Thursday, December 26, 2013


San Francisco de Borja Church
Songsong, Rota

In the summer of 1974, I made the decision to transfer from Saint Francis School in Yoña to Bishop Baumgarter Junior High School, just down the street from my house in Sinajaña.

This affected my confirmation in the Catholic Church.  Saint Francis (at the time) was a parochial school and had its own confirmation class.  Had I stayed at Saint Francis, I would have been confirmed with my classmates.

But since I switched to Baumgartner, which was not a parochial school and did not have a confirmation class, I was now left without a solid plan for receiving that important sacrament.  My own parish, Saint Jude's, had a CCD program of course and a confirmation class, but I had never attended it because I always went to Catholic school, with daily classes in religion.

Then entered Auntie Ana.  Ana Torres Reyes (the lady below) was my grandmother's sister, married to Judge Vicente Camacho Reyes (the man below).  She had many miscarriages and one baby boy lived long enough to be baptized and receive the name Vicente, but they had no children otherwise.  So Auntie Ana often went right in and made arrangements for others in the family.

I remember clearly the event.  One afternoon in the summer of 1975, Auntie Ana said to me, "I am going to call Bishop Flores about your confirmation.  Let Uncle Ben (her husband) be your nino (godfather)."

I was 13 years old, so I said, "OK."

Auntie Ana did not wait one second.  She walked right into Uncle Ben's little office, a room in their house with book shelves, a desk and several filing cabinets, and picked up the phone.

She gabbed and gabbed away in Chamorro with the Bishop, whom she got by phone without any trouble.  I didn't understand a lot of it at the time, and of course I couldn't hear what the Bishop was saying.

She put the phone down and she said, "OK, you're going to be confirmed in Rota."  My heart leaped up into my throat.  Not out of rejection, but rather shock!  I didn't expect that!

Long story short, Auntie Ana and the bishop were wondering when and where I could be confirmed.  Most parishes had their confirmations right after Easter.  That was all done by the time Auntie Ana was calling the Bishop in July or August.

But the Bishop said, "Ah but there is one more confirmation I am doing."  It doesn't happen right after Easter.  This particular parish is Rota, the island just north of Guam.  That island, with its one parish at the time, combined their patronal fiesta in October (San Francisco de Borja/Saint Francis Borgia) with their confirmation.  That way, the Bishop down in Guam could kill two birds with one stone and fly up once for two events.

Now there remained one last item on the agenda : my confirmation name.

Very quickly I decided I wanted to do something to honor my father, whose name is John.  So within minutes, I had it settled.  My name would be John.  Now, which John?  John the Baptist?  Or John the Evangelist?  With that question I struggled, for both seemed equally desirable.

But in the end, I decided on John the Beloved Disciple, because somehow I entertained the notion that maybe, one day, I could be as good a disciple of Jesus as he was.  I did, however, tell John the Baptist in prayer that he was not totally out of the picture, being Second Runner-up.

The two Johns
The Evangelist (left) and The Baptist (right)

So off we flew one October Saturday morning to Luta (Rota).  We took a small propeller plane.  In those days, there were only two "hotels" in Luta.  One, the larger of the two, was more like a concrete apartment building, two stories.  My mom and dad stayed there.

But my Uncle Ben, Auntie Ana and myself stayed at Rota Hotel.  It was a two-story house, with the bottom floor (concrete) serving as a convenience store, and the upper floor (made of wood and a tin roof) serving as a two or three room hotel.  At least there was air conditioning.  Uncle and Auntie had one bed; I had the other.

I remember we were given floral leis at the airport and the sweet aroma filled the air conditioned room the whole weekend we were there.  We also either bought or were given local melon, and that fragrance filled the room, too.

Auntie Ana picked out and bought my clothes for the big event, and boy did she do a number on me.  A snow white suit, shirt, jacket, pants, socks and shoes.  And to top it all off, a huge red bow tie.  I mean, I'm white to begin with.  But, red and white - the colors of the Holy Ghost.  Except that I looked like a polar bear wounded at the throat.

I was told to stand at the very end of the line of Rotanese boys, all in their simple white shirts, black ties and black trousers, who stared at me as if I was something out of a movie.

Then came the moment to be confirmed.  The bishop was the stately, dignified Felixberto Camacho Flores, Bishop of Agaña.  I was last, at least among the boys, and remember well the little tap on the cheek that he gave me, that we were all told about beforehand.  I was expecting something a little harder, but it was just a tap.  Years later I found out that that gesture was eliminated in the reformed ritual, but Bishop Flores, something of an old-schooler in some things, thankfully kept it in. 

