A four-person delegation from the Diocese of Wilmington is heading to San Marcos, Guatemala on August 13, 2009, the Diocese of Wilmington announced today. The delegation – an activity of the continuing Global Solidarity Partnership (GSP) between the two dioceses – includes Mr. Jack Bradley from St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Wilmington, Ms. Mary Jo Frohlich representing St. Paul Parish in Wilmington and a member of the Wilmington GSP Committee, Mr. Tony Imhoff from St. Thomas More Oratory in Newark, Delaware, the University of Delaware Campus Ministry and the GSP Committee and Ms. Pat Sormani representing Resurrection Parish in Pike Creek, Delaware.
The delegation will include a visits to the village of Hoja Blanca near Sibinal – the site of the third water project completed by the GSP; a parish, school, and finca (plantation) near Tecun Uman to initiate a partnership with St. John the Beloved parish and school in Wilmington; and to Nuevo Jeronimo school to deliver school supplies donated by St. Edmond’s Academy in Wilmington.
The Diocese of Wilmington and the Diocese of San Marcos, Guatemala have had a global solidarity partnership since March of 2003. The idea of the partnership was initiated by the Most Reverend Alvaro Ramazzini, Bishop of San Marcos and the Most Reverend Michael A. Saltarelli, then Bishop of Wilmington and arose from Pope John Paul II’s statement of 1999 which called for “One Church in America, north and south,” and for concrete relationships of solidarity.
The partnership is managed by committees in Wilmington and San Marcos and is facilitated with the assistance of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community.
Over the last six years, a number of parishes and schools in the Diocese of Wilmington have participated in the partnership by raising funds to bring potable water to villages in San Marcos, aid medical clinics, hurricane relief and other projects. A number of delegations from Wilmington have visited San Marcos, and delegations from San Marcos have visited Wilmington.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 58 parishes, 21 missions and 35 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are approximately 233,000 Catholics in the diocese.