Sunday, May 4, 2014

Annual Gala Dinner

To the Brothers and Sisters walking in the Way and all interested persons: 

The Seminary is once again holding their annual Gala Dinner.  In addition to the auctions held during the St. Patrick's festival and yearly Christmas concert, the annual Gala dinner helps to keep the seminary in operation.  Many brothers who have been to a three or four day convivience in a hotel know that we spend approximately $200 per person.  And these monies are being spent for the use of the hotel facilities and services.  

The Seminarians, on the other hand, need your support especially in the face of persecution.  As Father Pius used to say, "The seminarians need to eat."  God has given us a seminary for free, and from this seminary many priests were ordained for Guam. The Gala dinner is on Sunday, May 25th.   


  1. Dear Diana,

    Was wondering where's Fr. Art? Wasn't he the pastor of Merizo earlier this year? Wasn't it that the Bishop was advised that since the NCW has given him so much that he would have to give up some priests to go to China, hence Bish. Apuron volunteered Fr. Art as tribute?

    It seems the seminary really is for the mission of the NCW and doesn't serve Guam. Yet ultimately we pay for their formation. Seminarians are ordained here sure at the expense of the Archdiocese....Where's Fr. Art now, doing something in China? How does that help Guam exactly?

    And where is Fr. Jason really? Is it true that he's in Saipan working under the nose of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa? Like a secret agent or something?

    That would be very insulting to the Bishop of Saipan.

    I propose that for every one year of study a seminarian partakes on Guam at the expense of the whole of the Archdiocese, they must submit three years of continuous service after their ordination.

    For those seminarians who drop out, and i believe there have been a number, reimburse the seminary e.g. the Archdiocese.


    1. Dear Anonymous at 9:04,

      The seminary is to train priests for Guam and the world. The Catholic Church does not exist only on Guam. It exists worldwide. Jesus said not to be part of this world, but to be out of this world. The true home of every Catholic is God's kingdom.

      Whatever priests Guam give to help others in the world, God rewards us many times more. As you can see, we still have priests here on Guam. Not one Catholic Parish on Guam is about to close down due to lack of priests. God provides. Why do you make a lot of assumptions as to where the priests are when in the first place, Mass continues on in every Catholic Church on Guam?

    2. Dear Diana,

      I very much agree with anon 9:04. If a seminarian bows out and AAA was used to fund his education it should be paid back. Think of it as a FASFA loan for college. One is given an X amount of money to subsidize their college education and it must be paid back. On the other hand, those who receive a government scholarship, for example here on island....either you pay back in $$$$ or work X amount of years here either in a private firm or the government as a pay back.

      Do you think it is fair for the people to give to AAA to educate these men and in the end they pull out?
      Maybe there should be a contract drawn saying that if you do not complete your education and ordained a priest you must pay back the Archdiocese.

      The money paid back could be used for the education of an other seminarian. People just aren't giving to AAA as one can see in the amount posted in the Umatuna Si Yu'us. They are beginning to think twice.

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    If that were the case, then we would be getting men who are not qualified to be priests. I don't think the priesthood should be operated like a secular university. God gave us free will, and He wants men who want to be 100% in the priesthood because they desire to serve Him, not because they are trying to avoid paying back their education.

    Yes, it's very sad that people are not giving to AAA to support the Catholic Church. It is the Catholic Church they are hurting. Nevertheless, God is always with His Church and He takes care of her. God performs miracles. The RMS is a miracle in itself. The Archbishop acquired the RMS seminary without spending a single penny on it.

  3. The seminary is a like college. Some make it some don't. Maybe at the time they enter they were 100% sure, but during the years of their study, they decide that this is not the actual calling. Entering the seminary does not necessarily mean that all will make it.

    People enter college with a 100% surety that they are going to be doctors, lawyers, etc. and then during the course of their study decide this is the field that that is wrong for them.

    You cannot say that entering the seminary these men are 100% sure that this is the vocation for them. This is a trial period them. Remember The Lord said. "Many are called but few are chosen."

    I still believe that there should be a payback

  4. These men may be 100% sure when they enter! but may find out that this is not actually their calling during their years of study. It's like a person going to college who is 100% sure that the field he/she is determined to become a lawyer, doctor,teacher,accountant, etc. then find out during the course of their study that this is not the field that the want.

