Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Friends and Family,
Back home to another world after a wonderful rest and sharing with relatives in Ireland and England. I am richly blessed!

Yesterday I walked through the cemetery in town and visited with many of the people of our community,who sat quietly on graves of their loved ones. November 1st and 2nd; All Saints and All Souls day, in the Catholic Tradition, are celebrated throughout the country. Banks and many businesses are closed for the day. Our clinic also pauses to give opportunity for workers to be present to their families and departed loved ones. Candles glowing, flood the cemetery as people vigil through the night. Live bands go grave to grave, some say it is to wake the dead to be present with them. There are few fancy headstones; rather family members repaint the tombs and put anew the names and day of death on the tomb stone. Flowers are on practically every grave, even the most poor; sometimes flowers are gathered from the roadsides when they cannot be bought.

Guatemala City is recognized as the fifth most violent city in the world, not exactly an honor. Premature death from violence and increased poverty is a sad reality for many families!

Today by 6am all the numbers to see our doctor were gone, even though the clinic officially opens at 8am. Consult is $2.00, for those who can pay. The numbers of sick increases and poverty and hunger are on the rise. Tomorrow one of our female workers of 18 years will have surgery for cervical cancer in a private hospital. We will accompany her every step of the way. Ironically she is the person who performs papanicolau smears in our clinic regularly. Our maintenance person of 15 years is in diabetic crisis. Chico, the worker who accompaniews patients to city hospitals, returned with a patient being treated for sarcoma in the Cancer Hospital. We are grateful for your support and we dare to reach out to ask for your help and support. We who have been given much, much is expected of us!! Blessings and THANK YOU!

Donations can be made on line at: or send to
Guatemala Mission
Diocese of Helena
P.O. Box 1729
Helena, Montana