Author - Francis X. Hezel, SJ

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My favorite songs – spotify embed
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Christmas Greetings from Guam
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Facing the Future: Forum in Palau
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Frustration & Fulfillment in Fiji
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Peacemakers Belong in the Courts, Too
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A White Weekend
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FSM Migrant Survey Results
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Oh Yeah! Now I Remember Why I Missed the Islands So Much!

My favorite songs – spotify embed

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Christmas Greetings from Guam

Christmas greetings from Guam?”Where America?s Day Begins,” as they once called this island. Since my return to the Pacific in September I have been residing here, living in the rectory attached to the cathedral with three other priests, two diocesans and Fr. Tom McGrath, a fellow Jesuit. Besides doing masses and other pastoral work for the parish,?I’ve?been teaching a course at the local seminary on Pacific Church History. The greatest challenge for me so far has been getting up on time to say the 5:30 AM mass, something that requires a serious change in lifestyle for an old night owl like me. Read More

Frustration & Fulfillment in Fiji

Frustration in Fiji

Getting up at 5:30 in the morning to catch an 8 AM flight was the easiest part of the trip from Honolulu to Fiji.? Plenty of time to make it to the departure area, I foolishly thought. Then reality set in. The hour and a half wait to check in and work my way through security left me with about ten minutes to run to the gate before the final call for departure on Air Pacific. But the final call was anything but that, since we waited close to an hour and a half before the plane finally lifted off. Read More

Peacemakers Belong in the Courts, Too

A few days ago I was asked to give a short talk to a small group of dedicated men and women, most of them in their 20s and 30s, who were doing a training session in mediation.? These people were working with Inafa? Maolek, a conflict resolution group that has been active on Guam for 29 years now under its guiding spirit, Pat Wolff. ?These good people?peacemakers by avocation?take their skills where they can use them. They work with couples experiencing trouble in their marriage, neighbors who have run-ins with one another, schools in which sparks fly between different ethnic groups or rival gangs. Read More

A White Weekend

On each of the three weekends?I’ve?been here on Pohnpei,?I’ve?done three masses: the English mass on Saturday evening and two village masses in Pohnpeian on Sunday morning. This week the color of choice at all three masses was white, with the honored guests spanning the age spectrum.? On Saturday evening it was young kids (dressed in the traditional white garb) making their first communion, with singing in Chuukese, Pohnpeian and English. Read More

FSM Migrant Survey Results

Over the past several months, some of us have been working on a survey of Micronesian migrants to the US and its territories.? The point of the exercise was to put numbers to what we all know has been an explosion of emigration from the islands. Since there has been no increase in jobs in the islands, people are bringing their families abroad to find employment there. Read More

Oh Yeah! Now I Remember Why I Missed the Islands So Much!

Reflections of a recent returnee to Pohnpei:

  • Basketball games every afternoon, not just with guys my age but with speedy, sharp-shooting 20-somethings who won?t give away anything to a geezer.? If you are lucky enough to have one of them on your team, you might win a game or two.? But even without them, you?re playing with old friends.? Afterwards, the return home with shirt sweat-soaked and lips parched.? What a way to prepare for dinner!
  • Walking into a US Embassy reception at a local hotel and being able Read More