Monday, February 29, 2016


A reminder. This is tonight!


  1. I strongly recommend attendance at this presentation, In addition to listening to a great Homilist, Those in attendance will develop and appreciate a greater love for the Mass.

  2. This is a great initiative.
    As Mr Tanaka points out, Fr Paul is a great Homilist. He is also a talented and charismatic teacher.
    To be a stronger Catholic, you must understand the history and the rules of our faith. This is a great step towards this goal.
    Do not forget, that many of the abuse within our Church, come from the fact that most of us, are not well versed in the tenets of our own religion.
    Education and knowledge is power.
    The Lenten period is a great time for reflection and learning.

  3. AMEN to both Tommy and Frenchie. Knowledge is power, and the more we know about our Faith and its practices, the stronger Catholics we become. I definitely will be there. Thank you, Father Paul. - jrsa.

  4. Mary Lou Garcia-PeredaFebruary 28, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    Although, per the announcement, I haven't signed up, I'm hoping to be there. Not only is Fr. Paul Gofigan a great homilist, but as J.R. San Agustin at 1:43 PM states, "… the more we know about our Faith and its practices, the stronger Catholics we become." At this particular time, it is imperative that we be informed and strong. Thank you and God bless you, Fr. Paul, for providing this opportunity.

  5. Fr. Paul's homily was spot on today at the 10am Mass at Santa Barbara. It was nice listening to him again. Surely I will be attending the presentations at St. Francis. God Bless, Fr. Paul.

  6. Excellent first day. A lot of church history. The important points I walked away with last night: (1) the Church takes a long time to do things, (2) the Church always comes out stronger, (3) it is up to us, the people who are the church, to notice the heresies that make their way into our faith and families, and (4) challenge with mercy and humility

    Fr. Gofigan's presentation was captivating. We could have sat around for another hour or two asking questions. I am looking forward to tonights workshop on the GIRM.

    Kudos to the St. Francis parish for the light refreshments afterwards. It made the evening that much more enjoyable.

  7. Great presentation last night was a recap of Church history. Tonight will begin the main topic of the Mass. You can still benefit by attending. Thanks to Fr. Paul!

  8. I am not confident after hearing about tonight's talk, in fact, I am frustrated. Too many illicit actions were given a free pass as if the GIRM was set to the side. By the way, anyone receive a copy of the GIRM or any rubrics of the Mass tonight? If this is supposed to be a discussion of the Mass, shouldn't the documents be available for reference?

    Please, somebody correct me if I am wrong, but if the subject of the talk is supposed to be the GIRM, why was it seemingly ignored?

    Exit request: I hope the correct explanation of the Rite of Peace is explained on Thursday so that some cease perpetuating it as some intermittent social event in the middle of Mass. (No, slinging the peace sign across the pews is neither licit nor appropriate.)

    1. Hi Mr. Jose M., last nights presentation was very good. Also, they gave Father a better mic so the acoustics was good. Yes he started the line by line GIRM and I am glad he went through the history the first night so things are clearer as to why things are done a certain way. The questions were intelligent and the answers quite clear. I am sorry we did not supply a copy of the GIRM for the those who came or are coming, this project came out of the idea of Adult Catechesis and expenses out of the pockets of a few, so I could not make copies of the entire document for everyone. Father was hoping people would bring their laptops and follow along, as he also puts it up on the projector. We are trying... Thank you so much for coming and we are looking forward to putting out more adult catechesis projects this year and next. I'm trying to consider an exit survey to find out what topics people like to learn about, so hopefully you are there and can complete one. Thank you again for coming.

    2. Hafa Adai Sharon. I was not in attendance, but someone who was came to me later because they were further confused at the end of the talk.

      From what was told to me, why would the GIRM be discussed if at the end, Fr. Gofigan admitted that he still chooses to not correct the illicit?

      It is not about being knowledgeable of the rubrics of the Mass and GIRM, and its not just about robotically following these instructions. It's about appreciating the reasons why we are givin these directions - why we are gifted with this guidance. There is a beauty about our liturgy as well as a mystery to our worship that we should remain in reverent awe every time we are at Mass. We are not capable of perfecting this worship alone. That is why the Church gives us the GIRM and follows a rubrics. They are not mere suggestions nor a call for innovation or customization.

      This one hour we spend on Sundays with our Lord is not for us. It's for the worship of our creator and savior. One hour in which we set aside ourselves and our comfort and participate as one church through the liturgy she gives us.

