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

Silent auction will provide much-needed support for education in Guatemala

by Meg Caparoso and Alyce Rubio, for the Inland Register

(From the April 21, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

Our Lady of Help Catholic Girls School in San Andres Semetabaj, Guatemala, is one of the beneficiaries of financial support from the Guatemala Mission Committee at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane. (IR photo courtesy of Our Lady of Fatima Parish)

In the highlands of western Guatemala the school year is three months old. The students are anticipating the rainy season which will be in full force during May.

At Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane, the Guatemala Mission Committee (GMC) has finished dispersing funds for the current school year in Guatemala. This year over 70 percent of the funds have been sent to Our Lady of Help Catholic Girls School in San Andres Semetabaj, where 180 Mayan girls live on campus and are able to earn the rough equivalent of a high school education. They become teachers in home economics, bilingual childhood education, or earn bachelor degrees in science and literature. With this knowledge these indigenous young ladies will have expanded opportunities for employment and social advancement and go on to serve their Mayan communities.

The minor seminary for the Diocese of Sololá provides a high school education for about 45 boys. These are native Mayan young men who may enter the major seminary, but with their education can also go to the university in Quezaltenango or Guatemala City. This year we made a donation of $2,000 for the seminary to use as needed for scholarships and educational materials.

Preschools and early childhood development are particularly important in helping the Maya to move out of their lives of poverty and to live in the dignity that is the right of every human being. We support breakfast programs in three preschools around the diocese, in the towns of Novillero, Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán (Chuipatan), and Maria del Carmen.

Our parishioners are the backbone of our financial support for the education of the Maya. This spring our fundraising event hopes to make it possible to support special needs and educational projects for the next school year.

To this end, the GMC is sponsoring a silent auction with three pieces of framed original art from Guatemala as a focal point. Other auction items include four rounds of golf at the Circling Raven Gold Course in Worley, Idaho; three tickets to a Gonzaga University Men’s Basketball game; and two (girl/boy) baptismal baskets.

Many other gift baskets will be available, including salon, spa, and beauty packages; date night offerings for the symphony, the theater, dining, and wine; baby essentials; and children’s items.

The auction items will be exhibited after Masses on the second, third, and fourth weekends of May in the parish’s Gathering Place. Winners (who need not be present to win) will be declared May 22.

For information, call the parish office: (509) 747-7213.

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