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

Donations build toward new bell for Guatemala church

by Marge Brewer, for the Inland Register

(From the April 12, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

Muchas gracias! Many thanks! And Deo gratias! Thanks be to God! Your generous response these past two weeks means that our Catholic sisters and brothers in Guatemala have a little over one-fourth of the money needed to buy a bell for their church in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán.

Why is Father Baronti placing such an emphasis on the need for a bell for the church in Ixtahuacán when there is such great need for so many other things? This is certainly a very logical question.

Just as the people in the small towns of our diocese a century ago organized their lives around the thrice-daily ringing of the angelus, so, too, the elderly impoverished residents of Ixtahuacán. Rural Guatemalans suffer from many ills, but noise pollution certainly isn’t one of them. Even in far-distant fields the sound of the bell can be heard echoing from one hillside to the other as the farmer’s large hoe chops the ground to prepare it for planting.

There is no sound of clanking machinery as a family moves slowly over the newly tilled fields, carefully measuring the distance between each precious seed of corn or beans. As the sun warms the day and the sound of the noontime angelus bell is carried on the breeze they will gratefully stop to rest. Providing that last year’s corn crop was sufficient, they might even have the luxury of a tortilla to eat before returning to their back-breaking labor.

In Guatemala City, $2,000 will pay for a new bell to replace the one now missing from the Santa Catarina church. All across Ixtahuacán and the neighboring cantones the bell will ring with joy, calling people to prayer or to rest. It will signal tragedy or good news. But most of all, it will signal a return to normalcy in their lives. It will again sing out that a God of Love still watches over his children.

The Guatemala Commission members ask for your donations to answer Father Baronti’s call for help on behalf of our sisters and brothers in Guatemala. When we think of the time, back then, when the church was the center of our life, we realize how we have been blessed. Let’s band together and in thanksgiving for the many blessings God gives each of us today and every day buy a “Bell for Santa Catarina.”

Please do not send donations directly to Guatemala. Contributions should be sent instead to: A Bell for Santa Catarina, Spokane Guatemala Commission, P.O. Box 1453, Spokane, WA 99210-1453.

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