Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Neo gi Halom i Gima'yu'us


Sometimes I get depressed about the state of the Chamorro language. Whenever I am talking to an elderly Chamorro about how our language is dying and the culture is being forgotten and I see them speaking to their grandchildren in English, it makes me want to explode. Everytime I hear elders complain about the young today and how soft and weak and spoiled they are, but who allow their children to be glued to iPads at dinner or in public, it makes me want to run away. When I sit in a meeting where everyone thinks that the solution to the saving of the language lies with an app, or software, but ignores that basic fact that what we really need is just more inter-generational use of Chamorro, the speaking of Chamorro not across a generation, but rather between generations, I want to set something on fire. Whenever I have a conversation with someone who tells me that Chamorro is only supposed to be used like this, or is only meant to talk about this or that, and doesn't want to expand the language to make it something that people today will see as living and contemporary, it makes me want to learn Mongolian and live in the Gobi Desert.

The bane of my existence for the past 10 years has been what I call "language losers." These are people, who may sometimes be very well-meaning, sometimes may be very knowledgeable about Chamorro language or Chamorro issues, but ultimately because of some part of their attitude or their praxis, does more harm than good in terms of helping to revitalize the Chamorro language. There are different types of language losers. There are those who are explicit in terms of their anti-Chamorro language ideologies, who may speak Chamorro themselves, but argue against its use or transmission because of ideas of it being useless and having no economic value to it. There are those who have tremendous knowledge and skill in the language, but let their particular vision or narrow mindset, interfere with successfully passing on that knowledge. These people can sometimes be overly judgmental or critical and deter language learning, because rather than being language supporters they become language wardens. Most language losers however are passive, and simply don't consider what they are doing. They speak Chamorro, but just don't speak it to those younger than them. When pressed as to why they don't do this, they respond with strange sounding ideas, like the kids don't want to learn, its too hard to speak Chamorro, and the old standard stupid idea that speaking Chamorro to the kids would confuse them and make them less intelligent. These people are watching while the language dies, but do nothing, blaming the Department of Education, the Government of Guam and anyone else, instead of just using it with those younger than them, such as grandkids and great-grandkids, who they regularly see or visit.

One thing that always lifts my spirits, is the articles by Peter Onedera published in The Pacific Daily News. He writes in Chamorro about current events, and it is such a fine example for the rest of us, in terms of how we can use Chamorro in everyday life to talk about everything that is important to us. Here is his latest article below, about the current drama between parts of the local Catholic Church.

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Kulan oppotunidåt para guåhu na taigue yu’ gi iya Guåhan sa’ kulan tumalakhahalom yu’ ginen sanhiyong ya hu lili’e’ otro na kåndet ya i siñente-ku hu pega na maolekña bai hu suhåyi håfa i sinisesedi tengnga.

Numa’ hu menta este tåtkumu Katoliku yu’ ya sumaonao yu’ gi nuebu na Guma’Yu’os put mås iya San Pi’us Mina’dies guini gi iya Chula Vista ni’ hu atetendi misa kada Damenggo, humåhanao yu’ kumomfesåt, yan guaha aktebedåt siha ni’ hu fattoigue esta. Guaha na biåhi na kulan ti hu dingngu Guåhan sa’ parehu ha’ i siñente gi este i nuebu na Guma’Yu’os yan i Gima’Yu’os San Jude gi i sengsong-hu Sinahånña.

Guaha Knights of Columbus guini. Guaha nubena yan lisåyu ni’ na’magof na debosion. Guaha kapiya para minantienen-maisa yan para tinayuyot gi i dirånten i simåna, i pale’ gof na’magof yan maolek sensiå-ña ni’ parehu lokkue’.

Sesso, ha yåyama atension-hu i setmon-ña sa’ todu i tiempo tåddong mensahen Yu’os ya i ebangheliu ha papacha kurason-hu sa’ ha na’lili’e’ yu’ na lå’la’ este na kinalamten tåtkumu ginen i mensåhi ni’ ma tataitai gi tinaitai gi misa.