Bishop Felixberto Camacho Flores

I remember a party we went to at some residence and listening to my nino, Uncle Ben, conversing with Saipan civic leader William "Bitlin" Reyes.  They probably knew each other since the war, when Saipanese men were forced by the Japanese to go to Guam to serve as interpreters.  My Uncle Ben, being the district leader of Barrigada during the war, had to deal with the Japanese and the Saipanese interpreters.  I recall Uncle Ben asking Bitlin if he thought the Covenant between the US and the Northern Marianas would go through, and Bitlin said it would.  And it did.

I also remember that Auntie Ana and Uncle Ben took me along on another visit to another family, local Rotanese.  Though my Chamorro wasn't really that good at the time, I distinctly remember them talking about a priest that they did not like, who lasted on Rota only a short time and the people were glad to be rid of him.  The man said, in Chamorro, "If they ever assign that priest to Luta again, I myself will go and nail the church doors shut!"  The priest eventually left the ministry altogether, and the church doors were never nailed shut.

I do remember very vividly hearing the Luta accent.  I loved it.

Finally, I got to see more of the famous Luta pastor, still alive at this writing, in his 90s, Father (now Monsignor) Louis Antonelli, always in a white cassock and a rosary around his neck, with a long, flowing white beard.

Rev. Louis Antonelli

My dad, John Dennis Forbes, long-time teacher at Father Dueñas Memorial School.  I took his name for my confirmation name. 

I am so grateful I was born early enough to catch these glimpses of old Chamorro life; even in Rota in 1975.  I am grateful for Auntie Ana taking a great interest in my confirmation and the way it happened in Luta.  And I wanted to show my appreciation to my dad by taking his name at my confirmation, and of course to ask Saint John's help in life.

After all, if Saint John, the Beloved Disciple, intercedes for me, the Lord, his best friend, will listen.

From the sacramental records of my home parish, Saint Jude's.  It shows I was confirmed on Rota on October 10, 1975.  To the right of it is the notation about my diaconate ordination in 1990.

Friday, December 13, 2013


In Washington, DC, the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land built a monastery in honor of the main sacred places in the Holy Land.  Surrounding the church is the Rosary Portico, and on the inside walls of this are placed the Hail Mary in many languages.
Keep in mind that these multi-lingual plaques were put in place many years ago when orthography was not as standardized as it is today.  You will definitely see deviations here from the way the language is written today.  The prayer itself may not be version normally said today.



Saturday, November 16, 2013


Is it true that the number 13 brings bad luck?

It was a eulogy for the late Escolastica Tudela Cabrera of Saipan, a dear friend and cultural icon, that brought out the following associations with that number, frightful to many but NOT frightful to the Cabrera family.   For them, some happy things happened or are associated with the number 13, and some sad.

Esco's husband, Gregorio, was born on the 13th of January.

He also died on the 13th of November.

Esco herself was the 13th child conceived by her mother, when one counts even the children who died in miscarriage.

In addition, Esco and Gregorio had 13 children.

Esco's first procedure for her heart, in Hawaii, happened 13 years before her last one, which preceded her death.

After her last visit to Hawaii for medical care, she departed Hawaii for Saipan and arrived home on the 13th of October.

Nine days after returning to Saipan, she died.  Our custom is to have nine days/nights of rosary for the dead.

Which means, when we start her rosary for her 1st anniversary of death next year, it will commence on the 13th of October.

The children of the late Esco and her late husband Gregorio are so proud that there are 13 of them that they highlighted this fact on the envelope they gave me as a gift.


Scholars aren't sure. 

Some say it's because there were 13 people at the Last Supper, with the traitor, Judas, being number 13.  12 Apostles and Our Lord make 13. 

But how can this explain the fact that 13 was believed to be a bad number among non-Jewish and non-Christian people long before the time of Christ?  In the Code of Hammurabi, for example, there is no Law #13.  One goes from #12 to #14.

In some cultures, a year with 13 full moons is a bad omen.

And there are 13 menstrual cycles in one calendar year.  But since the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar, in many cultures (the masculine over the female), 13 became, for them, a bad number.


Colgate University was founded by 13 people, with $13 and 13 prayers and 13 articles.  Its address is 13 Oak Drive.  They consider 13 a good number.

And a baker's dozen includes a 13th baked good thrown in to reward a faithful customer or make a new one.

A 13th donut is never a bad thing!


