Monday, August 26, 2013


In a previous post, we made reference to the fact that the Redemptoris Mater is NOT primarily a seminary for the archdiocese of Guam, but is also, and equally, a seminary to educate and form priests for the international life of the Neo-Catechumenal Way. 

We made this observation based on the feature article about the seminary which appeared in the Guam Pacific Daily News of April, 2010 which stated:

"Our seminary has two main characteristics, namely, it is diocesan and missionary. The former refers to the fact that the priests formed here are for the diocese and, the latter to the fact that they are ready to go anywhere to fulfill the mission of announcing the Gospel."

There has been some feedback that our observation is incorrect and that despite the word "Missionary" in the name of the seminary, Redemptoris Mater is in fact primarily a seminary oriented towards the forming of priests to serve in the Archdiocese of Agana.

However, we must observe in return that we are only repeating what the article said. AND we also must observe that the mission of the NCW, in so far as we can tell, is deliberately international; and in fact, not only are priests being formed to be sent elsewhere, families are sent elsewhere as well. 

In fact, the article goes on to claim this: 

"Besides those two characteristics there is a third one, which the Pope together with the all the bishops have recommended for the good of the whole Church, namely internationality. Since our seminarians come from different countries around the globe this international nature can be clearly seen. This fact helps the seminarians to go beyond their own native language, traditions and culture, thus creating communion and a new missionary impulse."

This is all good. However, if it is true, Guam Catholics should be made aware that their financial gifts for the support of the seminary (Catholic Charities Appeal) are not only used to form priests for Guam, but for the international catechumenate. One report has those gifts - which go towards the salaries of those employed at the seminary and operational costs - averaging approximately $100,000 per year. (If this figure is incorrect, the chancery or the seminary is welcome to present the correct amount and we will publish it. )

As an aside, though, we would like to see the source document for the Pope and the bishops desiring "internationality". In fact, post-Vatican II, we have seen the opposite: a trend towards the ordaining of priests and consecration of bishops for service to THEIR OWN people, and a trend away from sending foreigners into mission lands. 

Thus, after centuries of foreign bishops for Guam, our last two bishops (post-Vatican II) have been from Guam. Should we - as per the supposed desire for internationality - expect to see soon an African or South American bishop as we are now seeing with our priests? Probably not, but if anyone has the document on the desire for internationality, please feel free to post the link in the comments. We'll make sure it gets top billing in our next post.


  1. Indeed, the entire issue should be documented with articles from the media, written letters to the three Filipino priests that if they don't make an effort to become a NEO oriented priest(s), at they'd best find another bishop....surely this can be done and sent to the Vstican. I sincerely think that the new and non-lavish Pope would find many issues that are creating a great chasm in the church, turning the entire diosese into a NEO church. Sorry, but I see evil at work here and those who will hurt the most are the lowly Catholics who aren't invited to the new direction....I say, it's time to pray...big time!

  2. The major issue with the NEO is the "MASS" that is celebrated "exclusively" for NEO members. (Invitation Only)
    There is no explanation (nothing in writing) for this practice.
    Several practices during the mass are anything but traditional and maybe the reason for this practice.
    While the NEO message is refreshing, the lack of transparency has caused a schism with traditional Catholics.

  3. I had those same criticisms before, and as recent as about 2 years ago. I was one of those who after realizing the "neos" were in the parish to invite for catechesis, I would do everything I can to avoid them. I would go out the side door to avoid their presence. However, after heading home from work(at another catholic church) I was passing my parish and after realizing that the lights were on because of the catechesis, I decided to pull in and listen. I told myself that if I can allow myself to willingly attend other catholic movements, why dont I give the neo a chance? I was hooked. Its now been two years since Ive been walking. I was not forced, and to be honest, in these two years, everything that I read up on the internet that detracts from the neo, IS NOT TRUE. There are no secrets, they are not in disbelief of the BLESSED SACRAMENT and my catechist often encourages visits. I just visited Brazil for WYD and in almost every "neo" parish there is a Chapel dedicated especially for the Blessed Sacrament. The "Neo" Mass is not by invitation only, everyone is welcomed. The Mass is in compliance with the approved guidelines from the Holy See. There are no public Confessions, The Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated accordingly. The statutes outlining the course of THE WAY are available online. If the Archbishop seems to be very charismatic about a certain group, what do we expect? He sees the fruits. He probably realizes how much the church on Guam is in need of this charism. Those who have criticized the "Neos", how many have actually sat through the Catechesis? How many have drawn judgment based on what they have read or what was told to them? What if the Archbishop decided one morning that he wanted to promote the TLM at every parish? Or the LifeTeen Ministry? Or the Charismatics? Or the El Shaddai? Will we still have a problem with it? Every group out there has the "extreme" members, who will take their zeal to a whole higher level. Who knows, we're probably those "extremes" Do we base our judgments on the entire group based on our brief experiences with these "extremes"? I hope not. It does an injustice to the main group. When the diocesan priest was transferred out of my parish I followed him to another parish and totally abandoned my parish because I labeled it as now a "Neo" parish. I concluded that sooner or later our Adoration Chapel would close. I was away from the Parish, actively, for about two years because of my judgments. We are now well into 5 years since last seeing a non Redemptoris Mater formed priest and the Parish Continues. The Way is not being forced onto anyone. The parish lay groups are still strong. I constantly regret the time I spent away from my home parish. Even though I am in community, I am still a member of the choir, a frequent lector and still participate and coordinate parish events. I really enjoyed reading some of the updates on the Chancery vs Gofigan issue, however it seems now the focus is on providing information against the Neocatechumenal Way. I realize that what I have shared may not have any impact on this issue but I hope that by doing so we realize that sometimes our words can truly hurt others who are just making their way back to the church. To see catholics practically attacking other catholics is truly allowing the devil to gain a stronghold. Although it may not be the intent of Junglewatch to provide an arena for persecution, it would help if readers/bloggers are reminded to be christian, to have love for another by refraining from attacking a certain group/movement of Catholics.

