The Good News. Fr. Nicasio and Deacon Kevin, natives of the Sololá diocese, serve 29 communities—all considered part of the Ixtahuacan area—many of which are far from Ixtahuacan, over mountains and hills! They celebrate Mass as frequently as possible; however, for many parishes, that is once a month. Ixtahuacan boasts an active parish council, offering religious education, a youth program, and a catechist program. Fr. Nicasio and lead catechist Sebastian are training over 200 catechists in preparation for the sacraments. Catechists also hold prayer services several times a week at the various parishes.
Sr. Marie Tolle, Sister of Charity of New York, served the area for over 40 years, doing pastoral and medical work. She has trained hundreds of catechists and most recently served as administrator of the medical clinics. Having retired, she is now in New York recovering from a recent illness.
While visiting, Chris, a fish biologist, also gave advice about their fish hatchery.
The Bad News. The religious education building in the small village of Ixtahuacan Antigua needs stabilization because erosion of the ground beneath the old building has made it unsafe to use. A source of funding for 90% of this project was obtained under the agreement that the community would raise the remaining 10% – $2,000. This would be an impossible feat because the villagers, while rich in faith and love, are monetarily poor, so their donation will have to be conducting a “fundraiser.”
Should anyone be interested in making a donation, please contact Donna Connell, the chair of the diocesan Guatemala Commission, at (509) 924-1346. To learn more about their efforts in Sololá, please visit: https://dioceseofspokane.org/diocese-of-solola.