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

Dental ‘Dream Team’ works in Guatemala Mission

by Sisters Marie Tolle and Cecilia Harriendorf SCNY, for the Inland Register

(From the December 16, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Dr. Bart Roach (center) of Kennewick, along with a team of dental professionals, recently donated time and expertise in the Guatemala Mission. (IR photo courtesy of the Guatemala Commission)

A dental team from Washington State recently volunteered their services at our clinics in Novillero and Nahaulá, Guatemala, last October. The energy and commitment of dentists Bart Roach and Greg Fradel, and dental hygienist, Michelle Love-Calier and dental assistant Alena Nelson, were a great gift to the Sisters of Charity, to the people we seek to serve, and a wonderful extension of the Diocese of Spokane’s long-standing support of Guatemala.

Dr. José Miguel, who heads our medical clinics, took the lead in gearing up our dental equipment for use.  Additionally, the team from Washington donated large amounts of dental supplies.

In one week the crew of five was able to complete 53 cleanings, 389 fillings, 167 extractions and 234 sealants. Dr. Roach’s mother, Nancy Roach, also joined us. In addition to providing an extra set of hands, Nancy visited two schools, demonstrated proper brushing, and distributed toothpaste and brushes to all the children.

Dr. Roach has indicated his desire to duplicate this week-long effort three times a year. We are prepared to support his dreams and efforts in every way possible.

During his time in dental school, Dr. Roach was inspired by the work of the late Sister Immaculata Burke, a Sister of Charity of New York who ministered for decades in Guatemala. Dr. Roach was able to visit her just three days before her death last February. She expressed her gratitude that the mission clinics would soon have dental services.

Dr. Roach has started a non-profit to support his work, registered as “Sonrisa Immaculata” (“the Immaculate Smile” – although “sonrisa” can also mean “sunrise”) in honor of Sister Immaculata.

Please keep this enthusiastic young man and his can-do spirit in your prayers. Thanks to his generosity, we’re smiling brighter in Guatemala.

(Sisters Marie and Cecelia are members of the Sisters of Charity, New York, ministering in the Guatemala Mission.)

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