Category - Transitions

1
Jojo Peter: A Tribute from a Former Teacher
2
Richard Hoar: Missionary, Mentor, and Then Some
3
Wounded Hearts on a Journey with Fr. Bill McGarry
4
Remembering My Playmate, Fr. Wayne Tkel, SJ
5
The Passing of Fr. William McGarry, Architect of the New Micronesian Mission
6
Sr. Dorothy Nook: Incessant Critic and Best of Friends
7
We Can Call Him Bishop Julio Now
8
A New Year’s Prayer: “Let That Little Light Shine”

Jojo Peter: A Tribute from a Former Teacher

We called him Joachim in those days. In 1980, as a freshman at Xavier High School, he was a new arrival from Ettal in the Mortlocks… young, playful but polite, everyone’s friend. Neither a standout student nor a trouble-maker, he was just an outer-island boy eager to make it at a school with a big reputation. Even then he was known for his ready smile and his warm personality.

Then, during the summer break after his freshman year, everything changed. While climbing the waterfalls at the Wichen River, he slipped off the ledge and broke his spinal cord. He was sent to Hawaii for treatment, and soon afterwards went into rehabilitation for the rest of the year. The doctors informed him that he would never walk again.

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Richard Hoar: Missionary, Mentor, and Then Some

Soon after I first met Dick on Palau in 1964, he had me pushing wheelbarrows full of wet cement up a ramp to be dumped on the second floor of the new Maris Stella School he was building. Dick came to Palau in 1958 as a classical missionary figure, the man who could construct churches and schools as easily as he can repair the engine of his jeep. Men of my age might have admired the versatility of that generation of Jesuits, but we could never have aspired to imitate them. Still, the cold beer tasted especially sweet after two hours of hauling cement.

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Wounded Hearts on a Journey with Fr. Bill McGarry

The following reflection on Fr. Bill McGarry’s funeral was written by Patty Clemente, a longtime friend and counselee.

Some years back, Fr. Bill gave me a small book entitled “Hearts on Fire,” which contains prayers of Jesuits. In the introduction of this book, it is suggested that the prayers be used “when your own words fail you.”  Since my own words fail me, I am borrowing the prayers of others to describe the highlights of yesterday’s journey with Fr. Bill.

We started the journey with the prayer found in the Spiritual Exercises #233: “In omnibus amare et servire Dominum” (“In all things, love and serve the Lord”).  At the start of his homily, Fr. Thomas O’Gorman bared us his wounded heart by praying, “Bill, help me through this.”  He then went on to console us by explaining the prayer that is also “goodbye.”

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Remembering My Playmate, Fr. Wayne Tkel, SJ

Patty Clemente, a classmate of Wayne’s at the Ateneo de Manila, offers this tribute to Wayne, who died just a few days ago. Patty, born in Baguio, is a practicing lawyer and has two children. -Fran Hezel

One of the happiest times in my life was spent in the company of my dear friend, Fr. Wayne Tkel, SJ.  We were fortunate to be under the care of our “den mother,” Fr. Bill McGarry, while we were students at the Ateneo.

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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.

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Sr. Dorothy Nook: Incessant Critic and Best of Friends

It was sometime the late 1980s, as I remember. Sr. Dorothy and I were driving to some hotel or other on Saipan for the dress-up dinner that was to end a Micronesian library conference. We both heard a pop as our car suddenly began to swerve. It was a flat tire, we saw when we came to a stop. I looked at Dorothy, but she began a long monologue about how she knew nothing about changing car tires. So there was nothing I could do but crawl under the car to position the jack, start loosening the bolts, and find the spare tire. And hope that my good trousers and pressed shirt didn’t look too much the worse for wear when we finally got to the dinner. All the while, Dorothy was chirping away–wishing that we had left a little earlier in case of such emergencies, suggesting that we should have taken the middle road rather than the beach road, complaining about the condition of the highways, reminding me how late we were going to be for the dinner.

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A New Year’s Prayer: “Let That Little Light Shine”

The other night when I was invited to lead prayers at a Chuukese wake, I thought I knew what to expect. First of all, the viewing was not for a single person, but for two young men–first cousins, as it happens, who died violent deaths. The two youths, one of them just 18 and the other in his early 20s, died of gunshot wounds to the head, after another young man, who was hit in the face with a slingshot, caught up with them and killed them both. Who started the trouble? The shooter said that one of the Chuukese did. Who knows? Maybe the court will clarify all this in the course of time. But that evening my job was not to determine responsibility for the crime; it was to comfort the families of these two young men.

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