      Along with shedding our 'selves' in our worship at the Mass, we need clergy who will acknowledge in talk and in action that the Mass is not about them either.

    3. My take on the presentation is Fr. Paul started with the Church History to give us an idea what the Church has faced in erroneous teachings that have from within the Church been the cause of many confusion in Church teaching. The Sacraments instituted by Christ have been entrusted to the Church whose primary goal is to administer these Holy Gifts to God's people as part of her Sanctifying mission. The Church tasked with this mission mandates certain rituals and rubrics in the form of the GIRM to preserve the sacredness of the Sacraments through the generations. It would be impossible for Fr. Paul to enumerate all the abuses that have been creeping into this Sacred Liturgy, nor does he have the power to correct them as each individual pastor presides over the mass based on his understanding of the GIRM taking into account all the indults that have been given by the church for each geographical location. Overall Fr. Paul's presentation has been very informative and should be followed up with a more indepth presentation. Thank You Fr. Paul

    4. It doesn't sound like Jose was demanding that Fr. Paul "enumerate all the abuses," nor "correct each individual pastor," (which wouldn't be his place), nor "take into account all the indults...for each geographical location." Not sure why you think so. What each priest IS to do, however, is to ensure that the rubrics outlined in the GIRM are faithfully followed by both celebrant and congregation, lest it turn into a "book of suggestions" as the kiko's claim. Also, it must be said that just because the Missal or the GIRM does NOT say to do something then we are free to do whatever we want. The GIRM is not a book of "don't do's."

    5. Were there specific questions asked of him during a Q&A as to certain postures and gestures in our responses in the Mass? In his answers, he most certainly could have addressed the errors and what the GIRM and rubrics state.

      In the context of the situation of our Archdiocese today and with the difficulty addressing the NCW violations while we ignore our own, to me, it would seem that in speaking directly of the Mass and GIRM, any presenter cannot afford to be incomplete and compromising.

    6. Afa Adai Jose,
      I sense you are very involved in this topic.
      I would suggest, that time permitting, you participate in these meetings. It is always best to get first hand information, rather than conclude on matters based on hearsay, no matter how talented and honest the person reporting them is.
      We have seen how much damage can be done within our own Church, over the past two millennia, by this type of relayed information.
      While I don't know you personally, from all your posts that I have read, I gather you are a very honest and heartfelt person, as well as a passionate individual.
      I am sure your participation would be very much appreciated.
      It seems that the intent of these meetings, is to create awareness for people that are not as well versed as you are on these matters. To educate and clarify, rather than be a acrimonious debate on the minutia of the GRIM; which is probably something worse looking in, once people have the required education.
      It is more like setting the foundation, before erecting the walls or even discussing the interior decor. (if you allow me to use this image.)
      I am aware of the frustration one might feel, into realizing many of our brothers and sisters do not have basic understanding on the subject. Yet, it is essential, if we want people to understand our struggle, that they received this education. We shall all benefit from that evolution.

      The fact that some lay people in our community, and a priest, are willing to take the time, and make the effort to do so, is in itself a very positive sign. Specially in this environment.
      God bless.

    7. Hi Frenchie,

      Thank you for your response.

      Perhaps my words are causing discomfort. I will however clarify a point: My intention in my comments is not to discredit Fr. Gofigan nor attack his person. My intent is to hold him and other clergy responsible for upholding the wisdom of the Church in responding consistently and properly to the GIRM as it is presented. They are authorities in the Church that their congregations look to in perpetuating her teachings. Our clergy will and must always be held to a higher standard.

      For the record, my name is Jose Martinez and I am a parishioner of Nuestra Senora De Las Aguas in Mongmong. Many people know who I am and the fact that I place my name to my comments should give credence to the validity of what I submit. I do not conclude on mere hearsay for the sake of creating controversy. I strive to be thoughtful but deliberate with what I write.

      To relegate my comment on the GIRM as some sort of exercise in nitpicking is unfortunate. If this was not your intent, then I stand corrected. Specific items were inquired of at Tuesday’s meeting and in the answers the GIRM was seemingly set to the side. At no time was my comment requiring Fr Gofigan to speak to everything, just speak in reference to the GIRM to that which was presented to him.

