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


Diocese’s Guatemala Mission efforts celebrated

the Inland Register

(From the May 16, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Father David Baronti, long-time missioner priest from the Spokane Diocese, holds a framed sketch of his Guatemala parish, presented to him during a celebration of the mission last month. (IR photo courtesy of the Guatemala Commission)

“We have much to celebrate after 54 years of mission,” said Donna Connell, Chairperson of the Diocesan Guatemala Commission, at the recent first annual Guatemala Mission Celebration held at Barrister Winery in Spokane. “Yet poverty persists, and we are in a position now to offer continued help to those who need it most.”

Over 110 people gathered last month to socialize and visit about the mission, and to hear speakers, led by Bishop Blase Cupich, who emphasized the importance of serving the poor in Guatemala as well as locally.

Father David Baronti, the Spokane Diocese priest who has served in the Guatemala Mission for the last 37 years, spoke of the inner beauty of the people in the Highlands – their sense of “we” rather than “I” – which holds him in Guatemala.

Father Baronti thanked all supporters of the mission, and was presented with a framed drawing of the church he serves, Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán.

Jim Tate of St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, described (with photos) how his parish initially became involved in the mission four years ago. He explained their involvement, including a youth group trip to the mission, internet hookup, and computers for the schools in Ixtahuacán.

Donna and Ron Connell utilized a slide presentation to highlight and celebrate progress made in the mission territory during the years of the Spokane Diocese’s involvement, including increased native participation, thousands of people receiving the sacraments, faith formation, huge improvements in health care, and a significant decrease in the illiteracy rate. They thanked all parishes and individuals for support and prayer.

In appreciation for over 25 years of leadership, vision, and dedication to the Guatemala Mission and Diocesan Commission, Clara and Jerry Monks, founders of Family-to-Family, were presented with a framed calligraphic picture.

Father John Birk, Spokane Diocesan priest, was recognized and thanked with a framed collage of photos from the mission for his continued years of involvement on the Guatemala Commission.

Ron Connell pledged, “Our goals are to continue to support the present programs, while evaluating and ensuring that your donations are used where they do the most good.”

Concluding the evening were door prize drawings along with sales of weavings and coffee, products of the people of the mission.

This event was sponsored and planned by the Diocesan Guatemala Commission in cooperation with Barrister Winery’s owner, Greg Lipsker.

Bishop Cupich was among those who spoke during the celebration last month of the diocese’s mission effort in Guatemala. (IR photo courtesy of the Guatemala Commission)


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