Fr. John and friends, thank you for putting your faith into action by traveling to Guatemala to share the love of Christ with poor children and families. You have built a unique friendship with villagers in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. It’s an unfolding love story that’s changing lives in both Central America and the United States.
The men, women and children you served are deeply grateful to the American Martyrs’ Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus Council 4567. This is what love looks like in Santa Rosa:
Before your support of the new chapel construction in La 46, the people celebrated Mass in a shack without walls and a leaky roof. The new chapel can comfortably seat 200 people and help the Catholics in La 46 live out their faith. This chapel will host Mass, prayer groups, Bible studies and spiritual retreats. God bless you for making a spiritual investment!
Because of your generosity, there’s a roof on the chapel of La Concepción! Now 1,266 men, women and children have a dignified place to worship. The villagers are overjoyed by the new roof on the chapel. “Considering the pandemic in which we live, sending that aid to our community is the response of Our Lord Jesus Christ to give us a worthy place where Holy Mass is celebrated,” said Jesús Pantaleon, a member of the community.
Although La 46 desperately wanted a chapel to worship the Lord, the village didn’t own enough land to make the project possible. Then, a single mother named Sandra graciously offered to give up her land and house so the effort could move forward. It was an answer to the parish’s prayer, and all Sandra wanted in return was another plot of land, four posts, and a few bags of concrete to rebuild her home.
Since Sandra suffered from various health problems, including leukemia and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that caused a pulmonary embolism. Because of her health challenges, her doctor told her she could no longer live in a house with dirt floors. She was also caring for three teenage daughters, including Kerly, who has cerebral palsy. It was clear that Sandra needed a better house than the one she gave up for the parish, and that’s why your support was vital.
Thanks to you, Sandra received a new 3-room house with a cement foundation, a waterproof roof, secure doors and windows, and electrical wiring. This was a dream come true for Sandra and her daughters!
Sadly, Sandra recently passed away while undergoing chemotherapy in Guatemala City. Her family is devastated, but they’re pressing on and trusting in the Lord. Your generosity also provided a house for Sandra’s elderly mother, Faustina and her husband and son (both disabled), so that she can also help care for Sandra’s daughters.
At Hogar de la Niña Santa Rosa de Lima, a new tile floor was installed in the kitchen, pantry and the children’s dining room. Also, new gutters were installed in the main building, school classrooms area. Most importantly, you invested in the hearts and lives of girls who need positive adult mentors and friends. Thank you for showing compassion!
A big part of Father John’s impact on the Diocese of Santa Rosa is bringing spiritual refreshment to the people. By celebrating daily Mass in different communities, you brought encouragement to people who usually only get to worship every 4-6 weeks. Thank you for bringing the Eucharist to hundreds of spiritually hungry villagers!
When your friends in Guatemala needed your support to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic, you compassionately provided for Fr. Raul Monterroso’s team to distribute food baskets to 1,112 people throughout the diocese.
One of the families you supported was Ramon and Olimpia Coro and their five children. Ramon is a construction worker, and the pandemic restrictions have made it difficult to find work to feed his children. When the diocese delivered a food basket sponsored by your parish, the Coro family knew God was taking care of them. Thank you for supporting your friends!
Jesus’ commission to carry His love to the ends of the Earth is a serious calling! It sometimes takes sacrificial spirit, courage and perseverance. We’re grateful that you brought all three to the people of Guatemala through compassionate service and generosity.
May this love story continue to flourish in the years to come! God bless you!
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”