Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

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

Parishioners continue solid support for Guatemala mission efforts

by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 21, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Despite a weak economy here in the United States, parishioners in Spokane have continued their long- standing support of the diocese mission activities in Guatemala. Figures for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2003 reveal contributed income of $67,817 to cover budgeted expenses of $81,471.

Although the income for the budgeted categories was down about $1,500 from the previous year, budgeted expenses were lower as well, and the income was sufficient to cover 83 percent of the budgeted expenses. This compares to 78 percent coverage in the prior year. A significant portion of the $13,654 shortfall is expected to be covered by funds from the World Missions collection.

Parishes in Spokane, Pasco, and Walla Walla provided the major financial support.

St. Patrick Parish, Pasco, came forward with significant salary contributions in the amount of $13,130 for Sisters Immaculata Burke, Marie Tolle, and Mary Bertrand. In Spokane, parishioners at St. Mary and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes continued their consistent support of health programs with gifts of $11,758 and $ 5,100, respectively. They were joined in this category by St. Mary Parish, Chewelah ($2,279), Holy Rosary Parish, Pomeroy ($1,550), and St. Agnes Parish, Ritzville ($566).

The bulk of the contribution from Spokane’s Our Lady of Fatima Parish, $12,437, continued to be directed toward school programs, and Sacred Heart Parish, Pullman, again provided funding for the radio station in Nahuala — $3,899. St. Augustine Parish’s support, a total of $6,834 for the elementary school in Nahuala, was sufficient to prompt an increase in the upcoming budget.

Support from parishioners at Assumption, Spokane ($2,000), was used to help fund the Spirituality Center. Seminarian support came from St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla ($1,050), and St Patrick, Spokane ($970). St. Patrick, Walla Walla, also helped out with some salary funds ($450). St. Rose of Lima, Cheney, directed their funding ($393) to pastoral activities. Individual donations, including $2,400 from Deacon Chuck Fosmire for the Sisters of the Eucharist, added over $5,000 to the parish totals.

Levels of support for the nine budget categories, after adjustments and allocation of unrestricted contributions, can be seen in the chart above.

Several parishes also helped in other ways. Five parishes offered collection monies when Father David Baronti spoke at their parishes during May and June. Gifts came to him from three Spokane parishes approximately $10,000 from St. Thomas More, $7,300 from St. Augustine Parish, $6,300 from St. Mary – as well as $5,100 from Assumption in Walla Walla and $2,700 from St. Patrick, in Walla Walla. Whereas the bulk of these contributions will be used for the church restoration project in Ixtahuacán, some of the monies will be used to help offset deficits in the under funded mission activities.

As parishes develop closer individual relationships with personnel in the mission, more of the funding can be expected to flow directly to specific activities that are not budgeted in advance. Spokane’s St. Ann Parish donated $600 for sewing machines and eye clinic equipment. Assumption Parish, Spokane, also supplied $1,000 for eye clinic equipment. Walla Walla’s St. Patrick Parish provided $1,600 for sewing machines and the third grade class at their school donated over $300 for school children in Guatemala. St. Joseph Parish on Dean in Spokane helped fund a generator and parishioners from Pasco and Spokane supplied antibiotics and other medicines for clinics.

The Sister Parish Committee from Our Lady of Fatima, Spokane, provided $1,700 in additional support for school supplies and approximately $1,800 for a breakfast program at the Tzam-juyub School. St. Thomas More, along with individuals in other parishes, continued their support of the Family-To-Family program. It provides economic assistance and training to well over 100 poor families in Guatemala at a cost of about $360 per family per year and supports numerous self help and community projects.

Support for Spokane’s Guatemala Mission activities remains strong with budgeted activities being augmented by a growing amount of support that parishes are providing in other ways as they develop more one-on-one relationships with Spokane Mission activities and personnel.

Parishes that are not currently supporting the mission, 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 is a member of the Guatemala Commission.)

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