Monday, February 13, 2017


These two streets in Santa Rita are named after two Spanish Capuchin missionaries of the 1930s.

Santa Rita, as you know, was established after World War II for the former residents of Sumay. The people of Sumay had a reputation for being very religious. That trait carried over into post-war Santa Rita and is shown in the way that village named many of its streets after priests.

The first street is named after Påle' Eugenio. Håya is a direction, which many consider the equivalent of "east," but which, in reality, is the direction away from the sea.

Påle' Eugenio de Legaria, OFM Cap

Påle' Eugenio had been the priest of Sumay (and also of Hågat, and sometimes both places at the same time) for a few years in the 1930s. When the Spanish Capuchins were slowly replaced by American Capuchins, on orders of the US Navy in the late 1930s, he left the island.

Påle' Román María de Vera, OFM Cap

The second street is named after Påle' Román María de Vera.

This is interesting because Påle' Román was never the pastor of Sumay. However, he would have been known to the people of Sumay, as he was known by almost everyone on the entire island. He not only would assist now and then in every parish, he was frequently called on to preach at the village fiestas, because he was by far the best speaker of Chamorro among the Spanish missionaries.

Påle' Román just made it his business to go around and be with the people. This was not always on pleasant business! He would sometimes try to woo people back to the Church who had become Protestant. Or, he would try to influence someone not to marry someone from outside the island community. So, he was at times a controversial figure. But, for most people, he was a very influential priest who was consulted by many. He translated numerous religious books into Chamorro that were used by many people. Even though he was never pastor of Sumay, such was his stature that Santa Rita named a street after him. He was one of the last Spanish missionaries to leave Guam, just three months before war broke out in 1941.

1 comment:

  1. I always thought haya was south-opposite of north (lago). The sun rises in the east (katan) and sets in west (luchan). I guess it might be different on where your location on the globe.