"Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious." - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 1972
Piniti yu' na ma huchom i Faninadahen Kosas Katidråt-Basilika. Noskuåntos menhalom taotao siha manma cho'cho' para u ma pripåra i ma baba-ña ya måtto minagof-hu na sumaonao yu'. Hu tungo' put fin put i tinaftaf hestoriå-ña i Gima'Yu'os Katoliku gi iya Guåhan yan i kantidån sakrifisiu siha ni' manma sungon ni' taotao Gima'Yu'os.
Hu nå'i agradesimento si Monsiñot James Benavente ni' ha ayek manmeyeng yan manomtom taotao siha taiguihi as Vangie Lujan yan si Monica Okada Guzman ya, ginen siha, manma faisen pumalu taiguihi iya guåhu, si Ron Castro, si Tom Quinata yan si Joe Quinata ya entre hami in gasta tiempo para in dibotu ha'åni yan puengi siha gi i sigundo na bibienda giya Katidråt-Basilika annai manma ina dukumento siha, manma ayek propiu na matiriåt antigun ni' para u gråsia i emfotmasion pupbleko gi i faninadahen kosas.
Pinila' asta fino' CHamoru emfotmasion hestorikåt patte-ku gi i che'cho' ya para todu ham, måtto di tåddong che'cho'-måmi put guinaiya ni' hinenggen-måmi put para u posipble este na lugåt.
Banidosu yu' ni' patte-ku yan lokkue' ohåla yu' ta'lo ni' opottunidåt ya annai manmåtto i linahyan guihi na puengi, hu li'e' minagof-ñiha pues mås ma tungo' put i kinalamten Gima'Yu'os Katoliku gi i lina'la'-ñiha. Managradesiao lokkue' i ti mangatoliku sa' manma iduka mås put i hestorian i Gima'Yu'os yan put i taotao siha ni' manman nå'i dibosion put hinenggen-ñiha taiguihi as difunto Monsiñot Oscar L. Calvo yan i rinikohi-ña na kosas siha parehu yan i lalåhi yan famalao'an ni' manhålom gi lina'la' rilihosu ya ma kalamtini idukasion, salut, yan pumalu na cho'cho' siha para i minaolek i kimunidåt.
Pues på'go ma huchom i faninadahen kosas. Hekkua' ngai'an na u ma baba ta'lo lao ohalåra mohon na yanggen u kinalamtini ni' nuebu na minanehamento, u taiguihi ha' sumagå-ña gi i ligåt sa' put i minetgot i Gima'Yu'os Katoliku.
Katoliku yu'. Kumahulo' yu' ya hu tungo' put dinanche kontra linachi, put minaolek yan put binaba, put i dies minandan Yu'os, yan i sakramento siha gi i Gima'Yu'os. Maskeseha ti umeskuelan Katoliku yu', hu atendi i eskuelan påle'. Pribilehu na mama'nå'gue yu' gi iya Bishop Baumgartner Junior High School ni' eståba eskuelan San Jude yan un åñu gi iya Eskuelan San Antonio yan lokkue' gi iya Eskuelan Takhilo' Notre Dame.
Hu hasso tåtkumu binanidosu si difunta Sister Cecille Marie Crisostomo, si difunta Sister Kathleen Sarmiento yan si difunta Sister Tarcisia Sablan sa' ma goflamen yu' yan ma fa'nu'i yu' put i direcho-ña si Yu'os para idukasion. Ma mento'i yu' put ginasgas yan put onesto si Sister Alice McMullin, si Sister Callista Camacho yan si Sister Bernadette Quintanilla. Pues, ta'lo, ma pacha yu' put inafa'maolek yan inagofli'e' as Påle' Kieran Hickey, si Robert Phelps, si Paulo Kosaka, si Eric Forbes yan i afa'maolekon na atungo' as Monsiñot James Benavente.
