Celebrating the End of the Struggle

Happy Easter to you who may be reading this post! I’ve always thought that Easter is an under-rated feast. None of the songs that make Christmas so special, and the gift-giving is confined to Easter eggs and chocolate for the kids. Not so much of the glitz and glamour associated with Christmas. But still–for us church-goers and mass-sayers at least–Easter has more significance than Christmas. It’s a celebration of the end of the struggle, not the beginning. That alone should count for something.

So, let me wish you all a blessed Easter here inasmuch as I hardly ever post on my Facebook page. I get messages all the time from consultants who promise to drum up a lot more trade on this web site, making it the latest and greatest thing ever. But I’d rather stick to its original purpose: that is, to use the site as a means of keeping in touch with friends and associates, while now and then getting out a thought or two about an important topic. I’m sure you appreciate, though, that for one who is 78, thoughts don’t flow quite as readily as they once might have.

The weeks just before Easter are usually wonderfully busy for us priests. I spent the better part of three days just visiting the homebound who couldn’t get to church. These included old friends from Chuuk and Pohnpei, so the visits often had to allow time for a little story-telling about the old days. In the evenings we’ve been running reconciliation services for Chuukese and Pohnpeians, not to mention Chamorros and Filipinos in the parish.

Then, too, there are a few new activities. I’m now saying mass at the prison a few times a month, and I expect to be doing mass there on Easter Sunday morning. Two weeks ago about a dozen prisoners from the isolation cell block attended our mass. Instead of the stare-down that I half expected, we had a good liturgy with full-throated singing and warm chats after the mass. I am also doing a little work with disrupted families. (There’s no point writing about them, I decided, if you’re not willing to do something to help.)  So it’s off to Child Protection Services to try to reclaim two teenage kids for a mother who had to surrender them to custody last week.

There is always public education in the mix, just as there was in my MicSem days. We have three video documentaries in the works. The first, focusing on the early settlement of the Marianas, is nearly finished and should be out this summer. Then there are a couple more in the planning stage: one on a historical incident on Pohnpei during German times, and the other a presentation on homelessness here on Guam.

Please keep me in your hearts and prayers, as I will do for you this Easter.

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About the author

Francis X. Hezel, SJ
Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Francis X. Hezel, SJ, is a Jesuit priest who has lived and worked in Micronesia since 1963. At different times he has served as high school teacher, school administrator, pastor, and regional superior to the Jesuits of Micronesia. He spent thirty years directing the Micronesian Seminar, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Pohnpei, Micronesia. He has written and spoken widely about social change and its impact on island societies. He has also written several books on Micronesian history, including The First Taint of Civilization, Strangers in Their Own Land, and The New Shape of Old Island Cultures. His most recent book, Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture, is available through University of Hawaii Press.

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