Thursday, February 12, 2015


Sometime after New Year's, 1972, Juan Aguon Sanchez, a well-known civic leader in Saipan, learned that the pastor of Saipan (it was all one parish then), Capuchin Father Lee Friel, was being transferred to Guam.

Sanchez was moved to write a farewell, or despedida, letter to the priest. His original letter is seen above. I will transcribe it using my orthography and supply an English translation :

I gine'fli'e'-ho na Påle'-måme gi papa' i månton Korason de Jesus.
(My beloved pastor of ours under the mantle of the Heart of Jesus.)

Dångkulo na hu agradese, Påle', todo i masapet-mo pot hame nu i famagu'on-mo,
(I hugely appreciate, Father, all your hardships for us your children,)

yan i Lorian Yu'us na Saina-ta, (1)
(and for the Glory of our Lord God,)

annai eståba hao guine gi parokian-måme.
(when you were here in our parish.)

Pues, Påle', hu gågågao hao gi todo i ha'ånen i tinayuyot-mo,
(So, Father, I ask you that in all your daily prayers)

na on (2) hahasso ham yan i famagu'on-mo siha, ya nå'e ham nu i bendision-mo.
(that you remember us and your children, and give us your blessing.)

Sin mås, Påle', adios ginen hame yan i asaguå-ho yan i famagu'on-ho.
(Without further ado, Father, farewell from us and my wife and children.)


(1) Some Chamorros say gloria and others say loria, for "glory."

(2) On is an alternative for un (you, singular).

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