Denilson and the Guatemala Mission Trip


Kendall Glenn, Staff Writer '16

Many are aware that Oakland Catholic faculty members, students and St. Richard’s have been raising money for Guatemala and currently are helping one of the children, Denilson, who has been receiving treatment because he is losing his eye sight and hearing.

Mrs. Goyal, Fr. Michael Roche and a few students visited an orphanage in Patzún, Guatemala for children whose parents had died or could not afford to care for them. The students taught them English, visited homes, and brought educational supplies. There, they also met Denilson and had learned from the Franciscan nuns that he had been going blind. They were informed that the nuns had taken him to doctors and could not figure out why it was happening. Immediately, the girls want to help. The students began to collect money to get him here and to cover medical costs.

“He so cute! He manages to stay happy and is really great. He doesn’t dwell on it.” Maria DeIuliis commented. Maria met Denilson last year on the trip and felt truly moved and inspired by his faith and courage. She stated, “It really gives you some perspective that he can be so happy even though he’s going through that.” Maria also added she has been thinking about the orphans and the people of Patzún all the time and is looking forward to seeing them again.

Father Michael Roche said that he was deeply moved by Denilson and the people he met because they kept their faith, when they didn’t have much, and were so full of life. “He’s [Denilson] very prayerful. He prays every night before going to bed.” Fr. Mike said. Fr. Mike also hopes that the surgeries will help to stop the progression of the disease and that Denilson gain some of his sight back.

Mrs. Goyal and the Guatemala Mission students arranged for a mass, a breakfast, and a birthday party for Denilson.  Congratulations to everybody on bringing Denilson to Pittsburgh and keep him in your prayers.