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PREPARES en español is coming to the diocese!

PREPARES En Español is Coming to The Diocese!

PREPARES of Central Washington is offering assistance in Spanish in some Diocese of Spokane parishes

As part of a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the PREPARES ministry of central Washington is lending a hand in the Spokane Diocese.

Because of the large percentage of Hispanics in the Yakima Diocese—75% of parishioners speak Spanish—PREPARES had to adapt. The statewide model works beautifully for our English speakers. However, language barriers existed for our monolingual Spanish population, plus cultural expectations are different.

The Spanish language-only volunteers have their roots, largely, in rural Mexico. They learn by doing rather than from text. They have a strong commitment to their parish and their priest, whose authority they respect. They generally have much lower incomes than our English-speaking volunteers and are younger, which means they are often very busy and find it difficult to devote an entire day to a training. Finally, they are used to handling community needs on an ad hoc basis, rather than creating a committee structure with procedures. Leaders emerge in these informal interactions.

PREPARES is open to everyone, no matter what language they speak, and the ministry depends on the volunteer support from parishes all over the state. Some donate diapers, others donate their time.

The current focus includes 10 parishes in the diocese in Okanogan, Franklin, Walla Walla, and Adams counties.

St. Paul’s in Eltopia, Franklin County, is a smaller church with an aging population. Dorothy Fangman saw promise there, and once she pointed it out, so did everyone else. Dorothy created a blanket-making ministry and, for 14 years, the Altar Society has been meeting to do what they can to keep children warm. Last month, the society made 50 blankets for PREPARES during its get-together. Dorothy died in 2018. With tears in her eyes, her daughter said, “Each time we are gathered here sewing these blankets, I feel close to her.” The Altar Society would be happy to show other parishes the secrets to their success!