From left, Father Adrian Cristobal and Father Patrick Garcia as deacons 25 years ago at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo, Park California. They were classmates as seminarians studying for the priesthood and went on to be ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Agana on Sept. 30, 1989. Stories and photos, Pages 2 and 3. PHOTO COURTESY OF FR. PATRICK GARCIA.

Father Adrian, Father Patrick celebrating silver jubilees


Two Guam sons who answered the call to serve in the priesthood more than 25 years ago will celebrate their silver sacerdotal anniversaries this week.

Father Adrian Cristobal and Father Patrick K.Q. Garcia were classmates as they studied and prepared for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California in the 1980s.

Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. ordained both men priests for the Archdiocese of Agana on Sept. 30, 1989 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna.

Father Adrian, the Chancellor for our archdiocese and Pastor of San Vicente/San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada will commemorate the 25th jubilee of his priestly ordination during Mass 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at San Vicente in Barrigada.

Father Patrick, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Yigo will celebrate his 25th anniversary during Mass 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5 at Our Lady of Lourdes.

Archbishop Anthony will celebrate both anniversary Masses.

Receptions will be held after both Masses. Hundreds of parishioners, family members, friends and supporters are anticipated to fill both churches for the celebrations.

Archbishop Anthony Featured Photo

Our ‘yes’ to Christ must be backed by true obedience

Sisters and Brothers: During his stay in South Africa, Mohandas Ghandi attended Christian services in a church near his lodgings. After some time, he made the following observations. “The congregation did not strike me as being particularly religious; they were not an assembly of devout souls, but appeared rather to be worldly-minded people going to church for recreation and in conformity to custom.”

He concluded that there was nothing in Christianity which he did not already possess. Ghandi was lost to the Christian church with incalculable consequences to India and to the world. Profession of faith without corresponding practice impresses no one and may simply wither away.

While the second group of people may indeed lead more Christian lives than the first, the parable tells us that neither group is perfect. It is not a matter of choosing between the two sons — the one who refused to go to the vineyard but went and worked or the one who broke his promise. Rather, the ideal son or daughter tells the father, “Yes, sir,” and proceeds to do what he asked. Promises can never take the place of performance, and fine words are never a substitute for fine deeds.

The second son replied courteously to his father, but his courtesy is illusory. True courtesy is obedience, a “yes,” willingly and graciously given.

This Gospel reflection is taken from St. Paul’s 365 Days With The Lord. May your day be filled with love and may Almighty God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pinagat Atsubispo Anthony Sablan Apuron, Kapuchinu

Duranten i sumaga-na giya Afrikan Sanpapa’, si Mohandas Ghandi malak un gima’yu’os kilisyanu hihot yan annai sumasaga. Despues este sinangan-na put ayu na gima’yu’os: “I man estaba guihi kulan ti manmananaitai; kulan un dinana i ti mansinantusan na taotague, ya kulan un grupun man ga’tano’ na taotague ni manhanao para i gima’yu’os para ufan magof yanh put para u makumple i kustumbre.”

Put los uttimu ha sangan na taya i kilisyanu hafa i ti esta ha’ gaige giya guiya. Malingu si Ghandi para i gima’yu’os kilisyanu ya i titufungun na minalingu para India yan para i tano’. I maprufesan i hinengge ya ti tinattitiyi ni ma praktikan hinengge sumen taibali ya sina ha mumalingu.

Mientras i sigundo na grupu manmas mangilisyanu ke i fine’nana na grupu, i fina’akomparasion ha sangangani hit na ni unu gi dos sen tunas. Ti para un ayek unu pat i otro gi dos lahi—i unu ni timalagu macho’cho’ gi gualo’ ya humanao ya macho’cho’ pat i unu ni yumamak i prinimeti-na. In lugat, i maolek na patgon ha sangangani si tata-na, “Hunggan, saina,” ya ma’pos para u cho’gue hafa matago’-na. I prinimeti ti sina ha tulaika i macho’gue-na, yan i fino na finiho, ti siha umatulaika yan i finu na cho’cho’.

