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.