Kumombetsasion yu’ yan dos na atungo’ ni’ despues manafa’maolek ham tåtkumu ginen sumaonao-hu gi un prugråman Guma’Yu’os na aktebedåt. Hu faisen siha kao guaha Neocatechumenal Way gi este na Guma’Yu’s osino parehon mubimento ni’ kulan esta ha håtme yan ha hulat lameggai na Guma’Yu’os gi iya Guåhan.

Tåya’ na ma hungok put este. Ilek-ñiha na sigun gi enteru lina’la’-ñiha guini yan hihot-ñiha guatu gi i Gima’Yu’os Katoliku yan i kumunidåt, tåya’ idehan-ñiha put håfa finaisesen-hu. En fin, hu eppok siha para u hålom gi iyon Tim Rohr na Jungle Watch ya u ma taitai put håfa maloloffan gi iya Guåhan ya ma osge yu’ sa’ despues senhinengngang put i emfotmasion ni’ ma taitai put i isla.

Ti åpmam despues guaha pumalu manhålom lokkue’ ya ma taitai ya tengnga yanggen umali’e’ yu’ yan håyi gi iya Walmart, Costco, osino Ralphs yan Vons, manmåfatto guatu gi iya guåhu ya ma kuentutuse yu’ put i Jungle Watch na attikulu muchumås put i mina’gas i atsobispo.
En fin, ti ma tungo’ lokkue’ ni’ lameggai na CHamoru ni’ mañåsaga guini gi iya San Diego put i Neocatechumenal Way yan håfa efektibu-ña kontra guatu gi ginen un tiempo manggof bråbu na påpulasion Katoliku gi i isla.

Gi i Sons and Daughters of Guam Club of San Diego, gof rigulåt i nubena para såntos patron ya, guini gi alacha, ha silebra i misa si Påle’ Eric Forbes para i kompli’åños-ña tåtkumu pumåle’ yan lokkue’ un dinibotu para si Pådre Pio, un senmaolek na såntos ni’ ginen este i maloffan na siklo. Kantidå na CHamoru siha manggof siri’osu put Katolikon-ñiha ya ma gogof atendi i Gima’Yu’os-ñiha guini taiguini iya guåhu ni’ gaige yu’ på’go gi i Gima’Yu’os Katoliku San Pi’us Mina’dies.

Hu tataitai kada diha i PDN yan i Guam Daily Post pues hu tungo’ put lameggai na asunto put i Neo sigun ginen i tinaitai-hu. Hinasso-ku ginen i ittemo-biåhi na mångge’ yu’ put este na esta måhgong osino ma konne’ tåtte si Monsiñot James Benavente yan si Påle’ Paul Gofigan yan ma asi’e’ siha lokkue’ lao kulan humåhnanao ha’ ti pumosipble este ya esta gof malingu ha’ i kaosa.

Bula tinayuyot yan diniroga ma susedi kontra håfa maloloffan gi i Gima’Yu’os Katoliku gi iya Guåhan. Un atungo’-hu ni’ gaige guini lokkue’, ha kontrebuyi kuentos ni’ esta ha na’fanhasso yu’ ya bongbong ha’ kurason-hu didide’. Ilek-ña na ha adibibina na håfa maloloffan gi iya Guåhan på’go, nå’i ha’ asta 2030 pat hulo’ gi 2050 na såkkan ya bula Guma’Yu’os manma huchom siempre sa’ put tåya’ sinapotte osino manmå’pos i taotao petmanente. Ludimås, ha huhungok esta na bula taotao manmalålagu para otro na Guma’Yu’os ya ayu na man hohosme misa yanggen ti taotao Neo i pale’ guihi.

Hu i-mel parentes siha ya hu faisen siha håfa yan amånu na manggaige siha put este na asunto tåtkumu i muma’gågasi i Gima’Yu’os ni’ måtto di ha na’fanlelebbok yan ha na’fambububu kantidån taotågues ni’ hagas hu pega na manggof maolek yan praktikao na Mangatoliku. Guaha sumanggåni yu’ na mamåra siha manhosme misa yan mangetu ha’ sa’ håfa ma lili’e’ måtto di na’desganao ya ti båli i tiempo yan atension esta. Guaha dos na primu-hu humåhanao para otro na Guma’Yu’os Kristi’ånu ya ma atetendi i misan-ñiha. Gof atburutao yu’ nu ayu. Hu kebense siha para mungnga mamåra yan para u famfitme gi i hinenggen-ñiha. Senmacho’cho’ i tinayuyot sa’, guåhu, mismo unu, hu båtga yu’ gi as Yu’os tåta para u såtba i prublema ya u mungnga na u dañuyan mås i tano’.
Put fin, maolek na taigue yu’ guini esta. Må’pe’ kurason-hu yanggen hu sodda’ na ti siña yu’ humånao para Guma’Yu’os San Jude esta.

