Northern Marianas Island Faithfuls to Reconnect in Portland, Oregon
I know a couple of people who are attending this event. If you can make it, I recommend you tag along.
PORTLAND, Oregon-All CNMI and Guam Chamorros and Refaluwasch residents in Oregon, Washington State and other nearby U.S. states will hold a Mass at the St. Clare’s Catholic Church on Dec. 6.
Former Rep. Benjamin Seman said the Mass intends to reunite people from the CNMI and Guam who have opted to live in the U.S. mainland permanently.
“We hope that not only will we attempt to reconnect with our brothers and sisters from the CNMI and Guam, we hope that this will begin an effort to keep data to find out how many people are living out here in Oregon and Washington,” Seman said.
He said he and friends Pat and Brian Boyer planned the event when Fr. Eric Forbes, a former Saipan resident, visited the Boyers in October. Seman and his wife Dorothy had lunch with them and asked Forbes if it was possible for him to return to Oregon to celebrate a Chamolinian Mass for CNMI and Guam residents who are now living in the Northwest part of the United States. Forbes is currently on sabbatical leave from his duties in Guam.
“Fr. Eric did not hesitate to accept but told us that he will get back to us on the exact date in December. Pat and Brian forwarded me Fr. Eric’s e-mail and from there we have contacted several Chamorro and Refaluwasch friends living here in Oregon and Vancouver, Washington for a meeting to discuss plans to make this even a most memorable one,” Seman said.
Seman took the initial responsibility to lead the planning group. The Boyers also are helping out, together with Trini B. Cameron from Vancouver, Washington; Ruth Miles and Ed Peter from Tualatin, Oregon; Cynthia and Frank San Nicolas from Salem, Oregon, Bernard and Cathy Villagomez from Portland, Oregon; Velma Palacios and Maryann Palacios Soto, including Remy and Vicente Seman from Beaverton and Hillsboro, Oregon.
The Mass will be held in Chamorro and all songs will be in Chamorro and Refaluwasch. Since there is currently no organized group from the CNMI and Guam in Oregon, Seman said the group is relying on friends and families to spread the word to all Chamorros and Refaluwasch from the CNMI and Guam to join them in this event.
“We have also sent out an invitation to the people in Seattle, Washington by e-mail to the Chamorro and Refaluwasch Club of Washington,” Seman said.
A social gathering and refreshments will follow after the Mass.
The Mass will be held two days before the celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so the Mass will be offered to the Blessed Virgin.
“We will also ask all in attendance to present names of those loved ones who have passed so that this Mass will also be offered to those who have departed to their eternal rest. It will conclude with the blessing of all those in attendance who are sick,” Seman said.
The former CNMI congressman is hoping that readers on Saipan and Guam will contact their families and friends living in Oregon and Washington State to let them know about the special event.
He said the event aims to bring everyone together to be part of something that everyone has been longing for, “a Chamolinian Mass that will use the our own language and sing all the beautiful church songs that we always heard back home.”
The Chamolinian Mass will be held at the St. Clare’s Catholic Church on 8535 S.W 19th St, Portland, Oregon. The Mass starts at 2pm.
For more information contact Benjamin and Dorothy Seman at 503-430-1507 (Beaverton, Oregon); Pat and Brian Boyer at 360-936-0333 (Vancouver, WA); or Cynthia and Frank San Nicolas at 503-566-7063 (Salem, Oregon). (Marconi Calindas)