I sigundo na lahi ha oppe yan kottesiha si tata-na, lao i kottesiha-na fa’fa’baba. I magahet na kottesiha ayu i inesge, i “hunggan’ magogof yan mannana’i megagai.

Este na pinagat ma chuchuli’ ginen i Lepblon San Papblo 365 Dihas Yan I Saina. Ohalara mohon ya u bula guinaiya i ha’anen-miyu ya i todu hana’sina na Yu’os infambinendisi gi na’an i Tata yan i Lahi-na yan i Espiritu Santo. Amen.

Refleksion Ibangheliun Mina’bente Sais Damenggon Otdinariu Na Tiempo A Septembre 28, 2014

Ibangheliu (MATEO 21:28-32) Ilek-na si Jesus nu i manma’gas mamale’ yan i manamko’ i taotao siha: “Hafa upinion-miyu put este? Guaha un taotao ni gai lahi dos. Malak guatu gi amko’ ya ilek-na, ‘Ihu, hanao huyong ya un facho’cho’ gi gualo’ pa’go na ha’ane’. Manoppe i lahi-na, ‘Mungga yu’’ lao despues ha tulaika hinasso-na ya humanao. Despues malak guatu i taotao gi sigundo na lahi-na ya finaisen gue’ parehu ha’. Este na lahi ilek-na, ‘Hunggan, sinot’, lao ti humanao. Hayi gi dos chumo’gue hafa minalago’-na i tata? Ilek-niha, “I amko’.” Ilek-na si Jesus nu siha, “Maila, ya bai na’klaru na i taotao kontribusion yan i famalao’an benta manhahalom gi Rainon Yu’os antes di hamyo. Annai matto si ya sumetmon put un klasen sinantusan na lina’la’, ti inhengge gue’; lao i taotao kontribusion yan i famalao’an benta manmanhongge giya guiya. Lao achokka’ in li’e’ ennao ti manmanotsot yan manmanhongge hamyo.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel catechist loves sharing the Gospel


Aurora Lowe, a catechist at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, with her granddaughter Lucia. PHOTOS COURTESY OF AURORA LOWE.

Aurora Sablan Lowe


Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Agat

Position in Ministry: 
Rite of Christian      Initiation for Adults (RCIA) teacher

Position at Mt. Carmel School: 
Elementary Religion teacher

How long teaching CCD: 
Forever and a day!

Longtime Guam educator Mrs. Aurora Lowe has wonderful memories of learning our Catholic faith as a youngster growing up in Guam. She grew up inspired by her mom, the late Maria Blanco Sablan, a devoted techa who instilled a deep love for the rosary and saints to her children.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame and the late Capuchin, Father Mel McCormick also helped her develop a passion for learning and then later teaching the Catechism of the Catholic Church to others.

Lowe currently teaches the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Agat. Married to Gordon S. Lowe, the kind and loving 74-year-old wife, mom and grandmother retired from the Department of Education after decades of service, most notably as Principal of Harry S. Truman Elementary. Wouldn’t you know it? She’s back teaching in the regular classroom, as a Religion teacher at Mt. Carmel Catholic School in Agat.

1. What motivated you to serve the Catholic Church as a Catechism or Religion teacher? 

Being an Aspirant at the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) Aspiranture in Yona, (a sort of a boarding house for high school girls aspiring to become School Sisters of Notre Dame), it was part of our weekly schedule to catechize in the different parishes. I remember catechizing in the old Talofofo church building during the six years I was in the convent. It came by naturally to help with the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) program immediately upon returning home from the convent at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Agat.

2. Where do you get your inspiration? Who inspires you or has inspired you in the faith? 

My mother was always very active in the Church, so she was my primary inspiration in the faith. She was a techa for 40 years, going around the village saying novenas in honor of the many different saints, ie., La Purissima, Santa Katmen, Santa Rosa and the most popular novena, the Nobenan Nino. She would take my sisters and me to help with the responses and the singing. As a result, we were very knowledgeable of the lives of the saints and followed the tradition of being techas ourselves.

