Thursday, February 26, 2015


At Loyola Marymount University back in the late 70's, I applied for and received a scholarship to study music. 

The school itself did not pay for my education, it only administered the scholarship. The actual funding came from Lawrence Welk, a Catholic, a friend of the University, and a then-famous Hollywood music personality.

Upon receiving the scholarship, Mr. Welk wrote me a congratulatory note and invited me to his home in nearby Pacific Palisades. 

I grew up watching the Lawrence Welk show every Saturday night on a black and white TV with my family. It's kind of fun to remember that.

We had a strict TV schedule: The Red Skelton Show on Tuesday nights, Daniel Boone on Thursdays, Rango (with Tim Conway) on Fridays, Lawrence Welk on Saturdays, and The Wonderful World of Disney on Sundays. And then it was bed time.

Forgive my taking license to reminisce. All this talk of scholarships caused me to slip into a bit of nostalgia. 

But down to business. I was awarded that Lawrence Welk scholarship to study music. And as long as I studied music and maintained a certain attendance, GPA, and performance record, I continued to have my tuition paid by Lawrence Welk. 

Had I quit the music program, or did not meet the expectations of the scholarship, the funding would have been withdrawn. And if I wanted to continue at LMU I would have had to find another way to pay my tuition. It wouldn't have mattered if I had quit the music program to go live and study with the campus Jesuits, Lawrence Welk simply would not have paid for me to do that. 

Would Lawrence Welk have wanted me to be a priest? I 'm sure if I wrote him and advised him of my intentions to quit the music program and join the Jesuits and asked him for financial assistance, he may very well have agreed to support me (though I'm sure the Jesuits wouldn't have taken me anyway.) :-)

In the case of the former FD student turned RMS seminarian, it appears that the young man simply defaulted on the condition of his scholarship. I am told that over the years, it was not uncommon for private persons to personally finance the education of someone they consider promising. I also understand that there is an alumni foundation which may also do this. 

Private persons and the alumni foundation may act in consort with the school or they may act independently. In fact, an individual could have his tuition paid by a benefactor and the school wouldn't necessarily have to know about it. 

Whatever the case was, the person in question defaulted on the obligation that was the condition of his scholarship and the scholarship was withdrawn. 

At that point, it was his responsibility to see to it that his tuition continued to be paid if he wished to continue at the school. However, according to reports from the people who are intimate with the details of this case, he did not. He continued to attend FD without paying his tuition. 

As with any student who falls in arrears, we can assume that the school took action to arrange for payment. But according to the report I received, no payment was made. 

Ordinarily, this would have meant a dismissal from the school. But he was not dismissed. He was permitted to continue and to graduate. 

Here is where we must ask why? 

Why was he permitted to continue without paying tuition and to graduate? It's easy to see. We simply have to ask what made this person's situation different from the others? There is only one answer. He had entered the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and thus (probably at the order of Pius - since he orders everything) had the special protection of Archbishop Apuron. 

According to the report I received, every effort was made by the school to collect the tuition, and further efforts were made by those who had something directly to do with the granting of the scholarship. However, at some point, the word either came down to "leave him alone", or those who were trying to collect had otherwise gotten "the message". 

Ultimately, Archbishop Apuron is the CEO of every Catholic institution, and what he wants, goes. And for years now we have seen what he wants. He wants the people of Guam to submit their money, their faith, and their very selves to the same neocatechumenal masters he himself has sold his soul to. 

So this is not an FD thing. It is not a scholarship thing. It is not a money thing. It is not even a (name of the person) thing. It is an Apuron thing. A Pius thing. A Gennarini thing. A Kiko thing. In other words, it's the same old thing. 

It's been going on for 20 years. It should be no surprise that our schools have also been exploited by "the thing." 

May 13, 1981
I never took Mr. Welk up on his invitation to visit him at his home. I was too in awe to do so. But I did fulfill the conditions of the scholarship, graduating with a music degree, and gave my final senior piano recital on May 13, 1981. 

I remember it well. It was the day John Paul II was shot.

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