Farewell and may God bless you, Father Marvin


By Umatuna Si Yu’os Staff

Known for his incredible wit and strong, yet warm presence, Father Marvin Bearis, O.F.M. Cap. has been setting milestones and faithfully serving as pastor of the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Agaña Heights for just two years.

Upon receiving orders from the Provincial, Father Michael Greco of the Province of St. Mary in New York, Father Bearis has been assigned to be the Director of Vocations for the Capuchins in New York/New England.

Father Victor Garcia, O.F.M. Cap., had been appointed by Archbishop Michael Byrnes as pastor of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament effective Dec. 1, 2017.

Father Marvin Bearis, O.F.M. Cap., second from the right, are joined by his brother priests, from left to right, Father Michael Crisostomo, Monsignor James Benavente, Father Marvin, and Father Richard Kidd as they bid him farewell during his last days on island before moving to the mainland to become the Director of Vocations for the Capuchins in New York/New England. (Photo courtesy of Father Mike Crisostomo)

In the short time as a pastor at the Agaña Heights parish, Father Bearis managed to, with the grace of God, help establish a thriving parish community—a community that has regular fellowship every month and an active youth ministry.

During Father Bearis’ tenure, with the support of many parishioners, devotees, and supporters, the parish was able to plan and establish its Perpetual Adoration Chapel in 2016 with its opening in May of that year.

“To me, Father Marvin is a respectable priest who will be missed at our church,” Renee Finona, parishioner at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament said.

“He brought new activities and traditions that are not only good for our parishioners, but also our youth,” Finona continued, “Everyone who I have brought with me to visit our Adoration Chapel has told me that they have never experienced anything as enlightening as their visitation.

“I am grateful for Father Marvin because he has helped shape me into the person I am today and I hope to make him proud,” Finona stated.

(Umatuna file photo provided by Office of Communications)

Another impact that the beloved Capuchin had in the past two years was most recent with the monthly Eucharistic Healing Mass service every second Friday of the month.

Several parishioners and devotees who are in need of spiritual and physical healing have been in attendance monthly since July of this year.

Father Bearis and the Agaña Heights parish also hosted the local gathering and celebrations of World Youth Day this past Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017.

Held at the Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School in Sinajaña, Father Bearis and his handful of supporters in his planning committee brought over a fresh type of World Youth Day celebration that Guam had not had in years.

(Umatuna file photo provided by Office of Communications)

Father Bearis was able to bring over Laura Chance, Ricky Vazquez, and Connor Flanagan from the mainland who had years of experience in youth ministry.

The beloved Capuchin has always had a place in youth ministry on Guam, actively participating at World Youth Days from over a decade ago and fostering relationships between Christ and the youth.

“Father Marvin has impacted the parish community of Agaña Heights in a lot of ways,” said Colin Leon Guerrero, one of the youth ministers of the Agaña Heights parish.

“Mostly though his impact on the youth and how he connects with them,” Leon Guerrero shared, “I believe that was one his biggest impacts.”

Father Bearis will be missed not just by his parishioners, but also by his brother priests of the archdiocese and the many people whom he has had an impact in their lives, continuously praying for him as he embarks on the next stage of his journey.

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The Umatuna Si Yu’os is published every week by the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam. Our mission is to print and distribute a true report of the Roman Catholic Church’s ministry of changing lives through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.