Tuesday, September 30, 2014

THE "REAL" SEMINARY

The Catholics of Guam are once more being asked to build and support a seminary. This time it is the Saint John Paul II Archdiocesan Seminary located in what was the Retreat Center in Malojloj, which was, prior to that, the Carmelite monastery. 

As we have already noted in several posts, there should be no need for another seminary. We were told for more than a decade that the Redemptoris Mater Seminary WAS the seminary FOR the Archdiocese of Agana.

So why are we being asked to build and support another seminary? Because the Redemptoris Mater Seminary is EXCLUSIVELY a seminary which "prepares men for the priesthood...following the life and itinerary of the Neocatechumenal Way." (Article III. Articles of Incorporation, RMS.)


The exclusive Neocatechumenal mission of RMS came glaringly to light this past year when first Junee Valencia objected to a Neocatechumenal formation and then Aaron Quitugua. Apparently a compromise was struck with Junee. He was given a separate place to live but no other options to study other than with the neos at RMS. Aaron Quitugua was flatly refused sponsorship to any other seminary other than RMS. In other words, it's the NEO way or its NO way when it comes to being a priest in the Archdiocese of Agana.

After these two public blow-ups, Archbishop Apuron, in December of 2013, apparently decided to mollify the restless locals by establishing a second seminary...sort of. I say "sort of" because even if the Malojloj facility is fixed up to house aspirants to the diocesan priesthood, they still have no alternative course of study other than what is offered at RMS and the Blessed Diego Institute with its very spotty schedule of instruction and a list of professors who either haven't been here in years, are here only infrequently, or who have questionable credentials to even teach what they're teaching.

(By the way, you can see how much our archdiocesan leadership cares about this second seminary by going to the archdiocesan website and clicking on "Seminary". Even after almost a year since it was "established", there is no mention of this other seminary, only (of course) RMS. The only place the JP2 seminary is mentioned is in the section about the Annual Appeal.)

I'll be offering more evidence for all of the above in the near future, but the question for our archdiocesan leaders is WHY ARE YOU NOT SUPPORTING THE REAL SEMINARY?

The "real" seminary is the Regional Seminary for the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific (CEPAC), the Pacific Regional Seminary of St. Peter Chanel. The Archdiocese of Agana has been a member of CEPAC since 1984 and Archbishop Apuron himself served as its president from 2003 to 2010, yet we send no one to this seminary. 

Located in Fiji, The Regional Seminary of St. Peter Chanel has been in existence since 1972, and it has trained hundreds of men from across our region of the Pacific to become priests. Currently there are 60 men studying for the priesthood at this seminary from the following dioceses: Suva (Fiji), Noumea (New Caledonia), Samoa-Apia, Tonga, Port Vila (Vanuatu), Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Tarawa and Nauru, and the Caroline Islands. BUT NONE FROM GUAM. 

(Note: Former Jesuit brother, Dave Antonelli, who has served for many years in Yap and other islands of Micronesia, is currently studying there and will soon be ordained to the Diocese of the Caroline Islands.)

The current seminary population also includes another 61 seminarians from five affiliated colleges: Marist College, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Columban Formation House, the Salesians, and the Vincentian Formation House. Also studying there are two religious sisters. The current total seminary student population is 123. 

The faculty includes a long list of priests, nuns, and lay persons with lots of academic degrees to their names.

There is NO WAY Guam could ever compete with this seminary NOR SHOULD WE. We are actually bound to support it. Yet we do not. Here is what Pope John Paul II said about this seminary on his visit to Fiji in 1986:
I wish to congratulate you, as I have already done on other occasions, on the establishment of this Regional Seminary of the Pacific. It fills my heart with joy to hear that the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life is growing year by year. I know that, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, this increase is due in no small part to your own zealous efforts as shepherds of the flock of Christ. 
I am pleased, too, that the promotion of priestly vocations and the support of this Regional Seminary have been marked by true collaboration.  Thus you have indeed borne witness to the collegial nature of the episcopal ministry in your work to ensure a more effective programme of priestly formation for all your particular Churches. I would ask you always to maintain this interest in the Seminary  and particularly in the seminarians, through personal contact and fatherly concern. It is important that all aspects of seminary training should lead young men to a greater knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
I encourage you to continue in the vital task of promoting vocations to the priesthood and to religious life. The future of the Church depends in great part upon the evangelical witness and generous service of priests and religious. In particular, I encourage you in your pastoral solicitude to reach out to the young people of your parishes and communities. My prayer is that you will witness such a flowering of vocations in your midst that, in the not too distant future, the Churches which have been established by missionaries will in turn be sending forth missionaries to other nations.*
Perhaps because we have NOT supported our own regional seminary as Pope John Paul II exhorted us to, Guam is not only NOT "sending forth missionaries" from "Churches established by missionaries", we are now taking vocations from other dioceses. 

