Category - History

Dreams Before I Die…
Islanders? Lives on Paper
Yap and Palau: The Far Edge of Micronesia
Don?t Believe Everything You Read about Jesuits
Another Homecoming Tale
The Century of the Pacific

Yap and Palau: The Far Edge of Micronesia

This is a shortened version of a talk I gave at Yap Homecoming Day on June 15. The theme of the event was the link that binds Yap and Palau.

Yap and Palau, at the extreme western end of Micronesia, have always had an air of mystery around them–at least to us Westerners.

For one thing, their languages are so different from the rest of Micronesia–Palau the Polish of Oceania with all its consonants, and Yap with its closest relative being a Guatemalan language, a linguist friend tells me. Read More

Don?t Believe Everything You Read about Jesuits

Fr. Diego Luis San Vitores, a Jesuit like the pope (and myself), has become something of a fascination here on Guam these days. His claim to fame is that he first brought the faith to the Marianas in the late 1600s. In fact, he was the first missionary to reach any of the Pacific islands. Nowadays little cards with a portrait of the man and a prayer for his canonization can be found everywhere on the island. There are relics on the altar that people venerate after mass, and even an old black habit that was said to have once belonged to him among the museum holdings. Read More

The Century of the Pacific

Did you say the ?Century of the Pacific??? What century was that?

Was it perhaps the sixteenth, when Spanish caravels discovered the sea route to Asia and its fabled wealth?? When their navigators began naming the little specks of land they happened upon along the way and sprinkling them on the European maps of that great watery void for the first time?

Or was it the seventeenth, when Read More