We have launched an online petition on change.org addressed to the leaders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Micronesia, New York Province, and the world on behalf of Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ., a Jesuit priest who has lived and faithfully served the people of Micronesia since 1963. He has been a faithful priest, stellar educator, prolific author, respectful historian, inspirational mentor, and spiritual director to countless Micronesians. Yet, against his will and for no logical reason, Fr. Fran has been given the notice to return to New York.
We, the people of Micronesia to whom Fran was sent to serve these last 45 years, who have been positively impacted by his deep and abiding faith and love, wish to petition the leader of the Jesuits of Micronesia (Fr. John Hagileiram, SJ), head of the New York Province (Fr. David Ciancimino, SJ) as well as the General Superior of all the Jesuits in the entire world (Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ) to honor our wishes and keep our beloved Jesuit in the islands where he belongs and where he is very much needed.
No Jesuit in the entire nation of the Federated States of Micronesia has done more for nation-building and the building up of the Church than Fran. He has been speaking up for us as a people through his writings and lectures. Now we must speak up for him since his vow of obedience prevents him from fighting for himself. In the end, the Jesuits superiors will do what they do, but let’s at least do our part to tell them as the late Paul Harvey used to say…”the rest of the story.” Let’s tell them our version of the Truth so they can make the Just decision. >>Sign Now
About Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ
Since arriving in Micronesia in 1963 as a young Jesuit, Fran has tirelessly served the entire region in a number of ways. He educated future leaders of the region as Principal of Xavier High School (www.xaviermicronesia.org) in Chuuk, Micronesia, arguably the best college preparatory in the region. He led the Jesuits in Micronesia as the regional superior and later as local superior of the Jesuit Community in Pohnpei.
Fran was the founder / director of the widely popular church-sponsored Micronesian Seminar (www.micsem.org), an educational, social, and research institute that engaged in a variety of public awareness programs for the indigenous population. Through the Micronesian Seminar, Fran has trained the indigenous leaders of the Catholic Church in Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands and mentored future and present Diocesan priests, deacons, catechists, and the lay leadership.
Fran is a prolific author of many books and articles on the region’s history and culture, including The First Taint of Civilization, Strangers in Their Own Land, and The New Shape of Old Island Cultures. As recent as April 2013, Fran published two additional books, Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture and The Caroline Islands: History of the Diocese. He has authored hundreds of articles and helped produced video productions on a range of topics. All of these can be seen on the Micronesian Seminar website.
Fran’s contributions to scholary work on Micronesian society is unmatched. He continues to write about Micronesia, preach the Good News, lectures on social, political, and cultural issues, mentors future and present leaders, and serves as a consultant to government officials, educators, and specialists.
For more information about Fran, please visit his blog: www.wheresfran.org.