14 August 2018
Yesterday, we lost a young Friar, as Xavier Akima’s body was recovered about one mile from the mouth of Pago Bay, near Leo Palace. He was a junior at Father Duenas. He went hiking to the San Carlos Falls on Saturday, August 11th with eight other Friars; seven were his 2020 classmates. The weather conditions intensified, and as he tried to cross the river, the river bank he was standing on collapsed and he fell into the rushing waters. The other boys tried desperately to save him, but they couldn’t. Xavier was 15 years old.
As I have mentioned in some Whatsapp messages going around, now is the time for us to truly band together as brothers and assist our school, its students and Xavier’s family during this difficult time. The Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center has counselors at FD today, and the Guam Department of Education has reached out to provide assistance as well. It is extremely important that all these boys receive professional help as they sort through their thoughts and emotions. I will also be reaching out to Xavier’s family over the next few days to see what we, our alumni community, can do to assist with their needs. Once I get the information, I fully expect all of us, brothers, to band together and provide for them. I don’t see any reason why we cannot.
The most important thing right now is for us to protect the Brotherhood. I am asking all of you NOT to disclose the names of the other 8 boys to the media, or pass along other messages and chats. Further, I am asking our fellow brothers who are in the media to respect the need for privacy of these young men as they mourn and heal. It was extremely heart breaking to see the FD junior class, along with the other classes, cry and console each other. We bear the responsibility of protecting them, and I fully expect that we will.
Our young men should not have to go through this, but this is the reality we are faced with. Our God has truly tested us these past few years, as we have lost some great members of our FD family. But no matter how hard things are and how bleak the situation looks, we must always, ALWAYS remain strong in the faith.
I will pass along information in the next few days and I fully expect each of you and your classes to assist in any way we can. Be ready!
Fortes in Fide,