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Congresswoman McCollum's Statement on the Passing of Father Greg Schaffer

May 29, 2012
Press Release

For Immediate Release:  May 29, 2012                                        
Contact:  Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149

A Minnesotan who dedicated his life to God  and the people of San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala died on May 24, 2012

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) issued the following statement on the death of Father Greg Schaffer who passed away on May 24, 2012.

“Fr. Greg Schaffer lived a life of deep devotion to God which in turn gave him the strength to do great things for the Guatemalan families he served starting in 1964. Greg dedicated his life to improving the lives of the people of San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala through hard work, a profound faith, and courage in the face of extreme poverty and at times brutal violence.  I visited San Lucas Toliman in 2009 and learned first-hand how Greg was truly the community’s father – beloved, respected, and the initiator of tremendous social change.  Elevating human dignity was Greg’s life’s work and he did it through working with poor, indigenous farmers to help them have access to land, economic opportunity, healthcare, and education.  If Greg’s life was a journey, he truly walked in the footsteps of Jesus.  I feel privileged to have known him.

“I wish to extend my prayers and deepest sympathies to the people of San Lucas Toliman, especially Encarnacion “Chona” Ajcot who tirelessly worked with Father Greg. Let me also extend my condolences to Father Greg’s family, including Ann Terese Wiggins, his sister, as well as the New Ulm Diocese which so generously supported Father Greg’s work at the San Lucas Toliman Mission.”

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations
and Budget Committees.