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

Parishes of diocese maintain their support for Guatemala Mission activities

by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register

(From the Sept. 14, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Mayan Indians work at one of the nursery projects in the Spokane mission in Guatemala. About 250,000 trees have been planted as a result of their efforts. Varieties include pine, cypress, avocado, and lemon. In 2005 alone, some 35,000 trees were planted. (IR photo from the Guatemala Commission)

Parishes that have traditionally responded to the needs of the Spokane Diocese mission in Guatemala continued their supportive efforts during the past fiscal year that ended on June 30. The “Sister Diocese Program,” begun in 1960, links Spokane with the Mayan Indians in the mountainous area of Northern Guatemala.

Contributions for Guatemala Mission activities during the 2005-06 budgeting period totaled $53,744. The income constituted an increase of $10,426 over the contributions received during the prior year, when expenses exceeded income.

St. Patrick Parish, Pasco, and St. Mary, Spokane Valley, were major sources of help. They were joined by Catholics from nine other parishes who also directed support to the needs of the poor in the Diocese of Sololá.

St. Patrick Parish assisted with both salary funds for the Sisters who manage clinic and pastoral activities ($17,892), as well as direct support for pastoral activities ($2,842). St. Patrick, Walla Walla, also helped with salary funds ($1,500), as did St. Rose, Cheney ($150) with pastoral work.

The major provider of funds for the clinic activities was St. Mary Parish, Spokane Valley ($11,165). They were joined by the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane ($2,500), St. Mary of of the Valley in Chewelah ($1,936), and Holy Rosary in Pomeroy ($1,200), plus two individuals who also supported health programs.

These women have completed an embroidery course taught in the village of Ixtahuacán, where Father David Baronti, a Spokane Diocese priest, has ministered for the past 30 years. (IR photo from the Guatemala Commission)

St. Augustine Parish, Spokane, continued its strong educational support for the Colegio (elementary school) in Nahualá, with a donation of $4,988. Sacred Heart Parish, Pullman, continued its long-standing support with $3,227 for the radio station. Contributions for the seminary program came from two Spokane parishes: St. Patrick ($1,131), and Sacred Heart ($197).

As in prior years, the funding provided by the diocese was augmented by the efforts of other parishes and individuals.

From Spokane, Our Lady of Fatima parishioners supported some pre-school and scholarship activities, and funding from Assumption and St. Thomas More parishes was directed to Family-To-Familly activities, which included a cataract surgery project in Sololá, and the gathering of funds to assist victims of Hurricane Stan. The October 2005 hurricane displaced hundreds of families in the Guatemala Highlands and devastated much of the corn crop.

Parishes that would like to extend their outreach to the poor in Guatemala are invited to contact the Guatemala Commission at the Diocese of Spokane, P.O. Box 1453, Spokane, WA 99210-1453.

(Jerry Monks works with the diocese’s Guatemala Commission.)

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