Author - Francis X. Hezel, SJ

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1) Back to the First Settlement of Our Islands
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Micronesians:
Where Did They Come From?
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Juan Ngiraibuuch: A Life Too Short
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Christmas, 2021
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Bill Rakowicz, Famed Horror Movies Fan and Much More
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Let Their Voices Be Heard!
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Pause and Think Before You Pick
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A Few Things to Share on Aging

1) Back to the First Settlement of Our Islands

(2,000 years ago)
Where did we come from?

Most islanders have heard the story explaining how their clan first reached their island. They may also know the tales about the arrival of some of the other clans. One former student of mine, when I asked him about his clan’s origins on Fefan in Chuuk, told me that the founder of the clan was carried to his island on the back of a dolphin.

Even after their arrival, however, clans spread out, sometimes widely and in surprising ways. Often they changed names in the course of their movement. The real story of any clan will show twists and turns over the decades, and there are tales to describe all this as well.

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Micronesians:
Where Did They Come From?

I’ll always remember walking down the road in Chuuk many years ago and glimpsing the flickering light in the wooden houses–the light of the kerosene lamp.

In the old days, before most houses had electrical power, long before cell phones and even before television sets, it was story-telling time as darkness fell. The day’s work had been done, the food cooked and distributed to the family. Now the gathered family could relax in the couple of hours before the children went to sleep.

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Juan Ngiraibuuch: A Life Too Short

The photo of Juan that is unforgettable, at least for me, is the 1987 shot of him seated between his two fellow novices and their novice director, Fr. Felix Yaoch. in the rectory in Palau. They all have beaming smiles on their faces, as well they should. They were making history in an island group that had long been a mission served by other countries. Now Micronesia had its own Jesuit novitiate, its own Palauan novice master, and three island seminarians. It was a key event on the path toward the truly Micronesian church that we had all hoped for.

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Christmas, 2021

“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.”

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Pause and Think Before You Pick

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.

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