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


Cautious optimism: Guatemala missionary on the road to recovery

by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register

(From the December 20, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

Sister Immaculata Burke, of the Sisters of Charity of New York, is pictured at right with Dr. José Miguel and another member of her Religious order, Sister Marie Tolle. (IR photo courtesy of the Guatemala Commission)

An earlier issue of the Inland Register (IR 10/18/2012 ) reported that Sister Immaculata Burke, the registered nurse who has managed the four clinics in the Spokane mission in Guatemala for 41 years, was gravely ill. However, the 92-year-old Sister of Charity had survived earthquakes, hurricanes, epidemics and even a civil war – one in which her name was on a “death list.” So the caution was expressed, “But don’t count her out, for she is a survivor.”

We are pleased to report that after some around-the-clock care, Sister Immaculata has survived and is doing better – making progress and now off oxygen. In fact, when an international phone call was recently placed to her convent in Novillero, Guatemala, Sister Immaculata answered the phone. “The other Sisters had gone into the city for supplies,” she said, so she was the only one there.

Thanks to all who contributed prayers for Sister’s recovery. At her advanced age, the road to recovery is still a challenging one. But Sister Immaculata is very grateful to the people of Spokane for their prayers for her. And she never hesitates to express her appreciation to the parishioners of Diocese of Spokane for the long-standing help they have extended to the clinics and medical programs she has supervised for so many years.

The most recent help was $1,500 worth of medicines taken to Guatemala last month. The medicines were detained for a short time by Guatemala customs, but have now been released and delivered to the clinic in Novillero.

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


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