Catholic church: St. Jude Thaddeus
Sinajana is perched along a hilltop between Agana Springs and Agana Heights. When entering the village from San Ramon Hill, one comes upon the Catholic Saint Fidelis Franciscan Friary, whose order maintains Sinajana’s Saint Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, among others. The annual village fiesta is celebrated on the last weekend of October, in honor of Saint Jude, patron saint of the impossible.
The two main schools are Carlos L. Taitano Elementary School, a public school, and Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School, a private Catholic school.
C. L. Taitano Elementary School is centrally located within walking distance of the village fire station, St. Jude Thaddeus Church, mayor’s office, and community center. Within this busy block one will also pass the old Won Pat store, which is now an apartment complex. A hotnu, or old Spanish oven, can still be found in the yard.
Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School sits on the site of the old Saint Jude Thaddeus Junior High School campus.
Sinajana was in existence before the arrival of Spanish missionaries in 1668 and was bordered by the areas now known as Cha’ot and Otdot, the present-day Ordot village. This ancient village was the domain of Hineti, a Chamorro who was loyal to the Spanish and the Marianas Mission, and was baptized Don Ignacio de Hineti. On July 23, 1684, at the climax of the Chamorro-Spanish Wars, Hineti joined with the Spaniards and recruited about fifty Chamorros, armed with lances, to secure the Spanish stockade and the Spanish flag in Hagåtña from Chamorro homeland defenders. For this he was rewarded the position and title of sergeant major by the Spanish governor Captain General D. Antonio de Saravia.
The last Spanish census, taken in 1897, listed 133 residents in Sinajana. There were family names that still exist today, including Quidachay, Fegurgur, Atoigue, Taisague, Concepcion, Agualo, San Nicolas, Dela Rosa, Taimanglo, Gogo, Quichocho, Agui, Neputi, Lujan, Tertaotao, Achaigua, Matanane, Navaro, Castro, Crisostimo, Balajadia, and Fejaran.
Although pre-World War II Sinajana was an agricultural village, at one time operating as the coffee capital of the island and supplying all of civilian Guam, much has changed with modern urbanization. The destruction of Hagåtña during WWII sent thousands in search of homes, and Sinajana absorbed many families when the U.S. military government erected temporary housing in the village. By 1950, the population had swelled to 3,000.
St. Jude Junior High School, built in 1955 under the guidance of Sinajana pastor Fr. Raymond Demers, had the distinction of being the only school on island built entirely through “happy labor.” More than five hundred men from the village volunteered for the construction. The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, from Lacrosse, Wisconsin, administered the school at the request of Bishop Apollinaris William Baumgartner, who the school is now named after.