But really! What is in the best interest of our young men from Guam who want to serve this Archdiocese as true diocesan priests? A boarding house in Malojloj with spotty formation at a Neocatechumenal seminary? Or sending them to a long established seminary, specifically established to serve our region, and the seminary the Holy Father urged us to support? 

Suggestion. Rather than give ANY money to this "bone" being thrown to us (after all these years of being lied to about RMS), offer to support local aspirants to the diocesan priesthood who will attend the Seminary our sainted Holy Father implored us to support, and where our men can receive a TRUE seminary education. That is, of course, if Archbishop Apuron will even sponsor them there. 


2014 Seminarians of the Pacific Regional Seminary of St. Peter Chanel

* At the beginning of his address, Pope John Paul II, names the member dioceses of the conference:
As bishops, you represent in your own persons the People of God of the Archdioceses of Suva, Agaña, Papeete, Nouméa, and Samoa-Apia and Tokelau, and the Dioceses of Port-Vila, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, Taiohae, Samoa-Pago Pago Chalan Kanoa, Rarotonga, Tarawa and Nauru, Carolines-Marshalls and the Mission Sui iuris of Funafuti. The name of each of these local Churches speaks of God’s providential love, incarnated in a particular culture and people, in the lives of the clergy, religious and laity to whom you give a shepherd’s care.

46 comments:

  1. This is the first that I have ever heard about CEPAC's Pacific Regional Seminary of St. Peter Chanel. Has anything been ever published in the Umatuna about it? Sending seminarians there might be optional for CEPAC members, but I bet that the fact that we haven't sent anybody there doesn't sit well with many of the other bishops, especially the ones that foot the bill for that seminary.

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  2. Isn't AAA in Fiji now?

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    1. Don't know. But one wonders what the other bishops of the conference think of his setting up competing seminaries, and even recruiting from their islands.

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    2. Those men who are here from other ISLANDS are WALKERS and WANT to be here with the Brothers. Sing along ___It's so good the be with the brothers!!! CLAP CLAP CLAP

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  3. I wonder what the archbishop's response was whenever fellow clergyman would ask him, "So which one of these seminarians are yours?"

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  4. Consider the day lost you didn't learn SOMETHING NEW! Well, well, yet another Seminary in the Pacific. One would have thought the President of the Conference would have let us know....never mind.

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  5. I'm curious now. So, what is your take on the saint john paul ii seminarians in malojloj tim? so your saying that those who go there are just as brained washed by the rms caused the teachers there are neo?

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    1. What "saint john paul ii seminarians in malojloj"? There is NO seminary in Malojloj and there are not St. John Paul II seminarians. There is an old retreat house that is being used as a place for a couple of guys to sleep. The young men who stay there can't be blamed. They want an authentic priestly formation. Sleeping in Malojloj and learning from Neo professors in Yona is as close as they're going to be allowed to get by this Archbishop. The sad part is that it is going to cost as much or more to put them up in a separate place and pay for their local stunted formation as it would cost to get them a true diocesan formation at a true diocesan seminary, the one Pope John Paul II exhorted the Archbishop of Agana to support.

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    2. Why on earth are they screwing with those guys down there? There are four or five now. Asking the neighbors for household goods. That will get old real fast. Can't fool around with people's lives like that, ARCHBISHOP and Vocation Director ADRIAN

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    3. Why is this archdiocese even footing the bill for anything neo? People of God, we are not obliged to support the RMS seminary! Stop giving to the appeal. 3/4 of it go to the neo!

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  6. My question is do we support these so called saint john paul ii seminarians? Better yet they are not even saint john paul seminarians. They're just boys staying in malojloj being taught the neo way.

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  7. Tim, can you tell us more on this other seminary?. Is it a seminary? I heard that the proclamation for the New Saint John Paul the Great Archdicesan Seminary of Guam is on october 22 the feast of Saint John Paul. Can you explain more?

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    1. As said elsewhere, this "seminary" is a bone thrown to us like a bone to barking dogs. They can proclaim all they want. But after a year it is not even mentioned on the archdiocesan website. What a joke. We are STUPID if we bite. There is a long established real seminary for our region which the Holy Father has asked us to support. Now let's support it and stop lying to these young men.

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  8. So the 4 or 5 boys staying in the so called malojloj seminary are not seminarians because the former malojloj retreat house is not a seminary?

