All Souls' Day, observed on Nov. 2, is a day dedicated annually to the remembrance of lost loved ones.
Although it is not a federal holiday, it is a local holiday and the government of Guam, along with some local private companies, is closed for the day in honor of this annual event. This tradition honors the island’s local heritage and allows thousands of the island's Catholic faithful and Christians of other denominations to gather as families, church groups, and an island community.
For Dewayne Isaiah Ngirairikl, a junior at Tiyan High School, he and his family will clear his grandfather's gravesite at the Vicente A. Limtiaco Memorial Cemetery, at Nimitz Hill, a few days before All Souls' Day. Though not a Catholic, he said the day allows him to spend time with his family and learn more about his grandfather – whom he never had a chance to meet.
"My grandpa died before I was born ... but many people say I look like him or I do things that remind them of my grandpa so it's nice to be able to learn more about him," he said. "I feel like I get to know him a little more every year."
Also known as the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, thousands of families prepare for the Nov. 2 observation by clearing their loved ones' gravesites. On All Souls' Day, they gather at the cemeteries for the Mass organized each year by the Archdiocese of Agana.
The Archdiocese released this schedule of Masses:
• Inarajan Catholic Cemetery, 7 a.m. – Rev. Fr. Joseph Anore
• Malesso Catholic/Community Cemetery, 7 a.m. – Rev. Fr. Julius B. Akinyemi
• Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Togcha, 7:30 a.m. – Rev. Fr. Tom McGrath, S.J.
• Our Lady of Peace, Windward Hills, 9 a.m. – Rev. Fr. Felixberto C. Leon Guerrero, O.F.M. Cap.
• Umatac Catholic Cemetery, 9 a.m. – Rev. Fr. Julius B. Akinyemi
• Vicente Limtiaco Cemetery, Nimitz Hill, 10 a.m. – Rev. Fr. Danilo Trajano
• Guam Memorial Park, Leyang, 11 a.m. – Rev. Fr. Joel de los Reyes
• Sumay Cemetery, Naval Station, 11 a.m.– Rev. Fr. Michael Crisostomo
• Old Agat Cemetery (Responso only), noon – Rev. Fr. Jose Alberto Rodriguez
• Veterans Cemetery, Piti, 1 p.m. – Rev. Fr. Danilo Trajano
• Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Agat, 1 p.m. – Rev. Fr. Jose Alberto Rodriguez
• Guam Windward Memorial, Windward Hills, 2 p.m. – Rev. Fr. Andre Eduvala, O.F.M. Cap.
• Pigo Catholic Cemetery 4 p.m. – Rev. Msgr. James L.G. Benavente