Monday, September 15, 2014

A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

This year, the new administration of the Cathedral decided to do something different for its annual devotion to the Sweet Name of Mary. As per a parishioner's report, a statue of the Nina Maria was brought out on the final night of the Novena and the parishioners were informed that the annual devotion to the Cathedral's patroness would heretofore be directed towards a celebration of Mary's childhood.  

According to this comment, Archbishop Apuron offered an explanation:
Anonymous September 14, 2014 at 6:02 PM
The archbishop explained at last night's fiesta mass that the Nina Maria statue had been used for processions before WWII and that a family had donated the statue to the church. And that in the future the statue will be used in processions. He said it is important to remember that Mary was a child first before she was the mother of Jesus. And that we are celebrating Mary's childhood.

The commenter went on to express surprise and suspicion, wondering if this wasn't another manifestation of the "neo-takeover". We'll get to that another time, but here's why I titled this entry A MISSED OPPORTUNITY. 

First, there is no official Catholic Church feast of the "Sweet Name of Mary". Rather, it is a term of affection like the other many affectionate titles bestowed on the Mother of God. There is, though, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary which, today, is an optional memorial celebrated on September 12. 

Like many feasts, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary began as local devotion and spread. In the case of the Holy Name of Mary, it appears to have begun in 1513 in Cuenca, Spain and was celebrated on September 15. It went through a variety of transformations and different dates until 1671 when the feast was extended to all of Spain. 

The most significant transformation of the feast was when it was extended to the universal Church by Pope Innocent XI in 1684 to celebrate the Christian victory over the Turks (Muslims) at the Battle of Vienna on September 12 of the previous year - the Christian troops having been placed under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the polish King and military commander, John III Sobieski. 

The victory was no small matter. Since Mohammed began his quest to subject the whole world to Allah in the 7th century, Islam had continued to expand exponentially through the centuries, and a loss by the Christians at Vienna would have soon opened the gates for the Islamization of Europe, a fate that had already befallen most of the East, the Holy Lands, and northern Africa.

Historians see the defeat of the Turks at Vienna as the beginning of the end of the powerful Ottoman Empire and a major turning point in European history. However, as we now know, Islam did not go away, and on September 11, 2001, this ancient war once again exploded in our faces as the Twin Towers collapsed into a smoldering ruin. 

The date of September 11 is not coincidental. The Battle of Vienna, which was concluded on September 12 with the death of some 20,000 Muslims bringing the spread of Islam to a halt, began the day before on September 11. Three centuries later, the battle would resume...on the same date. 

For nearly three centuries, the Church honored Mary as its protectress against the "Mohammedans". However, in 1969,  probably in the post Vatican II spirit of "can't we all just get along", Pope Paul VI suppressed the feast and it disappeared from our calendar. Meanwhile, as we now know, the sword of the saracen has once again arisen from the desert dust and is hacking Christians into pieces. 

The ominous significance of the date and the meaning of the attack on the Twin Towers did not escape Pope John Paul II. One year later, he restored the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary. The date: September 11.

With all this as the history of the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, and given the Holy Father's recent universal call to pray for those who are suffering the greatest persecution of Christians since the onslaught of the Ottomans, the celebration of the patroness of the Agana Cathedral could have been a mighty statement of solidarity with those who are being hacked to death, nailed to crosses, and burned and buried alive in what is left of the oldest Christian civilizations on earth. 

But it wasn't. 


34 comments:

  1. I don't understand why this statue needs to be use. AAA said the family was entrusted with the statue to take care of it during the war but this is only a replica.

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  2. In a word or two, it seems rather crude or primitive

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  3. This is not the only new thing AAA announced. In the bulletin, under mass schedule:7:30 pm Neo mass on Saturday. Is it really mass? Will they be turning in the money collected in the black trash bag over to the parish?

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  4. Yesterday, I attended the reception for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem at the Cathedral. Before the blessing of the food, the AAA thanked Monsignor James for the great work he was doing with the Order along with Mr. Jacob. How can he say all those terrible things about Monsignor and allegations of mismanagement and then praise him for all of his good work? If he truly means it he should have one over the Monsignor's family who were there and speak to them.

    Another missed opportunity to right his wrong.

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    1. 7.24pm. How can you eat at a table with friends and then turn and Stab a knife into a friend. archbishop can.

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  5. Yes, Tim. Couldn't agree with you more. That Archbishop is useless.

    The mention of true persecution was made by Fr. Eric during the 11:30 Mass, during the investiture ceremony for the Equestrian Order. Leave it to a sensible, intelligent priest to speak about these matters. He even subtly referred to our own crosses in our very Island, leaving us to infer the reasons behind them--Arch and the Neos.

