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Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Guatemala Annals series
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Administration

This sub-series is made up of records which detail administrative functions carried out by the Sisters during and after their time in Guatemala. There are class lists of students who attended the Colegio San José. A report outlining various educational programs and ideas it is included, which discusses catechetics, adult education, the Christian Children’s Fund and the Guatemala Education Bursary. Another report discusses the different methods that can be used to evangelize the Guatemalan community. There is also an orientation program for a conference attended by those working in Latin America. This conference aimed at exploring the roles that North Americans played in Latin America, as well as their motivations for service. A letter and pamphlet from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) outlines the hardships of the Guatemalan people and the steps the organization has taken to assist and support local groups fighting for social justice, such as the National Coordinating Committee of Widows of Guatemala. The letter also briefly outlines the history of the Sisters’ mission. A research paper, which resulted from the 1972 General Chapter meeting, discusses the question of uneducated girls being accepted as associates in Guatemala, and whether these girls should be trained at the expense of the community. It also discusses the question of postulants being sent to Canada to the novitiate. A floor plan of Colegio San José’s buildings and grounds also comprises this sub-series.

Annals and Histories

This sub-series is made up of records which detail the daily lives of the Sisters and those who worked with them during the Guatemala mission. There are several accounts containing personal recollections. Reverend Michael Myroniuk wrote about delivering aid to Guatemala after the 1976 earthquake. This account was written in 2014, 38 years after the earthquake occurred. In 1990, Sister Marie Garnier (Joan) McMahon reflected on her time spent in Guatemala. In this account, she discusses the founding of the school and clinic, the building of the convent, as well as everyday life in Guatemala. She wrote another reflection in 2002, which provides a brief history of the mission. She also recorded information about her 2005 trip to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Colegio San José. Dona Cristi de Juarez, the first president of the Parent’s Committee of the Colegio, reflects on her time working with the Sisters and her experience trying to get speed bumps placed in front of the school. Mirna Aroch, daughter of Don Baltazar Aroch, the first Guatemalan teacher to work at the school, provides an account of her father’s time working with the Sisters. One of the Sisters reflects on her trip to El Jute, where she met with Francisca Barillas, the first woman catechist to work with the Sisters in Guatemala. There are also recollections from the prayer group about their experiences with the school and interactions with the Sisters. A special edition magazine covering the 1976 earthquake also comprises this sub-series. The articles discuss foreign aid, the national reconstruction program, and the Guatemalan economy. Newspaper clippings include stories about the founding of the Colegio San José and the Guatemalan military coup. There is also a complete set of annals for this mission. The annals detail the daily lives of the Sisters and their experiences learning Spanish, building and working at the school, creating the nutritional centre, and time spent working with the dentist and local clinics. The annals include photographs.

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