Saturday, November 7, 2015

More On The Gala Dinner

Today's Umatuna is filled with lots of good news.  First of all, congratulations to Father Michael Junctan on his second anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.  Congratulations also goes to Father Edivaldo da Silva Oliveira on his sixth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.  All these were printed in today's Umatuna.  Birthday wishes were given to the Archbishop.  And there were more news about the successful Gala dinner at the Hyatt Hotel. 

So much joy, laughter and excitement filled the evening as our shepherd, Most Rev. Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM, Cap., D.D. celebrated his 70th birthday at the Gala Dinner 2015 held on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Guam in Tumon. 

Archbishop Anthony was honored for his tireless dedication to our people, his constant sacrificial service to the Church, and his Christ-like zeal for evangelization. 

All proceeds of the Gala Dinner 2015 are to benefit the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Guam in Yona, the St. John Paul the Great Archdiocesan Seminary of Guam in Malojloj and our mother church, the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna. 

An abundant crowd filled the Hyatt's Grand Ballroom and foyer to capacity, which included the archbishop's family, friends, and benefactors of the seminaries and Cathedral-Basilica as well as members of the archdiocese's clergy and religious. 

The Gala Dinner was indeed a display of true beauty and joy from the people present.  The seminarians welcomed the guests at the entrance and escorted them to their tables.  The Gala began at 6 p.m. with a social hour during which the guests mingled and enjoyed a nice cocktail and delicious canapes in an atmosphere of friendship and fraternity.  A silent auction also took place throughout the night. 

The entertainment during the night was remarkable.  Archbishop Anthony surprised the crowd many times singing his favorite songs with accompaniment by Mrs. Melannie San Agustin, actually walking around the whole ballroom and foyer as he serenaded the crowd. 

Local musician and educator Mrs. Bernadette Camacho shared her melodies at the piano.  Young and remarkable mucisian Mr. Michael Min, who has performed many times at previous years Gala Dinners, sang and played the cello, to everyone's delight. 

Together, seminarians from the Redemptoris Mater and St. John Paul the Great wowed the guests with their harmonius and uplifting musical pieces in various languages from throughout the world.  A special number was done by the "Singing Priests" of our archdiocese who entertained with melodious musical pieces from various countries as well.  Archbishop Anthony joined in with the seminarians and priests as they performed. 

There were so many moments throughout the evening, which made the Gala dinner very special.  One particular hightlight ws when Archbishop Anthony received the "Maria Porta Caeli" (Mary Gate of Heaven) award, which Redemptoris Mater Seminary Rector F. Pius Sammut, OCD presented to him in appreciation for all his contributions he had selflessly provided for our Church and society. 

Along with the award, a certificate was also presented to Archbishop Anthony from Pedro "Sonny" Ada, Chairman of the Gala Dinner 2015; Monsignor David C. Quitugua, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Agana and Rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral; Fr. Pius, Rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Guam; and Fr. Romeo Convocar, Rector of the St. John Paul the Great Archdiocesan Seinary of Guam and Pastor of the San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojloj. 

Archbishop Anthony accepted the honor with joy and humility and everyone present applauded continuously. 

It was evident that the providence of God was exceptionally experienced during the Gala Dinner.  Both seminaries and the Cathedral community thank all the numerous sponsors, collaborators, benefactors and friends, who participated in one way or another to make the Gala Dinner 2015 an incredible success.  May our Almighty Father reward you a hundredfold! 

The Gala Dinner 2015 Committee would like to thank especially the following: 

Platinum Sponsors:  Ada's Trust and Investment, Bank of Guam, Agana 2 NeoCatechumenal Community and the Law Office of Jacqueline Taitano Terlaje; Gold Sponsors:  Jones & Guerrero Co, Inc.; Silver Sponsors:  San Vicente Frerrer-San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada and First Hawaiian Bank; Bronze Sonsors:  Chalan Pago 1 NeoCatechumenal Community, Title Guarantee of Guam, Inc., Catholic Daughters of the Americas Courts #2047, #2450, and #2055 and all those donors who wish to remain unknown. 


  1. Junglewatch published a lengthy dissection of the Archbishop's All Souls Day sermon. The whole article is pointless. When we hear in the sermon that the purgatory is a place of cleansing of our souls, therefore we go there with joy, we accept this message with relief. How good is God that He provides a place of cleansing, rather than condemning us to eternal fire in hell!

    This central message of the sermon was completely missed by the Junglewatch writer. We are here on earth to walk in faith. We are to be corrected when we need correction. Our Archbishop is correcting those who doubt that purgatory exists. We need to accept correction with a thankful heart that God provides guidance for those in doubt. While we thank our Archbishop for the correction, we are NOT here to correct him. Our church does not give us this freedom. This is the point Junglewatch is completely missing.

    All Souls Day is about our beloved who had deceased, who are not among us anymore. This day is not about fighting misguided political fights for political purposes. More and more people are raising their voices against self-serving radicals, who claim freedom of speech when they are fiercely attacking anything good and anything new at our Catholic communities. But this kind of freedom is NOT the freedom the Catholic Church offers. This kind of freedom is what the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advocates, partly to reduce the influence of religion on our society.

    Junglewatch has to decide if it provides a forum of ACLU Catholics who claim freedom of expression that is NOT due inside any church, or it provides a forum of good faith propositions for improvement inside our Catholic Church. It is time to acknowledge that these two things cannot go together.

    1. Dear Zoltan,

      The jungle cannot make up its mind. First, they say that the NCW does not believe in Purgatory. Now, the Archbishop who walks in the NCW speaks about Purgatory, they take apart his sermon and criticize it. Whatever happen to their accusation that we do not believe in Purgatory?

      Purgatory means "purging of sins" or a cleansing of sins. The Protestants do not believe in "Purgatory", but they do believe in purification of sins. They simply do not call it "Purgatory." I have heard many Protestants say that when a Christian dies, whatever sins he/she had will be cleansed as his/her soul travels closer and closer to God's Kingdom. This concept is the same as the Catholic belief of Purgatory - the belief that the soul must first be cleansed of all sins before entering Heaven.

  2. I have a message to Mr. Tim Rohr. It came to my attention that he stole a photo from the PDN WEB-site that he did not have right to do. It is a copyright violation and infringement of privacy. I find it causes him an infantile, pervert joy to abuse the pictures and private documents of other people. This is very sad.

    Therefore I ask Mr. Rohr to immediately remove and cease using my photo at his blog. If he does not comply, I will work with the editors and owners of PDN to find a legal solution. Thanks.

    1. Dear Zoltan,

      Hopefully, some of the junglefolks who read my blog would kindly relay the message to Mr. Rohr. My advice to you has always been is to stay away from the jungle. It is better to just pray for them. Regarding the photo you submitted to PDN, below are weblinks that may help you.

  3. Zoltan, did you know that comments posted on your opinion piece in the PDN can also be posted on the commenters Facebook page? The link shows your picture. I saw your picture on the Facebook page of a commenter. If your pic was used for purposes other than going with your opinion piece that might be different. As long as your pic is posted with the piece you wrote, it's fair use. You want to be identified with your opinion piece and that's all that the other blog did. Why is this upsetting to you? The PDN assumes pics and articles will be shared from their website. This is not stealing.
    Ellen B.