Saturday, December 15, 2018
FATHER ERIC'S CHAMORRO MINISTRY
For the past nine years, Father Eric has spent every October in the West Coast of the US mainland, where thousands of Chamorros live and who look forward to hearing Mass and sermons in their native Chamorro language. In San Diego County alone, an estimated 35,000 Chamorros live.
The Saint Jude fiesta in San Diego is always on Father Eric's schedule. Depending on the year, the Saint Francis of Assisi fiesta is also included. These fiestas are held at the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club House, located in San Diego.
At the people's own request, Father Eric offers another Mass in honor of Padre Pio for the healing of the sick, for whom individual candles are lit. After Mass, the relic of Padre Pio is venerated by all.
Another standing commitment is Mass at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. This is held in honor of Our Lady of Camarin, patroness of Guam, and is scheduled as close to December 8 as possible. This year, December 8 happened to fall on a Saturday, the usual day this Mass is celebrated.
In Chamorro fashion, all events are followed by a meal of some kind, so that the Chamorro community can bond in fellowship.
Besides the spiritual, Father Eric almost always offers some historical or cultural presentation, for the education of the community. This year, his topic was on two historic Chamorro Catholic priests, Father Jesus Dueñas, who was beheaded by the Japanese in 1944, and Monsignor Oscar Calvo, another priest during the war who lived till the year 2000. Both priests played important roles in the life of the people of Guam during the war. Father Eric's presentations were held in two places this year, San Diego and Los Angeles.