Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 16th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> Deacon Frank Tenorio, United States—Guam’s Charitable Cancer Fighter
 [Charity takes many forms. Innovate for the public good.]  

Kamalin Karidat, hello.God’s will is mine.
—Frank Tenorio
 
“Living Saint” is the name that the people of Guam give deacon Frank Tenorio. He says this to whomever he meet, “I am just doing God’will. God’s will is mine.”

According to a 2007 survey by the Christian Salvation Army, there are a total of 175,000 people on Guam, and this includes different ethnic groups and armed forces stationed in the area, and about one percent of these people are homeless. Luckily for them, they have deacon Frank Tenorio as their friend. On every Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and his own birthday, he would invite these people in need to have a hot meal.

Deacon Frank Tenorio fights prostate cancer and diabetes with a strong will, and he devotes equal determination to expanding his care programs. He established the Kamalen Karidat in 1993 to encourage buying second-hand goods. The profits are used to help the needy and the poor. He started the Catholic Prolife Committee in 1996 to train volunteers and educators in the area of consultation and to advocate against abortion. The Kamalen Karidat Soup Kitchen was founded in 1999. Hot meals are served for 14 years consecutively every night and all year round. Institutions for sheltering adolescent girls and consultation services for women are also made available. In 2004, deacon Frank Tenorio started Guam’s Catholic Educational Radio Station to provide educational services to local students and residents.

Love rooted in Saiban
Born on September 14, 1936 in Saipan, deacon Frank Tenorio was baptized at birth. He did not actively seek God back then, but God was always there to guide him. Frank Tenorio entered the Minor Seminary at Father Duenas Memorial School at the age 16, but God had other plans for him. After a year’s study, he left Boston for Guam and did all kinds of jobs: government official, soldier, and entrepreneur. Later, he answered God’s call and was ordained into the Catholic Church in 1973.

Charity takes many forms. Innovate for the public good.
Deacon Frank Tenorio is a man who cherishes what he has. He thinks many resources are reusable and thus should be used repeatedly. This led him to establish the Kamalen Karidat in 1993. The organization accepts second-hand or brand new items from residents and resells them. The profits are used to help the poor or to cover the parish’s expenses. This helps environment conservation, and, more important, this enabled Frank Tenorio to promote other charity enterprises.

In 1999, Frank Tenorio began the Kamalen Karidat Soup Kitchen and began feeding 30 to 35 homeless people 5pm to 7pm. In addition to dinner, these people receive canned food containing meat or fish, vegetable and a bag of crackers to sustain them throughout the following day. During festivals such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, a present is also enclosed.

But Frank Tenorio aspired to even bigger dreams. The construction of the new Kamalen Karidat Soup Kitchen began on November 30, 2008. The project included a bigger kitchen and dining area, and a greater storeroom. Separate shower room and laundry were also designed for diners. All this was made possible without the funding by local or the federal government.

Respect and sustain life
In 1996, deacon Frank Tenorio started the Catholic Prolife Committee. He asked spiritual leaders in their parishes to convene for a meeting once a month. Every year, he holds meetings with Catholic school principals, hoping that the school can help work on saving precious lives. The committee also led the demonstration against Roe v. Wade case, attempting to enhance awareness of the abortion issue. In this process, Deacon Frank Tenorio received both positive and negative feedback, but he stood firm in his stance, promising to fight for against abortion and to save every life.

Frank Tenorio feels pity for fetuses who do not have the chance to be born into this world. Every year, he collaborates with the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, to search for information of unborn fetuses, and to hold funerals and communions for them. He also places great emphasis on the birth of newborns. When the Annunciation takes place, baby products are given out to parents in need.

He is particular about raising awareness of the abortion issue. Through the help of the church and education, he established two consulting organizations to cater to different needs. He helps train volunteers, talk to parents willing to adopt children, encourage unmarried adolescent girls to give birth, etc. He assesses whether the parents willing to adopt children have the means and the heart to provide them with a suitable growth environment. So far, 80 babies are adopted in this way thanks to his efforts. On the other hand, women traumatized by the experience of abortion may seek consultation to help them pass this difficult time. Spiritually, Frank Tenorio’s ways are proven to be constructive and helpful.

Spread hope via airwaves
In July 2004, deacon Frank Tenorio took over the management of the radio station. After that, the station improved tremendously, becoming the only Catholic station in the mariana islands. The programs are planned by Catholic school students, local people, and EWTN. The station is also funded by Frank Tenorio’s Kamalen Karidat.

Frank Tenorio is a real friend of the poor. For him, all of his charitable deeds are done in the will of God. Despite his humble demeanor and caring spirit, he has suffered misfortunes of his own. He had a car accident in his youth and is fighting prostate cancer and diabetes. In 2007, he underwent a spinal cord surgery. Instead of waiting until the treatment was completed, he insisted on returning to the church at once. The state of his health always comes last. Recovery was long and painful, but his optimism and passion maintained his spirit to keep on undertaking charity work. He has even developed the habit of saying “Kamalin Karidat, hello.” to whoever makes a call to him.