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

Fatima, St. Mary, St. Thomas More parishioners lead Spokane Diocese support for Guatemala missionary efforts

by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 2, 2001 edition of the Inland Register

“We, ... the Church of Spokane commits itself ... to provide financial support to the Church of Sololá for the pursuit of its apostolic work.”

The covenant agreement that the Diocese of Spokane shares with the Diocese of Sololá commits the parishes of our diocese to financial assistance of the church in Guatemala. In doing so, it gives Eastern Washington parishioners a unique conduit to the poor in one of the most impoverished areas of the world.

During the past fiscal year, the budget for this support from the Diocese of Spokane was $82,440. Special needs, such as emergency food supplies and other requests (e.g., a bell for the church in Ixtahuacán) are arranged for outside of the normal budgeted amount.

Although not all parishes choose to share in the responsibility of the covenant, support for the diocese’s programs in Guatemala comes from an array of parishes. They range from smaller ones like St. Agnes in Ritzville to major centers, such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane.

A review of the contributed amounts suggests that seeing must be believing. Several parishioners took the opportunity to visit Guatemala during the past year, and the three parishes that led the way in financial support all had parishioners who spent some time in Guatemala.

Our Lady of Fatima, with perhaps the most active Sister Parish group in the diocese, provided the most financial support for the Guatemalan Mission budget. Their funds ($16,770) were used primarily to pay teachers in the Tzamjuyub school and for support of seminarians. In addition to the above, the parish’s Social Ministries Commission supplied $992 to complete the purchase of a new bell for the church in Ixtahuacán.

St. Mary Parish of Spokane provided much-needed help in the medical area, and also sent a representative to help finish construction of one of the clinics in Guatemala. Their assistance ($15,981) was used to fund ongoing clinic activities and, in conjunction with some other individual donations, to help establish a reserve for medical emergencies.

St. Thomas More Parishioners in Spokane channeled their assistance through the Adopt-A-Family program, which allocated funds to numerous self-help programs as well as to clinics, the construction of latrines, chimneys, and other needs.

St. Augustine Parish, Spokane, continued its long-standing support ($5,663) for the native Indian school in Nahuala.

Among other parishes assisting in the health and clinic areas were the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes ($5,899), St. Mary, Chewelah ($2,949), Holy Rosary, Pomeroy ($1,450), and St. Agnes, Ritzville ($524). In May, the Cathedral and Chewelah parishes were favored with an appreciative visit from Dr. Jose Miguel, from the clinic in Novillero.

Significant compensation support for Sister Immaculata and Sister Marie came from St. Patrick Parish, Pasco ($5,105), with help from St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla ($900). Pasco also sent representatives to help in Guatemala.

Pastoral funding was from St. Rose, Cheney ($1,149), and catechist support from St. Ann, Spokane ($300). The Voice of Nahuala radio station received substantial help ($4,395) from its long-standing support base of Sacred Heart Parish in Pullman.

In addition to Our Lady of Fatima, other parishes that supported seminarians were St. Patrick, Spokane ($1,076); St. Patrick, Walla Walla ($1,050); St. John Vianney, Spokane ($200); and Sacred Heart, Spokane ($60).

Visitors to Guatemala are usually quick to see how appreciative the people are of Spokane’s help. However, the current level of support from parishes covers only about 75 percent of the budgeted needs.

The chart which follows shows the levels of support for the nine budget categories after adjustments and allocation of unrestricted contributions from individuals.

Parishes that are not currently serving the poor in Guatemala, but are interested in initiating some plan of support, are encouraged to contact the Guatemala Commission at the diocese’s Catholic Pastoral Center, P.O. Box 1453, Spokane, WA 99210-1453.

(Jerry Monks coordinates the Spokane Diocese’s Guatemala Missionary Effort.)

Budget Category • Amount Budgeted • Percentage Received

Collegio Nahuala: $15,600; 42%
Health and Clinics: $19,800; 100%
Salaries: $9,600; 69%
Pastoral: $5,040; %41
Radio Station: $3,600; 100%
Catechist Office: $1,800; 33%
Sr. of Eucharist: $2,400; 100%
Seminarians: $10,200; 51%
Tzamjuyub School: $14,400; 100%
Total: $82,440; 74%

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