    I still believe that if these men do not make it, they have to payback the Archdiocese. Remember what The Lord said, "Many are called but few are chosen." So don't assume that all will be ordained!

  5. Dear Anonymous,

    I understand where you are coming from. Yes, you are correct that Jesus said, "Many are called, but few are chosen." On the other hand, these seminarians enter the seminary without jobs because Jesus also said that they must give up everything for Him. So, if they decide that it isn't their calling, it would take some time for them to get a job and start paying the Archdiocese. If we're going to treat it like a secular university, then why not allow these men to enter the seminary with their jobs intact so they can pay their way in like any secular university?

  6. As per my original reply on May 6, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    I know many seminarians who have bowed out of the program, some are my facebook friends and i see post after post of their new found lives with a girlfriend, wife, jobs even....

    If we can't expect a payback from those who failed in their formation then at least we would like and we the Good People of the Archdiocese SHOULD EXPECT a published third party audit of the seminarys' activities.

    But the real fact of the matter here is.....GUAM CANNOT SUPPORT A SEMINARY WITH GUAM's SMALL POPULATION BASE. I suspect our Archdiocese is just growing deeper and deeper into debt with this red elephant on it's back.

    And for what, Bragging Rights? We ordain priests on Guam, doesn't matter if the Archdiocese becomes insolvent doing so..

    The only seminary model that this Archdiocese can support is a MINOR SEMINARY like the one that was at Father Duenas Memorial School. I believe that is the biggest pill the Catholics on this island can swallow.

    GET REAL ARCHDIOCESE. Face the numbers. Face the bleeding bank account. Although we turn to faith for help and strength, GPA doesn't take prayers as payment.


    -Catholics United-

  7. This is a matter that the Archbishop needs to look into. There is only 4 more weeks until Pentecost Sunday, which ends the AAA, the goal will not be met. Maybe the money collected from the Gala will be thrown in to help with their education. I don't know how the collection from the Gala works or where it goes.

    If it becomes mandatory for the parishes to take from their capital funds to meet their so called AAA assessment then problems will arise. Our parishes will be put in a deeper hole when it comes to paying bank loans taken out to rebuild a church as in the example of the Santa Teresita Church in Mangilao that was destroyed by a typhoon.

    I still believe it has to be paid back. The Archbishop need to come wi some kind of solution or compromise .

  8. In the first place, the Archdiocese acquired this seminary for free without spending a single penny. Now that God has given us a free seminary, people are saying that we can't afford it to keep it in operation? It has been operating so far despite that there are people out there discouraging others not to contribute anything to the AAA or to the Seminary.

    If we want to keep the Seminary in operation, then we need to contribute the money. Since it has been built, the number of ordained priests have increased on Guam. I agree that a few of the seminarians will not become priests, but Is this really not the one hurting the Archdiocese? I would think that the ones who are really hurting the Archdiocese are those encouraging people not to contribute to the AAA or the seminary.

  9. "I would think that the ones who are really hurting the Archdiocese are those encouraging people not to contribute to the AAA or the seminary"

    Perhaps because they believe their monies should not go to supporting those efforts of the NCW? The Archdiocese should have never co-mingled with the movement. To allow it is one thing. To celebrate the Eucharist is one thing. To become a follower of Kiko, oh that's another thing..

    The Archbishop is a big guy around town and it's great that the NCW has him. But it cost him the unity of the Island.

    -Catholics United-

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Since the founding of the RMS seminary on Guam in 1999, the ordination of priests have increased. These priests are out in the community serving the people of Guam as they conduct daily and Sunday masses in Guam's parishes. Members of the NCW have gone out to help the Parish Church. Some of them volunteer their time to maintain Church grounds. Others volunteered their time to become lectors, Eucharistic ministers, alter servers, CCD instructors, and even sing in the Church choir. I know because I used to be one of those who attended Sunday masses. After my walk in the NCW, I got out of the Sunday pews and started getting involved in helping my parish, even if its to clean the church. The Church is not only struggling with money, but also struggling with the upkeep of the Church in keeping it clean.