Additionally, my mother would be called to assist the dying in prayer in the middle of the night. She would stay and pray until that person went home to God. Our daily life was always centered on God, the saints, and the Church. I remember her waking us girls up in the morning by saying, “Fangahulo, famaguonho sa’ manana si Yuus!” (Get up/wake up, my children for God has made it light!”) The only other important thing in our family life in those days was school.

The other people who played very important roles in my faith formation was our pastor, the Reverend Father Mel McCormick, OFM Capuchin. He was not only our pastor but our counselor, and our catechist, among other things. He was part of our daily lives.

I LOVED CCD with Father Mel! After elementary school, on certain days of the week, we would run up to the rectory, and he’d be there to greet us, walking around and talking to everybody. I loved CCD so much I never wanted to miss even a single day! I remember one day, I ripped my dress somehow, so I ran home to change before proceeding to CCD. The fastest thing was a brand new light yellow Sunday dress. Oh! I was a definite target for Father Mel’s teasing, but I didn’t care! I just explained the situation, and laughed along with him! I guess, besides just being a glutton for knowledge about our faith, I also loved the prizes, (like rosaries, holy cards, or even small statues of the saints) that he gave out to students who knew the answers to the questions from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Of course, the School Sisters of Notre Dame came down later when I was in 7th and 8th grades, and became our catechists, like Sister Mary Paul Anthony and Sister Mary Eucharita. Sister Eucharita was my quiet inspiration, and Sister Mary Paul Anthony was our jolly teaser like Father Mel. They also gave holy cards, rosaries, etc., as incentives for us to memorize the answers to the questions in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

3. What is the most urgent thing you try to impart to the youth or adults that you teach? 

The most urgent thing I try to impart to the youth is an understanding and an appreciation of the Mass. So we spend a lot of time at the beginning of each year, and then as needed, during the course of the year go through the whole Mass explaining each part and allowing the students to ask questions. We spend at least 40% of our weekly class time just going through the readings, the Responsorial Psalm, and of course, the Gospel for the Sunday Mass. We actually find the readings and the Responsorial Psalm in the Bible and read them out of the Bible.

It was very heartwarming to read Pope Francis’ message in last week’s Umatuna Si Yu’os where he encourages the faithful to “carry the Gospel in your pockets, take it out sometime during the day and read a verse, and to spread the ‘Good News’!” I encourage my students to share whatever they’ve learned in class…the “Good News” with their families and friends!

Aurora Lowe and husband Gordon. Mrs. Lowe teaches Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) at Agat parish and Religion at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School.
Aurora Lowe and husband Gordon. Mrs. Lowe teaches Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) at Agat
parish and Religion at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School.


Students, faculty and staff of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School participate in the annual procession
honoring Mother Mary during the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Monday, Dec. 9 2013. PHOTO FOR U MATUNA SI YU’OS BY JONATHAN ABELLA.

St. Thomas Aquinas students earn academic distinction

For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School is pleased to recognize Advanced Placement Scholars from school year 2013 – 14.

EC-Yang, Shana (1)Shana Yang earned AP Scholar with Distinction by taking total of six exams with score average of 4.33. She is currently studying at Harvard University.





EC-Park, Ken (1)Ken Park has earned AP Scholar with Honor Award with four exams averaging 4.5. He is currently studying at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.





EC-Bonsembiante, Tomas (2)Tomas Bonsembiante and Kyra Rocco both earned the AP Scholar Award by taking three exams with a score average of 4.33. Bonsembiante is currently at the University of Virginia and Rocco is studying at the Notre Dame University.

The College Board grants AP Scholar recognition to those who earn an average of 3 or higher on three AP exams.

EC-Rocco, Kyra (1)

The AP Scholar with Honor Award is given to those who earn an average score of 3.25 on four or more exams.