Even in religion, thirteen is not necessarily a bad thing.

In Judaism, a Jewish male becomes an adult and a full member of the Covenant community at age 13.  That's when he has his Bar Mitzvah.

And when Our Lady appeared in Fatima, on May 13, she told the three children to return to see her every 13th of the month.

The Miracle of the Sun, pictured above, with some people kneeling, looking up at the sky in awe and admiration, occurred on October 13, 1917.  That was the last appearance of Our Lady there.


In some cultures, like in Asia, the number four is the bad one.  That's because the word for the number four sounds like the word for "death."

Friday, November 1, 2013


Church of the Gesù

Mother Church of the Jesuits throughout the world.  Finished in 1584.  Model for the Baroque style in church architecture.  It sits on the same site of an older church where Saint Ignatius of Loyola prayed before an image of Our Lady, still preserved in this newer church.  The cell (room) of Saint Ignatius still exists in the Jesuit residence to the right of the church and can be visited by the public.

The Baroque style, favored by the Jesuits (and others) during the Counter Reformation from around the year 1550 and after, tried to inspire people, and keep them Catholic, by filling their eyes and hearts with external beauty, reminding them of the splendor of God.

It is called the Gesù (Jesus, in Italian) but the more formal name is "The Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus."  Over the high altar is the monogram of the Holy Name - IHS.

Tomb of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Religion Defeats Hatred and Heresy

Notice the little image on the bottom left, tearing out pages from the writings of Zwingli!

Side Altar with the Arm Bone of Saint Francis Xavier

Pulpit of a "Preaching Church"

Part of the Counter Reformation, or the Church's efforts to stem the tide of Protestantism and win souls back to the Church, was a renewed emphasis on preaching.  Begun several centuries earlier by the Dominicans and Franciscans, pulpits were placed in a prominent part of the church and the naves of churches were freed from columns that would block the view of the pulpit.  This way, preachers could be seen and heard more easily by the congregation.  These churches, were sermons were emphasized, were called "preaching churches" and the Gesù was one of them.

Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Again, a richly ornate Baroque church.  This one is dedicated to the founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, though his body is buried in the Gesù.  The impetus for the building of this church was the canonization of Saint Ignatius in 1622 but it took many years before the church was open for public worship.  The Jesuit Roman College was very near and it had the students in mind when it was being built.

Above the high altar are the words Jesus spoke to Ignatius while he was on his way to Rome to offer his services, and that of his first companions, to the Pope.  While in prayer, the Lord appeared to Ignatius holding his cross and told him, "I will be favorable to you in Rome."  Sure enough, the Pope received the first Jesuits with approval and put them to work immediately.

The Illusion of the Dome

At a certain spot on the floor of the church, you look up and think you see a dome.  The dome does not exist.  The illusion was simply painted on the ceiling.  That is - if you look from this spot marked on the floor :

But if you move to any other part of the church and look up, the illusion becomes apparent :
Several Jesuit saints!
Tomb of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
....and Saint Robert Bellarmine
...and Saint John Berchmans

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Never underestimate the value of your personal example, no matter how invisible you think you may be.

These two sisters made a lasting impression on me in my childhood.  And all they did to do that was go to Mass.

These two sisters, Tan Rita Tenorio Tuncap on the right dressed in the mestisa, and Tan Amanda Gumataotao Tenorio on the left, lived in a house just behind Saint Jude Church in my home town of Sinajaña.

I was a tanores (altar boy) and served Mass every single day, and these two sisters were there every single day, especially for the earliest Masses possible.

Our people had the reputation and custom of being early risers.  When the Americans first took over Guam in 1899, they found it unfamiliar (and even irritating to some) that the Chamorros started their day at 4AM.

Part of the reason was the agrarian nature of their lives.  People grew what they ate, so they started working on their farms and ranches while the morning was still cool.  The other reason was that many people went to daily Mass, which was as early as possible in those days when one had to fast from food and water from midnight till Mass.  Then one has to remember that there was nothing at night to keep people up late, so they went to bed early (for us moderns).  Echoes of Ben Franklin's "Early to bed, early to rise..."

Weekday Masses at Saint Jude's were at 7PM, and the two sisters were there.  On Saturday and Sunday, they would walk to church in the morning darkness to go to Mass.  They were so quiet.  They didn't talk while walking.  They would come inside, bless themselves with holy water, go into their pew, kneel and make the triple sign of the cross (Pot i señåt....) then the full sign of the cross from forehead to breast to shoulders.

