We've heard much about the financial problems and needs of this Archdiocese. Recently Msgr. James Benavente was made out to be the cause of most of them, even though some very smart financial people profoundly refuted the lies about Msgr. James spat forth from the usual suspects.
But if our archdiocese is seriously as hard up as the chancery suspects say they are, then we need to look at the biggest financial hole of all: our two seminaries.
According to Question #6 on a Q&A about the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal posted on the archdiocesan website, the Archdiocese "provides approximately 10% financial support to RMS." The amount budgeted for the support for RMS in 2014 is said to be $98,000. This means that RMS, in 2014, has cost $980,000 to run.
As per the 2014 Gala Dinner booklet, there are currently 38 seminarians, including transitional deacons, who are at RMS. That's about $26,000 per seminarian per year. And of course we don't know if that number includes all the travel these people do.
Now, let's look at the new St. John Paul II Archdiocesan Seminary. The 2014 budget for that seminary is said to be $65,829. However, given the amount of calls we've seen for private donations, we have to guess that the actual cost of getting that seminary up and running is a lot higher. Plus, we don't know if that budget was an estimate for the one seminarian who was there at the time the budget was made, or now that there are five seminarians there, if the actual cost is much higher.
Now let's look at the Regional Seminary of St. Peter Chanel in Fiji. We have already shown our connection to this seminary. It is the regional seminary for the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific, the episcopal conference to which the Archdiocese of Agana belongs, and of which the Archbishop of Agana, himself, served as its president for six years. It is also the seminary Pope St. John Paul II, in 1986, obligated us to support. Let's review here what he said:
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.
Yet, despite our now-sainted Holy Father's plea to support this seminary, and despite the Archbishop's serving as president of the conference the seminary serves, few on Guam even know about this seminary. Why is that?
Well, in the case of RMS, we know the answer. RMS is specifically a seminary to to form priests according to the Neocatechumenal Way, NOT the diocesan priesthood for the Archdiocese of Agana - a yarn we have been told for nearly 15 years. So, St. Peter Chanel, NOT being a neo-factory, of course neo's would not be sent there.
But in the case of JPII Seminary, WHAT ARE WE DOING?
According to Fr. Pius, the reason Archbishop Apuron will no longer send our seminarians to stateside seminaries is because they are "filled with gays". (Take note, St. Patrick's.) Really? Is that the real reason? Okay, let's let him have that one. But then what is the reason for not sending our real diocesan vocations to St. Peter Chanel, the "real" seminary for our region?
Is it cost? Fr. Michael O'Connor, SM, Rector of the seminary, recently confirmed that the cost to attend St. Peter Chanel for one year is U.S. $6,500, inclusive of tuition, room, and board. That's 10 times LESS than the budgeted (not actual) amount for the one seminarian at our local JPII seminary (at the time the budget was made). And even with airfare, it's a steal.
Is it the academic quality? Here, take a look at St. Peter Chanel's Academic Handbook, and by the way, where's the academic handbook for RMS, for Blessed Diego, for JPII?
This Archdiocese is asking us to pour all kinds of money into schools that can't even produce the credentials and documentation normally required of the smallest elementary school. Sure, we are being snookered again, but the young men who want to study for the priesthood for this archdiocese are the real losers.
A wonderful seminary, with a solid curriculum, an incredible list of permanent (really permanent) professors, a seminary which would cost us only a fraction of what it is costing us and going to cost us locally to give these men a hodgepodge formation, and a seminary established and blessed by Pope St. John Paul II to serve our region, lies just hours away and we would rather cheat our young men, charge ourselves ten times more, ignore the desires of a sainted pope, and diss our regional episcopal conference, all to to feed our egos and cover for a seminary that was established for only one reason: to give cover to Archbishop Apuron whose yarn about RMS being a diocesan seminary was finally exposed.
(In fact, the very fact that Archbishop Apuron established a second seminary is a clear admission that RMS is NOT a diocesan seminary as were told.)
Archbishop Apuron owes the Catholics of Guam an explanation. Why is he not sending our young men to St. Peter Chanel? Is it "full of gays" too? Shall we relay that opinion to the rector? It can't be cost. It can't be academics - which are obviously far superior to even the Yona neo factory (evidenced by what it sadly produces).