Those who earn an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken with a score of 3 or higher on five or more exams will be recognized with the AP Scholar with Distinction Award.

Aquinas congratulates these graduates and wishes them the best of luck in their studies.

Talofofo celebrates feast of San Miguel

The faith community of San Miguel Catholic Church in Talofofo gathered to celebrate the feast of its patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel, Saturday, Sept. 20. Pastor, Father Felix Leon Guerrero, OFM Cap., and San Miguel parishioners welcomed Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. and visitors as they culminated the traditional nine-day celebration with a novena, Mass and procession followed by delicious food in the na tao tao tumano. Biba San Miguel! PHOTOS COURTESY OF FATHER FELIX LEON GUERRERO / SAN MIGUEL CATHOLIC CHURCH.

Korean Catholics celebrate St. Andrew Kim fiesta

The faithful of St. Andrew Kim Catholic Church celebrated their patron saint with a festal Mass Sunday, Sept. 21 in Harmon. Fr. Sung Joo “Francis” Lee, Pastor of St. Andrew Kim Church, celebrated the festal Mass assisted by Deacon Dominic Kim. Left photo: Fr. Lee venerates a relic of St. Andrew Kim Taegon who was canonized May 6, 1984. The festal celebration was to be cancelled because a private group, which owns the property where the government easement was built, had restricted access. However, the business granted the Korean Catholic community temporary access for the day. UMATUNA SI YU’OS PHOTOS BY TONY C. DIAZ.

Divine Mercy Featured Image

Guam Divine Mercy Pilgrimage visit to Padre Pio’s Shrine in Giovanno Rotundo

fr-joelFather Joel de los Reyes
Divine Mercy Moments

On July 15 the Guam Divine Mercy Pilgrims went to Naples, Italy to visit the Shrine of Padre Pio in San Giovani Rotundo. It was a bright summer day as we browsed around the wide concrete ground landscape of the new shrine of St. Padre Pio.

The interior and exterior architectural designs and state-of-the-art facilities are marvelous. Within the recesses of the shrine is the chapel where pilgrims, visitors and tourists can have a close view of the incorrupt body of Padre Pio, which lays inside a glass encasement.

Other amenities include rooms, cubicles, alleys, galleries, pictorials, museums, souvenir shops, and many other must-see details and features that essentially relate to the life and mission of this great Saint of God.

We had a very knowledgeable tour guide who a lot of information about Padre Pio’s life, works and mission. We recorded, videotaped and took notes of his talks and presentations throughout the duration of our tour of the monastery, church and shrine at San Giovanni Rotundo.

Pictorials, prayer, reflection, Mass and shopping for religious articles and souvenirs are the ingredients that made our sojourn of this revered sanctuary truly tasteful, memorable and meaningful.

Padre Pio was born on May 25, 1887 in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina. His parents were Grazio Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio.

According to biographical accounts, he was baptized by Fr. Nicolantonio, curate of St. Ann church on May 26, 1887 with the name of Francesco.

He received the sacrament of confirmation from Archbishop Donato Maria Dell’Olio also at St. Ann’s church on Sept. 27, 1899. About the same period he received his first Holy Communion.

On Jan. 6, 1903, he entered the Capuchin novitiate at Morcone, and on Jan. 22, 1903 was vested in the Capuchin habit and assumed the name of Fra Pio. The following year on Jan. 22, 1904, he made his Simple Vows.

In Oct. 1905, Fra Pio went to S. Marco la Catola for philosophical studies and in Oct. 1907, his theological studies at Serracapriola under the guidance of P. Agostino da S. Marco.

He received the Order of Subdiaconate on Dec. 21, 1908, Diaconate on July 18, 1909 in the monastery at Morcone, and entered the Order of Priesthood on Aug. 10, 1910 in the Cathedral of Benevento.

He celebrated his first solemn Mass in in Pietrelcina. On Aug. 14, 1910, he observed pain in his hands and feet, the invisible stigmata.

