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Lunes, 18 Febrero 2019 22:28

What a Few Affiliates Can Do

Written by Ron Covey
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Ron Covey – Houston Chapter

Have you ever wondered, as I do, what caused the miracle of Caminando Por La Paz to continue? In the nearly ten years since Father Tom Goekler's death, we at Caminando have received an unbelievable amount of support from our fellow Affiliates. We believe that God has used the Affiliates to continue the miracle of Caminando.

After a nutritious meal, the students enjoy the tutoring session.

When I first became involved with the Caminando Por La Paz Catholic Worker House, the Catholic Worker House in New Haven, CT, sent us some money for our educational efforts. I was not sure how I could communicate sufficiently with the folks at Caminando, so I arranged a meeting with the Affiliates of the Guatemala Chapter. That Guatemala Chapter continues to be in strong solidarity with us, giving encouragement to us and all our activities. Rosa Beatriz (Guatemala chapter and Affiliate Board member) says, “Our meetings make us feel as one community.” She also says it is such a joy to see our red truck coming with the people from “Zone 18,” as they refer to us from Caminando.

You may know we have a Coffee Project which we originated to financially support the program. While still far from that goal, we are well on the way. Our greatest sales come from Affiliate chapters. We offer special thanks to the Albany Chapter. They sell more of our coffee than anyone else. We also thank Affiliates who purchase our coffee either in person or via the internet. A member of the Subway Chapter sells our coffee at several events in northern New Jersey. She has supported our other needs by collecting shoes, backpacks, and school supplies for us.

The Las Vegas Affiliate Chapter has also done a great deal. First, they sponsored one of our children. Later, they purchased our Family Coffee, which helps to support our educational efforts. Recently, they were instrumental in our being connected to Labdoo (https://www.labdoo.org)  and our now being in the process of receiving ten laptops with educational software.

Our Affiliate friends on the West Coast must not be overlooked. San Lorenzo, Seattle and other West Coast chapters and Affiliates have purchased quantities of our coffee and sponsored our children’s education. Most of the people who sponsor one of our children are Maryknoll Affiliates.

My own Houston Affiliate Chapter has been a source of great support for Caminando. Their practical advice and guidance to me personally helps support and guide the program in Guatemala. Incidentally, Father Tom’s Family Coffee is the only coffee served at activities at the Maryknoll House in Houston.

Our gratitude is great for all the wonderful help we have been receiving from Affiliates. Without your help, we could not have continued the work that was left to us by Fr. Tom’s untimely death. We often tout the idea that Caminando Por La Paz is the only Affiliate-operated mission program. “Truth be told,” it is an all-Affiliates program because without your help, Caminando could not exist.

Note: You can contact us through these two links: www.fathertomsmission.org and www.fathertomsfamilycoffee.org/.


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