Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM National Prayer Day Celebration

Palikir, POHNPEI, (FSM Information Services): November 27, 2008 - Today, at the Central Conference Facility for the National Government, the chief executives of all three branches of the federal government, along with Pohnpei State Governor John Esha and Chief Justice Juda Johnny, and special guest speakers Fr. Francis Hezel and Rev. Bender Enicar were greeted by Master of Ceremonies Bermis Danis to celebrate the first National Prayer Day. The event was broadcast live over the radio throughout the FSM and was attended by members of Congress, Secretary Department heads, national government employees, members of the clergy, members of the Diplomatic Corps and people from Pohnpei State.

President Mori gave his remarks first, explaining his inspiration for starting this tradition of having an FSM National Prayer Day on what is known in the US as Thanksgiving Day. He said that, "on this day, we come together to strengthen the bonds that tie us vertically to God and horizontally to each other." The President put clarity to the meaning of the day by saying, "Other than our opening and closing prayers, this day is a time to strengthen our relationship with God, with our fellow leaders, and with our family, friends, relatives and our constituents." His hope is that the remarks given today will encourage and inspire our leaders to come up with specific ways to improve these relationships.

After the President's speech, Rev. Enicar spoke on man's relationship with God and how it could be strengthened. Then, Speaker of the Congress, T.H. Isaac Figir gave remarks that centered on the theme of unity. He said we should "dedicate ourselves to unity"; unity between different people, between the different States, and between the State and National governments is our "strength and our salvation". He stated that "differences in opinions do not separate us, but can unite us."

Following Speaker Figir, Chief Justice Andon Amariach gave a humorous and uplifting speech which contained personal confessions on how he can improve his own public service. He mentioned that "if there is a need for all of this, then all of us have to do some sacrifice to build or rebuild the country, because we recognize there is a need for it." He thanked President Mori for creating National Prayer Day and reiterated the need for us to work together to improve things.

Finally, Father Hezel spoke on what he has learned about prayer over the years. He focused on prayer as an opening of hearts in a relationship of love, stating that "life becomes a living prayer to the Lord." He explained that prayer "spills into our lives" and everyone we meet becomes our brothers and our sisters, and this should motivate us in our work.

At the end of the ceremony, T.H. Juda Johnny, Chief Justice of Pohnpei State gave the closing prayer and those that were gathered shared food that represented a traditional Thanksgiving Day feast.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356