January 2, 2011 @ 3:16 pm
Episode 45 "December 8, 1941-2010: Rethinking Peace and Protection on the Feast Day of Santa Marian Kamalen" (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames) airs 12/10/10.
December 8, 2010 marks the 69th anniversary of the beginning of World War II on Guam, the first American territory to be captured and occupied by Japan. The invasion began soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor with the bombing of Sumay (now Naval Station) and then the capital of Agana. Unprepared for the invasion and left undefended by the US, within two days the US Naval Governor surrendered military command and responsibility for the people of Guam, who remained under Japanese occupation for two and a half years.
The bombings in Agana interrupted the Solemn High Mass being celebrated at the Cathedral and the novena and procession that normally follow on this feast day of Santa Marian Kamalen, also known as Our Lady of Camarin, an iconic representation of Mary, revered as the patron saint and protectress of Guam for over three hundred years. Since 1941, each Mass celebrated on this day in Guam marks the completion of the observance of this holy day which was interrupted by war --- a war experienced by many Catholics as a test of faith. This day also provides a special occasion to reflect upon the meaning of peace and protection in other than military terms.
Program guest is Dr. Laura ('Loling') Marie Torres Souder, the techa (prayer leader) of the Nobena for Santa Marian Kamalen and and kamarera (caretaker) of the statue of Santa Marian Kamalen, the oldest religious icon in Guam. The traditional role of kamarera is one she inherited from her mother, Mariquita Torres Souder, who served as kamarera for 75 years. Dr. Souder holds a Ph.D in American Studies from University of Hawai;'i and is author of Daughters of the Island: Contemporary Chamorro Women Organizers on Guam (Lanhan, Maryland: University Press of America). She was recently a guest lecturer in a Social Justice course at the University of Guam to discuss her experience as one of the co-founders of the Organization of People for Indigenous Rights OPIR in 1981.
Music selections for this episode are songs sung for the December 8th Nobena for Santa Marian Kamalen (Matuna I Ginagasmo, Chalaoa NananMame, and Sen Masamai Hao Abog-ko) recorded at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Cathedral-Basilica.