After Mass they'd walk home just as quietly.  They smiled and returned greetings, but otherwise said nothing.

I always noticed the two sisters always wore black or some dark clothing.  This may have been because they kept the old tradition of wearing black as a sign of mourning (luto).  Tan Rita was a widow and probably wore the luto in mourning of her husband.  Tan Amanda never married and may have worn the luto in honor of her parents, or, she may have just preferred dark clothing.

Many women wore black for a year after the death of a close loved one and, in that year, did not go to parties.  Some widows wore black for the rest of their lives.

A member of the extended family told me that one of the two sisters (I forget which) kept a promesa, the custom of keeping a promise to observe a certain novena.  In preparation for the finakpo', the last day of the novena, she would not only hold a dinner for those who came, she would also buy hams or turkeys or what have you and give them to neighbors or others who were not expected at her own dinner.  She did this as a way of giving thanks for the graces obtained through the novena.  Che'cho' karidåt.  Works of charity accompany prayer.

Wise scholars?  Astounding preachers?  Yes and no.  Not in the usual sense of those words, but they were wise because they knew the fear and love of God and they preached eloquently through their actions.  What did I learn?

1. Do the good; do it every day. 
2. Do it because it is your duty to God, and for no other reason. 
3. Church is a sacred place.  God is present.  Show you know this through your decorum.
4. Pray and do works of charity because God gives you graces in His charity towards you.
5. Celebrate and throw a dinner.

What they may not have known is that someone was watching, and was edified.  This is also our duty.  Not only to do good for the love of God but for the love of our neighbor who sees you do good and is inspired.

But Tan Rita and Tan Amanda were too humble, in the real sense, to have even thought for a minute that what they were doing was inspiring to anybody.

Friday, October 25, 2013


"A healthy mind in a healthy body."

A goal we should all aspire to achieve!

Italy does its share in promoting this.  Besides the holy places and magnificent churches, one of the things I will always miss about Italy is the food.  NOT the pricey food found in fancy restaurants, but the simple, home-style cooking found in the humblest Italian kitchen.

First off, the Italians love their fruits and vegetables, and they put a high value on freshness.  Nothing out of a can or a bag.  From the garden to the table within the day.  They grill it, boil it or eat it raw but they don't fry it, as a rule, and, unlike the Spaniards, they normally don't add bits of meat to their vegetables to enhance the flavor.

When I have to eat out, I usually look for a tavola calda (literally "hot table," or buffet) which sometimes goes by the name "self service" (yes, English even in Italy) because the prices are low and you choose your dishes from a wide variety of healthy options.

So this was my lunch one day in Assisi.  Verdure miste (mixed vegetables) : carrots, artichokes, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, potatoes.  Then, pasta (in this case farfalle) with zucchini and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  Bread (no butter; in Italy, butter goes with bread only for breakfast).  For dessert, macedonia or simply a variety of fresh fruits cut into bite-size pieces.  Mineral water.  All for 7 euros or $11.  It's only the horrible exchange rate that makes this slightly more expensive for American wallets.

In Rome, I always go to this one restaurant where the genius of Italian cooking comes through for me in all its simplicity and respect for nature.  This is melanzane marinate (marinated eggplants).  The fresh eggplant is sliced, slightly grilled and marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt, red pepper, parsley and a dash of vinegar.  So simple and yet the flavors that fill the palate bathe my soul in joy!  Thank you Lord for giving us these blessings!

Followed by hand-made ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta cheese in a tomato sauce.  On the side, even more spinach - boiled in salted water then sautéed in olive oil and garlic with as much lemon juice as you want.  I had a hard time convincing the waiter to serve me the spinach because, he said, the ravioli already had spinach in it.  In Italy, where everyone is an expert in cooking, the waiters tell you what to eat.

How could I not patronize this Roman restaurant when the owners are buoni cattolici (good Catholics) who proudly decorate their entrance with many holy cards (these were only a few on one side of the entrance) and who always serve il cappuccino (the Capuchin) extra portions???

Deo gratias!  Thanks be to God!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


It's a small world.

Before Brother Joseph Slominski became a Capuchin friar in California, he was in the U.S. Navy stationed at Radio Barrigada on Guam.  It was a small naval facility and he was in charge of the mess hall.

His stint on Guam lasted from 1962 to 1964, so he was there when Typhoon Karen hit Guam in November of 1962.

He was safe because his structure was entirely concrete.  But he still remembers seeing a boat parked right in front of the Agana Cathedral after the typhoon.  It went from the Boat Basin clear across a quarter mile or so to the front of the Cathedral as if someone had plucked it with their two fingers and gently placed it there.

