Tag: Bob Hentzen

Jul 22 2012

Parish group from Colorado finds loving reception in Guatemala

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

I find the group from Risen Christ Parish as hopeful and dynamic as its name. Here in Guatemala, we are deeply grateful for their love of our people, their presence among us, their example.

Seems like their long-term pastoral plan flows into a very natural outreach toward their neighbors at home in Colorado and in Guatemala.

These friends encountered a richly green and fertile country, but a country heavily burdened by social problems.

Entrusted with the good will and the economic help of their fellow parish members, they worked hard (sometimes under good rains) to offer three sponsored friends and their families a more dignified home. Read more

Jun 18 2012

Reflections: Funeral Mass for Monsignor Gregory Schaffer

An estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people in Guatemala were in attendance June 6 for the funeral Mass and burial of Msgr. Gregory Schaffer, a longtime CFCA board member and mentor to staffers, volunteers and sponsors. Fr. Greg Schaffer's funeral

Bishop Gonzalo de Villa of the Diocese of Solola-Chimaltengo said at the time, “We are here for thanksgiving to God for Father Greg’s life; we thank the Lord for putting him as a pastor of San Lucas.”

We asked the following people to reflect on Father Greg’s life on the occasion of his funeral Mass.

Bob Hentzen, CFCA president and co-founder
I am happy and grateful to share a few memories:

I think it was 1968 when Father Greg was still a very young man. He came up to where I was teaching up in Huehuetenango [Guatemala] to work on his Spanish and Kakchiquel [Mayan language] at the school there.

I happened to meet him then. He always invited the missionaries in the country to come to San Lucas anytime we could, but in particular he liked to reserve July 4, Independence Day in the U.S., for a big wonderful gathering of missionaries, religious, diocesan and lay in San Lucas.

He would reserve a big boat and prepare a wonderful meal, and then we would basically go around the lake all day.

The ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s were so very difficult. What a miracle it was that when Father Stan Rother was martyred, Father Greg suggested to me, “Could we start the sponsorship program in Cerro de Oro?” Read more

Jun 9 2012

Trip to Colombia: ‘An honor to be a sponsor for your children’

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

From my recent report from Medellin and Cartagena, please allow me to offer a little general information about CFCA in Colombia:

From the northern border with Venezuela to the southern border with Ecuador, we’ve walked every kilometer of Colombia, this wonderful country.

(Editor’s note: This is a reference to Walk2gether, the nearly 8,000-mile solidarity walk that Bob and CFCA staffers undertook through 12 Latin American countries. The walk lasted from December 2009 to June 2011.)

I remain deeply grateful for all the blessings, prayers and solidarity.

Colombia is a big piece of the Lord’s creation. In size it is number 4 in Latin America after Brazil, Argentina and Peru.

Colombia is special to me and to my family. I first landed here in 1960 as a Christian Brother missionary teacher.

I was assigned to Colegio La Salle, Cartagena. I have many wonderful memories of my students and fellow teachers at La Salle.

Since Cristina and I sponsored the first CFCA child, Florelia Delgado (Bogota project), CFCA-Colombia has grown to include 19,349 children and 2,179 elderly friends.

In addition, we currently have over 1,000 Colombian children on our waiting list for sponsorship. Project Bogota serves some 6,500 families in both urban and rural areas.

Before the sponsors arrived

Cristina and I enjoyed an inspiring day at the CFCA Center in Bogota on the Friday before the sponsors’ arrival. Read more

May 25 2012

Colombian mother to sponsors: ‘You represent hope for our families’

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

From the northern border with Venezuela to the southern border with Ecuador, we’ve walked every kilometer of Colombia, this wonderful country.

(Editor’s note: This is a reference to Walk2gether, the nearly 8,000-mile solidarity walk that Bob and CFCA staffers undertook through 12 Latin American countries. The walk lasted from December 2009 to June 2011.)

I remain deeply grateful for all the blessings, prayers and solidarity.

CFCA in Colombia

Colombia is special to me and to my family. I first landed here in 1960 as a Christian Brother missionary teacher.

I was assigned to Colegio La Salle, Cartagena. I have many wonderful memories of my students and fellow teachers at La Salle.

Since Cristina and I sponsored the first CFCA child, Florelia Delgado (in the CFCA project in Bogota), CFCA in Colombia has grown to include 19,349 children and 2,179 elderly friends.

In addition, we currently have 1,552 Colombian children on our waiting list for sponsorship.

Our CFCA family in Colombia includes five major projects (Antioquia, Bogota, Cartagena, Cali and Quibdo).

All staff members at our Antioquia project (together with a few spouses and babies) were on hand to welcome the sponsors at the CFCA central office in Medellin. Read more

May 14 2012

Enveloped in the love of Guatemalan sponsored children, families

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

The sinsonte birds are singing their hearts out, welcoming the early rains. They also welcome 35 CFCA sponsors, their hearts ready to learn and to share.

Excited children, elderly and families lift their hearts in prayers of gratitude for their sponsors.

In nine different regions across Guatemala, a dedicated CFCA staff serves an estimated 89,000 children and elderly. More than 500 families wait in hope to belong to CFCA.

God knows this is sacred ground, made so by the sacrifice of countless martyrs and the daily sacrifices of humble, hard-working people.