      In the last WYD meeting, many members of the Way were actively involved in speaking to the youths and in helping with that WYD meeting. In the St. Patricks Day at the Seminary, you see many members from the NCW helping out. It's the NCW going out helping the Catholic Church in evangelization. It is the NCW who used their money to send mission families to other countries. They don't use YOUR money. Those who do not want to contribute to the Catholic Church, they are free not to help. They don't even have to give a single penny if they don't want, but then they also should not complain about the lack of funds.

  10. Girl, you made the Archbishop look bad saying that he did not spend a penny on the seminary building.


  11. What is hurting the Archdiocese is the Archbishop. His inaction and silence is indication of his lack of any leadership qualities. If he is content with just living a religious life with no desire to shepherd, I would understand if he stepped down. But as long as his title is Archbishop, he has a responsibility to fulfil that role.
    You blaming people for not donating to the AAA only shows your grand denial in this whole affair and your lack of understanding of the hierarchy of the Church on earth.
    You had a good attempt at a run at a blog. I suggest you close shop or take up another subject you are more versed in. To you, this may sound harsh, but in all charity, it may be the best advice you receive.

    1. Dear Anonymous 5:18 p.m.,

      Isn't that what we are supposed to do - live a religious and holy life? The Archbishop has already come out asking to donate generously to the AAA, but there are people discouraging others from doing so. The AAA is not only for the RMS seminary, but also for other things that has nothing to do with the Way. So, for those who did not donate any money at all, I don't see why they should complain if there is a lack of funds.

    2. I guess I should have capitalized the "R" in religious life. I though you would have known better.

      You shouldn't play coy with the percentages of the breakdown of the AAA. The gross majority of it goes to the RMS. The other things that get (barely) funded by the AAA will find it's own. In fact, I know of people that are donating specifically to those other ministries, circumnavigating the AAA. Don't be mistaken, just because the AAA is not going as planned, that does not mean people are holding on to their generosity. They are just donating with a more informed mind and to where they feel their money is being better utilized.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 1:44 a.m.,

      I do not see that as being generous. I see that as being spiteful.

    4. Dear Diana,

      With 65% of the AAA funds being earmarked for "Seminary Subsidy," vs 29% for "Chaplains," 3% for " Program Expenses," and 3% for "Other Clergy Support," it's hard for the average Catholic to accept your premise that "the AAA is not only for the RMS." More than half of the AAA goes to support the RMS and, considering the increasing dissatisfaction with the quality of priests from there, it doesn't sit well with those not walking the Way.

      In other dioceses in the US, the funds collected from the AAA are well-accounted for. Our AAA has 4 categories with no breakdown. In many archdioceses, under each category, there is a breakdown of how the money will be distributed. For example, in one archdiocese, there are 5 broad categories: Ministerial; Pastoral Outreach; Education, Formation and Discipleship; Catholic Charities; and Administrative Costs. Under the Ministerial umbrella the breakdown includes: seminary education (which, for that archdiocese was 27% vs Guam's 65%); permanent diaconate; priest support and retirement care (8% vs Guam's 3%); and priest continuing formation.

      In other dioceses which provide only the broad categories, like Guam, there are more categories including, in one example: Parishes and Schools; Catholic Charities; Seminarian Education and Formation; Parish and Family a Life Programs; Youth Ministry; Priest Retirement and Health Care; and Campus Ministry. In this particular instance, the amount allotted to Seminarian Education and Formation was 17% (vs Guam's 65%), while Priest Retirement and Health Care received 13% (vs Guam's 3%).

      What is also interesting is that ALL the other AAAs in the US include "Catholic Charities" and support for the parishes and Catholic education (under different titles). One AAA statement even informs the donors that "one-quarter to one-half of every dollar given to the appeal is returned to your parish, which can be used for tuition assistance, capital projects and parish-specific programs." Not so here in Guam where (1) the pastors were told that their parishes must produce the expected amount or face the consequences and (2) the flow of money is one-way (from the parish to the Chancery/RMS).

      Clearly, when the Faithful see that their shepherd is truly concerned with their well-being, they have no problem opening their wallets and checkbooks to support their respective AAAs. In one US archdiocese, not only did they meet the projected goal, it actually was surpassed by additional 2.18% in donations!