What is the reason? Otherwise, do what is best for these young men and send them to a real seminary. Meanwhile, Catholics of Guam, do not be suckered into another deal like RMS.
Below is the Academic Curriculum and the Academic Staff for 2014 at St. Peter Chanel. The full handbook may be viewed here.
THE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM 2014
This is the comprehensive list of the PRS curriculum according to departmental studies.
The first digit of the course code usually indicates the academic year or cycle in which it is taught.
The courses taught in Years I, II, III and IV are taught each year. Some of the courses in Years VI and VII are taught in 2 Yearly Cycles. All the courses are compulsory.
Courses in bold type (e.g. HS102 ANTHROPOLOGY 1) are major courses (3 credit) demanding 3 contact hours and 6 study hours per week.
Courses in italic type (e.g. PS302 PASTORAL MANAGEMENT) are minor courses (2 credit) demanding 2 contact hours and 4 study hours per week.
BS101 INTRODUCTION to the OLD TESTAMENT
BS203 INTRODUCTION to the NEW TESTAMENT
BS204 SYNOPTICS 1
BS306 SYNOPTICS 2
BS409 ISRAEL'S POETS & SAGES
BS610 HEBREWS AND CATHOLIC EPISTLES
BS611 APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE
BS713 SYNOPTICS 3
ST203 REVELATION AND FAITH
ST204 WORLD RELIGIONS
ST205 ECCLESIOLOGY 1 (THE CHURCH)
ST408 ECCLESIOLOGY 2 [SACRAMENTS]
ST409 FOUNDATIONS IN THEOLOGY
ST410 SPIRIT AND GRACE
ST413 THEOLOGY OF MISSION
ST415 THEOLOGY OF SPIRITUALITY
ST614 CONTEMPORARY THEOLOGICAL ISSUES
ST615 MINISTERIAL PRIESTHOOD in the PACIFIC
ST716 ECCLESIOLOGY 3
ST718 THEOLOGICAL REVIEW SEMINAR
LS101 INTRODUCTION TO LITURGY
LS402 HISTORY and LITURGY of the EUCHARIST
LS603 LITURGY: THEOLOGY, SYMBOL & CELEBRATION
LS704 THE ART of PRESIDING
CE301 FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS 1
CE302 FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS 2
CE407 JUSTICE AND ETHICS
CE711 PENANCE: THEOLOGY AND PRACTICE
CE712 HUMAN AND CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY
CE713 PRIESTLY AND CONSECRATED CELIBACY
CE714 THE SACRAMENT OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
CH302 THE EARLY CHURCH
CH303 REFORMATION STUDIES
CH304 MODERN CHURCH HISTORY
CH405 PACIFIC CHURCH HISTORY I
CH606 PACIFIC CHURCH HISTORY II
CL401 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF CANON LAW
CL602 CANON LAW OF SACRAMENTS
CL702 CANON LAW OF MARRIAGE
FB101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
FB102 ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
FB103 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
FB104 MODERN PHILOSOPHY
FB105 CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY
FB208 APPLIED ETHICS
FB210 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
FB211 PHILOSOPHY OF POLITICS
FB212 PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE
FB213 PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
FB214 PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE
PS201 PASTORAL THEOLOGY AND PRAXIS
PS302 PASTORAL MANAGEMENT
PS406 PASTORAL ENCOUNTER
HS102 ANTHROPOLOGY 1
HS104 ANTHROPOLOGY 2
HS105 ANTHROPOLOGY FIELDWORK
HS208 DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
HS310 ADULT PSYCHOLOGY
HS611 MODERN SOCIAL ISSUES in the PACIFIC
PROGRAM IN ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES:
HS101 SYSTEMATIC THINKING 1
HS103 METHODOLOGY 1
HS206 SYSTEMATIC THINKING 2
HS207 METHODOLOGY 2
LANGUAGES - BIBLICAL AND ECCLESIATICAL
SEMINARY ACADEMIC STAFF 2014
Fr 'AHOHAKO Soane, Society of Mary, Tonga (SM), B.Th (Divine Word University, PNG), S.T.L. (Alphonsiana University, Rome); lecturer in Moral Theology and Philosophy
Mrs DAULATO Ilisabeta, DipEd (CCTC, Suva) Dip Rel.Stud, (EAPI, Manila); lecturer in English, Systematic Thinking & Methodology. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr FITZGERALD, Michael, Society of Mary, New Zealand (SM),, BA (USP), MA (University of S Thomas Aquinas, Rome), B. Phil (Catholic University of Leuven); lecturer in Philosophy.
