Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Guatemala Mission sees increased support from Eastern Washington parishioners

by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register

(From the August 16, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

Parishioners of the Diocese of Spokane have again maintained their support for the Sister Diocese Program established 52 years ago by Bishops Bernard Topel of Spokane and Angelo Melotto of Sololá, Guatemala. Income of $75,529 for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2012 provided support for ongoing religious, health, community, and educational programs for the Mayan Indians in the Highlands of Guatemala.

Nineteen parishes were the mainstay of support, with St. Mary in Spokane Valley leading the way with $15,676 for the clinics and health programs. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes ($4,736) and St. Mary of the Rosary, Chewelah, in cooperation with Holy Ghost Parish, Valley, and Sacred Heart Parish, Springdale ($1,388) also helped with health programs. They were assisted by Family-To-Family ($1,660) and individual donors ($2,200).

St. Patrick Parish, Spokane, continued its long-standing support for the seminary in Solola ($701), which also received a $450 assist from the Knights of Columbus of St. Mary in Spokane Valley.

St. Patrick Parish, Pasco, helped with support of salaries ($7,304) for the two Sisters of Charity who operate out of their convent in Novillero. St. Patrick and St. Francis of Assisi parishes in Walla Walla also directed some of their help to the Sisters’ compensation ($1,650), and some to the radio station ($1,650), as well as to a primary school ($1,650). Additional radio station funding came from Sacred Heart Parish, Pullman ($2,963).

The Colegio in Nahualá received funding from Spokane’s St. Augustine Parish ($5,572), and from children at Assumption School in Walla Walla ($250), as well as from individual donations. St. Joseph Parish, Otis Orchards, helped out with $1,500 for education, as did St. Mary School ($700) and the Catholic Daughters ($625), both of Spokane Valley.

Pastoral support was received from Assumption Parish, Walla Walla ($4,504) plus a large number of individuals in the Walla Walla area ($2,225).

Parishioners from St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, furthered the mission goals on several fronts. In addition to increasing their support for Father David Baronti’s Marian Center ($1,740), they provided assistance for the youth group ($720), and for educational programs ($1,650) in Ixtahuacán. St Joseph Parish is also enhancing their connectivity to mission programs by enabling some of their youth to participate in a working visit to the Highlands this summer.

Of significant help were unrestricted funds from Assumption Parish, Spokane ($5000), St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla ($500), and St. Mary’s Presentation Parish, Deer Park ($603), plus a storm relief donation from Sacred Heart Parish, Tekoa.

The parish donations received, coupled with individual contributions, permitted the funding of all budgeted programs. The Guatemala Commission was also able to help with some of the transportation costs of Father Baronti, the resident Spokane Diocese priest in Guatemala.

Our Lady of Fatima and St. Thomas More parishes, Spokane, operate individual programs in coordination with those of the diocese. Our Lady of Fatima’s focus is upon educational needs while the Family-To-Family program of St. Thomas More Parish emphasizes economic development.

The Guatemala Commission is very appreciative of the continued support from parishioners for all Guatemala mission programs of the Diocese of Spokane.

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

Tzamjuyub Celebration: Residents of the very remote village of Tzamjuyub, Guatemala, celebrate the dedication of a Trade Center in the mid-1990s. The center was built by Family-To-Family, centered at Spokane’s St. Thomas More Parish, which had to complete a road and bridges to gain access to the Mayan community. The project brought solar powered electric lights to the village for the first time. Carpentry, sewing, and other courses were then offered to the residents. Seven years later, a First Communion service was held in the village. Father David Baronti joined Sololá’s Bishop Raul Martinez in celebrating at an open-air Mass attended by hundreds of villagers. Sister Marie Tolle, of the Sisters of Charity helped prepare the 65 youngsters for the sacrament. The shirts and blouses of the First Communicants were made as part of a sewing project in the Tzamjuyub Trade Center. Spokane Diocese parishes help fund Father Baronti and the pastoral work of the Sisters who train catechists to bring the sacraments to remote villages like Tzamjuyub. (IR photo courtesy of the Guatemala Commission)

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