    Apuron sat high and mighty, then fumbled all through the Mass with the new poor excuse for altar servers/seminarians that even had to do a practice run minutes before Mass on how to function during a real Catholic Mass...straight up LAUGHABLE!

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  6. What is the statue made of?

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  7. May I ask the provenance of this perceived antique statue?

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  8. I can't believe what Apuron says these days. Is this something made up to defend using this statue? He has become masterful at making things up or just plain lying. Isn't the Cathedral named after holy name of Mary and not the nativity of Mary that's observed on September 8th? If this statue was used before WWII, then why is it coming to light now? Wouldn't the original have been destroyed or confiscated by the Japanese forces? Is this a replica or someone's creative imagination? I wonder who? Just by looking at the picture, it's hard to tell the style, the material used and the weight. I said weight because statues made today aren't as heavy as they used to be. Is her clothing made of fabric? Older statues didn't have any fabric. Statues were just solid back then. Who is this "family" that he is talking about? If any of this was true, then it would have been well known fact to this day. I really think it's time for a new archbishop. Since Apuron wants to change statues for feasts, how about December 8th? I know that this is gonna be a touchy subject for some. December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, not Our Lady of Camarin day. The correct statue for December 8 is Our Lady of Lourdes. It was at Lourdes that Mary told St.Bernadette that she (Mary) is the Immaculate Conception. I know that we shouldn't be making a fuss over statues, but it seems like Apuron wants to go down that road. First, there was Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Rita. Next, we have Agana, the Sweet Name of Mary. What's next? We still have other parishes whose patroness is the Blessed Mother. I'll say it again. Before changing anymore statues, let's change the archbishop. If not, then Apuron should change himself, instead of changing statues. By the way, when you look at old pictures of the Agana Cathedral, Mary was depicted in a fresco behind the altar as an adult, not a toddler. Get it right, AAA or is that too much of a challenge these days?

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    1. Thank you for these comments. I totally agree with you and feel exactly the same.

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  9. Anon Sept 15 7:50pm, you mentioned the poor excused altar servers, those servers are well trained altar servers and have been serving for time now. The problem was that the seminarians took control of that mass and they mostly did everything. I felt bad for the servers because I know they would of done a great job if they were given the duties. Those seminarians wouldn't know how serve those type of liturgies. Even the seminarian who was acting as the MC for the archbishop was lost and confuse. The liturgy would of ran smooth if the former MC's oversaw this mass.

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  10. I don't understand. The war has been over for almost 70 years. Unless someone can prove otherwise, there has been no mention of this toddler statue in 70 years, and now? I mean, who produced this statue? Was it in someone's storage room for all these years and miraculously appeared 70 years later? Were there pre-war pictures of this statue? Why not? It seems all too bizarre and weird? So, the Mother Church of Guam is now hopping around venerating Toddler Mary! I mean, yes, she was once a child, but it the WOMAN Mary who gave birth to Jesus. We celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus during Christmas, but in the end, it was the Man Jesus that we worship because it was the man Jesus who pronounced the Good News. This is all too loony for me!

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  11. I agree with Tim. It would have been inspiring and uplifting if the archbishop had used the occasion to stand in solidarity against the persecution of Christians, but wait! That would require the archbishop to do something statesman-like! We can all fantasize as Tim has in this post! LOL.

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  12. Speaking of MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, how many times has the archbishop missed the opportunity to reconcile with Fr. Paul, to bring the Neo renegades back into the fold, to be a leader, to be compassionate, to be a shepherd, to reconcile with the Filipino priests in Guam, to reconcile with Monsignor James, to bring unity and love back to this archdiocese, etc.? Too many times. I am sorry Mr. Rohr but the archbishop was only acting out his true nature by missing out on another opportunity. He should be named, Anthony Missed Opportunity Apuron.

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  13. The archbishop is bipolar, to malign Monsignor James in front of the FDMS body, and then in his presence and Monsignor's family, praise him.

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  14. Was that a moment of epiphany for the archbishop to declare that Mary was a child first? Oh wow! And what is it about Mary's childhood that would engender this kind of celebration? Baby Jesus, yes, but Baby Mary? I think our Protestant brothers are laughing their butts off right now!

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  15. There is a darn good reason why AAA would ignore the significance of the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary and the Battle of the Vienna. It would violate and go against Pope Kiko's Timeline of Christian history because it occurred during the "sleeping years"!!!!!!!

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    1. Beautiful discernment there, my friend.

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  16. Sure sign of mental instability in the way archbishop is shepherding his flock. No disrespect to our Lord and Mother Mary, the statue surely does not fit the spirit of the celebration.

