From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Parish efforts ease difficult situations among the poor in Guatemala

by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register

(From the March 1, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

As the Mayan Indians in Northern Guatemala continue to face an unusual number of hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms, they receive some comfort from the missionary effort extended by the Diocese of Spokane.

During the first half of the current fiscal year, 17 parishes in the diocese helped fulfill the covenant with the Diocese of Sololá by supporting the Guatemala Mission effort.

Ten of the 19 parishes in Spokane itself contributed to specific activities, with parishioners from St. Mary and Our Lady of Fatima setting the pace by generous support for programs to help families become more self sufficient, health care programs, seminarians, and the Tzamjuyub School. St. Augustine parishioners continued their long-standing commitment to the Nahuala School.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes provided additional support for clinic programs, and St. John Vianney and St. Patrick of Spokane also assisted with the seminarian program.

St. Ann Parish, which has a history of reaching out to meet special needs, along with St. Anthony, helped in the funding of Sister Mary Bertrand’s Spirituality Center. St. Thomas More Parish worked through the Adopt-A-Family program and St. Joseph Parish on Dean continued its support by supplying woodworking tools and other equipment for David Dodroe’s work at Chuisibel.

Parishes outside Spokane also demonstrated their commitment to the poor in Guatemala, with consistent help coming from Sacred Heart in Pullman for the Catholic radio station in Nahuala, and from St. Patrick in Pasco for the salaries of Sisters Immaculata Burke and Marie Tolle. St. Mary of the Rosary Parish in Chewelah, St. Rose of Lima in Cheney, and St. Agnes in Ritzville also provided regular support for health care activities, as did the Holy Rosary Church and Altar Society in Pomeroy.

Assistance was also received from the Knights of Columbus Council at St. Rose.

All three of the parishes in Walla Walla (100 percent) helped with funds for the mission during the six months that ended on Dec. 31, 2000. St. Francis of Assissi and St. Patrick parishes directed their support to Sisters Immaculata and Marie, and provided aid for seminarians. Assumption School continued the helping relationship it has maintained with its “Collegio” school in Nahuala since 1983.

All parishes of the Diocese have been encouraged to select one of the nine activities that need financial help under the Guatemala Mission covenent. Whereas the contributors mentioned above include only about 25 percent of the total number of parishes in the Diocese, some parishes are still in the process of formulating their support plans, whereas others will be making their contributions on an annual basis later in the fiscal year that ends on June 30, 2001.

(Jerry Monks and his wife, Clara, are coordinators of the Guatemala Mission effort for the Diocese of Spokane.)

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