The Corpus Christi Companion Parish Committee focuses on developing and deepening our parish relationship with the Union de las Aldeas Corpus Christi, our companion parish in San Sebastian, Guatemala. The committee sponsors events and activities within our parish through which the lives and hopes of our companions become known to us, as well as visits to Union de las Aldeas Corpus Christi.
There has been a historical relationship between the community of St. John the Baptist and the Union de las Aldeas Corpus Christi that began to take shape in the first few years of our parish. St. John the Baptist became connected with this particular community through two members of our parish whose sister, a School Sister of Notre Dame, was the pastoral leader for the Union de las Aldeas Corpus Christi.
The Union de las Aldeas Corpus Christi is a parish in the Diocese of San Marcos, Guatemala. The Union de las Aldeas Corpus Christi is a “union” of nine small villages (aldeas). This rural community was hit hard by the 36-year Civil War that ended in 1996, which was a reason the Sisters of Notre Dame came to serve in the region. In the beginning, they had no pastor and relied on the availability of pastors from neighboring parishes to celebrate the sacramental life of the Church. For several years, a small group of missionaries from the Salvatorian order in Spain have lived in these villages ministering to the community. They were invited by Cardinal, then Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini who was the Bishop of the Diocese of San Marcos at the time.
However, due to the distance between the villages and lack of transportation, each village is not able to have Mass celebrated weekly. Instead, there are trained catechists in each village who celebrate a Word and Communion service in place of a Mass. The Salvatorian priest travels between the villages to celebrate Mass each weekly. A few times a year, for large celebrations, the villages gather together at the main church located in the village of Cisguachin.
Over the years, we have worked with the Salvatorians to best support our Guatemalan brothers and sisters.
Below – San Sebastian is the village where the Salvatorians reside. The nine villages are located on either side of San Sebastian, surrounding the Tajamulco volcano.
The committee has helped support a number of projects over the years. These include:
- Stoves to provide better ventilation in homes, improving breathing issues
- Completion of church in Cisguachin, the central parish for the villages in the Union
- Construction of cinderblock homes, that provide protection against the elements and more stability
- Water filtration systems that provide clean drinking water
When it is safe to do so, we are planning on returning to Guatemala to continue growing in relationship with our brothers and sisters of the Union de la Aldeas, Corpus Christi. If you are interested in taking a trip, let us know!
Also, we like to lend our support to assist our fellow community members with needs they identify. This can be done via fundraising, educating, and advocacy. Currently, our community members have identified latrines as a need they would like to address. We are exploring ways we can join forces to improve hygiene within the region.
We meet monthly on the 2nd Wednesday at 7 PM. We would love to have you join us.
February 2020 February 2010
July 2013 – youth trip February 2007
July 2012 – youth trip