4th Marianas History Conference 2019 Book II: Culture

Page 19

Remembering Father Jesus Baza Duenas Through Oral Histories By Judy S. Flores Micronesian Area Research Center judyflores@guam.net and William “Bill” M. Paulino Retired, Chamorro Studies and Special Projects Division Administrator Abstract: Father Jesus Baza Duenas was an important model of courage, persistence in faith and resistance to the Japanese during their occupation of Guam from 1941 to 1944. The people of Inarajan retain a significant body of knowledge about Father Duenas, some of which has been recorded in personal journals by village historians. 2019 being the 75th anniversary of his death, it is especially important to mark this passage with a compilation of stories that contribute to our knowledge about him. As these stories unfold, we begin to get a sense of the personhood of this man, his courage to be true to his faith, to protect and comfort his parish community, and to use his position and resources to keep communications flowing among local underground resistance members. Through sharing of this collected knowledge, we can perhaps encourage small-group discussion and the collection of additional stories. Our goal in this endeavor is to provide a written archive of the activities and achievements as recalled and commented on by those who knew and observed him. Moreover, it is hoped that the collected knowledge can lead to the beatification of Guam’s own hero and martyr.