Featuring St. Jude Thaddeus Alumni Society Members



                                                                  MR. JUAN TORRES - 2008-2009 SJT ALUMNI SOCIETY PRESIDENT

          My name is Juan Anderson Torres, an alumnus of St. Jude School in Sinajana, Guam, where I graduated from the eighth grade in 1962.    I graduated from JFK High School, Tumon, Guam in 1966.  After 28 years of federal civil service,  I retired as a Utilities  Systems Superintendent in 1997.
         My family and I currently reside in El Cajon, California, a suburb of San Diego County.  And, when in Guam, you can find me in Yigo.
         I am blessed with a wonderful wife, Hana Li (pronounced like Chamorro Ana with an H in front) of Samoan decent, and four boys, all residing in the mainland.  I currently have 4 rascals and 3 darlins for grandchildren, with another rascal on the way.
         Aside from all the schooling, and trade practices (to obtain my trade skills), I actually started my vocational training at St. Jude, where the common discipline for misbehaving was to paint classrooms (you advance to painting the whole school after a while), clean glass louvers, clean toilets, and do yard work around the school and the convent.  I must add that I must have painted the entire school three times during the 4 years I was there, cafeteria and all.
        Oh! Speaking of cafeteria, we did help serving in the cafeteria and, of course, washing those metal galley trays, cups, glasses, including all the silverware. And then we have to clean the dining tables and the floor, whatever crumbs the birds didn’t pick up, we did.
        Don’t get me wrong, there were some fun moments too, I must say that being in the first school Operetta (Tom Sawyer) on Guam was most memorable and often times fun. There was also tether ball competitions (wow, far out), and of course flirting with the girls (hubba hubba) via long distance.  You see, boys played on one field, while the girls played on the opposite field.  We were separated by a street.  Talk about segregation!  Where was the ACLU then?
        I don’t know about now, but in my days at St. Jude, the nuns also taught etiquette classes.  I remember being told how to hold your fork, spoon and knife, to sit up straight while trying to eat a pea on a fork without dropping it. Then there was walking around the class room balancing a book on your head, and that’s to maintain your posture, not drain the contents of the book into your head. 
        Now imagine this, Sister Wilhelmina, the principal,  in the boys’ bathroom with an entire class of boys, showing us how to take two segments of toilet tissue from a roll, wrap it around your pointer finger, and wipe your behind with it.  I don’t know about the other guys, but I could never figure out how to take the tissue off your finger without using the other hand.  Thank goodness I hadn’t used it yet.
        God bless Sister Gabriel. I know when she is thinking in Chinese because she will call me by my Chinese name, “Wong”.  I also know when she is thinking in English, since then she will call me by my English name, “Junk”.  And then there’s Sister Richard, tagged me with a pet name, I was her Juanabus.
        I guess after all these years I can tell my classmates of these experiences (after all this is St. Jude’s best kept secret).  Oops I guess it’s “was” now.  It is tough being a teacher’s pet.  I dare anybody to come up with a better experience at St. Jude than this.  Go ahead I dare you to about it.
        On a serious note though, with teachers, classmates and discipline like we had, where can one go to get first class education, enjoy going to school, having fun and remembering all those good times and yes hard times too, 40 odd years later.  Thank God for St. Jude School!!  BIBA


Mrs.  Dolores Indalecio Camacho
My name is Dolores Maria Indalecio Camacho, a resident of 177 Taigigao Street, Agana Heights.  I was born into an extended family which  consisted of my Nana Rosa Indalecio, uncles Juan and Jose, Auntie Mame, my mother Ana, and three siblings, Francisco, Cecilia, and Josefina.  Yes, I have always been the youngest  child since March 13, 1948.  I grew up in Taigigao, a rural estate near the pipeline that was an inheritance from my grandfather Jose Herrero.   He was one of two sons  of Juana Aguon and the Spanish  Governor Jose Ganga Herrero.  I always wondered, should I consider that truth with pride or embarrassment.  Nevertheless, I am forced to skip the details.  After all, it had been kept a secret in my family throughout my life until my oldest daughter Olga dug into our family heritage for one of her nosy professors.   She thought being a descendant of a well-esteemed Spanish governor was pretty “neat”; I was baffled and, quite honestly, offended to know that my identity had been hidden from me.  Therefore, I inherited Jose Herrero’s land but not his last name.  What about the name “Indalecio”, you might wonder. My dear friends, I am still searching for its origin.  Anyway, what’s in a name?  It is not so expendable, is it? After all, on November 30, 1974, I united my husband’s last name to mine, and I will certainly never expend his name. 
       Summation of my lifetime appears in segments--chapters as I fondly refer to them.  In the first chapter of my life, I remember my carefree childhood days centered around my Nana’s activities.  I felt so secure sitting on her lap and laying my head on her bosom. Kneeling beside her, I used to pray and sing in Chamorro when she made her daily visits to the homes of relatives and neighbors to lead the novenas in honor of different saints.  Chasing after her with my container ready to be filled with “hutu” or with my gunny sack anticipating its fill of mangoes, tangerine, guavas, and all the countless fruits in their seasonal ripening are such pleasant memories.  You would think I am Laura Engle’s alter ego.  One lesson instilled in me by my Nana was a biblical reference; that is, if someone strikes you on your left cheek, give him your right side.  Perhaps, it is because of this that I became thick-skinned.  I may be down in one instance, but I spring right back up into resilience.  Furthermore, what’s up with my silence and my shyness.  Silence augments positive auditory powers; shyness restricts unwanted relationships.

