[dropcap type=”4″]A[/dropcap] remote community in the far reaches of northwestern Arizona receives vital assistance from charitable donations.
Fr. Alfredo Valdez-Molina, parochial administrator, said the Mohave County mission is able to pay its bills because of CDA donations.
“The CDA has helped the mission for many years,” Fr. Valdez- Molina, said. “We are grateful because the mission couldn’t do it on its own.”
The Charity and Development Appeal supports over 70 community and charitable organizations that assist individuals and families in need or in crisis.
Support the CDA: donations.diocesephoenix.org or (602) 354-2218
In a show of gratitude, the multicultural community — which includes some parishioners who drive from Utah and Nevada — exceeded its own goal this year.
To date, the CDA has reached 85 percent of its $8.3 million goal.
Since its founding in 2004, the mission has steadily increased its numbers within its English and Spanish populace, along with its ability to offer catechesis and Mass in a new building.
Lulu Avila, an English-speaking catechist, attended the dedication this past fall with an appreciation for a fulltime priest and place to worship.
The unincorporated community of Scenic is isolated from the rest of the state of Arizona due to its location north of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.
When Avila was seeking to have her children receive the sacraments five years ago it was difficult; no one could be reached at the mission, and she was told by neighboring parishes in Utah and Nevada they couldn’t help.
Although it took nearly one year, Avila met with the mission’s founder, Sr. Guadalupe Magaña, HJ.
Through broken English and Spanish the two communicated their needs to each other; Sr. Magaña needed a catechist and Avila agreed to help.
Avila not only taught her children, but she was also her younger brother’s catechist — guiding them through the sacraments of the Catholic Church.
“I love our community and seeing how much the kids want to be involved,” Avila said. “These kids are hungry to learn more and now they want to start doing charity work.”
Dcn. Jim Trant, diocesan director of deacons and parish life coordinator for the Office of Native American Ministry, said missions are the result of an area being identified with needs for sacraments, religious education and formation in a Catholic setting.
“Missions are critical to people that are isolated and where it’s not easy to get to Mass except on big holidays or Holy days,” he said. “Without it people probably would not be able to receive the Eucharist on a Sunday.”
Fr. Valdez-Molina describes his community as “peaceful” and “active,” with many volunteering to lector, sing in the choir, teach catechism and clean the church.
His wish list contains items like a couple of televisions for religion classes, a monstrance and better pews, but he does have a greater want — “to teach people about our faith.”
“Most people work in Nevada and that is a challenge,” Fr. Valdez-Molina said. “It’s hard to schedule for classes and other programs.”