Parish roundup: Literacy Wagon for migrant kids; Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine

This article appears in the The Field Hospital feature series. View the full series.

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Jean Stamatis, a volunteer from Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity Parish in Winnetka, Illinois, reads to children as part of the Literacy Wagon program for children of migrant families in the Diocese of Yakima, Washington. (Catholic Extension/Rich Kalonick)
Jean Stamatis, a volunteer from Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity Parish in Winnetka, Illinois, reads to children as part of the Literacy Wagon program for children of migrant families in the Diocese of Yakima, Washington. The ministry was made possible by a multiyear pledge by the Illinois parish to Catholic Extension's Parish Partnerships program. (Catholic Extension/Rich Kalonick)

Through the generosity of Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity Parish in Winnetka, Illinois, and coordination of Catholic Extension, a summer literacy and learning program for children of migrant laborers is making an impact in the Diocese of Yakima, Washington. Called Literacy Wagon, the effort is one of several under the wing of Extension's Parish Partnerships project.

Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity also backs the efforts of A Just Harvest, a program that supports the hungry and homeless in the greater Chicago area.

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Carolyn and Pat Creedican (Courtesy of Catholic Extension and the Baker Diocese)
Carolyn and Pat Creedican (Courtesy of Catholic Extension and the Baker Diocese)

More from Catholic Extension: Parishioners Pat and Carolyn Creedican of Bend, Oregon, have been nominated for the organization's prestigious Lumen Christi Award. Longtime members of St. Francis of Assisi Church and one of four dozen nominations, the couple has helped found youth and young adult ministries, supported RCIA, taught religious education, worked with young marrieds, volunteered extensively at the local shelter for the homeless, and more.

A 2006 mission trip by members of St. Ambrose Parish in Brunswick, Ohio, to help rebuild a hurricane-devastated community in the Dominican Republic "has evolved into an ongoing community building ministry," reports Northeast Ohio Catholic Magazine. Some 150 parishioners travel to Higüey in June and December. Named Mission Possible, the effort has led to construction of a community center, a school and a water system, as well as increased access to electricity and donations of clothing, toys and building materials. More volunteers apply than can be accepted.

Researchers tell us that a third of grandparents live more than 50 miles from their closest grandchild, and for more than half of grandparents, 200 miles separate them and at least one grandchild. But long-distance grandparenting can be done.

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The largest Catholic church in Oklahoma will bear the name of native son Blessed Fr. Stanley Rother, a martyred missionary priest from Holy Trinity Parish in Okarche. Groundbreaking will take place Nov. 3 in Oklahoma City for Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine. It will seat 2,000 and cost $40 million.

On the day after the July 23, 2017, beatification of Rother, the first mission church in the world named for him was dedicated in Decatur, Arkansas. Fittingly, Blessed Stanley Rother Mission is a Spanish-speaking congregation. Parishioners are immigrants primarily from Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico.

While Rother's remains will be entombed at the Oklahoma City shrine, at the request of his Guatemala parishioners, his heart was removed and enshrined under the altar of the church where he had served. The priest was murdered in 1981 in his rectory at Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, where he had ministered since 1968.

[Dan Morris-Young is NCR West Coast correspondent.]

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