We are here to listen. May we see much more than poverty. May we see firsthand the realities of our families.

May we remain open to learn about their heroic efforts to walk that path out of poverty, hand in hand with our sponsors.

Remembering the martyrs

We remember in a special way the testimony and martyrdom of Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi 14 years ago: April 26, 1998.

Our attendance at Holy Mass at the Cathedral de la Asuncion Guatemala City draws our attention immediately to the thousands of names, mostly indigenous, etched for years into the massive pillars surrounding this historical structure, etched for life into our hearts. Read more

Apr 7 2012

Growing in grace and peace on trip to Costa Rica

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

Heartfelt greetings from this beautiful country.

We are excited to share these days with sponsored friends, their families, sponsors and staff ó inspiring people on a very real journey.

The CFCA community in Costa Rica has made us feel very much at home. “We would like to live this mission awareness trip with a profound spirit of gratitude to the Lord of life.”

Note: Photo credits go to CFCA staff members in our project in San Jose.

In Costa Rica, we are honored to be able to work with over 7,000 families. Another 500 families have applied to belong to CFCA.

Costa Rica is considered a paradise for ecotourism. We are fortunate to experience many beautiful parts, but we also experience dramatic contrasts.

This trip is a real experience of pilgrimage, which implies joy, sadness, tiredness, pain and hope. Read more

Mar 23 2012

Dominican Republic trip shows positive, sustainable change

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

We really had an “early-morning CFCA flight” out of Kansas City.

Twenty-eight students and faculty from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., boarded our same flight for Atlanta.

From Atlanta, Cristina and I went to a mission awareness trip to the Dominican Republic, and they are en route to a CFCA mission awareness trip to El Salvador.

Godspeed, dear friends. Thanks for keeping CFCA on the move!

At CFCA, we favor a culture of learning and listening.

Here are a few things I have heard this week in the Dominican Republic.

Sponsored youth Monica to her Puerto Rican sponsors, Beridiana and Rafael: “It has been many years. You are much more than sponsors. You are like my parents, and I love you.” (These sponsors have been with CFCA for 23 years.)

Sponsor: “Something I learned on the mission awareness trip (MAT) to Chile. Please keep in mind the elderly. Chile was my first MAT, but I’ll be going on many more trips with CFCA.” Read more

Mar 9 2012

Inspiring stories from sponsored children, youth in Kenya

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

What a joy to be back in Africa!

It’s so very encouraging to see the spirit of CFCA growing in this area. In particular, I would like to express my gratitude for the support and solidarity of our African sisters and brothers before, during and after Walk2gether.

(Please note: All photo credits in this report go to Regina Mburu, CFCA’s communications center liaison in Nairobi, Kenya.)

CFCA scholars

CFCA scholars in Kenya are dynamic, generous and very creative.

Listen to this poetic testimony of CFCA scholar Stephanie, this dynamic young woman from “up country.”

Stephanie has finished her secondary studies and is registered to continue her education, studying psychology at the University of Nairobi. Read more

Feb 15 2012

Reflection on ‘Rise and Dream’ premiere by Bob Hentzen

CFCA President Bob Hentzen traveled with members of the “Rise and Dream” film team to its world premiere at the Thin Line Film Fest in Denton, Texas. This is his reflection about the screening.

Bob Hentzen in the Philippines for "Rise and Dream" concert

In this photo from the CFCA archives, CFCA President Bob Hentzen talks with one of the youth featured in the "Rise and Dream" documentary film after the concert.

I’m confident that when the film festival votes are counted, we will be reaffirmed that “Rise and Dream” is a very good documentary. The spontaneous enthusiasm of all who see it speaks clearly that it is much more.

Everyone in attendance really gets into this story. At the conclusion of the film, we enjoyed such a lively dialogue.

The film festival staff had to ask us to clear the theater and continue elsewhere to make room for the next show.

The film’s executive producer, CFCA’s Paul Pearce, invited the entire audience to gather at the Sweetwater Grill & Tavern down the street.

We so enjoyed one another’s company and the film’s soundtrack harmonies of Barclay Martin and Rick Willoughby …”and let the afternoon unfold.”

“This film is connected to the essential elements of being human.” It is a statement of the deepest values affecting millions of people in the Philippines and worldwide.

On the today side, this documentary is timely, as the world studies the moves of powerful nations interested in deposits beneath the archipelagos bordering the South China Sea.

On the transcendental side, the film grabs us all with irresistible human beauty. Youthful energy bursts forth and rides the waves far enough to return. “Can you hear the songs of children all around?” Read more

Jan 18 2012

We found sponsors for more than 8,000 kids!

We did it!!

More than 8,000 children have been sponsored through the “8,000 miles for 8,000 kids” effort inspired by Walk2gether, the 8,000-mile solidarity walk through Latin America led by CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen.

Related news report: ‘8,000 miles for 8,000 kids’ meet goal

We cannot thank everyone enough for all the help we received in making this possible. This was a labor of love for so many people, and we deeply appreciate your support.

As Bob says, “For each of you who walked with us in fact or in prayer, this continues to be an exciting and humbling journey into the lives of our sponsored friends, their families and our CFCA colleagues.”

Thank you, CFCA community!