On Nov. 6, 1915, he presented himself for military service in the district of Benevento. On March 18, he re-entered the monastery of San Giovanno Rotondo.

It is worth mentioning that according to his personal episode, Padre Pio never harbored grudge or bitterness to those who offended him. On the contrary, he prayed for them.

He had been tormented by the devil but had overcome the forces of the evil one. His personal accounts point to the fact that his message is a message of love and his mission is for the salvation of souls that reverberates Christ commandment for His disciples to, “Go into the world and make disciples of all the nations.”

Padre Pio’s life in its entirety can be summed up by St. Paul’s words to the Colossians when he said, “I rejoice now in the sufferings I bear for your sake; and what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ. I will fill up in my flesh for His body which is the church.” (Col. 1:24).

Padre was very much sought for person for confession, spiritual advice, prayers and Masses. His Feast day is celebrated every Sept. 23, the day that recalls his death in the grace of our Lord on Sept. 23, 1968.

He was canonized on June 16, 2002 by then Pope John Paul 11, now St. John Paul II.

We ended our memorable sojourn with a Holy Mass at the monastery church of San Giovanno Rotundo for the intentions of our pilgrimage. “ Padre Pio pray for us.”

On the flip side, it has been said that what you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God. Someone said that when you come to the end of yourself, you find the beginning of God.

People don’t always need advice. Sometimes all they need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen and a heart to understand and love them.

Prayer from the heart is a force we should never underestimate, do not use your energy worrying, rather use it to believe and trust in God’s mercy.

Let us remind ourselves often that God replaces our fear with his gift of faith, our pain with a purpose and our obstacles with opportunities. Just as Blessed Mother Teresa once said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love for the love of God and neighbor.”

When God gives you a NO, praise and offer Him a “Thank You” for He is protecting you from less to His best. Isn’t it that faith is trusting God even if we don’t understand His ways and plans?

And remember, too, that God wants us not to ask Him to clear or calm our life’s storms, rather, He wants us to discover Him in the midst of our life’s gusts and tempests. Amen on that folks!!

St. Faustina wrote in her Diary no. 151,“My daughter, do not be afraid of sufferings; I am with you.”

Pray the the Divine Mercy daily at 3 p.m. Recite daily the Chaplet of Mercy for peace in the world and conversion of sinners.

Members of Guam Divine Mercy Pilgrims have a group photo taken in front of the shrine of Padre Pio in San Giovani Rotondo. Front, from left, Evangeline Trevias, Primrose Marcos, Mariah Fejeran, Loreta Sequito, Henny Garcia, Fr. Joel de los Reyes, Evangelina Magdael, and Romolo Pellacani. Back, from left, Milagros Villas, Marilyn Cabailo, Annie Shimizu, Dolores Taitingfong, Jose Torres, Mary Torres, Dolores Manalisay, Zenaida Jacobs, Annie Roberto, Diana Santos, Josephine Aguon, Pacita Garcia, John Aguon, Filomena Palas, Hermie Villa, Anthony William Aguon, Belen Swagler, Lourdes Salas, and Hilda Pellacani. (Not in this photo: Eileen Benavente-Blas, Michael Sanders, Anthony Michael McDonald, Monica Ureta, and Joseph Shimizu). PHOTO COURTESY OF GUAM DIVINE MERCY PILGRIMAGE 2014 MEMBERS
Members of Guam Divine Mercy Pilgrims have a group photo taken in front of the shrine of Padre Pio in San Giovani Rotondo. Front, from left, Evangeline Trevias, Primrose Marcos, Mariah Fejeran, Loreta Sequito, Henny Garcia, Fr. Joel de los Reyes, Evangelina Magdael, and Romolo
Pellacani. Back, from left, Milagros Villas, Marilyn Cabailo, Annie Shimizu, Dolores Taitingfong, Jose Torres, Mary Torres, Dolores Manalisay, Zenaida Jacobs, Annie Roberto, Diana Santos, Josephine Aguon, Pacita Garcia, John Aguon, Filomena Palas, Hermie Villa, Anthony William
Aguon, Belen Swagler, Lourdes Salas, and Hilda Pellacani. (Not in this photo: Eileen Benavente-Blas, Michael Sanders, Anthony Michael McDonald, Monica Ureta, and Joseph Shimizu). PHOTO COURTESY OF GUAM DIVINE MERCY PILGRIMAGE 2014 MEMBERS