A good Catholic layman, he befriended the Mercy Sisters, specifically Sister Callista Camacho, and had a 5 foot statue of the Blessed Mother brought to Tai Convent for an outdoor grotto.  Sister Callista had a plaque made "In Honor of Ski," which was Brother Joe's nickname based on his last name.

After the Navy, he joined the Capuchins and has lived most of his religious life at San Lorenzo Friary in the quiet Santa Ynez valley, not far from Ronald Reagan's ranch and Michael Jackson's Neverland.  He is a humble, friendly and cheerful friar; an inspiration to many.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


The funeral yesterday of the late Cecilia Hara Kosaka (above, right) gave me an occasion to remember this wonderful couple; her and her late husband Manuel Borja Kosaka (left), who passed away many years ago.  These two humble and devout Catholics were the parents of a Capuchin priest, Father Paulo Kosaka.

I didn't know Cecilia well, but her husband, Manuel, was the friary cook while I lived in it in the 1980s and into the early 90s, so I knew him much better.  I saw him almost on a daily basis.  He only had Saturdays completely off, and most of Sunday, coming in only to cook the Sunday evening meal.

Manuel had an interesting youth.  He was born in Palau, of a Chamorro mother (Amalia Borja) and a Japanese father who became Catholic to marry Amalia, Paulus Kosaka.

Palau was part of the Japanese Mandated Pacific Islands when he was born in the 1920s.  Palau had had a small community of Chamorro living there since Spanish times.

Manuel found himself stuck in Japan at the end of the war.  If I recall correctly, he had no idea what became of his family in Palau because the war cut off all contact between him and them.

So he settled in Japan and, as one can see in the photo above, he became part of a small Japanese Catholic community.  I believe that's him standing in the far right corner.  The priest looks Caucasian.  I believe the year this photo was taken is 1956.

He would have been married already to Cecilia, a full-blooded Japanese woman he met in Japan, by 1956.  She's probably in the picture, too, but I can't tell which.

Eventually, Manuel made contact with his family, who had left Palau and settled on Guam, the homeland of the Borja family.  They set up home in Talofofo.  Their son, Paulo, grew up active in San Miguel parish and got to know the Capuchin friars who were the pastors.  He eventually became a Capuchin himself.

Manuel would arrive at the friary around 10AM and he would always make his first stop the friary chapel and say a short prayer.  He was dedicated to his job and cooked lunch and dinner for about 12 friars, many of them old and retired, and for about 30 friars, clergy and others on Thursday and Sunday nights when the bigger community gathered.

He was soft-spoken and spoke only when necessary.  He spoke basic English, but he was one of the first with whom I was able to start practicing my Chamorro.  He spoke Chamorro and his Japanese was even better.  I was always fascinated to catch him and Father Ferdinand Pangelinan, a Chamorro friar from Saipan who spoke good Japanese, speaking in that language.  Father Ferdinand had been in a seminary in Tokyo during the war.

Once in a while he would say something to encourage our vocations (we, the young ones just entering religious life).

I once learned a neat trick from Manuel; how to kill a snake in a bloodless way.  We found a snake in our chapel and told him about it.  He filled a bucket with soapy water and took a broom to the chapel.  He let the snake curl onto the broom stick, then he shook the snake into the soapy water and then - well, it was "rest in peace" for the dead, but clean, snake.

Father Paulo accompanied his mother to visit her relatives in Japan some years ago.

As he got older, Manuel started to show more signs of fatigue.  He would take breaks, sitting outside on the top of a rather long cement staircase.  When the superior saw this, he had us make up a guest room for Manuel which he could use anytime he needed a break.  Manuel used it once.  He didn't feel comfortable being given that opportunity to have his own room in the friary, even in the guest quarters.  He went back to dozing off a little on his short breaks, sitting outside on the top of the stairs.

I finally had my one and only chance to do something for Manuel, who worked so hard for us.  A Japanese teacher at the same school I taught at learned I liked old Japanese songs; songs from the 1940s and 50s.  My mother had taught me a Japanese song she learned during the war.

So this Japanese lady gave me the present of a cassette tape of these types of Japanese oldies.  I played it for Manuel, asking him to tell me the Japanese words so I could learn to sing them.  But then he asked me to make him a copy of the tape.  These were the songs he heard in Japan when he lived there in the 40s and 50s but probably hadn't heard since then.  I made him a copy and he would play it at home, where Cecilia certainly heard them, too.