            Educationally reinforcing, spiritually strengthening, morally encouraging and wholly engaging of student interaction describe the chapter of my life spent at Saint Jude.  It was clearly awesome.  If you ‘d please, give me a moment to narrate some incidents that vividly have been molded into my memory. In seventh grade my homeroom teacher was Sr. Marda.  Her accent startled me, at first, (besides, she was the first oriental woman I had ever seen), but her personality comforted me so well. She proactively assisted me especially in art.  However, the grand performance of that year was a dramatization of the parable about the five wise and five foolish virgins.  I regret not remembering who the virgins with the oil lamps were but I do remember Peter Cepeda playing the role of St. Peter at the gate of heaven; the other classmates were saints and I humbly pretended I was our Blessed Mother.  Well, for some reason, Sr. Marda had someone (Matilda San Nicolas?) darken my brows and put on dark red lip stick.  That surely did not lessen my nervousness; instead, it brought on conspicuousness.  So I told Sr. Marda I felt faint and she started fanning me with a piece of paper.  Would you believe it?  The show went on, and I did not faint at all.  In fact, I probably was not even noticed.  Phew! 

            Another amusing incident happened in room 7A, the one closest to Rafael Mafnas’ house.  The doors were always kept open, and one day a daring rat stealthily entered the rear door.  Not too soon afterwards my classmates in the back of the room noticed it and started screaming.  Naturally, all the girls jumped on the seats of their desks, and the boys were cheering Sr. Marda on as she went after the pest with a broom and clobbered it to death.  Just remember now, the Franciscan nuns had on their long habits.  It was surely an exciting religion class that day. 

            Other highlights of our school experiences are our eighth grade graduation.  There were so many of us huddled together in the group picture that I had difficulty identifying our classmates by their faces much less recalling their names  not even with the help of a magnifying glass.    A stepping stone into the higher grades is all that matters.  Moreover, we can honestly admit we did not know any better. 

            Academics was not a single issue at St. Jude.  Religious commitment was emphasized consistently.  Prayers before classes, observations of the Lenten season, singing at the assigned Sunday Masses, and the annual Christmas pageants inspired us greatly.  In addition to religious awareness, the nuns demonstrated resourcefulness in their Franciscan spirit. We were obligated to cover our books with plain, unattractive paper donated by some agency and wrote answers to objective tests on small slips of papers.  Resourcefulness applies to my situation in the classroom.  It was not learned in vain. 

            I hesitate to single out individuals as ones who influenced me most or had the greatest impact in my youth.  Everyone who crosses my path has a direct influence on my life and that is certainly how I feel about everyone at Saint Jude.   In relation to that comment, I will share memories of individuals who affected me in some way.      

            Touching moments shared between classmates will never fade away.  David Lujan, in particular, was very sweet in his youth and will not be forgotten.    In our biology class, I was faced with a most difficult task--to dissect a nice-looking frog.  Yuck! I looked at it and stared at it long enough while other classmates were already busily cutting their specimen open.  David noticed my trauma and came to my rescue, and I will be eternally grateful to him.  That‘s not all that I can relate about him.  On my fifteenth birthday,  he sang melodiously to me in his normal voice, that is, not his Louis Armstrong imitation.   

            Fr. Antoinine Zimmerman and Sister Optata were walking encyclopedias for me.  Both dynamic in their own ways, they taught me religious ideals and prayers that have stuck with me throughout the years and have won my respect for them.  Needless to say, the nuns and priests have helped shape me into the kind of wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher I am today.  My years were undeniably well-spent at Saint Jude Thaddeus School .  

