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Guam group falls short of funding goal, withdraws offer to purchase Chancery

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Phoenix Foundation, a local nonprofit group, is pulling out its offer to acquire the Chancery compound from the Archdiocese of Agaña after falling short of the amount of funds required to seal the transaction.

"It is with deep sadness and regret that we at the Phoenix Foundation were unable to reach our goal of raising the required funds necessary to purchase the Archdiocese Chancery grounds and save it from being sold to a private buyer," the foundation said in a statement.

The San Ramon Hill real estate is among the properties listed for sale by the Archdiocese of Agana to cover its settlement with survivors of clergy abuse. The $2.3 million property is home to the archbishop and the church’s chancery offices.

The Phoenix Foundation said it intended to purchase the Chancery and then let the archdiocese remain in occupancy and continue the work of the Church on that site.

"We were doing this to protect our archdiocese from being sued in the future and again being forced to sell it. At one time we were very optimistic about reaching our goal and consummating the sale, but unfortunately, were unable to complete this goal," the foundation said.

As of August, the foundation raised close to $1.8 million, which included a bridge loan of $1 million from an unnamed group that offered “generous terms” to help in facilitating the purchase.

Phoenix Foundation accelerated its fundraising efforts to raise $500,000 more but failed to meet the amount at the closing of the court-imposed deadline to complete the property sale. The deal was supposed to have been cemented before Oct. 17.

“We are extremely heartbroken, especially because the Chancery and Archbishop’s home have immense spiritual, cultural and historic significance not only to our Church but to the entire island because of Saint John Paul the Great’s unprecedented visit to Guam in 1981,” said Father Romy Convocar, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña.

“We understand the enormity of the challenge that the Phoenix Foundation undertook. As Catholics and baptized children of God, we also know that even in sad, difficult and painful times, our merciful Lord blesses us,” Convocar said.

“We find great consolation in the strong devotion and unselfishness that we saw emerge from members of our Catholic community in the form of the Phoenix Foundation and the many individuals and groups who stepped forward to contribute to the cause. They have been inspiring. We are most grateful to all of them.”

The archdiocese said it will later announce its plans to relocate from the Chancery compound.

“Somehow, this is God’s plan. We must trust in Him in all circumstances of our lives,in sorrow or in joy,” Convocar said.

The foundation said it will return the donations to donors in full via check or PayPal.

"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and willingness to assist the Foundation by so many individuals, groups and businesses in such a short time for a worthwhile endeavor," the foundation said.

"We do pray that the new owners of the site will recognize the monumental spiritual, historical and cultural significance of the Chancery; and will take that into account as they plan for its future use," it added.

If there is any error on the refund amount, call Chris Felix at 671-689-2121 so we can rectify the error, and get you back the corrected dollar amount.

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