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.
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.