Among the many forms of doing mission is the Affiliate-directed program in Guatemala City, Caminando por la Paz. What do we do? The primary focus since 2010 has been educating children in one of the most marginalized barrios of Guatemala City. Some local children are placed in local schools. We offer tutoring for any child in the neighborhood, and for many this is their only educational opportunity. Recognizing that nutrition is a major problem, we serve a nutritious meal to the kids when they come for tutoring.
The local needs are great, and we strive to do as much as possible. Working with others is an important part of any mission. Thus, we have appropriate connections to donate bread weekly to the area’s needy families. Our strong ties with “Shoes to the World” have allowed us to distribute over 400 pairs of shoes in the past two years. You can learn more about them at www.shoestotheworld.com.
At times we serve as a Catholic Worker House. Additionally, there are community service projects too numerous to mention here.
When we think of mission, we cannot help but ask, “What about spirituality?” At Caminando por la Paz, our spirit-directed attitude is: “We are here to make one little corner of the world a little better.” There are, of course, the usual outward signs of spirituality. In Central America a tradition of a weekly holy hour is common. We have a weekly hour, akin to Bible study, for adults, and a monthly directed holy hour for the local children. Occasionally we take our neighbors and staff on a spiritual journey. During these times we have relaxation and meditation, and we close with a religious exercise. You will always see our people participating in the activities of the local parishes.
You can learn a lot more about us and our activities at www.fathertomsmission.org.
A major portion of our economic support comes from sales of our premium Honduran coffee at www.fathertomsfamilycoffee.org. Proceeds additionally assist the producers in Honduras.
There are as many ways of doing mission as there are baptized individuals. We hope that learning of our mission activities will stimulate you to define your own mission.