The St. Fidelis Friary’s “It’s Christmas in Hagatna 2015!” village is on display at the Agana Shopping Center
Guam – The St. Fidelis Friary’s Christmas village and train set is back but it’s moved from the friary to the second floor of the Hagatna Shopping Center.
The St. Fidelis Friary is calling this years Christmas village “It’s Christmas in Hagatna 2015!”. This famous Christmas village and train set has an amazing assortment of decorations collected and put together by the Quinata, Villagomez, & Doyle families.
This tradition all started in Ipan, Talofofo at the Quinata family residence decades ago. Over the years they added pieces and decorations and the setup became more and more elaborate. This year’s setup is dedicated to the matriarch of the family the late Mae Quinata. Her son John “J.Q.” Quinata is the engineer of this village and it’s many mini-contraptions and motors that make everything move. “Well we all started as as a family in 1992 where my sister in law Pam my sister and myself we all put our efforts together and this is a way for my mom to put her efforts together for four months and you know she had a underlying agenda and this is one of the ways for four months we see each other every night and we didn’t get it until years down the line that this is what she wanted us to do but it worked,” said Quinata.
Two years ago the Quinata family had to stop it’s annual Christmas village tradition. “Unfortunately you know my mom two years ago was struck with a serious illness with her cancer and of course struggled and of course God took her up to heaven and stuff. So in honor of her we are doing the village for her but not only for her we had an outcry from the public from different parts of the community from the religious part of the community but also from the autism community and this makes it more priceless for us to do this for them and of course for the whole public of Guam,” said Quinata. J.Q. says that in-laws like Mike Doyle and the Villagomez family joined in to help make this village a success over the years.
“We love our cousins here. Our Christmas cousins and all of the volunteers but we, I really enjoy the community spirit that this display projects and provides. There’s a lot of sadness in this world we’ve seen that in the media different events and this is a way that our local community can help be accountable for each other meet up with old friends make new friends and be there to share in fellowship and joy of what Christ really wanted us to do,” said Melissa Sablan.
This Christmas village holds a lot of history. “I have a carousel piece there that’s probably 30 years old. It’s as old as my son. Well my son’s older but it’s a collectors piece of mine I’m just very surprised that it’s still running 30 years later. In fact JQ made a remark the other day that we have several pieces here that run for decades and we’re even surprised they’re still operating the way it is as you can see,” said Pam Quinata.
Pam says that it’s not just the nostalgia and history that makes this Christmas village special rather it’s the coming together of family. “Every night we see each other. We join each other for dinner. It’s great. We not only see each other but our extended family. The Villagomez family and all our really beloved volunteers that come,” said Pam.
J.Q.’s wife Donna Muna Quinata sums up the meaning and importance of this Christmas village. “Whenever we have the opportunity to make people happy, that’s what’s important. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season and what better way than to celebrate it with family and friends and when you’re here to make not just little kids happy but grownups and big kids happy that’s what’s important and for a little bit of a time they can forget about their worries and their problems when they come in here and it’s like they’re in another world in a different world even if it’s just for a moment in time and then I guess like the real important reason that Jesus is the reason for the season and we get to celebrate his love and happiness the way were supposed to be with family and friends,” said Donna.
The Christmas village is free to the public but donations are welcome and all proceeds will go to the Capuchins of Guam and the Autism Community.