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Rare Guam artifacts on display at National Museum

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - A special fundraiser will be held this week in an effort to raise money for the National Museum of the Dulce Nombre De Maria Cathedral Basilica. A collection of rare sacred artifacts will be on display this Thursday at the National Museum.  Jeni Shimizu is on the committee planning Ta Testiguyi I Sagradu Na Fina Pos-Ta or "Witnessing Our Sacred Past: A Toast to the Church".

She said, "The church as part of its mission and ministry also preserves the history of the faith here on Guam and in the region and it has over the centuries kept in its possession or has been returned to its possession artifacts that tell the story of the faith here in Guam. The Catholic faith here in Guam," he said.

The wine tasting is a fundraiser for the museum.  For the first time ever in a curated setting, the museum will unveil the cassock of Blessed Diego Luis De San Vitores and the sword that martyred him; a Spanish-Era stone water well; a subset of articles that were once under the doting care of Monsignor Oscar Calvo; and the large alloy bell that hung in the cathedral's steeple on the day of Guam's 1941 invasion by imperial Japanese forces. David Antieza is an anthropologist from the University of Guam and said, "Many people don't realize don't know that this place the cathedral this Plaza De Espana was the first historical church in the Pacific especially in the islands of the Pacific 200 years or more in Hawaii you have the presence of the church."

According to Shimizu this is the first of many more events the museum would like to hold in the future, saying, "Why is the church's collection so important? Because that period it has really defined who we have become today and the faith is so integrated in our culture that its absolute essential that we preserve that not just for the faithful but for everyone students historians visitors who want to know about the 500 years or so that are important to learning about the Chamorro people and their history."

The exhibit will be held this Thursday from 5:30-8:30pm. Admission is $100 with tickets available at the Cathedral-Basilica Pastoral Center.

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