As a chaplain, you never know what you’ll find when you step behind the curtain in a hospital room. As chaplains, we must be present, patient, and non-judgmental.

– Chaplain Preston Lentz

From a young age, Preston Lentz had always felt a powerful pull toward the church and spirituality. As he delved deeper into his professional life in the financial industry, spanning over four decades, he couldn’t ignore the persistent calling that resonated within him. During this time, he began to understand the significance of being present, patient, and non-judgmental in his journey towards becoming an Episcopal Priest and in his everyday life.

Preston was born and raised in the charming small town of Anniston, Alabama. After graduating from Kenyon College in Ohio, he met his wife, Mary Ann. Together they embarked on an adventurous path, moving from Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee before finally finding a place to call home in the breathtaking paradise of Hawai‘i.

Preston’s career in the financial services sector began in 1982, initially with Dean Witter (now known as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney), before finding his place at Cadinha & Co. LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor in Honolulu. Supported by his loving wife, Mary Ann, and fueled by an unyielding sense of purpose, Preston fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming an Episcopal Priest. Undeterred by the challenges ahead and committed to the demands of the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program offered through Pacific Health Ministry, he completed the program with perseverance.

Before joining, Preston had heard that while the program would be profoundly impactful, it would also require him to face his own fears. Stepping into the program, Preston discovered a world of support, attention, and boundless patience that would shape him in ways he never imagined.

Reflecting on his transformative journey through the CPE program, Preston’s voice rang with conviction as he expressed, “For me, it was a hugely formative experience. Personally and professionally, it’s been one of the most impactful things I’ve done.” The program instilled the necessary tools to provide unwavering support to patients and their families.

The program has gifted Preston with invaluable lessons that will forever shape his role as a priest and chaplain. He shared, “As a chaplain, you never know what you’ll find when you step behind the curtain in a hospital room. As chaplains, we must be present, patient, and non-judgmental.” The experience taught him that genuine support lies in the simplicity of offering a listening ear and a compassionate heart.

When asked about a memorable moment during his time in the CPE program, Preston recalled a pivotal encounter that shaped his understanding of his calling:

“Early in my CPE experience while at Queen’s, I got a call from the Emergency Department asking for a chaplain. The faster I walked to the Emergency Department, the more anxious I became. As a chaplain, you must be present, patient, and non-judgmental, so if I am anxious, I can’t be that.”

Amid his rush to the Emergency Department, a fellow chaplain intervened, offering guidance and wisdom. Sensing Preston’s mounting anxiety, the chaplain emphasized the importance of being calm, urging him to pause, collect his thoughts, and regain composure before entering the room of grieving family members. This intense encounter helped him shape a guiding principle, reminding him of the importance of being calm and at peace with himself before helping others.

In addition to his roles as the Vice President at Cadinha & Co and as an Episcopal Priest, Preston is also a board member of PHM. For him, supporting PHM means championing the invaluable aid and comfort that chaplains bring to individuals experiencing chaos and despair.

Looking toward the future, Preston envisions an expanded role for the PHM Alum Association in fostering connection and sharing success stories. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, he remains determined to utilizing social media, the website, and e-newsletters to bring the alum community closer together. Preston believes that by joining forces, PHM alums can continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve.

As Preston reflects on his journey, he is grateful for the support from his colleagues at Cadinha & Company, his loving family, and the mentors who guided him. Their encouragement confirmed that he was on the right path, allowing him to fully embrace his transformation into an Episcopal Priest and bring compassion and understanding to those in need.