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    1. They can be called seminarians because they are attending a seminary, RMS. The JP2 place is a boarding house. Not a seminary. There was NEVER any intent by the archbishop to have any seminary other than the neo seminary. He is only doing this because we exposed the real purpose of RMS. He will not support this seminary. It is a bone he's throwing to us to distract us "dogs". Send these men to a real seminary and stop wasting their lives and vocations.

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    2. Correct these two seminarians should be sent to St. Patrick's Seminary San Francisco to prepare for Diocesan Priesthood in service of the Archdiocese. Apuron is wasting their lives and the precious gift of time.

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    3. Apuron stop wasting the lives and vocations of these young men. Stop playing God with these students.

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  9. Let us pray for these boys staying in a house and not a seminary. Pray for Junee Valencia, Eric, Angelo,Rico Chaco and Brandon also their so called rector Father Romey. I guess the arch is fooling them all.

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    1. And us. Pray. Yes. But demand that we send them to a real seminary. Stop wasting their lives and their vocations.

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  10. Has the Congregation for the Clergy been advised of our new seminary, and has its curriculum for religious formation received its approval?

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    1. It may have. If so, it is simply a "go ahead". The question is WHY are we going through all the cost and expense of doing this when there is a much superior place to send them to and which we are already bound to support as the Regional Seminary for our Conference? And REMEMBER: There never would have even been the attempt to establish this "seminary" if I hadn't exposed RMS. So that should tell you that there is NO sincerity behind the establishment of this seminary. It is only a cover. And we SHOULD NOT waste the lives of these young men because the archbishop needs the cover. Send them to a real seminary and stop lying to them and to us.

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  11. The Catholic Church in Guam are being run by incompetent fools. We are the laughing stock of the Pacific converting a former hotel into a seminary for the formation of men not from Guam at our local expense. And to aggravate things, we opened up another seminary for one seminarian! Goodness gracious! Has common sense completely left the Chancery?

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  12. Typical uninformed neocatechumenal rhetoric. "well my catechists says so, so it must be true" "my catechists is like the internet so if they say it, then it must be true" hahahaha what a load of crock. Anonymous at 7:32 obviously only logs on "ANONYMOUSLY" may I add; just to comment and not even read the full context. Typical NEO Cafeteria Catholics. I'll read what I want and take only what I like. Everything else I don't understand is the "DEVIL" talking. Seriously folks, is that all you NEOCATS have?....waiting for Fr. Adrian to chime in now...hahaha Hey maybe we'll even get a taste of Fr. Pius too on this post. You all know me.

    KEN-F
    the REAL one!

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  13. It is my hope and prayer that the Saint John Paul II Seminary in Malojloj will garner enough support from our people of Guam and that it will be a VALID seminary where our local young men can be taught TRUE AUTHENTIC CATHOLIC doctrine. This is not a "blind" hope or "wishful thinking". My hope comes from the fact that there are priests (and even deacons) who are fighting for these young men and fighting for this seminary. I also know that there are countless parishioners who are ready and willing to put their money and support into this seminary, especially after finding out that the seminary in Yona was ONLY for those walking in the Way. Let's not forget our people off island who would be willing to support our local young men. It can happen. Otherwise, the Archbishop will have more to answer to. People won't stand by and do nothing IF our Archbishop shows no support in this seminary in Malojloj. The young men entering into that seminary are the sons of Guam!!! For now, they are in good hands with Father Romey and other priests who visit with them and guide them. However, I do believe they deserve more than a "stunted formation" from neo professors.

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    1. It is fine to pray that there will be a valid seminary where young men can be taught TRUE AUTHENTIC CATHOLIC doctrine, but why not just send them to one? The one which was established to serve the episcopal conference to which we belong? The one Pope John Paul II told us to support? We are cheating those young men if we do otherwise.

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    2. THANKYOU Claire for your words of support and encouragement. I am from the village of Malojloj and I help out at St. John Paul II Seminary....we have received so much support from our people. Pls. let us support these men and let us pray that our Archbishop would set things straight so that this division within our Archdiocese would STOP and that we may move forward doing God's work.

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    3. Mr. Meno, what does the archbishop do to help these seminarians? Or he doesn't care?

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    4. ...Anon Oct 1, 2014 @ 8:30PM..I don't have an answer for that. I cook and do the errands for the seminary and help out with the day to day activities...I'm sure that the Rector Fr. Romeo Convocar could answer that question. I pray that our people continue to support these men.

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    5. Why will they not send them to the states where they will receive authentic Catholic education. We do not want more dump priests who cannot give homilies, cannot interact with parishioners, cannot do the mass right, and know nothing about being with people. Anyone want to start a group to sponsor these boys to Saint Patrick Seminary California? I am a go.

