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

A Colbert junction of books, chocolate, and deer will benefit Guatemala programs

the Inland Register

(From the June 16, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

The Social Justice Ministry at St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, is once again holding their semiannual used book sale the weekend of June 24-26.

Hundreds of books from the classics to books on the Best Seller lists, children’s books, religious books and everything in between are available for a free-will donation.

This year the sale will feature Nectar of Life Fair Traded Coffee, Guatemalan Coffee from the Family-to-Family coffee plantation in Guatemala, and Fair Traded Chocolate.

Deer have been somewhat problematic for Colbert-area gardeners this year. In an effort to save the flowers, a product called Deer Out will also be sold. It’s a deer repellent guaranteed to keep those beautiful deer from eating the beautiful flowers. The local distributor of the product is making a $5 donation for every bottle sold.

The book sale will take place at St. Joseph Church, 3720 E. Colbert Rd. in Colbert. The hours of the sale are Friday, June 24, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Saturday, June 26, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; and Sunday, June 26, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

So, just how did the Social Justice Ministry get into the used book sale business?

It all started when Father Mike Kwiatkowski, then pastor of St. Joseph, initiated “Just Faith,” an intensive, small-group process which introduced the participants to an exploration of social justice. The program graduates then began a parish Social Ministry Program.

More Just Faith classes were held and more graduates joined the Social Justice Ministry. One direct result has been travel by members of the ministry to visit the mission work in the Diocese of Sololá, Guatemala. There they witnessed the work of the Spokane Guatemala Commission and the Family-to-Family program.

The Mayan community there clearly includes the poorest of the poor, as well as some of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.

Upon their return, parishioners were energized and shared their stories with their fellow Social Justice members. They agreed there was work to be done and money to be raised for Mayan brothers and sisters.

Over the years, St. Joseph parishioners have donated tens of thousands of dollars in support of a number of programs, including:

• Scholarships for Guatemalan students, who after the sixth grade are required to pay part of their educational costs.
• Support of the Ixtahuacán Youth Group, which provides both religious educational programs as well as social programs for the youth of the communities.
• This year the parishioners are providing a computer, sound system, and microphone to enhance religious education programs.
• Colbert parishioners also support the maintenance of the day-to-day housekeeping needs of the Marian Center, which serves as the parish community center.
• The parish has provided medical supplies and vitamins for four clinics.

Last year, the parish Knights of Columbus raised over $14,000 and provided the clinics with a state-of-the-art handheld diagnostic tool that produces real lab-quality blood tests within minutes. For many of these Mayan clinic patients, this is the first time that their blood has ever been tested.

(For further information, or to donate books to the sale, call (708) 217-2264 or email

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