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

Broad support seen for Guatemala mission

by Jerry Monks, for the Inland Register

(From the June 18, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

When members of the Guatemala Commission visited Guatemala last year, they encountered an exceptional young man in the Spokane mission village of Ixtahuacán. The Mayan Indian native had a unique talent and was using that blessing in a spiritually significant way.

It was Sunday, and the visitors entered a large room of a previously abandoned building. In the room were approximately 100 children who had just scrambled over some dirt trails after the 9 a.m. Mass at Santa Catarina Church. They had come for a religious education session, and many were sitting in small groups on the bare wooden floor, since the room lacked amenities such as enough folding chairs.

The religious education instructor, Pablo Raxuleu, was on a makeshift stage. With the help of his guitar and his engaging personality, Pablo had the attention of the groups of 5- to 12-year-olds in singing, prayer, and stories from the Bible. The youngsters sang out vocally and responded enthusiastically to Pablo’s questions about their activities and their faith.

The Spokane visitors noted that the children had little in the way of religious education booklets, or even photocopied materials. This deficiency became even more relevant after Pablo informed the visitors that these children were only part of the larger group of close to 500 children.

Back in Spokane, the Guatemala Commission members sought ways to help meet the religious education needs of the children’s program in Ixtahuacán. This prompted the initiation of the “Coffee Quilt” raffle that was carried on in various parishes of the Diocese from January to May (see IR 2/19/2015).

Thanks to the generous support from more than a dozen parishes, the Guatemala Commission has raised $3,127 from the sale of raffle tickets. Contributing parishes were Assumption, St. Peter, St. Thomas More, St. Augustine, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Charles, Sacred Heart, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, Spokane; St. Mary’s Presentation, Deer Park; St. Patrick, Assumption, and St. Francis of Assisi, Walla Walla; St. Patrick, Pasco; St. Mary, Spokane Valley; St. Joseph, Colbert; and St. Mark, Waitsburg.

The raffled quilt featured 42 beautiful coffee cups in a “Java in any Language” theme. Below each cup is the name used for coffee in various languages throughout the world. The quilt, with its blending of international names into one colorful creation, is particularly appropriate for this fund-raiser, because the support comes from bringing together (i.e., communion) several parishes of the diocese in support of the religious education of many (i.e., communion) of the poor in the Guatemala mission community.

The quilt raffle took place during the Guatemala Commission Celebration at Barrister Winery on Monday, May 18. The lucky winner was Art Griff of Walla Walla.

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