Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Pale' Eric at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Our Lady of Camarin, Guam's beloved patroness, is so much a part of our Chamorro heritage that Chamorros from Guam who live in the U.S. mainland continue to observe this devotion, usually associated with the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.

At Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, where patients from Guam seek medical care, an annual Mass on the first Saturday of December continues this tradition.  Capuchin Pale' Eric Forbes has been celebrant and homilist at this Mass for several years in a row now.  Every year, no less than 100 Chamorros and spouses/friends of Chamorros attend.  Patients from Guam are visited in their rooms, as well.

Chamorro devotees of Our Lady of Camarin light candles in her honor at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Pale' Eric at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC
Over in our nation's capital, on the other side of the country, Chamorros in the DC area observe their own annual devotion to Our Lady of Camarin with a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

This past December 8th was the first time Pale' Eric was invited to participate.  Before Mass, he gave the congregation of about 80 people a half-hour talk on the history of this devotion.

The Chamorro community in the DC area, which includes parts of Maryland and Virginia.  Some traveled from even farther away to be at the Mass.


Ever since the friary in Santa Ynez, California became the novitiate for the US and other English-speaking countries, the Guam novices have taken the leadership in building the Christmas crèche (or belen), an old and venerable Franciscan tradition going back to Saint Francis himself.

This year, the coordinator for setting up the belen was Guam novice Brother William Paulino.  Many other novices lent a hand in many ways, including carpentry and painting.

Brother William (right) with Brother Jason Chargualaf, also from Guam, who helped build the belen.


Father Robert (Bobby) Barbato of the California Province of Capuchins was the director for the fraternity retreat in both Hawaii and Guam this year.  It was Fr Bobby's first time to Guam, but he knows many of our friars, having studied in Berkeley, CA around the same time as some of our friars.  Fr Bobby has devoted many years to Franciscan studies and is now on the formation team at the Order's novitiate in Santa Ynez, CA.

The first stop was Hawaii, where Fathers Paulo Kosaka, Gordon Combs and Michel Dalton minister.  They came together for one week to refresh themselves spiritually.

Traveling over the weekend, Fr Bobby flew to Guam to conduct the same retreat one more time for the Guam friars.

Thank you, Fr Bobby, for giving us your time and spiritual reflections!  God bless you!


Guam Capuchin Pale' Eric Forbes was one of four recipients of the KUAM Careforce award in 2013.  The winners were announced this past November.

KUAM,  a leading Guam news media company, recognizes four individuals in the community for their service to the island in various spheres.  Pale' Eric was selected this year for his cultural advocacy work, maintaining a well-known blog showcasing Chamorro culture, history and language.  He also has given many cultural workshops in the US mainland and is now working of producing a documentary on the history of the Chamorro people.

Brothers Gavin Diego and Ryan Charfauros were also present at the awards ceremony.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Several friars participated in the annual Walk for Life on Guam, held last weekend, including Brother Gavin.

The Secular Franciscans participated, as well.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


U.S. bishops are beginning to pay more attention to a growing sector in the Catholic population in the country - the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.  California ranks high in these numbers, with members coming from a great variety of cultures.

In Southern California, the Chamorro population is significant.  Many of them have become leaders and active members of their parishes.  A Chamorro sits as a member of the steering committee for this First Convocation of Asian-Pacific Islander Catholics in the Western Region.  Guam Capuchin Father Eric Forbes, well-known to the Chamorro communities in California, was asked to be a keynote speaker at this event held at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on October 5.

The Chamorro participants at the Convocation.  Chamorros came from as far north as Seattle and as far south as San Diego, with Reno Bishop Randolph Calvo, a Chamorro, in attendance.


The third of three fiestas of Capuchin parishes in a row, Father Jose Villagomez, pastor of Saint Francis Church in Yoña, welcomed Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron as presider at the parish fiesta last weekend.  The church was full of parishioners, visitors and members of the Secular Franciscan Order.


Friday, October 4, 2013


A Franciscan tradition is to celebrate the passing of Saint Francis from earthly life to eternal life the night before the feast of Saint Francis which is on October 4.

In Latin, this "passing" is called the Transitus.

On Guam, our custom is to also call to mind all the friars in our community who have also crossed over to eternal life.  Individual candles are lit for each of them, called by name.  A different friar lights a candle for each deceased friar.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Father Paulo Kosaka, ministering at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Waikane, Hawaii, returned to Guam to preside at the funeral liturgy of his beloved mother, Cecilia Hara Kosaka.

Manuel Kosaka and his wife Cecilia

Cecilia lived a long and fulfilling life, raising many children with her late husband, Manuel Borja Kosaka, who died many years earlier.  Besides seeing their son Paulo became a Capuchin priest, Manuel was cook at the friary for many years and was a treasured member of our extended Capuchin family.  Both Manuel and Cecilia was models of humility and hard work.

Fr Paulo and Fr Felixberto Leon Guerrero, pastor of San Miguel Church

Fr Paulo preaching at his mother's funeral Mass
Capuchin Archbishop Anthony Apuron presided at liturgy and said the prayer after communion


This past Saturday was the patronal feast of Santa Teresita parish in Mangilao.  Father Joseph English, Capuchin Vice Provincial and pastor, welcomed Capuchin Archbishop Anthony Apuron to preside at the festal liturgy, along with other friars and clergy.

The Archbishop incensing the statue of St Therese of Lisieux, parish patroness.

Santa Teresita parish is a large one and the church was full of parishioners and visitors.


The Vice Province is blessed to have two brothers who are still in temporary vows, studying at the University of Guam.  Besides this, they also serve the local church in a variety of ways.

Brother Ryan Charfauros serves at Saint Jude parish in Sinajana, assisting the Confirmation class.  He is also present on weekends at parish Masses.  Since last year, he also helps serve meals at Kusinan Kamalen Karidat, a center for people needing meals.

Brother Gavin Diego is assigned to Santa Teresita Church in Mangilao, helping as an advisor to their very active and large Youth Ministry program.  He, too, is present on weekends to be with the parishioners at liturgy.  He also leads a monthly faith sharing group at the Friary.


Our postulants on Guam take classes and follow the friary prayer and work schedule, but they also minister once a week for several hours.  Their ministry focuses on the elderly.  One week they visit the elderly Sisters of Mercy at their convent in Oka.  On this particular occasion, they were present for the 96th birthday of Sister Thecla.

They alternate the following week with a visit to Saint Dominic's Senior Care Home where they visit clients individually or in group activities.  Here, postulant Nicholas Martinez dances with one of the clients during a group dance session.


Brother Gavin Diego has started a monthly faith sharing group, made up of young adults.  They will be meeting at the Friary.

Monday, September 23, 2013


The afternoon of the Feast began with a little miracle unto itself.  After almost a week of monsoon rains and winds which flooded low-lying areas and swelled rivers, a few hours before the feast was to begin, the skies became blue and the bright sun light beamed on the friary.  Perfect weather for a procession.

Father Eric presided and preached.

The procession

The image borne in procession

Veneration of the Relic


Capuchin Punch

Father Patrick, Brother Ryan and Violet Manibusan


September 24 is the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy and the Sisters of Mercy celebrate this on the Sunday closest to that date if it falls on any other day.  Father Andre Eduvala, OFM Cap is often called on to preside and preach at this Mass.  Msgr David IA Quitugua and Fr Richard Kidd concelebrated.