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.
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