The official blog of Rev. Francis X. Hezel, SJ

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While I?ve Been Gone…
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Roaming in BC and DC
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Another Homecoming Tale
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My Hot Homecoming: Return to MIcronesia
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Immunization Against Microbes and the Hard Knocks of Life
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Reflections on Two Years Stateside
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We Used to Be Just Odd… Now We?re All Sick
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Easter 2012: He is Risen…Or Is He?

While I?ve Been Gone…

Next week I leave for Buffalo for a weekend with the family, centered around the wedding of a niece. After that, thankfully, it?s back to the islands to set up camp on Guam.? Just today I received an email confirming that I will be living at the cathedral rectory in downtown Hagatna (as it is now called).? I?ll be doing pastoral work on weekends, teaching a course at the seminary, and trying to take advantage of whatever opportunities come along to do useful things. A few projects have already been proposed by some?for instance, a short book to commemorate the Diocese of the Carolines.? I?m sure there will be others. The truth is that I haven?t found myself idling for too long at any stage of my life. Read More

Roaming in BC and DC

Ever since my return from Micronesia at the beginning of this month, I?ve continued roaming–but closer to home.? Just last week there were short trips to DC and BC.? The latter was a weekend visit to Boston College to work with new Jesuit volunteers destined to begin two years of service in Micronesia, Tanzania and Ecuador.? What do you tell young college graduates with stars in their eyes and a little apprehension in their hearts at what they will face?? Why not tell them what always served me well?? Hang on for a great ride, but Read More

My Hot Homecoming: Return to MIcronesia

It?s hard to explain to others how comforting it is to be uncomfortably hot.? Since I landed on Yap three days ago I?ve been sweating constantly.? What a relief!? It doesn?t hurt that I?ve had a 5 PM basketball game set up every afternoon, courtesy of Dickson Tiwelfil, the young man from Woleai who will entering the Jesuits later this summer.? I knew that I?ve been homesick, despite the wonderful people I?ve worked and recreated with in the US over the past two years, but I never reflected on how Read More

Immunization Against Microbes and the Hard Knocks of Life

Those hand sanitizers that I wrote about a few months ago are still on the credence table in our church here at Oceanside to keep parishioners safe from germs.? But there is plenty of other evidence germophobia is here in the US to stay.? Last night a woman from the parish told me that some families are taking their kids to see allergy specialists at the first sneeze during the pollen season. I wish I?d had that option years ago when my eyes watered so much with rose fever that I could barely see the book in my hand. Some parents seem to live in fear that Read More

Reflections on Two Years Stateside

Let?s just call this blog posting an update.? Since my time here in the US is coming to an end, let me offer a few thoughts on what these past two years here have given me.? They?ve been very different years?last year at America Magazine and this one at a parish.? Each has played to one of the two facets of ministry that has been especially important to me in the past: speaking to public issues, and personal care for the needy. Read More

Easter 2012: He is Risen…Or Is He?

Long ago when I was ordained a priest, I promised myself that I would never say anything in a homily that I didn?t fully believe.? So for my Easter Sunday homily here at Oceanside, NY, I fell back on a message I?ve used before.? It?s less about pulling Easter bunnies out of hats, or finding that golden Easter egg in the hunt.? It?s more about the problems that the Easter promise presents for anyone who gives a second thought to the world around Read More