Thursday, December 1, 2016

Forgive And You Will Be Forgiven

Image result for Archbishop Michael ByrnesArchbishop Byrnes celebrated his first Mass with the people of Guam.  It was a very beautiful Mass, and the church was packed with people that a few were left standing in the back.  I can see that many people were moved with Archbishop Byrne's homily and were listening intently to his every word.  His homily is something we need to reflect on and take to heart (the bold is mine):  
“I’m not the one here to heal the pain, that’s not why I came, I can’t do it, but I know someone who can, that’s Jesus. It’s not just Jesus up in Heaven doing his thing, but it’s us. We are the Church, we are the body of Christ, we are his hands, his feet, his heart. It’s through our effort, exercising the body of Christ. Exercising the multiple and various gifts we share too. That can bring back unity to the Church. It is his word through us that can bring about the healing. It starts in the hearts of each one of us. The fulfillment of life and love that he brings. I need to see past the pain, I need to see past the betrayal, I need to see past my suspicion of another and try to perceive the good in their heart," said Byrnes, alluding to the scandal that has deeply divided the Church on Guam.
The following is my message to the Sunday protesters.  

As everyone on island knows, the deed restriction has been rescinded and the two boards of RMS were removed.  As you are also fully aware, Archbishop Byrnes has no authority to remove Archbishop Apuron.  Even Archbishop Hon tried to convince Pope Francis to remove him, but the pope said no.  Only the Pope can remove him. So, why the Sunday protest?  It was the Pope's decision to allow Apuron to keep his title and granted him a canonical trial. Your protest then is no longer a protest to defrock Apuron, but a protest against Pope Francis' decision. Think about that fact for a minute.    


Protesters, if you really want to stop your suffering and heal, then listen to the homily of Archbishop Byrnes and stop your protest against Pope Francis' decision.


Follow Christ and all the things He taught.  As Archbishop Byrnes pointed out, it starts with each individual.  Each individual protester must make the decision to cease their protest against Pope Francis ' decision and allow the canonical trial to take place just as Pope Francis wanted it.  The man who made the following statement below is the one whom you should follow.  Pope Francis followed this man and every Catholic are called to follow Him as well: 


Luke 6:36-37  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  Do not judge and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  


Once you have made the choice to follow the Pope's decision instead of protesting against it, then you will find healing taking place.   

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Looking Back With Hon

According to the Guam Daily Post: 
To the community of the Neocatechumenal Way, Hon said he had another message.
"Number one, I pray for them, I really pray for them," he said.
Hon's second message to NCW followers was to be more open and inviting and that, in addition to having good intentions, the leadership within the NCW needed to develop a willingness to talk and open lines of communication. He explained that while he had undertaken efforts to contact NCW leadership, he was unable to really establish a dialogue with them.
This is my response: 

Dear Archbishop Hon, 

Let us be honest here.  It was NOT difficult to contact the leadership of the NCW.  As a matter of fact, you removed him.  Father Pius was the Head Catechist of the NCW in Guam and the Rector of RMS.  You were able to contact him and tell him that you are removing him as Rector of RMS.  Father Pius was obedient and stepped down.

What good intentions did you do?  You removed the leadership of the NCW and targeted the parishes that have the NCW in them.  You took out RMS priests without their knowledge.  You never contacted them nor wrote them a letter, telling them of their new assignment.  And you were fully aware of where to find them.  The first time they learned of their new assignment was through the Umatuna. 

Imagine waking up in the morning and opening up the Catholic newspaper only to find that you were assigned to a different parish or to DOC effective about TWO DAYS AGO!  And to top it off, you replaced these priests who were walking in the Way with a Parochial administrator as if they were being removed for doing something wrong.  These two priests have appealed their case, which you refused to listen.  With all due respect, the person who was unwilling to talk and open lines of communication was YOU.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What Byrnes Said About The NCW

There were several comments coming in threatening that the NCW is about to come to an end.  Some comments even mention death to the Way.  That is not going to happen.  Furthermore, these hateful comments are very offensive.  Here is an excerpt from Archbishop Byrnes. 

Taken from the Guam Daily Post:

In response to questions about the Neocatechumenal Way, Byrnes said he would continue to allow the NCW to operate within the local parishes.
"The Neocatechumenal Way is a movement within the church that's been highly valuable throughout the world, so I don't think it's a question of removal in any sense," he said.
As we already know, Archbishop Byrnes is not all that familiar with the Way because it is not a movement.  Nevertheless, his superior Cardinal Filoni whom he reports to is very familiar with the Way.