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  17. Speaking of opportunities -Is the leadership on the hill is trying to find ways to make up for the lack of donations for the annual appeal? Does anyone know anything about the "Society of St. Peter the Apostle"? It was mentioned in a parish announcement that the Archdiocese would be seeking donations this coming weekend. This is supposed to be a Pontifical Missionary Collection to benefit seminaries and seminarians in mission dioceses. Is this the first time this is being done on Guam? I've never heard of this collection before. My understanding is this is different from Peter's Pence.

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  18. This is wrong. The interfaith group says Islam is not inherently violent. Muslim members of the group insists that radical Islam is a tiny minority inside the realm of the Islam world, even if they are very arrogant and violent. They just want to look bigger than they are. This is typical of terrorist groups who are terrorists first, even much before being Muslim. Radical Islam is intimidating the majority of Muslim people, against their will, to follow their crazy radicalism.

    The Thanksgiving interfaith lunch used to be a forum of mutual sharing of peace and understanding. Both Archbishop Apuron and Father Tom used to show up, God bless their hearts! Christian denominations and the followers of Judaism are also abound. Muslim testimonies at the event confirm that their Allah, who is the same as our own JHWH, is a merciful God. I personally heard them to testify that Jesus is a person of very high ethical standards who is a faithful intermediator between Allah (say JHWH if you wish) and the true believers.

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    1. I'm not sure what your point is. The post simply is recounting both history and the current news. While there may be moderate Muslims who reject violence (I am friends with some), there is no question that the founder of Islam embraced it.

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  19. or it could be a very subtle call to Obedience, since Mary as a child, said, I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done according to your word.

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  20. Looks like Carmen.Bwahahahaha

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  21. Be careful, in the last 10 years working in a parish I have never heard about this

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  22. Further to reading the post on "Nina Maria" consultation was made with a Roman Catholic theologian who is a bishop. The Bishop writes " Nina Maria devotion is certainly strange but nothing doctrinally wrong if the purpose is to emulate Mary's child likeness. We can always suppose that She was an upright child conceived and born, as she was, without sin. However, as a catholic bishop I would hesitate to pray to Our Blessed Mother under the title of " Nina Maria" Doesn't sound nice to me."

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  23. Wow...all the years living in Agana there was only ONE Santa Maria ...the same one that Auntie Geri, Auntie Tita treated with loving care and dressed up the carosa for her. Always proud of the crown made using our great-grandmother's melted down wedding coins that survived WWII and when I was a maid in the December 8 procession. So now what, this goof ( Sorry Granma, but you'd say he's a goof as well if you were alive) says we're going to do this Mary as a child thing? Maybe the earth shake was a reminder to the arch and the other goofs who REALLY has the power! How many times we had the palms from Palm Sunday wrapped around candles, with bottles of Holy Oil and Holy Water and Mom would say a rosary to Our Lady after earthquakes. Thank you Holy Mary Mother of God for protecting us again. Protect us more from the delusioned people living on San Ramon.

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  24. Shelly Gibson, you are so right about Santa Marian Kamalen statute, I was a student many years ago both at St. Francis & San Vicente Catholic schools & every Dec 8, we would all come to Agana Cathedral on Dec 8 for the procession. This is the Santa Marian Kamalen statue that is used for the procession. We should asked the new administration where is the real gold crown before they pawned it?

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  25. This image is not owned by a family! This is owned by a person who is into the collection of images and then if someone will see his collection the person will sell the image 300% higher so to be sure this was sold to what they call a "family" You can verify it in a church in dededo that it was ones used there

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    1. Sept 19, at 9:02 AM. This image is not owned by a family!..... You can verify it in a church in Dededo that it was one used there. Thank You for bringing truth to one more of archie's bizarre impulsive performances. How Sick!!. What archie continues to keep doing is really sickening. archie just got caught out lying yet again. Verify it in a church means. Proof. That man's mind is definitely warped.

      archie will be remembered in history as a liar and for running more people away from Guam's Catholic church than anyone else or anytime in his history. Some catholic hearts are broken, their beliefs and values in the church are shattered. They have had enough with an unscrupulous, self centered bigot be at the helm, who leads the church with no integrity whatsoever.

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  26. This is not an antique image in fact it the prominence is only less than 5 years......

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  27. FYI, google search " Nina Maria Guam: , you will see that what i am telling is true! its not owned by a family but by a person.......

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  28. 3.05pm. Nina Maria has no history. Not a piece of art.

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  29. Even in an act as "harmless" as an introduction of a statue into the Cathedral, Apuron STILL HAS TO LIE!

    What a fraud of a shepherd!

    SHAME ON YOU! Get out already, you and the rest of your NEOCancers, Apuron!!!

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