May 25 2012

We mourn the passing of a longtime CFCA friend

UPDATE: Read our tribute to Fr. Greg on our website.

We mourn the passing of Msgr. Gregory Schaffer, or “Padre Gregorio” as he was otherwise known, and we also celebrate the gift he was for us.

Father Greg Schaffer Father Greg passed away late May 24 at age 78.

“We thank God for our loving friend and pastor Father Greg Schaffer,” said CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen in an email.

“Father Greg believed in CFCA from the very beginning. Not surprising ó he had known each of the founders long before CFCA was officially born. … I hold up the beautiful working relationship of CFCA with the parish of San Lucas Toliman as an example of love and respect for our church.”

Father Greg served for many years on the CFCA board and had a longtime ministry in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, where CFCAís Hermano Pedro and Atitlan projects are located.

He has lived and served in Guatemala since 1964.

Scott Wasserman, chair of the CFCA governing board, said Father Greg helped remind the board that sponsorship was far more than traditional charity.

It was about forming authentic relationships with families living in poverty, he said.

“When the board became caught up in budgets and policies, Father Greg drew us back to the lives of real people struggling heroically against tremendous odds,” he said. “His theology and work were one and the same.”

Our CEO, Paco Wertin, had this to say in a message to Father Greg before he passed away:

Dear Greg, our brother and friend, we accompany you in Spirit with deep love in these difficult days for you.

We are filled with gratitude and joy for the gift you are to us. We particularly appreciate the way you live out the unconditional love of God.

You have learned how to be present to and serve those who surround you, no matter where. You have taught us to search out and look for the presence of God, to reflect on our reality in the light of God’s Word and then to get to work.

I love the way you could sit and relax. I love the way you would get out and walk and read and think, mulling things over, then bringing them to others to provoke conversation. And thank you for all the stories.

Our world is better and there is hope because you walk with us. Peace, Greg, and healing, deep down and all along the way.

~Paco Wertin, and the CFCA community of compassion and service that you have mentored for all these years.

0 thoughts on “We mourn the passing of a longtime CFCA friend”

  1. I am so sorry to hear about such a loss. We had the pleasure of having him as a mentor for nine years of participating in the volunteer programm in San Lucas. We where witnesses of what he meant to the people there and to many of us who met him.He will live forever in our hearts and in every corner of San Lucas Toliman.
    we will always remeber him
    Volunteers from Academia del Perpetuo Socorro, Puerto Rico

  2. What a terrible news this is, specially for thousands of Mayan indigenous men, women and children, in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, where father Greg served for many years, who found hope, work, housing and dignity in the many projects that Father Greg leaded over time. CFCA was blessed with the gift of a man of honor and true devotion for those in need. Please continue to watch over us, Father Greg, we still need you in our mission.

  3. i have had the great privilege of taking 5 mission trips to San Lucas and met,talked with and listened to Father Greg. He was truly a saint on earth. I have not been there since 2006 but the announcement of his death wears heavily on my heart.

  4. Nuestro agradecimiento al Dios de la Vida por la vida del P. Gregorio! Nuestra oraciÛn y cariÒo con toda la familia de CFCA!

  5. I remember meeting Father Greg on a MAT trip to Guatemala. No question he was very genuine in his love of other. I enjoyed his homilies and talks. A lost no doubt, but hopefully an influence on others to continue the work with the poor and forgotten. My condolences to any surviving family members and for all his friends and to those in the San Lucas Toliman area.

  6. He was a wonderful man and did so much for the people of Guatemala for 48 years. It was my pleasure to have met him.

  7. Fr. Greg was a very intellectually gifted, spiritual man who set a fine example for us all. RIP Fr. Greg.

  8. Talk about coincidences, or “small world”, I was baptized in the parish from which Father Greg hailed – Holy Trinity, New Ulm, MN. I have only been around him a few times but feel a sense of loss. He was very very special. This man, this priest, will be sorely missed.

    1. My wife and I met Fr. Greg on a MAT to San Lucas in 2009. You could not help but love that gentle, caring man. We returned to San Lucas in December of this past year and learned of his health issues and his longing to return to his beloved Guatemalan family. Now that God has called him home, there is certainly a new Saint advocating passionately for his people.

  9. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Father Greg. If memory serves me right, he was not in San Lucas when we were there last July, but it was clear that everyone there revered him.

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