Para i matå-hu, gumefsaga eksperensiå-ku put i Gima'Yu'os ginen este na taotågues siha ya ma pacha kurason-hu ni' taddong yan hu tungo' na ni' ngai'an na bai hu funas siñente-ku put siha mientras låla'la' yu'. Guaha ha' pumalu na manetmåna yan mamåle' siha ni' umafekta yu' lokkue' ya hu tungo' na ti nahong kåmpo para bai hu pisalista todu osino ti u fonhåyan entension-hu ni' este na lucha. Todu manman nå'i yan manman risibi respetu guatu yan ginen taotao siha ya put respetu ni' gaige i kurason --hu na hu pega na takhilo' sigun gi kinalamten inafa'maolek espiritu'åt.
Hu hahasso put este på'go na simåna sa' put i hu tattitiyi håfa guaguaha gi iya Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica sigun gi ma na'huyong Monsiñot James Benavente. Guiya umabiba finatto-ku para bai hu na'setbe i fasilidåt Guma'Yu'os para kuåtton fina'nå'guen fino' CHamoru. Gof tåddon sapotte-ña para i inadahen fino' håya ya guiya malago' na para u saonao kumontenuha numa'låla' i fino'-ta.
Lao, put mås, parehu lokkue' siñente-ña si Siñot Åtsobispo tåtkumu ginen hagas membron i Kumision I Fino' CHamoru ya fihu di takfe'na para inadahen fino' håya gi dekådu put dekådu. Ha tutuge' lokkue' gi fino' CHamoru i ebangheliu kada Damenggo gi iya U Matuna si Yu'os. Gof lakse i dos gi fino' CHamoru ya parehu ma tungo' na ma silelebra i misa tengnga gi i fino' håya gi kantidå na ukasion.
Ginen inafitman sinekne umeppok aksion ni' ma na'suha i monsiñot ya put este, mamuti i kimunidåt. Ti klåru para guåhu put i tinatten i Sementeyon Katoliku yan i kimetsio na påtte ni' i kinalamten-ña. Bula taotao mañåsaonao ya ti un puengi ha' na rinikohen såkkan siha, maskeseha bente åños pat mås tåtkumu minakkat cho'cho ni' guaha plinaneha yan inadahen kinalamten para i sementeyu.
Hu atan este tåtkumu put hinasson respetu. Kao guaha respetu ginen todu bånda? Osino kao tåya' ha' tåtkumu espiriton kottesihan prufesiunåt? Put mås, kao pumosipble dinanña inadaggao kuentos put para u klåru yan u gåsgas kosaki u menos i inaplacha' ni' gaige entre påtte siha put i inareklon i siyan hinenggen Katoliku.
Hu li'e' i respuestasion i monsiñot na enlugåt di u guaha tinige' dukumento siha u ma aire put este na asunto ni' maloloffan, mo'nå-ña malakngos guatu gi mediha este na achåki. Este, ilek-ña, ma chule' i ti dipotsi mohon u ma chule'. Guaha gi magåhet mås na hinasso ni' mas ha dibibidi i manaotao Guma'Yu'os.
Lao, ayu ha' siña hu kontrebuyi na tinayuyot put este na manera ni' olaha' mohon u ma disidi gi respetu yan fotmalidå. Maskeseha bula humassusuyi dumingu i Gima'Yu'os Katoliku put este i maloloffan på'go, ti bai hu dingngu. Bai hu tohge ha' ya bai hu båtga yu' gi as Yu'os.
Is respect losing its cultural value?
I was sad to hear about the closing of the Cathedral-Basilica Museum. Great people got together to prepare for its grand opening and I was happy to be a part of it. I also learned a great deal about the early history of the Catholic church on Guam and the sacrifices that were made by faithful parishioners.
I thank Monsignor James Benavente for putting together able bodied and knowledgeable people like Vangie Lujan and Monica Okada Guzman who, in turn, contacted people like me, Ron Castro, Tom Quinata, Joe Quinata and others, who spent days and nights at the second floor of the Cathedral-Basilica poring over documents, selecting appropriate archival materials to grace the informational aspects of the museum.
