Friday, August 5, 2011


Chamorro Church Bell

Visiting one of our local chapels, I came across something I saw in my younger days when some of our churches were small and humble, lacking everything but the most essential.  For a bell, some of our churches used an empty oxygen or LP gas tank and banged it with a hammer.

It reminded me of a story I read in the Spanish records.  It was the 1910s on Guam, and Bishop Olaiz made the unintended mistake of anointing the patlino or godfather of the boy, instead of the boy to be confirmed.  Realizing this and needing cotton to wipe the oil off the patlino, Olaiz asked for a ball of cotton.  There was none.  So he asked for some bread instead.  None.  Some paper?  None.  Then someone finally found a bit of cotton and all was well.

But the priest told Bishop Olaiz, that on Guam, "si no lo tiene, lo hace."  "If they don't have, they make."  Like the church bell.

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