Collection MS 1222 - Papers on the Catholic Diocese of the Caroline Islands

Identity area

Reference code

AU PMB MS 1222

Title

Papers on the Catholic Diocese of the Caroline Islands

Date(s)

  • 1670-1999 (Creation)

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Collection

Extent and medium

Reels 1-7; 35mm microfilm

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Name of creator

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Fr Francis Hezel came to Micronesia as a Jesuit scholastic in 1963, taught at Xavier High School for three years, and then returned to the US for three years of theological studies. When this was finished, Fr Hezel returned to Micronesia in 1969 to resume teaching at Xavier High School. In 1973 Fr Hezel was appointed principal of the School. He continued as the top administrator there until 1982, when he moved to the mission center to work as full-time director of the Micronesian Seminar which was based in Chuuk for ten years and subsequently on Pohnpei. Between 1992 and 1998 Fr Hezel also served as Jesuit regional superior in Micronesia.

While Fr. Francis Hezel was studying theology at Woodstock College, MD, during the late 1960s, he inherited the then small collection of books that young Jesuits who had returned from Micronesia pored over in an effort to prepare themselves for their eventual return to the islands. During the summer of 1968, one year before his ordination, Fr Hezel was admitted into the East-West Center program where he took courses in Pacific history and wrote a bibliographic essay on the history of the Catholic Church's engagement in Micronesia that was not long afterwards published in Journal of Pacific History (Vol.5, 1970). That kicked off Fr Hezel’s career in local history and motivated him to find still more about church activities in the islands. The result can be found in his files and most of what fills the shelves of the Micronesian Seminar library.

Two series of the files have been microfilmed, as follows:
Series I. General. Bibliographies, archival sources, chronologies, lists of missionaries.
Series I, cont. Jesuit Mission – Marianas, Guam.
Series I, cont. Jesuit Mission – Marianas, Guam.
Series I, cont. Spanish Capuchins in the Carolines, 1885-1905.
Series I, cont. Gilberts, Marshalls and Nauru.
Series II. Documentation of Catholic Missions in Micronesia in the 20th Century.

Most of the early documents in these two series are photocopies from Jesuit and Capuchin archives in Europe and elsewhere, together with English translations of some of the Spanish and Latin originals. There are a number of original mission documents among the more recent material, such as church statistics, mission station reports, the Mission Bulletin, house diaries, records of the Mercedarian Sisters, and accounts of WWII experiences, including the execution of Spanish SJs in Palau. There are also unpublished manuscripts on the history of the mission by Fr Thomas McGrath, Fr. Higinio Berganza, Fr Callistus Lopinot, Fr Faustino Hernández, Fr. John Curran and Fr Hezel.
See Finding aids for details.

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Micronesian Seminar, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

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Access this title at PMB Member Libraries or by purchasing it directly from the Bureau: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/accessing.php

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ms1222

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