Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Guatemala Commission hosts information night May 21; Bishop Cupich, Father Baronti to speak
the Inland Register
(From the April 17, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)
Father David Baronti baptizes a baby. Father Baronti, a missioner in Guatemala for nearly four decades, will be among the speakers at Barrister Winery for a celebration of the Guatemala Mission on May 21. (IR photo courtesy of the Guatemala Commission)
Father David Baronti, a priest of the Spokane Diocese currently serving in the Spokane mission in Guatemala, will speak at the second annual Guatemala Mission Celebration May 21 at Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave. in Spokane. The free event, which is open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m.
Father Baronti will join Bishop Blase Cupich on the 45-minuate agenda. The bishop will speak about his recent visit to Guatemala, including meeting Bishop Gonzalo de Villa SJ of the Diocese of Sololá/Chimaltenango.
The event will include a presentation from members of Our Lady of Fatima Parish and highlight the numerous ways that Spokane Diocese parishes support the poor in Guatemala.
Spokane holds the distinction of being one of the few dioceses in the United States to have administered a parish in a foreign country. The beginnings of Spokane’s Guatemala mission go back more than 50 years, when Pope Pius XII asked Spokane Bishop Bernard Topel to consider helping the poor in a diocese in the developing world. Guatemala was a Western Hemisphere country with some of the poorest indigenous people in the world. Bishop Topel chose to direct Spokane’s future efforts to the Mayan Indians in the mountainous Highlands of that Central American country.
Father Baronti is the eighth Spokane priest to have served in Guatemala. As noted in the Spokane Diocese’s centennial history published last year, Children of the Sun, Father Baronti has devoted his entire priestly life of 38 years to service of the Mayan people. His impact on their spiritual life has been termed “immense.”
In 1996, Father Baronti’s translation of the Catholic missal into the Native Quiché language merited the personal endorsement of Pope John Paul II.
In addition to bringing the sacraments to native people scattered throughout the remote mountainous region, Father Baronti has been responsible for a number of educational and economic advances. Included among them are several chapels and educational facilities, roads and bridges, a large community center, and local projects, such as a trout farm.
In addition to Father Baronti and Bishop Cupich, representatives of the many parishes already involved in various missionary activities will be in attendance. Those from other parishes are encouraged to attend. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages (water, coffee) will be provided, with wine available for purchase. Items made by Mayan people in the mission will be available for purchase as well.
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