Monday, November 28, 2016

My Good News

I have been holding back on my good news.  Now that it has been made public in the news, I can revealed it.  After the deed restriction was rescinded by Archbishop Byrnes, Archbishop Apuron met with him, and they had a good long talk.  Since that good long talk, Archbishop Byrnes was a little bit more aware and informed of things from our side.  Now that he is here on Guam, he will listen to all sides just as he said in his interview.  According to the Associated Press (the bold is mine):


HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The new leader of the Catholic church in Guam will meet with his brother priests as his first order of business on Monday as he attempts to heal this U.S. territory rocked by allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy, even the current archbishop.
"I have been praying for those who have brought forward the allegations, who brought forward their own experience. I have great compassion for that," Archbishop Michael Byrnes, 58, of Detroit told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "I've been praying for them."
Byrnes has been sent by the Vatican to replace current Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron on an administrative basis. Apuron, 71, has been Guam's highest Catholic leader for 30 years but faces a church trial over multiple allegations of sex abuse of altar boys in the 1970s. He denies the charges, and has not been criminally charged.
Byrnes said he had a conversation with Apuron and knows he is somewhere in the United States. "The tribunal investigation and trial of the archbishop has already begun," Byrnes said.
Byrnes will have the right to succeed Apuron if he resigns, retires or is removed. Byrnes was auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit before Pope Francis appointed him to the Guam post.
While Apuron remains the archbishop in title, Byrnes said he has already been exercising pastoral responsibility for the archdiocese, and that he will continue to include Apuron in his Eucharistic prayers.
"Irrespective of guilt or innocence, we should always pray for each other, especially in difficult times," Byrnes said.
Several civil lawsuits have been filed against the church after the governor this year signed a bill lifting the statute of limitations to sue alleged abusers and institutions that supported them.
Byrnes wants to reach out to as many parishioners as possible in heavily Catholic Guam, located about 3,700 miles southwest of Honolulu. About 80 percent of the western Pacific island's 160,000 residents are Catholic.
"I want to hear from the people of God on the island, what are their concerns, what are their hopes. In a time when there has been a kind of polarization because of the archbishop, then it becomes difficult for people because you have to choose," he said.
"It's not like a panacea or a quick fix but unless we bring all this to Jesus then we're going to just be left to ourselves," he said.
It will be a steep learning curve all around for Byrnes. He had never met anyone from Guam before being named to lead the Catholic church here, and the only thing he knew about the place was gleaned from World War II history books.
Byrnes will travel 15 time zones from Detroit to arrive on Guam on Monday, when he will participate in a day of recollection with Guam's clergy.
Two liturgical celebrations are planned on Wednesday, including when he takes his oath of fidelity. Later that day, he will join parishioners as they begin nine days of masses honoring Guam's patron saint, Santa Marian Kamalen, also known as Our Lady of Camarin.





Saturday, November 26, 2016

Big Families, Big Faith

The following article was taken from the Denver Catholic.  In the Neocatechumenal Way, families eat together at the dining table using china plates and glasses.  We do not use paper cups and paper plates.  