Cecilia, I didn't know too well, but she was also a worker in the cooking department, but for Notre Dame High School.  She made the best sushi, so they tell me.  She lived much longer than her husband and suffered very poor health in the last year or so.  She would go into a coma.  They thought the time had come.  Then she'd revive.  Father Paulo said in his sermon that they started to call her Lazarus, as she seemed to come back to life every time the end seemed imminent.  But last week the Lord finally called her and her battle was over.

May she and Manuel come at last to the place of eternal joy.  They were simple, humble and hard-working people, believers in the Lord and His Church.  I think the Lord finally has for Manuel that room to rest in up in heaven, instead of that guest room that he didn't feel worthy of,  even in our friary.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Father Joe Cavanagh was a Jesuit missionary in Micronesia, who recently passed away.

Like many Jesuits in Micronesia, he would spend a few days at our Capuchin Friary on Guam when going to or from the States.  I found him to be an easy-going, relaxed and pleasant man.

During one of his Guam visits, when I was a brother in simple vows, I needed to go to confession.  I had been going regularly to the same Capuchin, and, rightly or wrongly, I thought the friar could use a break from me!

So I knocked on Fr Joe's door.  And he heard my confession.

His first words to me were, "What do you want to do?"

I was taken aback by those words.  No confessor had ever said those words to me.

In hindsight, I can see how good an approach he had taken.  He had taken the focus off my guilt, and put the focus on the future that lay in my hands, or at least a great deal of it.

I was guilty of sin, I knew it, I was contrite, God forgave me.

But Fr Joe put in front of my face the next, and perhaps even more important question : what was I going to do about it now?

His words gave me hope and direction.  Despite my sinfulness, I still had a future ahead of me and it was up to me, to either forge ahead and give it another go, or drown in self-doubt and wither away.

So I told him, "I want to stay in the Order."

And he said, "OK.  Do it."

And I've stayed.  28 years I've stayed.

Thanks Father Joe Cav, as we all called him.   As my Irish relatives say of their dead, "May God be good to you."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


The Bishop's Secretary

Fray Jesús de Begoña

Fray Jesus was a Basque Spaniard from the Province of Vizcaya and came to Guam in the 1920s.  He was a lay brother - not ordained.

He was stationed in Agaña and had a major role to play in building projects, like the construction of churches and chapels. 

But his main work towards the end was being the personal secretary of Bishop Olaiz and then Bishop Olano.

By September of 1941, the US Navy succeeded in replacing all the Spanish friars with the American friars.  But Bishop Olano had not been replaced yet by an American bishop, so Olano and Fray Jesus stayed on.

So they were here when the Japanese invaded Guam on December 10, 1941.  Olano was made to strip to his underwear and run a little around the Plaza de España in an attempt to mock him and show the Chamorros that the Japanese ran the show now. 

When Olano and the American friars were shipped off to Japan in January of 1942, Fray Jesus went along with the bishop.  He stayed by Bishop Olano's side the whole time of the war.  First in Japan and then in India.

When Guam was liberated from the Japanese, Olano was able to get permission from the US Navy to return to Guam, but not Fray Jesus.  He was not given permission.  So he stayed in the Philippines where he served for a very long time.

Because Fray Jesus was the shadow of the bishop, he met a lot of people, especially the elite of Guam Catholic society.  They all knew Fray Jesus, and they told me that he could speak very good Chamorro.  He kept in correspondence with some of his Guam friends for many years after the war while he lived in the Philippines.

The Humble Worker

Fray Crispín de Imbuluzqueta

Most of the lay brothers were rather simple men, most of limited education.  So they did a lot of the humble but important tasks of the mission : cooking for the priests, laundry, cleaning, running the sacristy, serving Mass, stocking the kitchen pantry, minding the altar boys (tanores), doing maintenance and even carpentry and construction.  If one of the priests was in a village far from the capital, sometimes a lay brother would go live with him to provide companionship and mind the domestic affairs of the rectory.

Fray Crispín was one of these humble, manual workers in the Catholic mission.  He served a long time on Guam, mainly at the Agaña Cathedral.

Many of the lay brothers were truly holy men.  They knew very little academically, but some were good at their crafts.  They prayed the rosary and other devotions and served Mass and did the humble work.  It is said in the Franciscan life that it is the lay brothers who keep the true Franciscan spirit alive.  Among our Capuchin saints and blessed, a great many of them were not priests but these humble and holy lay brothers who begged for food among the people or took care of the people who came to visit the friary.