      The dismal results from Guam's AAA this year, Diana, is because people are becoming more aware, through the documentation provided by another blogger, that Guam's shepherd has shown partiality to one particular group, of which the RMS is an integral part. There's a popular saying that "Money talks" and this year, the LACK of money for the AAA is sending a message.

    5. That would be a gross judgement on your part. People are genuinely concerned about the direction of the Archdiocese. Why would you demonize them for making a choice that is theirs to rightfully to make?

    6. Dear Anonymous at 10:40 a.m.,

      Making a donation because of love is good and commendable thing. Making a donation to make yourself known is not a good thing. Making a donation because you don't like or trust the Archbishop is also not a good thing. Making a donation is always a good thing. It's the REASON behind it that determines whether it's a sin or not.

      This is why Christ sat himself across the treasury as he watched people donate their money for the temple. He doesn't care how much money was donated. He was looking at each person's heart as they donated the money.

    7. Dear Cathy,

      The following weblink below shows the AAA breakdown published in the Umatuna on March 4, 2014:

      According to the report:

      "The Archdiocese provides approximately 10% financial support to RMS and 100% to [St.] John Paul II Archdiocesan Seminary of Guam. The RMS makes up the remaining 90% through contributions, donations, and fundraising. The Archdiocesan support of 10% to the RMS’s 2014 budget is approximately $98,000. The budget for the recently established St. John Paul II Archdiocesan Seminary is estimated at $65,829. The estimated cost for a seminarian studying off island is approximately $55,000 per year. In FY 2013, it was $35,730 with scholarship assistance."

  12. Dear Anonymous at 5:06 p.m.

    The Archdiocese of Agana did not buy the Yona Seminary. It was given to them. That was reported in the Pacific Daily News. As for the renovations at the Seminary, that was all done by volunteer work from the community. See the weblink below from the PDN:

  13. No one Diana just gives away a multi million dollar property away without any strings tied to it. I don't know! All I am saying is Let go, Let God!

    Right now I am thinking that something fishy is going on. All I am going to do it pray.

  14. Dear Anonymous at 8:12 p.m.,

    God can. It was God who gave the Archdiocese the RMS seminary for free. God can do anything and with Him, all things are possible. This is why the RMS is said to be a miracle because it was given to the Archdiocese of Agana, and they did not spend money on it. Do you honestly think the Archdiocese can afford to purchase something that cost millions of dollars? Of course, Miracles do happen.

    Just look at Mother Teresa. She managed to build over 100 missions, orphanages, shelters, and hospitals, and she did not have any money to begin with. This is why the media follows her around. How can a nun living in poverty managed to build all these things in more than 130 different countries. She was poor living among the poor. Yes, you can pray. Prayers are very powerful.

    1. It's hard for Tim's disciples to believe that the former Hotel Accion was given free to the Seminary. That structure belongs to the Vatican. Not a single cents came from anyone in this island. No one! Zip, none, zero , 'Taya, nothing. Get it to all your thick SKULL!

      Gino from Sinajana

  15. Dear Diana,

    I think you have some good intentions here but honestly you may need to defer to someone as Anonymous @5:18 suggests. Right now you are answering posts via tired repeated deflection.

    If the AAA is not only for the seminary as you say then we again would like a financial breakdown of where it all goes and importantly where has it all went. Because you may be surprised, you may be blown away, by what the this Diocese can afford and what it affords itself.

    -catholics united-

    1. Dear Anonymous at 10:08 p.m.,

      I don't think the Archodiocese of Agana can purchase a multi-million dollar hotel and do the renovations in turning it into a seminary. But the Holy Spirit can.

    2. Dear Anonymous at 10:08 pm

      You can find the AAA breakdown, published in the Umatuna on March 4, 2014 and found in the following weblink:

      According to the report:

      "The Archdiocese provides approximately 10% financial support to RMS and 100% to [St.] John Paul II Archdiocesan Seminary of Guam. The RMS makes up the remaining 90% through contributions, donations, and fundraising. The Archdiocesan support of 10% to the RMS’s 2014 budget is approximately $98,000. The budget for the recently established St. John Paul II Archdiocesan Seminary is estimated at $65,829. The estimated cost for a seminarian studying off island is approximately $55,000 per year. In FY 2013, it was $35,730 with scholarship assistance."