Maya Missions News

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Maya Monthly June 2016

Jun 15, 2016

“When are you going to retire?”

Dear Friends of the Maya,


I usually answer this way:” I already am retired!”  But that is a lie.


Truth is, I have been trying to retire for the last couple of years but I am not there yet.


I am writing this newsletter. I just booked a trip to Mexico from June 28th until July 13th. I can’t wait to get there. I will be visiting three more parishes this summer where I look forward to speaking about the Maya Missions. I hope to head back to Mexico in September after a meeting with our Maya Board of Directors.


I’m sure my retirement will be on their agenda. They usually ask what they will do after my death, so speaking about my retirement will be a welcome addition.


The truth is I enjoy what I do.  If you have visited us in Mexico, you know that. If you have listened to one of my talks about the Missions, you understand that working with the Maya is in my blood and part of my every waking moment. I will continue to go back and forth between the USA and Mexico. I will continue to consult with our team in Mexico and promote our programs for the Maya. I will do that before I retire, after I retire -until the moment I die and and maybe even after that!


2016-June-dBut I am not the only one working for the Maya Indian Missions.


In the next few months you might be getting a thank you note from Jim and Sheila Christiansen. They are lay missionaries who lived and worked with me for five years in Mexico. Now they are retired in South Dakota but they too want to stay connected to the Maya.  They will help by sending thank you notes and writing about their experiences as lay missionaries in the Maya Monthly.




2016-June-bAbby Hurst has just returned from another visit to Mayaland. Abby is young, dynamic, fun, creative, and I could go on and on. She is a gem. Abby visits our Missions three or four times a year. She has been involved with international programs for many years but decided to “retire” a few years ago and spend more time with her husband, Joe, and their three young children. But she couldn’t retire completely and we have been the lucky recipients of her wisdom and creativity. Abby visits our villages, examines our programs and then advises us on how we can help the people and build a better world.  And she takes wonderful pictures of the Maya to share with you.



2016-June-cI hope you have visited our Facebook page or our beautifully designed webpage. I first met Mark Stein forty years ago when I was pastor of St. Anthony’s Church in Milan Ohio. Now he lives near Columbus. I don’t know how someone who is so attached to the Ohio State University football team can be so incredibly gifted, but Mark is!  Mark has created our social media programs and continues to update them every month. Treat yourself to a visual experience of who we are and what good you have been able to do. Visit Mark’s work on the webpage or Facebook and feel good about yourself and our world once again.



2016-June-aYou might not know Shelly Leestma, but she knows you! Shelly lives in Bowling Green, Ohio. She picks up the donations you send to P.O. Box 1222, keeps our online database updated, deposits the money in our bank account and then informs me of your good deeds. She also directs the Friends of the Maya at St. Aloysius Parish and helps set up a fiesta when I visit the Parish each year. This summer it will be July 30 and 31st!



I have people all around who do my work and who continue the work we have begun with the Maya Missions. I don’t want to leave this work or these people. I hope you don’t either. Let’s continue to make this world a better place and enjoy the experience!


Paz y amor,



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