Mass honors departed clergymen of Guam

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For the U Matuna Si Yu’os

Monsignor Brigido Arroyo lights a candle for departed bishops of Guam during a memorial Mass celebrated by Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. Mon- day, Nov. 4 at Pigo Catholic Cemetery in Anigua. Two days after All Souls Day, the Association of the Diocesan Clergy of the Archdiocese of Agana (ADCAA) organized the Mass to pray for the souls of archdiocesan priests and deacons and all other priests who served on Guam but have since passed into eternal life. Photo for U Matuna Si Yu’os by Jonathan Abella/alitrato@yahoo.com.
Monsignor Brigido Arroyo lights a candle for departed bishops of Guam during a memorial Mass celebrated by Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. Mon- day, Nov. 4 at Pigo Catholic Cemetery in Anigua. Two days after All Souls Day, the Association of the Diocesan Clergy of the Archdiocese of Agana (ADCAA) organized the Mass to pray for the souls of archdiocesan priests and deacons and all other priests who served on Guam but have since passed into eternal life. Photo for U Matuna Si Yu’os by Jonathan Abella/alitrato@yahoo.com.

On Nov. 4th 2013, the Monday following All Soul’s Day, the Archdiocese of Agana held a memorial Mass in thanksgiving and prayer for its departed clergymen. A first here in Guam, the Mass took place at Pigo Catholic Cemetery in Anigua. Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap. D.D. was the main celebrant alongside other priests of the archdiocese.

The Association of Diocesan Clergy of the Archdiocese of Agana (ADCAA) sponsored the event upon the request of its president, Palé Mike Crisostomo. It kept in the spirit of All Soul’s Day, commemorating and praying for the souls of our many departed brothers who served as archdiocesan priests and deacons. Archbishop Anthony also offered prayers for all deceased priests who served on Guam in religious orders such as the Capuchin Franciscans.

Palé Mike said the inspiration for the memorial Mass also stemmed from the spirit of national Priesthood Sunday which was celebrated a week earlier on Sunday, Oct. 27. They were also inspired upon learning that the Sisters of Mercy celebrated their sister- hood in a similar way.

Archbishop Anthony blesses the crypt of the late Deacon Joseph Anthony Martinez during the Mass for departed clergy Nov. 4 at Pigo Catholic Cemetery. Msgr. James Benavente, right, Rector of Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica and Director of Catholic Cemeteries, assists the archbishop.
Archbishop Anthony blesses the crypt of the late Deacon Joseph Anthony Martinez during the Mass for departed clergy Nov. 4 at Pigo Catholic Cemetery. Msgr. James Benavente, right, Rector of Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica and Director of Catholic Cemeteries, assists the archbishop.

The ADCAA is a local non-profit association of priests and deacons which works for and fosters fraternal and spiritual support for and among priests. Perhaps the most tender moments of the liturgy in Anigua came when individual family representatives of the departed Guam clergy participated in a Prayer of Remembrance, preceding the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

From the pulpit, a list of Guam’s departed clergymen was read out loud. Their names were called, slowly, one by one, as if echoing

their calling to the priesthood or diaconate. The dates of their passing were announced with the names as family representatives or in some cases, their fellow clergymen, ap- proached the altar and lit candles in their honor.

Nearly 50 clergymen were named, including bishops, priests and deacons as well as priests of religious orders and a lay missionary — lives consecrated to serve, for the glory of God, and to the people of this local Church on Guam.

Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. delivers the homily at a 10 a.m. Mass Monday, Nov. 4 at Pigo Catholic Cemetery in Anigua. The Association of the Diocesan Clergy of the Archdiocese of Agana (ADCAA) held the Mass to pray for the souls of their departed archdiocesan brother priests and deacons and all departed priests who served on Guam through the years. Photos by Jonathan Abella/alitrato@yahoo.com
Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D. delivers the homily at a 10 a.m. Mass Monday, Nov. 4 at Pigo Catholic Cemetery in Anigua. The Association of the Diocesan Clergy of the Archdiocese of Agana (ADCAA) held the Mass to pray for the souls of their departed archdiocesan brother priests and deacons and all departed priests who served on Guam through the years. Photos by Jonathan Abella/alitrato@yahoo.com

The very first names uttered during this part of the liturgy reminded everyone of the long legacy of faithful men who answered historic callings to serve God in our tiny cor- ner of the globe: Bishop Miguel Angel Olano (May 21, 1970), Bishop Apollinaris William Baumgartner (Dec. 18, 1970), Archbishop Felixberto Camacho Flores (Oct. 25, 1985), Msgr. Jose Torres Palomo (July 3, 1919), Father Jesus Baza Duenas (July 12, 1944) As president of ADCAA, Palé Mike asks everyone to appre- ciate the priests at their parishes, especially since being a priest can sometimes be a dif- ficult and thankless job. He asks everyone to also pray for all priests.

In his homily on the feast of St. Charles of Borromeo, Archbishop Anthony spoke of the need to strengthen our faith in God. One of the best ways is to have complete faith in God, he said. “Knowledge of God is not enough to fall in love with God; in order to increase my faith, I must take a leap of faith…”

Deacon Gus Cepeda lights a candle in honor of a departed archdiocesan deacon.
Deacon Gus Cepeda lights a candle in honor of a departed archdiocesan deacon.

After the Mass, Archbishop Anthony blessed several crypts inside the Pigo Cemetery’s main mausoleum which held remains of departed diocesan clergymen.

Lee Anna Dela Cruz contributed to the writing of this article.