      I do give credit for Fr. Gofigan for initiating this discussion; however, I will also hold him accountable if he knowingly compromises for the sake of other people’s habits. If the GIRM was read line by line as one person submitted, then there could be no consideration for further allowance of illicit action.

      It is important to be firm because we have no leg to stand on correcting our brothers and sisters in the NCW or anywhere else if we ourselves readily dismiss the GIRM for our own satisfaction and innovation.

      Fr. Gofigan’s talk was well announced and promoted not just here in JW but in social media. What I am speaking on is not of a private conversation he had with one or two persons. I am commenting on that which he promoted to a public audience.

      I repeat what I had said in my last comment above, and as you stated, “. . . specifically in this environment,” in speaking directly of the Mass and GIRM, any presenter (lay minister or clergy) cannot afford to be incomplete or compromising.

    8. Jose M., why not just go to the and get a digital copy? It has not cost whatsoever other than time, a computer and a internet connection. Fr. Paul knows what he is supposed to do as a Priest, no doubt. They are here to help save souls. Doing what you suggest is very similar to the protestant movement back in the 16th century. I am sure you are adept in searching the internet for references such as the GIRM and the Sacronsanctum Concilium (Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy). They go hand in hand. Hope you'll consider doing the research before making comments as a third person. See it for yourself.

    9. I would like to suggest that we arrange a meeting with the concerned parties to discuss this personally with Fr. Paul. I’m sure he would be most agreeable. For now, I would like to conclude this conversation on this blog with the following comments.

      As I believe can be easily demonstrated from this blog, there is no question that I have invested a huge amount of my life over the last almost three years in defense of Fr. Paul and any other priest who I felt was treated or treated unjustly.

      I am also on record of constantly encouraging our “real” priests to do exactly what Father Paul has done with this series of talks, and was happy to promote Fr. Paul’s series once it came to my attention.

      I am also on record (A LOT) encouraging our clergy to make extra efforts wherever possible to avoid liturgical anomalies and departures from the prescribed rubrics, if only to have “a leg to stand on” as Jose terms it, to take on the kikos - whose abuses are not that far removed from practices we have ourselves permitted for decades.

      I have even gone further, urging a return to practices considered by the Universal Church to be the NORM even when an exception is permitted (such as communion in the hand, and even Saturday night Mass.)

      The Neocatechumenal Way was born out of a combination of a false positivism and negligence. The “spirit” surrounding The Council (what kind of spirit is still to be determined) gave rise to a multitude of movements that ran outside the bounds of the Church’s normal systems of governance (like it has with religious orders), which then led to hierarchical negligence - opening the door to out of control megalomaniacs like Kiko - and now we see the damage.

      While we would like Rome to fix these things. That’s not the way things work historically in the church. It is the laity which initiates the fix with Rome finally coming around and formalizing what is already there.

      More specific to the above comment, I am quite sure that Jose M. not only knows where to find a copy of the GIRM, he has one and has thoroughly studied it.

      As regards “Fr. Paul knows what he is supposed to do, “ I have no doubt that that is true. However, your general tone is that to question clergy is somehow off limits to lay people. And as you well know, such a false premise is what has led to the horrible disease now affecting the Archdiocese of Agana.

      In fact, you could use that same premise to say that Fr. Paul had no right to question the Archbishop for Fr. Paul’s own illegal removal and subsequent unjust treatment. However, Fr. Paul had every right to question the archbishop and even file his canonical appeal as provided for in canon law, and the same canon law permits people like Jose to question Fr. Paul.

      Relative to your recommendation of studying the GIRM and Sacrosanctum Concilium before making comments, again you presume that Jose has not done so. That makes you as presumptuous as you accuse Jose of being.

      Finally, there is no doubt that despite the GIRM, the conciliar document on the liturgy, and all the post conciliar documents, there is the sad reality that Sunday after Sunday so much of what the Church wishes is IGNORED. Since you mention Sacrosanctum Concilium, please show me a church on Guam where the Mass is celebrated primarily in Latin and Gregorian Chant “has pride of place,” both required by the document you reference.

      I hope Fr. Paul and other priests will continue to go the extra mile and offer more opportunities to learn about our faith. For the most part, I heard that Fr. Paul’s presentation was very helpful. The only criticism was that the acoustics were poor and some could not hear what was being said.

      Meanwhile, if anyone would like to discuss this more in depth, I host an meeting of adult Catholics every Monday evening at 6pm. Email me at if you would like to come.

      Comments on this topic are now closed.


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