Wednesday, January 6, 2016
The long-awaited resumption of the annual Friary Christmas Village was greeted with public delight this past Christmas season.
Started in 2008 at the Friary, this huge display of Christmas ornaments, trains, lights, town scenes and ski lifts, accompanied by all the bells, whistles and music, is the property of members of the Quinata family, collected over more than ten years.
Due to the unfortunate health condition of the family matriarch, Mae Quinata, may she rest in peace, the family understandably could not manage putting on the Christmas Village for two years. This year the family resumed the display, now in honor of our beloved Mae.
This year, however, the location was moved to the Agana Shopping Center, just down the hill from the Friary. Here, the Village found more ample space and a ready crowd among the many Christmas shoppers. Donations from the people viewing the Village will go to the Friary.
Friars and Friary volunteers were on hand every night to greet the people. Different groups also volunteered to host the light refreshments served to the crowds who came to see the display.
Historically, the Capuchins all over the world have made contributions to the study of history, culture and language in many locations. Having sent many missionaries all over the globe, the Order has often been the first to document these things in many lands.
On Guam, the Spanish missionaries Fr Roman promoted the Chamorro language and Fr Pastor started collecting historical material. American Fr Julius Sullivan wrote the first published history of the Marianas mission.
Now, local-born Pale' Eric Forbes produced and narrated a documentary about the history of the Chamorro people. One year of fundraising provided money for the project and one year of filming and editing ended with the production of the documentary in dvd format.
The response from the public has been tremendous. The dvd is currently on sale in Guam and online.
With Governor & Mrs Eddie Baza Calvo at Guam's Government House
At the San Diego, California premier
Signing the DVD at Guam's Government House
A second 25th priesthood jubilee was celebrated by the Guam friars last September when Pale' Eric offered a Mass of Thanksgiving for his 25 years of priestly life.
Pale' Eric was ordained on September 8, 1990.
The Mass was celebrated at his home parish church of Saint Jude in Sinajana.
Friday, January 1, 2016
October 4th is the feast of Saint Francis. Our Franciscan custom is to observe his "passing" (in Latin, transitus) from earthly life to heavenly life the night before or, if more convenient, some night before the 4th.
The Guam friars gathered to celebrate this Transitus in the Friary chapel. Besides hearing the story of Saint Francis' death and Scripture readings, the friars light one candle for every deceased friar in the community.
The island's devotees of Padre Pio crowded the friary once again this past September 23 for the annual Padre Pio fiesta.
Nine nights of novena preceded the feast.
Father Jose Villagomez, OFM Cap was this year's preacher for the festal Mass.
The procession after Mass around the Friary
Venerating the relic of Padre Pio after the procession
On September 1, the parish of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Agana Heights welcomed a new pastor, Father Marvin Bearis, OFM Cap.
Father Marvin hails from Ewa Beach, Hawaii - a parish formerly under the Capuchins and where he first got to know the friars.
Since he was ordained a priest in 2009, Father Marvin has taught high school in Hawaii and worked in youth ministry in New York. This is now his first ministry as pastor of a parish and his first priestly assignment on Guam.
Welcome, Father Marvin, and God bless all your endeavors!
The auditorium at Saint Francis School in Yona was filled to capacity on August 26, 2015 for the Third Annual Founders' Day Dinner.
The Founders' Day Dinner is held every year to help raise funds to pay for the Friary's construction back in 2007. Donors buy tickets to the dinner as well as bid in a silent auction. Generous sponsors help with the dinner costs and provide silent auction items ranging from a brand new car to religious art.
The event is held every August and is called Founders' Day to commemorate the first three Capuchin friars who arrived on Guam in August of 1901.
The theme for the 2015 Dinner was the parish of Saint Francis in Yona, which dedicated its first known chapel built in 1914-1915, our a hundred years ago.
We thank all our benefactors for their constant support and we pray for God's blessings upon them.
The formation friars entertain the crowd
Father Jose singing his medley of Chamorro songs
Austin, Fr Andre and Dereck
Postulancy in the Capuchin Order is the beginning of a young man's experience of Capuchin life. It is a period of discernment, lasting around nine months.
During that time, the postulant lives in community so that he can experience first-hand the life of a Capuchin friar. Both he and the friars look for signs that the Lord is calling them to the Capuchin way of life.
A postulant does not profess vows or wears the habit (the Capuchin brown robe), but otherwise experiences Capuchin life by attending all community prayers, working around the Friary and taking different classes in religious and Capuchin life.
This past August, Austin Usar and Dereck Delgado entered the postulancy program to start discerning their vocation. Father Andre Eduvala, OFM Cap is their director.
God bless them and enlighten them!
Bros. Sean, Nicholas and Cody
The Capuchin fraternity in Guam and Hawaii rejoiced when three young friars, their novitiate year concluded, made first profession as Capuchin friars, making temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on August 6, 2015 on the feast of the Transfiuration.
Brothers Sean Rodriguez, Nicholas Martinez and Cody Lizama professed these vows before Father Patrick Castro, Custos of Guam and Hawaii, in the presence of the Guam fraternity at Saint Fidelis Friary.
Twenty-five years ago, Capuchin friar Joseph English was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Anthony Apuron, OFM Cap at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna, Guam.
Since then, Father Joe has been a pastor in many Guam parishes and also served as Vice Provincial (superior) from 2009-2015. He is the son of the late Kenneth and Lourdes Crisostomo English of Saint Jude parish, Sinajana.
Father Joe is very appreciated by parishioners for his homilies. Thousands of people came to celebrate his priestly jubilee at Mass held at the University of Guam Field House, followed by dinner.
Congratulations, Father Joseph and many more years to come!