Another New Book

History of the Diocese: The Caroline Islands, is now available.

The Caroline Islands: History of the Diocese.? The book was intended to celebrate the centennial of the Catholic Church in Chuuk, the 25th anniversary of the episcopal ordination of Bishop Amando, and the 125th anniversary of the founding of the church in the Carolines. The book is just what the title says it is?a history of the Catholic Church in the Carolines. The book contains many historical photos, some of them the same ones found in my old volume, The Catholic Church in Micronesia.? But this new book is much more elegantly produced: it?s in full color and it features a page or two on each of the parishes in the diocese.

Some of the photos in this new book you wouldn?t have seen before. Just two years ago MicSem received a windfall of some 2,000 digital photos made from the old glass plates in the archives of the German Capuchins in M_nster. The photos capture life in the islands during the first decade of the 20th Century when Germany ruled the islands.

Here?s one of the photos, for instance.


You?re looking at students from the German mission school in Koror showing off a bat they captured when they should have been doing their homework.

And here?s one of the dormitory boys in Palau actually doing their homework by kerosene lamp


How about this one? It was shot on Tonoas at the first visit of the German district officer and his wife to Chuuk in 1912. Fr. Ignatius, recently assigned as pastor, is in the group along with one of the German sisters.


There are many more photos, including some almost contemporary shots…. like this.


The Diocese of the Caroline Islands has a large supply of these books on hand. A copy sells for $35. If you?re interested in having one, email:

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About the author

Francis X. Hezel, SJ
Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Francis X. Hezel, SJ, is a Jesuit priest who has lived and worked in Micronesia since 1963. At different times he has served as high school teacher, school administrator, pastor, and regional superior to the Jesuits of Micronesia. He spent thirty years directing the Micronesian Seminar, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Pohnpei, Micronesia. He has written and spoken widely about social change and its impact on island societies. He has also written several books on Micronesian history, including The First Taint of Civilization, Strangers in Their Own Land, and The New Shape of Old Island Cultures. His most recent book, Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture, is available through University of Hawaii Press.