Imel Peter R. Onedera giya peteronedera@gmail.com.

 The Neo group is fully entrenched in Guam’s Catholic Church

Being away from Guam sort of gives me the opportunity to look in from the outside and see things in a different light, as well as feeling that it is best to sometimes remove oneself from a given situation.
I bring this up not just because I’m Catholic but also because I have joined the parish of St. Pius X here in Chula Vista where I attend mass every Sunday, go to confession, and get involved in some parish activities. I often feel as if I never left Guam, as the atmosphere at my new parish is similar to what it was like at Saint Jude parish in my home village of Sinajana.

There are Knights of Columbus. There is a rosary and prayer group whose devotions are phenomenal. There is a chapel that is available for just personal reflection and prayer during the week, a priest who is very friendly and has a wonderful sense of humor.

Often, his homily catches my attention as it is always so full of God’s message and the gospels always hit close to home as he connects everyday situations to the message that we get from the readings at Mass.

I got into a conversation with a couple of parishioners whose acquaintance and eventual friendship I made at one particular parish program. I outrightly asked them if there is a Neocatechumenal Way in the parish or anything remotely familiar about the movement that seems to have completely taken over many of the parishes on Guam.

They had never heard of it. Both have lifelong connections to the Catholic church and the community here, so they have no idea what I was talking about. Instead, I encouraged them to access Jungle Watch and to read the goings on that Tim Rohr and many others have posted quite often and they were shocked about some of the things they learned about what was happening on Guam.

It wasn’t long when others whom I’d meet either at Walmart, Costco or Ralph’s and Vons would come up to me and mention that they have logged on to Jungle Watch and have been reading up on the latest, especially with our archbishop.

As a matter of fact, a lot of the CHamorus who live here in San Diego have no knowledge of what the Neocatechumenal Way is all about and the effect that it is having on a once vibrant population that was largely Catholic on the island.

At the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club of San Diego, rosaries for many patron saints are a regular thing and, most recently, Påle’ Eric Forbes was here celebrating the liturgy that included his jubilee as a priest and a moment devoted to Padre Pio, one great saint of this past century. Many CHamorus seriously take their Catholicity to heart and are very devoted to their adopted parishes much like how I am now to St. Pius X Catholic Church.

I’ve been getting the PDN on a daily basis as well as the Guam Daily Post and I read all that have been brought up about the Neos. I thought from the last time I wrote about it in my column that things have subsided or that Monsignor James Benavente and Father Paul Gofigan have been reinstated and forgiven but apparently it’s turning out to be a lost cause.

Prayers and protests have been waged against what is happening to the Catholic Church on Guam. One longtime friend of mine who now lives here, too, contributed a comment that made me stop and think and my heart kind of raced a little. He said that he predicts that whatever is happening on Guam now, give it perhaps up till 2030 or upwards to 2050, many churches will close on the island because of non-support or non-attendance of parishioners. Apparently, he’s heard that many parishioners are now leaving their own village parish churches and attending Mass where the presiding priest is not a practicing Neo.

I’ve asked some relatives through email what and where they stood on this whole issue especially with the leadership that seems to be fostering discord and dissension among many whom I’ve always thought were good, practicing Catholics. A number of them have said that they stopped attending Mass and are staying away because what they are seeing is so disheartening and not worth their time and attention. Two of my distant cousins have decided to check out a Christian church and are now attending their services.

I was dismayed. I pleaded to a few not to give up and to please keep their faith strong. Prayers do work and I, for one, look to divine Providence for a solution to what someone said has already a nightmare on the island.

Email Peter R. Onedera at peteronedera@gmail.com.

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