In 2003, 11 pilgrims traveled to Ecuador with the then director of the San Diego Mission Office, Msgr. Ray Kirk.
Another visit followed in 2004 to learn more about the Guasmo, Guayaquil parish of Reina Del Quinche and it's needs. The parish is served by Father Ed Veasey, Pastor, and the Sisters of the Annunciation of Columbia. They had begun building a hospital (Hospital Madre Berenice) and day health clinic to serve nearly 300,000 of the poverty stricken people in the Guasmo area.
The summer of 2005 brought six missionaries from St. Brigid's parish in San Diego, to visit Ecuador with a suitcase filled with items needed. The six also aided the soup kitchen there, serving and cleaning for the 200 elderly and children who came daily for their only meal.
The Friends and Helpers of Madre Berenice, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit foundation, was formally initiated in December of 2006. Since that time, we have been instrumental in providing many appliances and items for the soup kitchen, as well as donated high-tech medical machines and supplies, which were greatly needed in this poor community.
Since the first visit in 2003, many lives have been changed, especially ours. We will never be the same, we don't want to be. We hope you'll join us on one of our missions, through supporting our events, making a donation, spreading the word about our work, or simply read on for more information.