The Casa Franciscana Guaymas has undergone an extraordinary transformation during these last three years. Fr. Martin Ibarra has challenged us to take our services out to all the local and neighboring communities to reach the people who need our help the most. We have transitioned what was an internal operation before the pandemic into an external ministry, which now delivers our goods and services to local communities.
We are guided fraternally by our brothers and sisters, who are the center of the mission and must be treated with dignity, joy and solidarity. Fr. Martin encourages us to live by accountability, transparency and relationship. This helps us make the best decisions, always seeking the well-being of others first.
The External Ministry covers the needs of many people who cannot reach our facility for various reasons. For example, 83-year-old Mrs. María Méndez is hypertensive and diabetic and oversees her 42-year-old son Alfonso, who suffers from down syndrome and autism. Doña María lives in a humble shack. Caring for her son is challenging since “Ponchito,” as she calls him, is in failing health. When he needs his medication, he becomes aggressive, until he reaches the point of physical aggression toward her.
About two months ago, Doña María was dealing with a severe medical issue. She had injured her big toe, and the sore would not heal. Our nurse Sandra, who is in charge of the external and clinical ministry, diagnosed and assessed the problem and immediately followed up with her. Casa Franciscana made an appointment with a podiatrist, paid for her lab studies and her prescriptions were filled at our pharmacy at no cost. Additionally, we made home visits daily to administer her treatment and monitor the healing of her injured toe. The doctor recommended rest for faster healing, which was very difficult for her as she has no family members to help care for her special needs adult child.
Thanks to the External Ministry, many other cases have been detected in which the accompaniment of our brothers and sisters has been carried out. We are sure these people cannot seek services at our facility.
Being in the administration department, I can participate in all the programs, such as accompanying Armando our Social Worker to the delivery of the food pantries at home, supporting Lizeth in preparing food in the Meson de Jesus and being face-to-face with marginalized families, children, destitute, elderly and immigrants, who go through challenging situations in their lives. Bearing witness to all of this has changed my life in unimaginable ways, and I am so grateful.
Irma Convarrubias, Casa Franciscana Admin Manager