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Mission to Guatemala

February 3, 2012

From left, Dustin Kremer, Cathy Koss, Gwen Fleace, Lisa Kremer, a couple of Guatemalans, a professor from Wisconsin and Cathy Fodness. The group had just returned from picking coffee beans, which look similar to cranberries when picked. 
 Submitted photo
Submitted photo
From left, Dustin Kremer, Cathy Koss, Gwen Fleace, Lisa Kremer, a couple of Guatemalans, a professor from Wisconsin and Cathy Fodness. The group had just returned from picking coffee beans, which look similar to cranberries when picked.
Gwen Fleace, Cathy Fodness, Lisa Kremer, Cathy Kloss and Dustin Kremer.
“The most rewarding part was going with Father John Grogan to the worship services up in the mountains,” explained Gwen Fleace of her recent trip to Guatemala. She wasn’t able to understand the mass, held in Spanish, but did enjoy the music and the atmosphere.

Fleace, along with several other members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Worthington, took part in a mission trip to Guatemala from January 10 to the 19th. Other members of the group were Faith Formation Director Lisa Kremer, Cathy Fodness, Dustin Kremer and Cathy Kloss.

The group spent their time at the Mission of San Lucas Poliman, which is a mission of the Diocese of New Ulm. Father Greg Schaffer from Minnesota organized the mission, and Father John Grogan is continuing it. It serves all the people of the state of San Lucas and those in about twenty surrounding communities.

Each evening, the mission group joined together for devotions and told about their most rewarding and most difficult times of the day.

“The hardest part was seeing a young boy near the airport,” Fleace said. One young boy, about 12, was dressed well and shining shoes. Another potential shoe shiner, about six, was tired, sad and dirty looking. “He looked up at me and caught my eye. To see him there and know there was nothing I could do for him was heart-breaking,” Fleace added.

The Mission of San Lucas Poliman is a 500 year old church, serving the Mayan population, the indigenous people of Guatemala. The volunteers from Minnesota visit to help the native people at their school, at their clinic, in their women’s center and to help with the coffee project.

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