By John Michael D. Pineda
Umatuna Si Yu’os
At the Catholic Educators’ Conference held at the Father Dueñas Memorial School Phoenix Center on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, hundreds of people gathered from various Catholic schools on island to celebrate their mission for academic excellence in the spirit of Gospel of Christ.
The keynote speaker for the conference was Roberta M. Abaday. With more than 40 years of experience as an educator on Guam and in the states, she remains active within Guam schools and currently teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Guam.
She imparted a message of encouragement to the people present at the conference of being leaders in teaching Catholic education, emphasizing the work they do to impact children and their families to be more grounded in the faith.
With the Catholic Schools Week 2018 theme being “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”, Abaday noted how each person in the room is guiding their students to be successful. She gave them tips to “teach from the heart” and know their content area, to always pray, especially before working, and to have God in their lives.
The conference also saw the celebration of seven individuals in reaching a milestone of 25 years of service at their respective schools. The recipients were Doris P. Camacho, Irene D. Camacho, and Angie M. Susuico from St. Anthony Catholic School; Carlos R. Lanada and Angela G. Thompson from Father Dueñas Memorial School; Emy V. Paulino from St. Francis Catholic School; and Rosita T. Cundiff from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School.
At the end of the conference, Archbishop Michael Byrnes celebrated the holy Eucharist. The archbishop spoke in his homily about what can be done in our Catholic schools regarding the growing number of people that leave their faith behind as they got older.
Focusing on “promoting genuine community,” Archbishop Byrnes exhorted the crowd to be obligated with one another as true brothers and sisters in Christ. In doing so, to challenge and change the world by responding with love and sacrifice to “help our young people see the salvation of our God.”