BIG FAMILIES, BIG FAITH

Large families know that God provides


Jim Major, center above, and his wife, Teresa, left of Jim, and 11 of their dozen children-one no longer lives at home-gather around their dining room table for breakfast May 24. The Majors say God has provided for them in caring for their large brood. 
Everyday Jim and Teresa Major do the impossible.
They take their budget fit for two children and stretch it to provide for their brood of 12.
The Majors place their openness to life first and budget second, having faith that God will provide. And he has.
“Here I am everyday living the impossible,” said Teresa, who attends St. Louis King of France Church in Englewood. “So I know God exists.”
They call finances the “boogeyman that the devil holds up” to scare a couple into restricting their family size.
“Being open to having a big family is being open to faith from God,” Teresa said.
Families like the Majors, who are members of the Neocatechumenal Way catechumenate, said they’ve overcome fears and found the joys of a larger-than-life family.
Some are well aware of the secular world’s opinion that it’s financially irresponsible, maybe even negligent, to be open to more than one or two children.
Kali and Lane Reagan, who also attend St. Louis, will get stares over their four children. Reagan is expecting their fifth child in September.
“We get strange looks,” Kali said. “People have asked us if they were accidents or if we had them on purpose. Others have asked ‘Do you know what birth control is?’”
The Reagans have a different view.
Lane and Kali Reagan with their four children. They are expecting a baby in September.
Lane and Kali Reagan with their four children. They are expecting a baby in September.
“I think being open to life can mean so many different things,” Kali said. “For us it means five children. We’re happy to give up some of the things people think they can’t live without to have these kids.”
Budgeting to meet the needs of a growing family requires a more intentional approach to their spending, they said. They look at their budget and determine wants versus needs. They try to pay in cash. They won’t buy a new car until it’s a necessity. Going out to eat and the movies is an infrequent event. When they buy something new, they share it. The important thing is that they’re together, they said.
They love their oldest, 10-year-old Brooklyn, who keeps to herself, and Jersey, 6, and Staten, 3—their two other girls—who are “rambunctious and feisty.” The baby, 8-month-old Bronx, gets all the attention.
“For us the joy we get from our children is way more than you can put a monetary price on,” Kali said.
Lane, 33, added, “With God’s help anything is possible.”
Discovering God’s planEric and Delores Benedict of Immaculate Conception Church in Lafayette are no strangers to the fear of a large family.
After child No. 6 was born, relatives and doctors urged them to choose sterilization. Delores succumbed to pressure and decided to have a tubal ligation.
“My husband and I could just sexually satisfy ourselves. No guilt—no babies,” Delores told the Denver Catholic Register.
But their marital union felt empty and their marriage suffered.
“I didn’t want Eric to touch me. Without the possibility of a child, the act was meaningless. I was so sad.”
Then Delores discovered the Neocatechumenal Way at her parish, and she and her husband had a conversion of heart. They fell in love with Christ, they said.
Eric Benedict, center above, and his wife, Delores, to the right of Eric, and six of their 11 children seated at their dining room table.
Eric Benedict, center above, and his wife, Delores, to the right of Eric, and six of their 11 children seated at their dining room table.
After attending a liturgy with their Way community, Delores asked how she could find peace after choosing to be sterile. Their pastor advised them to consider a reversal.
“We decided it didn’t matter whether we had more kids or not, we were going to get the reversal done,” she said.
In 1995, her fallopian tubes were repaired. They were blessed with five more children.
Eric said being open to God’s plan may be difficult but “God has always, always provided.”
They shared their experiences with life in a letter addressed to the pope in April.
Delores said, “We chose life instead of material things. We put God first and he has provided for everything.”
The Majors had the same experience.
While it may be scary to be open to life, it’s only led to blessing after blessing for their family, Teresa said.
Being open to life has been a true walk of faith.
“The Christian has to know that God will provide. He has to know that. That’s what faith is,” Teresa said.

The Reagan Family’s Expenses
Kali and Lane Reagan shared a breakdown of their regular monthly bills in providing for their four children. They trust that God will provide.
Typical month
Groceries: $500
Target and CostCo for bulk items: $275
Diapers: $85
Clothing: $30-40 for miscellaneous needs
Recreation for children: $140
Phones: $150
Cable: $150
Insurance: $150
Gas: $200
The family also pays for medical bills, car repairs, school tuition, parish tithing, birthday parties and entertainment.
Free family activities in Denver
Denver offers free activities and attractions for the whole family that won’t break the bank. Below is a list of ideas for this summer.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Park in Morrison—Visit the museum and Performers Hall of Fame or take a hike through the colorful red rocks of the park. Visit redrocksonline.com or call 720-865-2494.
Denver U.S. Mint downtown—Take an hour-long weekday tour of one of only two mints in the United States. Reservations required. Visit www.usmint.gov or call 303-405-4761.
Denver Art Museum downtown—See the latest art exhibits during the museum’s free days the first Saturday of the month. Families may play games in the galleries, make art or take a tour in Spanish. Visit www.denverartmuseum.org or call 720-865-5000.
Hammond’s Candy Factory in Denver—Satisfy the family’s sweet tooth with a behind-the-scenes tour of the candy factory. Visit www.hammondscandies.com or call 303-333-5588.
Washington Park in Denver—Enjoy the expansive lawns, gardens and lake at the 165-acre park ideal for picnics, games or relaxing in the sun. Visit www.denvergov.org/parksandrecreation.
Celestial Seasonings in Boulder—See first-hand the workings of a tea production plant at one of the company’s free tours.  Visit www.celestialseasonings.com/tours or call 303-581-1266.
National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder—Learn about tornados, global warming, lightning and other acts of nature at its visitor center. Visit ncar.ucar.edu or call 303-497-1000.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Summary Of Press Release

