Many years ago when I was a fresh young face in the islands, I was astonished at how seldom people disagreed with one another.? Not that I grew up in a neighborhood in which people screamed and cursed at one another all day long, but there certainly were minor arguments between people that sometimes spilled over in public.? Imagine my surprise when I came to Micronesia and found that no one seemed to disagree with anyone else… at least in public.? Where were the arguments, the minor debates, the give-and-take needed to get to the truth of the matter?? Everyone appeared willing to accept at face value whatever came out of another person?s mouth.
Thinking small!? It just takes a glance through the MicSem forum thread we posted on the migrant survey to see it in action.? I had asked for very basic information from any and all who live in the US or Guam now?name, city or town, email or other contact information.? Dozens of posters replied… but not in the way that I had hoped.
Instead of offering their names and contact info, they offered objections.? Who?s doing this survey anyway, and what?s it for?? (To make MicSem rich and famous, perhaps?) How do I know that my information is safe and won?t be turned over to the government? (The knock on the door in the middle of the night could be the Homeland Security agent with papers in his hand to deport me!) I could have my identity stolen by entrusting this to an insecure URL (How much confidence would you have in a site that?s labeled ?surveymonkey??)
Any Catholic Pohnpeians out there who need spiritual assistance are urged to get in touch with Fr. Joe Cavanagh, who spent many years on the island.? Fr. Cav was sent back to the US this past January and is now living at our Jesuit retirement home in New York.? With him are two other Jesuits who spent long years in the islands: Fr. Jack Curran, who is suffering from Alzheimer?s Disease, and Fr. Paul Horgan, now confined to his wheelchair after a severe stroke some months ago.
Fr. Cav has already made one pastoral visit to Kansas City and is preparing for another next month.? Besides doing mass in Pohnpeian, he does first communions, weddings, and all sorts of other things.? He is also available for spiritual direction and retreats.? His home phone number is 718-430?4995, and his cell is 718-902-8281.? You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.