            For the most part, I probably have been separated from over three-fourths of our class of ’62 since the summer of 1964.   I graduated from the Academy of Our Lady of Guam, took Freshmen courses at the College of Guam,  and transferred to Viterbo College in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  I obtained a BA degree in French and English in 1970, returned to Guam and started teaching French and English at GWSH.  In 1997, I acquired a Master’s degree in Education  from the University of Portland Outreach Program.  I’ve been teaching at GWHS for thirty-three years and nine months as of August, 2008.

             My favorite past time has always been spending quality time with my husband and with my children and grandchildren on holidays, traveling to places where our children are stationed or trained at, camping out, farming,  off-roading and other outdoor activities.

            On November 30, 1974, Frank and I married at Agana Heights Church on the day of the fiesta of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.  Between that year and 1983, we had four sons and three daughters.  Our youngest son Roque Bernard developed walking pneumonia and died on April 18, 1998.  Now, I am a grandparent to five boys and four girls and a step-grandparent to four boys and three girls.

            I am the vice-chairperson of the alumni society and hope I have your full endorsement.  My interests  are twofold:  to rejuvenate and fortify camaraderie among us  and to rekindle the fervor of our Christian values instilled in us at Saint Jude Thaddeus School.

            My greatest thrill at the alumni reunion is recognizing everyone by  simply  looking at each one’s eyes.  Youth subtly hidden and embedded in the twinkle of each alumni’s eyes captured my emotion.  And after this, my dear classmates will continue yet another chapter of my life.



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Mrs. Josephine Espinosa Santos

  I am Josephine Espinosa and am very happily married to a very gentle man, Frank Santos.  We live on a two acre ranch style property in Ordot, Guam.  We have three lovely daughters, and five beautiful grandchildren.  I am a proud alumna of St. Jude School, and I am extremely excited and proud to serve as the alternate vice-president of the SJT Alumni Society of Guam.  Although, I played a significant role in the creation of the society, I felt obligated to serve another year as an observer and adviser, and not serve in any official capacity. However, the society has bestowed me with the title of Alternate Vice-President. 

        I wore the SJT uniform for four happy years, and chose to continue my high school education at JFK (John F. Kennedy HS), instead of the Academy (Academy of Our Lady of Guam).  My mother was not pleased with my desire and choice, however, I proved that I would be just as successful in a public high school environment.  I graduated from JFK in 1966.

        After high school, I decided to get a job and earn an income, instead of furthering my education at the University of Guam.  A college degree just was not in my plans, yet.  Becoming a working woman, built a great deal of character and gave me a sense of independence.  It was while I was on duty at GMH (Guam Memorial Hospital) that I was swept off my feet and got married.  That’s all history now, and I am blessed with my three gorgeous daughters.

        Subsequently, I decided to pursue my education in nursing later on in life.  I continued to work full time, attend school in the evenings, and raise three girls, alone. I am proud to say that “I did it!  Hoorah!!!”  I couldn’t have done it without the love, sacrifices, patience and understanding from my children!

        I never retired from any of my jobs, because I moved a lot, and worked at different places doing different things. (I guess you could say I  was a “Jack of all trades, but a master of none! Ha, ha, ha!).  Am I reborn?  Anyway, in my second life, things are different,  Frank makes me stay home to help raise the grandchildren.  Yup! Full time!  I wonder if I’ll ever retire!  Ha, ha, ha!  Perhaps I’ll master this job, ya think?!

        So, who was the greatest influence in my youth?  That’s easy…it was Sr. Optata, of course.  She encouraged (forced) me to join the Sodality of Mary Society, because my two older sisters were active members!  I’ve never seen more dedication and love than from that little nun, considering all that was involved in running the Sodality.  She had a great impact on a lot of us girls, inspiring us to become and remain strong Christian women.  I admired and respected her immensely.

        I have many wonderful memories of SJT, but primarily remember the navy blue skirts and white peter-pan color blouses, and the strict discipline imposed by the Sisters.  And even, today, I am inclined to write “JMJ” (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) at the upper right hand corner of my handwritten notes and letters. 

        I am truly blessed to continue my service in our beloved SJT Alumni Society.  I will work with the staff in building a firm foundation, and accomplish our noble mission.  Consequently, I will especially enjoy seeing my classmates again, knowing that the bonds we had in school are still there, and very strong, as though it was just yesterday.  I will cherish and hold you all very dear to my heart always!  I love you all, and may our friendship last forever!  May God bless us all!

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