Below is a comment showing the summary of Dr. Eusebio's press release:


Let me summarize:

1. A subversion of moral authority has occurred from within the Catholic Church led by Archbishop Hon. They have neither addressed grave moral issues nor supported the moral authority of the Archbishop of Agana. This shows Hon's obvious moral depravity and bias.

2. The toxic environment has been fueled by Mother Dawn Marie's own desire to seek public attention and provide her rendition of the truth in regards to the seminary. The alleged "request to lie" by Archbishop Apuron has never been substantiated.

3. The email interchange between Archbishop Anthony Apuron and Mother Stella Maris leaves no doubt that the intention of the Carmelite nuns was to pay off the debt that was incurred in the acquisition of the property for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

4. The Redemptoris Mater Seminary has been the only archdiocesan seminary in Guam and its relationship with the Neocatechumenal Way has been public. Therefore Mother Stella Maris most certainly knew it! So who is not telling the truth here?

5. There was no truth to the accusations and threats by various organizations and individuals that the property was “given away” to the Neocatechumenal Way by Archbishop Apuron and alienated from the Archdiocese of Agana. This threat must be rejected. The Deed Restriction was about the right to use the property and not about owning the property.

6. The property was never alienated, the authority of the archbishop has never been challenged and the new Archbishop Coadjutor, with a simple stroke of his pen, demonstrated the toxic nature of this gigantic mountain of lies.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Dear Brothers, 

There is a lot to be thankful for.  As our priests said, be thankful for the persecutions.  Remember that Christ was also persecuted, and this persecution brings us closer to Him.  We are thankful that we have a new Archbishop.  He appears to be a strong Archbishop and a man of God.  Continue to pray for Archbishop Apuron, our local church, and the seminaries.  

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!
Thanksgiving Turkey

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dr. Eusebio's Press Release

 A TOXIC ENVIRONMENT

A few months ago, a minor delivered a dead fetus in our hospital. The staff thinking it was a simple miscarriage however, noticed something strange in the chest of the fetus. There were multiple puncture marks present which later came to be revealed was the technique utilized to kill the fetus in utero. Because partial birth abortion is a crime in Guam, this is the technique utilized now to perform late term pregnancy abortions to give the appearance of a miscarriage rather than an abortion. 

Today in addition to abortion, same sex marriage and casino gambling also exist in Guam. For years, Archbishop Anthony Apuron successfully led the battle against these moral issues and they were defeated.  Unfortunately, a subversion of his moral authority has occurred from within the Catholic Church where a few organized vocal groups along with some clergy led by Archbishop Hon have neither addressed these issues nor supported the moral authority of the Archbishop of Agana. 

Yes, Mother Dawn Marie (former Malojloj Carmelite prioress) claims we live in a toxic environment. It has been fueled however, by her own desire to seek public attention and provide her rendition of the truth in regards to the seminary. She attempts to discredit Archbishop Apuron  and deems him guilty in regards to the sexual abuse allegations against him without a trial.  My recollection of this truth is substantially different from what she professed.

On February 2, 1999, Archbishop Apuron requested for a Redemptoris Mater seminary on Guam to the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way in response to the shortage of vocations and to form priests for the new evangelization. He believed in the vision of the Pope and recognized the serious challenges facing Micronesia and the Pacific today. 

On September 8, the request was granted and the decree for the erection of the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Guam was signed on December 8, 1999, the feast of Santa Marian Kamalen. This marked the beginning of the first major seminary in the 300 plus years of Catholicism in the island. 

Initially, it was located in Tai, Guam, in a small one floor building and the seminarians were housed by members of the Neocatechumenal Way. With the increasing number of seminarians, it was clear that a new facility was needed to board the seminarians, provide classrooms for their courses of theology and create an educational institute for their academics. 

