By Jennifer Louise Dulla
and Sister Marian Arroyo, RSM
U Matuna Si Yu’os
In this Year of Faith, the Archdiocese of Agana has celebrated our Catholic faith through various events which have taken place throughout the year. Parishes, schools, religious congregations, communities and organizations have vibrated with varied activities that continually reminded us of the rich heritage we have in our faith. We have seen firsthand how many people have come together to witness God’s presence in our lives and the importance of sharing it with others.
It felt like yesterday, we first opened the “Year of Faith” on Oct. 11, 2012, with a beautiful Eucharistic Mass led by the Most Rev. Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM, Cap., D.D. at our mother church, the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Hagatna. The celebration marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of Catholic Church. Many events fol- lowed throughout the year.
Prior to the opening of the Year of Faith, the archdiocese provided an opportunity for archdiocesan, parish, and school leaders; catechists and liturgical ministers to prepare for the special year at the Archdiocesan Catechetical-Liturgical Conference on Sept. 15, 2012; Msgr. Michael Clay of Washington, DC, gave the keynote address. On Sept. 14, 2013, the annual conference continued to expound on the themes of the Year of Faith with numerous speakers. Fr. Francis Cancro of Belmont, North Carolina was the keynote speaker. These conferences were sponsored by the Division of Pastoral Ministries in collaboration with the Archdiocesan Liturgical Com- mission, the Catholic schools Office, parish DREs/CREs and pastors, rectors, and administrators. It is heart-warming to see hundreds of our people gather to nourish our knowledge of our faith.
Ever so vital to our joyful appreciation of how our faith was founded in Guam, we celebrated the canonization of Filipino San Pedro Calungsod on Oct. 21, 2012. San Pedro was a young catechist who came to our island as a missionary under the leadership of Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores who brought Christianity to Guam more than 300 years ago. Both Blessed Diego and San Pedro were martyred April 2, 1672. A number of educational classes and a DVD documentary on the Life, Times and Significance of Blessed Diego were prepared and offered to promote prayer for his intercession, and the cause for his saint- hood. The statues of Blessed Diego and San Pedro were blessed at the Shrine devoted to the founding saints on Sept. 7, 2013.
Popes Benedict XVI and Francis
The world’s attention was caught when it witnessed the resignation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and a very exciting election of Pope Francis, marking an historical milestone in the Catholic Church’s history in March and April, 2013. Led by Archbishop Anthony, the archdiocese prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide the Cardinals in the election of our new Pope.
Youth and Young Adult Events
Asan’s Nino Perdido Parish hosted the 7th Eucharistic Congress for Youth and Young Adults Sept., 2012. Guam’s local annual archdiocesan celebration of World Youth Day took place Palm Sunday, hosted by the southern villages of Umatac and Malesso on March 24, 2013. In Aug. 2013, Guam sent a delegation of pilgrims to participate in the world-wide event of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many young people were able to soak up the grace of being in the company of Pope Francis and their peers; many youth were touched by the experience and were moved to finding their vocations.
Our archdiocese also witnessed and rejoiced in the Ordination to the Priesthood of Fr. Richard Kidd, Fr. Richard Rojas, Fr. Luis Camacho, Jr., and Fr. Michael Jucutan in July, Aug. and Nov. 2013, respectively.
Closing Celebration with Eucharistic Congress
We now prepare to close this very enriching and faith-filled year on the feast of Christ the King. Everyone is invited to take part in the Archdiocese of Agana’s Year of Faith Closing Celebration & 8th Annual Eucharistic Congress 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24 at the Ypao Beach Park Amphitheater.
There will be a Pilgrim Walk from four designated regional sights: The Northern region of parishes and schools (Yigo, Ded- edo, Harmon, Tumon and Tamuning) meet at Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Church in Tumon. Central I region of parishes and schools (Hagatna, Mongmong, Toto, Barrigada, Mangilao and Chalan Pago) meet at SDA Clinic. Central II region of parishes and schools (Ordot, Sinajana, Agana Heights, Mai- na, Asan and Piti) meet at JFKHS. Southern region of parishes and schools (Agat, Santa Rita, Umatac, Merizo, Inarajan, Malojloj, Talofofo and Yona) meet at Archbishop Me- morial Circle.
When the pilgrims arrive at the amphitheatre, the celebration will open with Eucharistic Adoration and an opportunity for Confession. Holy Mass will be celebrated at about 1:30 p.m. followed by a vocation call and praise and worship. Everyone is invited!