Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Generous support from Eastern Washington Catholics finances ministry, health care, and education in Guatemala Highlands

by Donna Connell, for the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 21, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Pictured with Father David Baronti are two of the parish leaders and some of the female students in the village of Stzu’cubal (Ixtahuacán) who are receiving scholarships funded by donations from parishioners of the Spokane Diocese donations. All students are required to pay for tuition and supplies when they attend school, and many cannot afford it. The Guatemala Commission has now added students from another village, doubling the number of students receiving support. (IR photo courtesy of the Guatemala Commission)

The Diocesan Guatemala Commission would like to sincerely thank all parishes, groups and individuals who donated to the Diocesan Guatemala Mission during the past fiscal year of July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014. We are happy to announce that we met our financial commitment, supporting religious, health, economic, social, and educational programs vital in the lives of the people of our sister diocese of Sololá, Guatemala, where the malnourishment rate is one of the highest in the world.

The people of the Guatemala Highlands send their deepest appreciation and prayers for your support this past year. My husband, Ron, and I had the opportunity to visit with these lovely but extremely poor Mayan people in both November and in February. During each visit, we were thanked many times and were asked to extend that thankfulness to all of the people in the Diocese of Spokane who support the poor of Guatemala with prayer and financial assistance.

Parishes contributed support to various programs, including pastoral work, seminarians, the religious education program in Ixtahuacán, and Sister Marie Tolle of the Sisters of Charity of New York: St. Patrick Parish, Pasco; St. Patrick, St. Francis of Assisi, and Assumption Parishes, Walla Walla; St. Peter Parish Religious Education program and St. Patrick Parish, Spokane; St. Mary Presentation Parish, Deer Park; and the Knights of Columbus of St. Mary Parish, Spokane Valley.

The mission’s health program includes four clinics, Dr. José Miguel Vasquez, a Sisters of Charity administrator, and health promoters. The program received support from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, Spokane; St. Mary Parish, Spokane Valley; St. Patrick Parish, Pasco; St. Mary of the Rosary Parish, Chewelah; Holy Ghost Parish, Valley; and Sacred Heart Parish, Springdale.

Support of the Marian Center and youth program in Ixtahuacán and the Radio Station Nawal Estereo was received from Sacred Heart Parish, Pullman; St. Joseph Parish, Colbert; and St. Patrick and St. Francis of Assisi parishes, Walla Walla.

Educational programs in the Guatemala mission include Colegio Nahualá, Our Lady of the Highway Preschool, and scholarships for Ixtahuacán students. Contributing support were St. Augustine Parish, Spokane; Assumption School, Walla Walla; St. Patrick and St. Francis of Assisi parishes, Walla Walla; and St. Joseph Parish, Colbert.

Contributions from Assumption Parish, Spokane, and St. Mary Presentation Parish, Deer Park, were unrestricted and were used to complete budgeted commitments in a variety of the above-listed programs, as well as support travel expenses for Father David Baronti as he travels to 14 parishes in the mountainous highlands. Father Baronti, a priest of the Spokane Diocese, has served the parish in Ixtahuacán for the past 38 years, part of the partnership between the Dioceses of Spokane and Sololá.

St. Thomas More Parish and Our Lady of Fatima Parish, both in Spokane, operate programs that are separate from, yet harmonious with, the Guatemala Commission programs.

An increase of 3 percent has been added to the present fiscal year (2014-2015) budget to account for inflation. The Guatemala Commission is asking all parishes and individuals to keep this increase in mind as they offer assistance this year. New donations are welcomed! We ask you to join us in this sharing of our “wealth” with those less fortunate but very devout in their Catholic faith.

Donations can be sent to: Guatemala Mission, P.O. Box 1453, Spokane, WA. 99210-1453.

More information about the Guatemala Mission can be found on the Spokane Diocese web site:

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