On Guam, the Archdiocese of Agana coordinates or supports a number of programs and activities such as the Sponsor Couple program, Couples for Christ and Worldwide Marriage Encounter. Call Deacon Larry Claros, Director of the Office of Family Ministries at the Division of Pastoral Ministries at 562-0023 for more information.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter will hold an upcoming retreat for all married couples Oct. 24-26 at Pacific Star Resort & Spa and encourages couples to schedule quality time and to go on dates with their spouses.

Register for the marriage enrichment program by contacting Stephen and Lisa Stettenbenz at 687-0133 or via email at or visit for more info.

The Archdiocese also holds an annual Catholic Sweethearts Ball every February. Deacon Larry can provide more information about that as well as Sponsor Couple, where longtime Catholic married couples mentor younger or more newly-married couples.

ND Field

Notre Dame High thanks generous donors for athletic field

Umatuna Si Yu’os

Notre Dame High School held an appreciation assembly on Aug. 19 to honor the donors of its new athletic field. Through the kindness of prominent local businessman, Al Ysrael and the Ysrael family, the Ysrael Athletic Field will be completed this semester.

During Notre Dame’s accreditation process in 2011, the accreditation team from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA) recommended the creation of a multipurpose sports field on which the Notre Dame physical education students and athletes may practice and compete.

Last year, Sr. Jean Ann Crisostomo SSND, NDHS President, saw an opportunity to realize that goal. Remembering that businessman Al Ysrael was a Notre Dame school board member in the 1970’s, she approached him when the school was planning its 45th anniversary celebration. “I just talked to him that we’re celebrating our 45th anniversary and (said) we’d like him to give us a donation. He said, ‘Well, what do you want?’ ‘An outdoor field.’ So he said, ‘Sure, I’ll do that for you,’ and that’s how we got it.”

“Notre Dame had been renting the fields at Leo Palace for outdoor sports because we don’t have the field up here. We have the property, but not the field,” she said. The co-ed Catholic school sits on approximately 30 acres of land in Talofofo.

“Notre Dame High School is grateful to Mr. Ysrael, his family, and all donors for giving our students a place to excel in Physical Education and sports-related activities,” said Sister Jean Ann.

Ysrael served on school board 

This is the third school that Ysrael and his family have donated to, but his affiliation with Notre Dame goes back decades.

“About 40 years ago, Pete Ada, Sr. and myself helped build their gymnasium, and it’s still standing, and it’s still in good condition,” said Ysrael. “Now I’m coming in and I’m donating the soccer field, the outdoor football field.”

The Ysrael family donation not only helps the school’s accreditation, but also directly contributes to students’ physical well-being. He said, the donation is for the benefit of the students, and to help them with their accreditation.

“(An) athletic field is one of the requirements for continued accreditation. Catholic schools on island have performed a great function in that one out of every five students on island go to private schools, thereby saving GovGuam a tremendous amount of money and savings,” said Ysrael. “Catholic schools and private schools are always in dire need of funds to improve their facilities. So I brought it upon my family, the Ysrael family, to help them out in anyway that we can. And every year, we adopt a school to benefit.”

“This year it’s Notre Dame, the year before was Academy of Our Lady, and the year before that was St. John’s School. This is the third school we’ve helped out in the last three years,” said Ysrael.

According to the school’s website, aside from being cost effective for NDHS, a playing field constructed on school property will provide a sense of ownership, give the students a home field advantage, and most importantly, boost school spirit and pride within the students of Notre Dame.

Established in 1968, Notre Dame is owned and operated by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Additional information provided by the school’s website,