This was identified in August 2002 to be the Yona property of the Hotel Accion and over the ensuing months Archbishop Apuron was able to obtain approval from the various committees and apostolic delegate Archbishop Coveney to purchase the property for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary securing a loan from the Bank of Guam for $1.9 million dollars which was finalized in September 16, 2002. 

The Redemptoris Mater Seminary has been the only archdiocesan seminary in Guam and its relationship with the Neocatechumenal Way has been public, open and clear since its origin: the Neocatechumenal Way has helped in the formation of the seminarians. While this fact is well known, it does not entirely diminish the diocesan nature of the seminary.  Jesuits or Sulpicians are formators in other diocesan seminaries as well but  does not make those seminaries Jesuit or Sulpician. 

Benefactors to provide assistance to pay this debt were sought and the Carmelite Sisters of St. Joseph in St. Louis, Missouri, in the person of Mother Stella Maris, O.C.D. generously offered to initially pay off the loan with an interest free loan and then later made it a gift instead. The email interchange between Archbishop Anthony Apuron and Mother Stella Maris leaves no doubt that the intention of the Carmelite nuns was to pay off the debt that was incurred in the acquisition of the property for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. 

On January 2, 2003 Mother Stella Maris wrote to the Archbishop: We would like to help with the seminary situation and thought we could possibly loan you some money, interest free to use there. 

On the same day Archbishop Apuron answered Mother Stella Maris writing: The loss of the temporary house of formation where the rector and the sixteen seminarians were residing only three weeks before the Dec. 8th super-typhoon, is really a miracle as we look back in that we were able to move the seminary to a new location about 10 miles south in a former Japanese Hotel which the Archdiocese purchased for about $2 million dollars. Over the last two years we had been making plans of just extending the formation center to accommodate up to 24 seminarians (living two by two in a room= 12 rooms), the rector, a visitor's room, a conference room, a chapel and a library.

On January 6, 2003, Mother Stella Maris wrote back:
Our wish is to pay off entirely the loan on the hotel building with this interest free loan. …We will be sending a total of two million dollars ($2,000,000) so after the loan is paid off whatever remains we give to you as a gift, not a loan, to use for repair work on the hotel building or whatever is needed there.

On the same day Archbishop wrote: I will share it soon with my quick visit to the seminary to inform the Rector, Fr. Raymond and the 16 seminarians for our archdiocese. 

(See attachment with the complete exchange of letters between Archbishop Apuron and Mother Stella Maris).

Fr. Raymond, rector of the seminary at the time, wrote to us from Canada confirming these facts:
I feel compelled to speak  out by the love of truth. I believe that Mother Dawn is not well informed since the donation was given not by her but by Mother Stella Maris (may she rest in peace) who knew very well that the building would be used to form missionary diocesan priests and that the ones in charge of the formation would be priests from the Neocatechumenal Way. 

Before Archbishop Byrnes lifted the deed of restriction as the corporation sole of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, the Yona property was an asset of the Archdiocese of Agana. After this was accomplished, the property remained an asset of the archdiocese. 

There was no truth to the accusations and threats by various organizations and individuals that the property was “given away” to the Neocatechumenal Way by Archbishop Apuron and alienated from the Archdiocese of Agana. The Archbishop of Agana remains its owner with full authority and jurisdiction. This authority includes dissolving the Boards as he has demonstrated. 

So, paradoxically, we are extremely happy that all the lies involving  the loss of the property of Yona,  that the Board of Guarantors authority superseded the archbishop’s authority, etc. (published even in the Archdiocesan newspaper) have been revealed for what they are: lies and calumnies. The property was never alienated, the authority of the archbishop has never been challenged and the new Archbishop Coadjutor, with a simple stroke of his pen, demonstrated the toxic nature of this gigantic mountain of lies.

While the truth has now been substantiated, we are disappointed that this castle of lies jeopardized two of the greatest assets of our island: a seminary and an Institute of Theology affiliated with the Lateran University, the University of the Pope.

The members of both Boards have always served at the Ordinary’s pleasure and discretion in an advisory capacity. This fact has never been disputed. These members were never monetarily compensated for their service, volunteering their time simply for the love of the seminary and its role in evangelization. These former Board members look forward in anticipation to the arrival of the new coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes and will hopefully be granted an audience with him.

R. B. Eusebio, M.D., FACS
President, IFamilianMangatolikuSihab