Author - Francis X. Hezel, SJ

1
Let’s Hear it for Shame III: Blaming Shame
2
Let’s Hear it for Shame II: Once Upon a Time
3
Let’s Hear It For Shame I: The Shame Game
4
The Passing of Fr. William McGarry, Architect of the New Micronesian Mission
5
Christmas, 2018
6
Tears and Hugs: A Touching Hint of What’s To Come
7
Thanksgiving in Hawaii
8
Power to the People in the Island Church

Let’s Hear it for Shame III: Blaming Shame

“Let’s Hear it for Shame,” a Five Part Series

At the risk of sounding like the old fogey that I am (80 years old, after all), I offer my thoughts on the passing of a key social tool. “Let’s Hear It For Shame” is the title of this five-part series.

  1. The Shame Game
  2. Once Upon a Time
  3. Blaming Shame
  4. In Place of Shame
  5. Retrieving the Old Tool

III: Blaming Shame

Today, when word of our foibles can travel so far, the use of shame for any reason whatsoever is suspect.


In the eyes of many today, the use of shame to punish misbehavior has itself become shameful. Part of this current reaction might be attributed to the enormous outreach of social media. Back in pre-Internet days, the scolding of a student who had misbehaved was heard by others in the class, rarely by the entire school.  Classmates of the student were expected to learn something from this example, but word of what had gone on was certainly not intended to reach the other side of country via a posting on YouTube.

Read More

Let’s Hear it for Shame II: Once Upon a Time

“Let’s Hear it for Shame,” a Five Part Series

At the risk of sounding like the old fogey that I am (80 years old, after all), I offer my thoughts on the passing of a key social tool. “Let’s Hear It For Shame” is the title of this five-part series.

  1. The Shame Game
  2. Once Upon a Time
  3. Blaming Shame
  4. In Place of Shame
  5. Retrieving the Old Tool

II: Once Upon a Time

Shame used to be seen as a blessing, if only because it could be counted on to keep people in line.


Not so long ago shame was seen in a very different light; it was regarded as a legitimate form of social control. Shame was the punishment for not conforming to the community standards. Men would have been ashamed to violate the dress codes of the day–like the one that required men to wear hats whenever they went outdoors.

Read More

Let’s Hear It For Shame I: The Shame Game

“Let’s Hear it for Shame,” a Five Part Series

At the risk of sounding like the old fogey that I am (80 years old, after all), I offer my thoughts on the passing of a key social tool. “Let’s Hear It For Shame” is the title of this five-part series.

  1. The Shame Game
  2. Once Upon a Time
  3. Blaming Shame
  4. In Place of Shame
  5. Retrieving the Old Tool

I: The Shame Game

This is the first segment of that series on shame, with all that it means today and meant in the past.


I was giving the keynote presentation at a Pacific education conference when something I said drew a gasp from the audience. I had just said that a second grade teacher of mine had scolded me for habitually writing the number 7 backwards. She called me up to the board and had me fill half the blackboard with 7’s written the right way while my classmates snickered. “Was I ashamed that day?” I asked rhetorically. “Sure,” I admitted, “but the shame didn’t kill my self-confidence or traumatize me.”

Read More

The Passing of Fr. William McGarry, Architect of the New Micronesian Mission

Finally, on December 29, we received the news that we long anticipated but dreaded: Fr. Bill McGarry died at the age of 90 in the Jesuit infirmary in Manila. The man who more than anyone else had shaped the course of the modern Jesuit mission in Micronesia had left us. The uncrowned (and unmitred) head of our Jesuit band of brothers had passed away.

Bill was born and raised in Brooklyn, but he attended Xavier High School (the Manhattan version, of course) along with just about every other Jesuit who served on Pohnpei–Hugh Costigan, Joe Cavanagh, Jack Curran and Dick Becker for starters.

Read More

Christmas, 2018

Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, is traditionally a time of waiting. Kids everywhere know full well what this means, as their parents shop and decorate in preparation for the big day.

For me, waiting has defined the whole year… Waiting for the arrival of grant funds so that we can complete our video documentary on a major historical event on Pohnpei a century ago… Waiting for the local support we’re seeking to begin work on a new film on the homeless people on Guam, some 800 people without shelter… Waiting for the completion of the new website that will offer public access to the treasures of the MicSem library, now housed in Chuuk.

Read More

Thanksgiving in Hawaii

I shouldn’t have to spend every weekend at the parish, I told myself as I got ready to fly off to Honolulu for the long Thanksgiving weekend. My long-time friend, Jason Aubuchon, was hosting a dinner for a few other old cronies besides myself: Kevin O’Keefe and Steve Savage and Pat Billington. It was the old Micronesian gang gathering on neutral ground to share stories and imagine what might happen in the future.

Read More

Power to the People in the Island Church

While the Micronesian Games were going on in Yap, the annual diocesan workshop was being held in Chuuk. Sixty people from the diocese gathered to review the mission of the church and reflect on what more could be done to make the church truly Micronesian. The word used to headline the workshop was “empowerment,” but the goal was the one we foreign missionaries have embraced ever since the early 70s: return of the church to the people of the Carolines.

Read More

Copyright © 2015, WHERESFRAN.ORG, Francis X. Hezel, SJ.