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  14. I heard that the boys staying in Malojloj are having good Non Neo priest to teach them. They also mentioned that the arch ask Fr. Romey to form this new seminary and his team. Let us pray for his team that will help guide young local men to their true calling.
    Thanks fathers, Romey, Fr. Richard Kidd, Fr. Karl, Msgr. Bibi, Fr. Willy, Fr. Mike Crisostomo, Fr. Pat Castro, OFM Cap, Fr. Felix L.G. OFM Cap, deacon Len stohr and all who help these boys.

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    1. It's wonderful that many want to help. We just still ask: WHAT IS BEST FOR THE YOUNG MEN? And what did the Holy Father implore the bishops of this region to do? I suspect that these priests and deacons may have pitched in simply because they were not aware of an alternative. The alternative is the seminary that was established for this region.

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    2. And they still will have to attend classes at RMS.

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    3. Tim, I totally agree with you. (Oct. 1, 2014 @ 4:30PM)..what I can say is that although these 5 seminarians do attend classes at RMS be assured that they are in good hands with Fr. Romy and the team set up to assist in their formation...I pray and trust that Holy Spirit guides this team of formators.

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    4. There is no doubt that their souls are in the good hands of Fr. Romy. But Fr. Romy is not a "seminary". The young men deserve a true seminary formation. That is simply not possible on Guam. And be assured that the Archbishop and Pius are snickering behind everyone's back on this.

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    5. Yup, snickering behind the seminarians backs. Too sad for words.

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    6. Most Diocesan Seminarians get some subsidy, but there are many things they are responsible for as far as their education goes. How are these elemnents being worked out. Neo Guys ride for free with AirCon...so who will pay tuition of these other guys?

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    7. The team of priests for these boys are all Filipinos, nothing against Filipinos, my grandfather is Filipino and I love him to mars and back, its plain obvious the Archbishop composed a team of priests he can control like puppets. A friend up north says the boys are not allowed too see anyone or leave the seminary, the bishop is trying to keep these boys from knowing the truth? sorry only a matter of time. Speaking of subsidy, I ask how are these boys being sustained????? Does the bishop provide them with laundry services like the neokikos in Yona? My guess, they want these boys out by way of making their lives hell. Send them to the States like has been done in the past. So they get the proper training.

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    8. Anon Oct. 3, 2014 @ 12:15PM...where did you hear such talk? and from who?..I help out at St. John Paul Seminary and NEVER have I heard the Rector or anyone say such things! pls should anyone have any questions, comments or concerns regarding these seminarians of St. John Paul PLEASE call the Rector and inquire....or come down and visit us!....now regarding their "laundry"....lol..nothing else to say but their grown men....they do their own laundry....God bless us all.

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  15. So, in essence these young men would be attending JP2 in vain? If so, do they know this? If they don't know, I hope and pray they are set straight....and soon!

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    1. They could still be ordained, but they will never receive the solid priestly formation that they should have. We already see the product coming out of RMS. And even if ordained. They will be made to serve the Neocatechumenal Way because that's all there will be. The Neos will be the pastors of all the parishes.

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    2. All these reasons, my friends, are why we need a new Bishop who will attend to the issue of the Seminarians on day one. There are enough changes in their lives going to the Seminary. For peace to pray and study they need good examples/mentors and STABILITY. Even without a staff, interpersonal problems can make the whole enterprise implode or explode. This cannot be decided and thrown together in a couple of months. Dear God. Can we get our act together, please?

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  16. Is Father Romy paying more attention to the seminarians or dedicating his time and obligations to the members of his parish? They should not have a priest attending to both. If he stopped saying mass down in Inarajan (St. Joseph parish), so why should he continue to be the priest of San Isidro and be responsible for these seminarians? What they need is Father Romy to be dedicated to his parish and someone else be responsible for these male individuals. If that`s the case, then in a matter of time the seminarians will TAKE OVER MALOJLOJ!

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    1. What are you talking about 10:26PM? Why don't you ask the same question about Adrian? He is Vocational Directress, Chancellor, and Pastor and the Jiminey Cricket for the Archbishop.

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    2. 10:26 PM You should direct your questions to your archbishop. Isn't he in charge?
      BTW you're stupid for writing that the seminarians will take over Malojloj. Those young men are being used as pawns by the Neo Archbishop and his NCW masters. I commend them for wanting to step up to become our future priests.

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    3. The same can be said about Monsignor David.....he is never at the Cathedral it is run by everyone but him

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