  4. Arent most of the "Filipino" Priests on island because at one point Guam was in dire need of Priests. I read those letters to the priests and I comprehend that it was sending a message out to these priests that, in my words, "If you do not want to serve the people then you will be forced to return to the PI". Priests are suppose to support their parishioners, and in that situation there were "communities" in need of a Priest to assist with their celebrations. It is my understanding that those priests refused or were hesitant based on personal preference. In other words, those priests were brought to Guam for an obvious reason, to serve. If they refused to serve isnt it only fitting that they be offered a return flight.

  5. Actually the TLM is SUPPOSED to be promoted in every parish as per the Letter to the Bishops accompanying the Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The TLM is not a movement or a group. The TLM is the ancient Mass of the church which, as Benedict made clear "was never abrogated", and is to be "restored to its proper place."

    JungleWatch is not concerned with the NCW. IT IS concerned with the liberty of its clerics who feel free to rewrite the catechism to justify their aims. IT IS concerned with the liberty of clerics who feel free to disregard instructional norms from Rome (I have it on record). IT IS concerned with clerics who feel their authority trumps canon law.

  6. As quoted from the earlier post...
    "Although it may not be the intent of Junglewatch to provide an arena for persecution, it would help if readers/bloggers are reminded to be christian, to have love for another by refraining from attacking a certain group/movement of Catholics"

    I know what the TLM is. I shared it in regards to the Mass, and we all know too that there is a distinct difference between the TLM and the NO Mass(play on words refering to the Novus Ordo, which many TLM enthusiasts utilize). The Neocatechumenal Way has made those changes accordingly with Rome and maybe its time for an update on those records. As far as rewriting the Catechism, have you actually sat through the Catechesis to justify your aims. I consider everything else is probably hearsay in regards to the Neocatechumenal Way. You say that you are not concerned with the Neocatechumenal Way, then why is every other post now about the Neocatechumenal Way. It surely invites others to come in and take a bite in the attack. You surely arent moderating the posts, and in my observation you only respond to posts that challenge you. I did not come in here to right out accuse you of anything. I entered into this hoping that readers would see that this really aint helping the situation on Guam. If it is, please point them out for me. As I have observed in here and on the FB pages, after posting an article on the Neocatechumenal Way, readers would respond with sarcasm and attacks. How can we change this? How can we create a better atmosphere? An atmosphere of love. Im not sure if Im getting anywhere where with this. You will probably respond again to this, and I guess it calls for it. However, I forgive you for allowing this to go on. I forgive you for not realizing the pain that this may cause on such a small island. I ask for your forgiveness for my judgments. This will be my last post.

  7. Please see the post title AN UPSETTING ENCOUNTER in which the rewriting of the Catechism is documented.

    Every other post was not about the NCW until recently when a prospective seminarian was told that he would have to go the local seminary, which forms priests specifically for the neo-catechumenate.

    People have questions. Why are you complaining? You've got the Archbishop and all the money and power on your side. The little people have no voice. So they voice their frustrations here.

    Oh, and thank you for forgiving me. I ask no forgiveness for bringing up the truth. And there's much more truth to come if people like you continue to insult the intelligence and the sincerity of the people who are hurt by the ripping away of their pastor without explanation and the siding of their bishop with a singular group in opposition to everyone else.

    I have one word for you. Take it to your leaders: Agat. They'll know. Oh, and feel free to identify yourself.

