century, Liguorian, Review for Religious, and U.S. Catholic.