“Silver bells, silver bells. It’s Christmas time in the city…” That was the song the St. Andrew’s choir presented at our first Christmas dinner in the seminary 65 years ago. At those words, the faces of my fellow novices fell as we remembered what we had left behind just a few months earlier. Today, when I listen to the song the touch of nostalgia is still there, but now it brings a smile, in recognition of all the happy memories in the islands as well as back “in the city.”Read More
Let people’s voices be heard, Pope Francis tells the church. Not just the voices of the clergy and those who speak from the altar, but the voices of those who are normally silent. The voices of those who sit quietly in the pews, and even those who have stopped attending church altogether. The call for a church synod is to make this happen.Read More
The fault of our biblical first parents, Adam and Eve, might not have been taking a bite from the forbidden apple so much as detaching it from the tree. The tree was located in the middle of the garden, so it was prominently displayed. More importantly, the tempter suggested that picking the fruit of the tree would offer special knowledge—the kind that would empower the couple to do whatever they wished.Read More
We are supposed to write and speak of what we know, right? Well, I am becoming something of an expert on what it means to be old. So, let me share with you some of what I have learned about aging, as the OG—as my basketball buddies kindly put it.Read More
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
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
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