The official blog of Rev. Francis X. Hezel, SJ

1
Bishop Amando Samo, Helmsman of the Micronesian Church
2
Dave Andrus: 50 Years a Jesuit and 30+ Years an Adopted Micronesian
3
Angken Rapun: Deacon and Friend
4
Decadence: the Beginning of the End?
5
Happy 100th Anniversary to Us!
6
Jack Curran: The Fading of an Old Trooper
7
Christmas 2020
8
Farewell to Rosa Mormad

Bishop Amando Samo, Helmsman of the Micronesian Church

The Catholic Church of the Caroline Islands lost its former leader when Bishop Amando Samo, retired head of the diocese, passed away on August 7, 2021.

Amando Samo was a proud Mortlockese, born in Moch, who knew what it was like to be an outsider. First, he moved to the Chuuk Lagoon, where he graduated from Chuuk High School. But that was just the beginning. Then it was off to Hawaii for seminary, where he would tell us that often, after a day’s classes and interactions with his fellow seminarians, he would flee to his room where he would dream of his home island. Perhaps it was this early experience that made him sympathetic and unfailingly kind to the American Jesuits like myself, who knew that we would always be outsiders, however much we considered the islands our adopted home.

Read More

Dave Andrus: 50 Years a Jesuit and 30+ Years an Adopted Micronesian

We had no way of knowing, when young Dave Andrus entered the Society in 1971, what a treasure he would be for our mission in Micronesia. Born in Louisiana, Dave would spend most of his Jesuit life in these islands. More than that, he would become, in his own quiet and unassuming way, the lifeblood of the Pohnpei church for three decades or more.

Read More

Angken Rapun: Deacon and Friend

About 50 years ago–it must have been in the early 1970s–I first met Angken Rapun on Tol, the westernmost island in Chuuk. Angken was hard to miss. He was a rugged, good-looking young man who told me he had played football on Guam during his high school days. That was easy to believe, given his size. In 1968, not long after his return to Chuuk, he married Kintina. They had several children–most of them as well-built as their dad–and the couple would have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary next year if Angken had lived. 

Read More

Decadence: the Beginning of the End?

What happens when a society reaches its peak?  When the age of discovery—not just of far-off lands but of life-changing inventions—ends?  This is the subject of Ross Douthat’s recent book The Decadent Society.

“Where are you, Thomas Edison?” the author implores, sadly noting the drop in meaningful patents in the last couple of decades and the failure to produce life-altering changes like the electric refrigerator, the vacuum cleaner, the horseless carriage, the jet plane, the atomic bomb, and even the moon shot. But the last on this list, the moon landing, took place in 1969. What do we have to show for ourselves since then?

Read More

Jack Curran: The Fading of an Old Trooper

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.” Douglas McArthur used this saying to describe himself after his removal from the Korean War in the 1950s, but it could just as easily apply to Jack Curran. Jack did die, on January 4 this year, but only after a long decade of fading away due to his Alzheimer’s. He may not have intended it to happen that way, but Jack certainly made good on his promise to surrender to the Lord his “mind and memory” along with life and liberty. Not only that, but he did it with his characteristic good grace. His caretakers at Murray-Weigel loved him, people there say.

Read More

Christmas 2020

You’ve heard enough about COVID and political warfare, one as toxic as the other and both of them shrouding much of the past year. I won’t mention them again. Instead, what if I just repeat a line that I often use at the close of these Christmas letters when I wish you… peace and a heart open to all.

That’s not just a pious wish. It’s a passionate pursuit of mine and a lifetime goal in my ministry from the very start—and that, my friends, is a long time ago!  Please permit me to track a few of the big steps along the way.

Read More