My part was in translating many historical accounts into the indigenous language of CHamoru and it was truly a labor of love that all these individuals put together to make everything possible.
I was proud and thankful for this great opportunity and the many people who came on opening night came away much appreciative of the Catholic church input into their lives. Even non-Catholics shared their appreciation of and about the many key people who were instrumental in the preservation of church history, people like the late Monsignor Oscar Calvo and his vast collection, as well as the sons and daughters of Guam who entered the religious life and contributed greatly in the areas of education, health care, and the various ministries that benefitted the entire community.
And now, the museum is closed. How long it will be before it opens is anyone's guess, but I'm hoping that even with new management, the museum is there for the slice of history that pertains to the Catholic church.
I am a Catholic. I grew up knowing about right from wrong, about good and evil, about the Ten Commandments and the sacraments of the church. Although I didn't attend Catholic school, I attended CCD, which was once called eskuelan påle'. I had the privilege of teaching at Bishop Baumgartner Junior High School on the campus that was once St. Jude Thaddeus and for one academic year at Saint Anthony and another brief stint at Notre Dame High School.
I remember with pride the various religious that have impacted my life, such as the late Sister Cecille Marie Crisostomo, the late Sister Kathleen Sarmiento, and the late Sister Tarcisia Sablan. The mentors who gave me profound unselfish ethics such as Sister Alice McMullin, Sister Callista Camacho and Sister Bernadette Quintanilla forever left an imprint in my life. Then, there were Fathers Kieran M. Hickey, Robert Phelps, Paulo Kosaka, Eric Forbes, and yes, my great friend, Monsignor James Benavente.
In my eyes, the church was a rich experience for me and I never fail to acknowledge these ladies and gentlemen who left such an impression on me, something that I will never forget as long as I live. There are many other nuns and priests that also impacted my life and may fill up this column before I arrive at the gist of my reflection. All have rendered respect to and from people and it is this respect that is not only deeply imbedded in my heart but a major factor in spiritual goodwill.
I got to thinking about this this week as I follow quite closely the goings on at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica with the ouster of Monsignor James Benavente. The monsignor had welcomed me with open arms to use the facility at the cathedral-basilica as classrooms to teach the CHamoru language. He was a genuinely staunch supporter of the preservation of the indigenous language and he had desired that he wanted to be a catalyst in the perpetuation efforts of its usage.
By the same token, the archbishop, too, was a former member of the Chamorro Language Commission and was always at the forefront of indigenous language preservation for decades on end. He also writes in the vernacular with the gospels in the U Matuna si Yu'os every Sunday. Both men speak the language fluently and are known to celebrate Mass in the language in many occasions of the church.
While allegations have prompted such actions that resulted in the ouster of the monsignor, the community is hurting. I don't have a clear understanding of the goings on of the Catholic Cemeteries and the business aspects of what has transpired. Many people are involved and it wasn't an overnight venture but an accumulation of years, 20 years or more perhaps, of hard work that included planning and overseeing the operations of the cemetery.
I look upon this whole thing with my take on the manner of respect. Was it rendered and was it given by all sides? Or was it lacking in the true spirit of professional courtesy? In a manner of speaking, a dialogue of sorts would have been the modus operandi, with transparency and open communication being practiced to lessen the negative impact that has resulted in divisions among factions that pertain to the governance of the island's seat of our Catholic faith.
I see the monsignor's response that instead of being given written documents to substantiate this matter, communication and media exposure was chosen instead to air the matter to the public. This, he says is the "lesser road taken." There is more than meets the eye regarding this divisive issue among parishioners.
But the best I can contribute is to pray that this matter be settled amicably and sensibly. Although many have threatened to leave the Catholic Church because of this, I will not. I will stand faithfully in God's name.