In November 2017, Casa Franciscana Mission staff went door-to-door to approximately 400 homes in four barrios (neighborhoods). The goal was to identify the unmet needs in these communities. The lack of resources for those aged 12 to 18 years was lamented over and over. As the result of a developed business plan and fundraising effort, February 22nd saw the opening of a youth center in Fatima to address the identified issues.
Seed money for the Fatima Youth Center was the gift of the family and friends of Denise Marie Nagel (September 8, 1958 – September 23, 2018) to honor her memory. She was the oldest of five children and raised five children of her own. Denise impacted all she met with her faith and constant grace. She excelled in her professional life as a teacher at Immaculate Conception in Dardenne, Missouri. When one walked into her classroom, you could feel the love and nurturing given by this extraordinary woman. The goals of the Youth Center align beautifully with Denise’s desire for all children to have a safe place to learn, to be loved and to have opportunities to develop life skills.
Along with Fr. Tommy, Sara Valle Dessens (Mayor Guaymas), Juliangel Gil (Director of Municipal Youth Services) and Victor Granados (Board President of Casa Franciscana Guaymas) joined in the cutting of the ribbon ceremony. The neighborhood children immediately began computer classes and a group sharing. Appropriately, the logo incorporates a multi-racial tau cross.
On behalf of the 500 young people in Fatima, thank you and God bless the family and friends of Denise Nagel. Also, thank you to the other many generous donors who provided three years of operational funding for the Youth Center. Refer to the full development plan and updates at: