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


Colbert’s Knights of Columbus take the stage for mission benefit

by Jim Tate, for the Inland Register

(From the August 20, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

The Colbert Knights of Columbus production of Cinderella benefitted medical work in clinics in Guatemala that had been overseen by Sister Immaculata Burke (left), a Sister of Charity of New York. Sister Immaculata, pictured in 2009, died in 2013. (IR photo by Eric Meisfjord)

Let me tell you about a fairytale with a few surprises. It’s Cinderella with an all-male cast as performed by the talented Knights of Columbus of St. Joseph Parish in Colbert. It’s a fairytale that supports blood testing in Guatemala.

St. Joseph Parish has been supporting programs in Sololá, Spokane’s sister diocese in Guatemala, for a few years now. Several members of the parish have travelled to Guatemala to deliver medicines and computers to support clinics and schools. The parish also supports youth programs and a Marian Center at Santa Caterina in the village of Ixtahuacán.

Each year, the late Sister Immaculata Burke of the Sisters of Charity of New York and long-time administrator of several of the mission’s medical clinics, would decide on one specific project for a clinic where she needed assistance. In December of 2013, just before her death at the age of 92, Sister asked for assistance establishing a lab in one of the clinics. She knew this was a very tall order and would give us something to work for after her passing.

In an effort to fulfill her final request, the Guatemala Committee of St. Joseph Parish determined point-of-care testing was the answer. We learned that the i-STAT, a hand-held blood testing unit the size of a tablet, could efficiently do the work of a laboratory. The committee believed we could annually raise the money for the cartridges used in the i-STAT machine, but the combined cost of the cartridges and the machine was probably more than we could do by ourselves. We immediately turned to our Knights of Columbus. Our Knights work tirelessly on helping others and they love a challenge.

Cinderella was the answer.

The St. Joseph Knights’ production of Cinderella was no small task. Grand Knight Art Smalley led the cast as the heroine, Cinderella, along with the pastor, Father Tim Hays, as the king. Of course there was the evil step-mother (Eric Hyman) and fairy godmother (Patrick Timmins), as well as a handsome prince (Doug Weyer). The Knights also provided a fantastic supporting cast, skilled stage hands, and amazing scenery. Through four performances these brave Knights sang, danced, and performed to the delight of audiences for a great cause.

Cinderella was a success. The performance raised over $12,000. The play was so successful that enough funds were raised to purchase the i-STAT blood testing device along with other equipment for use in the clinics. This modern equipment will greatly improve healthcare for patients by lowering costs and attaining quicker, lab-quality results.

The i-STAT provides results within minutes for up to 30 lab tests, accelerating patient care decision-making. It also eliminates process steps and handoffs decreasing the incidence of errors and aiding in patient safety. In addition, patients will get their diagnosis from a local doctor that speaks their native language. With the help of a hard-working group of Knights, Cinderella’s fairy godmother has done a magical job fulfilling Sister Immaculata’s dream.


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