  8. Hi Tim,

    I'm still waiting for anonymous to identify himself/herself .... Hmmm.... and who are these leaders pray tell?
    Gosh, reading all your posts and the comments being made makes me wonder if the NCW has any senses at all? Now really people, do we actually have to have the NCW to learn about our faith? Do you (NCW) not know how to pick up a bible or a catechism book or any book for that matter and read it and if you have any questions about it then talk to your priests or a friend or better yet...goggle it if you're too embarrassed to ask questions. There is also an electronic device called a radio that provides catholic broadcastings called EWTN (90.9FM the light ...just in case you did not know) and trust me you can learn a lot more about the faith by just listening.
    Oh, what about socializing or fellowship you say? Yes, it's nice to be around other people besides your family that's a bonus. But you know, you can still do that in a regular church's called .."hi, how are you?" eventually it leads to other questions the more you see them. But as typical a people we are..I guess we have to be "forced or coerced" to be together in order to get to know each other. Just my opinion.

    Just me a lay person,

  9. And it's a good opinion. For the record, I have no issue with the people in the NCW. I have an issue with their leadership who have lied to them about what has been approved.

  10. Tim,

    That is so true! Too many lies floating around just causes more friction and confusion amongs all.

    I think my BIGGEST confusion with the NCW is that they hold a totally different type of mass separate from the regular church (times) and still profess themselves as Catholics.
    When I say "totally different type of mass" I know exactly what kind of mass it is because I was invited to attend the mass and knew the minute it started that it was definitely not catholic for my taste. I admit I have been to a few Protestant type services but it was only to distinguish differences amongst all so that I can better defend my faith. So, from my viewpoint, I considered it "Protestant" like ... If dancing around the altar table seems to me very uncatholic then it must be Protestant and this is just 1 example and my opinion.

    As for the NCW I probably wouldn't have a problem with it if they were just a catechesis like the CCD program or any other faith formation program or an outreach program or group to bring the people back to the faith or back to the church...but once again it seems like it is somewhat a confusion to me ...think about it...NCW claim to be good for the church because they are drawing people back to the church. I've heard this from quite a few people...but... why is it that most of the members of the NCW are the people that ARE ALREADY IN THE CHURCH??? If you want to evangelize and bring the people back to the church...then GO OUT and FIND the people that are NOT IN THE CHURCH already and bring them back.

    Holding a separate mass just causes a great division ...that's how the Calvinists, the Baptists, the Lutherans...etc..all formed....they all wanted to change the church, the bible, the rules in one way or another and eventually they separated themselves. Now do we really want to see how wide the division will get?

    Remember...JESUS is the same yesterday, today and it will still be the same tomorrow. You can FIND JESUS in his home..THE CHURCH..where he has been for thousands of years, unless of course, you want to destroy HIS CHURCH then by all means desecrate away!

  11. Going through some old posts of yours, Tim, and I find it interesting that less than four months ago when you called the Seminary "missionary", and questioned whether we would be losing priests to their primary goal of the seminary to be a mission seminary. You were corrected through "feedback" and told that the seminary was primarily for priests to serve Guam.

    Now fast forward to December and the U Matuna proudly boasts that four priests are answering the call to go to foreign locations. Plus we have two priests in the Mainland, no longer serving Guam. Plus we have local boys with a true calling being sent to other RMS Seminaries, and they will become possessions of those bishops, and not return to Guam.

    How many have been ordained through our Yona seminary? About 11?
    And so far we have lost 4 to foreign missions, two priests who belong here, but are residing in the US, and 2 Guam boys given up to other seminaries never to be seem again. That makes us up by a net of 3. After 14 years we have spent more than $2,000,000 on these three priests.

    In the same time we have three non-Neo trained priests who will be here forever (we hope)...Fr Ken C, Fr Paul, and Fr Richard Kidd. Plus the Capuchins have a tremendous group of young, local men. But they could be called to serve either Guam or Hawaii. I guess I know where my money will be going in 2014...just a little up the hill from the Chancery. Our support of local vocations will bear more fruit there. So follow me to the Friary!

    It is so liberating to finally see things for what they really are, and not in how we have been lied to in the past. It is a great feeling to now see a clear path which is a path of hope. While we cannot ignore our diocesan clergy, if we stick to our support of the Religious, we can expect great things in the near term. And, no Capuchin parish has to worry about any division caused by a certain "group". Think about this when you get in your car to go to mass, where will you go...choose a Capuchin parish and thank them and support them. When you are approached to buy a gala dinner table for $1300 to support the three net priests gained in 14 years, choose instead to buy/support a Capuchin fundraiser.

    As the commercial on the radio says: "Let's go Guam, buy local!"

    Janet B in Mangilao

    1. Yes. But expect a suppression of the Capuchin-staffed parishes soon. And, like in 2009, expect the Friary to again be suppressed. The onslaught against everyone not in the neo has begun, thus the recent slap down of the deacons, etc. This is why I haven't brought everything out yet. As the chancery gets more aggressive and more vicious I plan to counter attack with the more heavy artillery. However, I'm holding out hope that they will see the error of their ways before we have to drag this diocese through even greater slime. However, it's their call.