Bishop Thomas recently returned from a trip to the mission in Guatemala. While there, he was able to observe the damage caused at Santiago de la Asuncion School by the September 2017 Earthquake. Read about Bishop’s mission to Guatemala HERE
The infrastructure of the school suffered serious damage. The Sister’s quarters are uninhabitable due to damage that threatens to collapse the ceiling and many other areas suffered cracks in supporting walls and pillars that have significantly weakened the structure. Should another earthquake hit the area, the damage could be catastrophic. The Diocese will soon receive repair estimates which may well exceed $75,000.
The school is adding and strengthening vocational education classes in such areas as sewing, computers, welding and auto mechanics. $12,000 will allow them to invest in sewing machines, computers, welding equipment and tools to enhance these programs which are designed to teach young people skills they can utilize in the marketplace.
One of the Mission buildings (a meeting area and kitchen) was constructed at least 45 years ago. There is a need to repair a portion of the roof structure. The estimated cost is $10,000. The repair work will begin soon, before the rainy season hits the area.
Bishop Thomas is asking that during the Lenten season parishes respond to these needs of our Guatemala students an Sisters by providing funds to be used toward the restoration and upgrading of the infrastructures in Guatemala, with any excess funds used to support additional improvements of the overall operation of the mission. The Diocese is planning to match up to $30,000 in donations for these purposes.
Donate online: Guatemala Repair Projects Lenten Appeal
Send Donations to:
Diocese of Helena
PO BOx 1729
Helena, MT 59624-1729
It is not safe to send donations directly to Guatemala.
Also, it is not practical to ship items to Guatemala as import taxes can match the value of the item.
In addition, purchasing items in Guatemala with donated funds assists the local economy and provides equipment that can be easily serviced locally.