You'll hear my frustration on this interview.
But those who know me know that this frustration is not new. I AM SICK OF HEARING PEOPLE BLAME THE CHURCH for the same reason I AM SICK OF HEARING PEOPLE BLAME THE GOVERNMENT. Change starts with people who care, REALLY care. People who care so much that they are willing to stand on the wall and get shot at, who are willing to risk financial loss, who are willing to put in hours and hours and in fact whole pieces of their lives into effecting CHANGE.
That CHANGE is coming to Guam because of those people who stood out in the hot sun Sunday after Sunday, rosaries in one hand and a sign in the other. That CHANGE is coming because of those people who were willing to march up to the door of RMS and get the cops called on them. That CHANGE is coming because of those people who were willing to be mocked in the media when they took on an evil man at the airport.
That CHANGE is coming because of those people who have devoted thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars in assisting completely isolated people like Roy Quintanilla, Doris Concepcion, and Walter Denton, who bore their pain in silence for years and years. That change is because of those people who quietly dug, and researched, and vigilantly kept a look out for atrocities, and who then passed them on to me so I could make them public. That CHANGE is coming because of the many people who either wrote publicly or privately in condemnation of the atrocities they were seeing around them.
There were and are many ways to be a soldier in this war, but the main thing is that they were "in this war." They DID something. But make no mistake it was the people who put their FACE out there who tipped the scales. And perhaps the best example of how you make CHANGE is the man in this picture:
Joe R. San Agustin did not let his crippling handicap be an excuse. Whether it has been his presence on the front line, his ever busy pen, his private prayers when his pain-wracked body did not permit his presence on the street, or his voice on the radio, Mr. San Agustin takes away everybody's excuses.
Make no mistake. It wasn't prayers Rome heard, it was voices, the voices of these people, and pictures like these, that created action and has led to CHANGE. Prayer is at the heart of what these people DO. But there IS A DO!
At the end of the highest prayer, the Mass, we hear the word GO! The Latin is even stronger: ITE. "ITE MISSA EST." "Missa" is the latin root of the word mission. Literally, at the end of the Mass, Christ, after receiving supernatural grace, orders us: GO! THIS IS YOUR MISSION.
Somehow, we have morphed it into "Go. Have a good brunch." And such an attitude has given us a decades old trail of mutilated and suffering souls like Roy, Doris, and Walter.