First American Jesuit Juniors in the Philippines: Hogan, Duchesneau, and Costigan

Right after first vows in St. Andrews on Hudson novitiate in New York, Walter Hogan, Gaston Duchesneau and Hugh Costigan were sent to the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches for juniorate studies with Filipino counterparts.  Hogan and Duchesneau in 1933 and Costigan (a cousin of Jim Meehan) in 1934.  The Philippines passed from the Aragon province to the Maryland province in 1927.  The juniorate building was inaugurated in 1933.

After ordination Costigan went to the Caroline Marshalls mission in 1947. In 1965 he founded the Ponape Agricultural and Trade School (PATS), much needed in that region.  Academic high schools were not enough.

Hogan and Duchesneau were the founders of the Institute of Social Order (ISO), a research and organizing group to implement the Social Encylicals.

Hogan was instrumental in the formation of unions, in the empowering of the oppressed.  This displeased civil and ecclesiastical authorities.  For all his troubles he was banished from the Philippines.  He went to Hong Kong and there spread the virus to a larger population.  But it was too late.  The torch has been passed.  His associates Jerry Montemayor organized farmer unions into the federation of free farmers (FFF) while Johnny Tan organized factory unions into the federation of free workers (FFW).  Not only did this magnify the strength of unions but this was also to counter communist unions and management unions. Montemayor gave his inherited land to his tenants while class valedictorian Tan gave up a life of success in the business world. Duchesneau in the meantime quietly and successfully organized and energized various kinds of cooperatives, in urban and rural places: consumer, producer, credit, etc.  This would help them out of poverty and the clutches of usurers.

Their immediate inspiration were Fr Joseph Mulry of the Ateneo and superiors.  Fr John Delaney’s first love was laborers.  From dealing with them he realized that material strength was not enough.  They needed spirituality, concretely the love and living of the Eucharist and of conjugal spirituality.  He started with the ISO in the US, then founded the Cana Conference and then the apostolate of the Mass.  All three reinforce and specify each other.

The Spanish provinces send to the distant Philippines reached by slow boats regents but no philosophers, much less juniors.   It seems no others followed  the first three missioned for juniorate studies in a foreign land.  Sending these first three was a bold and successful stroke.  It was inculturation and indigenization  when it counted most.

God bless you and all your efforts.  Victor Badillo SJ