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 reduce financial support for Guatemala mission programs

by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 2, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

Income from parishes for Guatemala Mission activities dropped by 9 percent in the 2006-07 fiscal year which ended June 30. The impact of the reduction was lessened, however, by a significant donation of $5,000 from a long-time individual supporter of the mission. Two additional last-minute donations enabled the Guatemala Commission to close out the year without a deficit.

Total income for the diocese’s mission programs for 2006-07 was $51,159, of which $43,394 was from parishes and $7,765 from individuals. Although parish support for most programs declined from previous years, the contributions for the Catholic school in Nahualá was a notable exception. St. Augustine Parish’s contributions ($7,212), along with help from the children of Assumption and Cataldo schools, not only met the budgeted expense, but also justified an increase for the Colegio for next year.

Health programs and compensation for the Sisters serving in the mission drew the most support. St. Mary Parish, Spokane Valley ($11,282), the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes ($2,380), and St. Mary of the Rosary, Chewelah ($1,547) were the largest contributors to the clinics in the Highlands. They were assisted by Holy Rosary Parish, Pomeroy ($100), and two individuals who have helped support the salary of the native physician, Dr. José Miguel, for the past few years.

Pasco’s St. Patrick Parish ($11,692) was the significant (and only) parish supporting the limited salaries of the Sisters of Charity who work in the mission for the diocese. Sister Immaculata Burke manages the four clinics in the Highlands, and Sister Marie Tolle works with schools and pastoral programs. Sister Marie’s pastoral work was assisted by a donation from Sacred Heart Parish, Othello ($1,000), and St. Rose of Lima Parish, Cheney ($137).

In Pullman, Sacred Heart Parish ($2,839) provided some funding for the radio station in Nahualá. St. Patrick, Spokane ($900), continued its long-standing support for the seminarians in Sololá. The school and youth programs did not receive any parish support.

Unrestricted funds ($2,765) from 12 individuals were allocated as needed to the health, compensation, pastoral, radio station, seminary and school and youth programs.

The $5,000 individual gift, along with two special-purpose donations, enabled the Guatemala Commission to balance income with expenses. The extra donations ($1,800 total) came from Our Lady of Fatima and St. Thomas More parishes in Spokane. Both churches have their own, individual, parish-sponsored programs in Guatemala. Our Lady of Fatima has a long history of educational support (“Our Lady of Fatima parishioners continue long-term commitment to Guatemala mission,” IR 7/5/07) and St. Thomas More manages the Family-To-Family program, which has diocese-wide support and participation.

(Jerry Monks is a member of the diocese’s Guatemala Commission.)

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