Fr GUKIBAU, Ioane, Society of St Columban, Fiji (SSC). STL, (Gregorian University, Rome); lecturer in Theology and Church History
Rev Dr. RUNGGALDIER Edmund, Society of Jesus, Italy (SJ), B.Ph. (Munich, Germany), M.Th. (Innsbruck, Austria), D. Ph. (Oxford); lecturer in Philosophy; Edmund.Runggaldier@uibk.ac.at
Fr KOLODISI Timoci, Archdiocese of Suva, B.D. (PRS) MA in Pastoral Studies (Ateneo de Manila) Diploma in Pastoral Renewal, Diploma in Pastoral Management (EAPI); email@example.com
Fr KYAW-HOE James, Salesian of Don Bosco (SDB) BA Don Bosco College NJ USA, BTh, Catholic Theological College, (Clayton), MA Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology (Berkeley) MA Flinders University – Adelaide College of Divinity (South Australia); firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr LUDWICK Edmond, Diocese of Caroline, B.D. (P.R.S.), B.Th. (Urbaniana), STL (University of Santo Tomas, Manila); lecturer in Theology; email@example.com.
Rev Dr. McILRAITH Donal, Society of St Columban, Ireland (SSC). BA (University of Dublin), LSS (Biblicum, Rome), STD (Gregorian University, Rome); lecturer in Biblical Studies, Hebrew and Greek; firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev Dr. O’CONNOR Michael, Society of Mary, New Zealand (SM). B.Sc. (Hons), (University of Canterbury), CTS (Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA), MA (Loyola, Chicago), Ed. D. (University of Toronto).
Rev Dr. O’SULLIVAN Richard, Society of St Columban, Ireland (SSC). MA (Loyola Ateneo de Manila). STD (Vidyajyoti Institute of Religious Studies, Delhi); lecturer in Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology. email@example.com
Rev Dr PAUNGA Mikaele, Society of Mary, Tonga (SM), STL, STD (Gregorian University, Rome); lecturer in Systematic Theology and Anthropology; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr ROUNDS Anne, Congregation of Mary, Fiji (Marist Sisters).Teacher’s Certificate (CCTC), Diploma in Guidance and Counselling (USP), B. Ed. (USP), Licentiate in Psychology (Gregorian University, Rome); lecturer in Psychology; email@example.com
Fr TATAU Iona, Diocese of Tarawa and Nauru. B.D. (P.R.S.), STL in Canon Law (Rome); lecturer in Canon Law; firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr TERRY Falani, Society of Mary, Samoa (SM). BA in English, History, Politics (USP), STL in Philosophy (Gregorian University, Rome); lecturer in Philosophy; email@example.com
Fr TING George, Archdiocese of Suva. BA Sociology (USP); lecturer in Sociology, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs TUIQAMEA Apolonia, Diploma of Education (CCTC, Suva) B.A. in Sociology & Public Administration (USP), Certificate in The Pacific Community for Pastoral Care and Counselling (Suva), Postgraduate Diploma in Social Policy and Administration (USP)
Fr TULI Taukei’aho, Diocese of Tonga, B.D. (P.R.S.), B. Th. (Urbaniana) Th.M. in Social Ethics (GTU, Berkeley, California); lecturer in Moral Theology
Fr ULUPANO 'Okusitino, Society of Mary, Tonga (SM). B.D. (P.R.S.), B.Th. (Urbaniana), STL (University of Santo Tomas, Manila); lecturer in Pacific Church History and Theology, email@example.com
Fr VICTOR Pesamino, Archdiocese of Samoa- Apia, B.D. (P.R.S.), B.Th. (Urbaniana), STL, M. Th. (University of Santo Tomas, Manila); lecturer in Theology;
Fr VODIVODI Leronio, Society of Mary, Fiji (SM). B.D. (P.R.S.), B.Th. (Urbaniana), M.S. (Loyola College, Columbia, MD); lecturer in Psychology and Pastoral Courses; firstname.lastname@example.org