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Why I volunteer at Centro San Juan Diego

The following testimonial is from Centro San Juan Diego volunteer instructor Jim Ryan. Centro is looking for volunteer teachers for the new academic year. For more information, contact Juan Carlos Reyes at juancarlos.reyes@archden.org or at 303-295-9470, ext. 114.

When I retired nine years ago I had no idea what I should or could do that would be challenging and rewarding in my life.  But if we let him, Our  Lord has a way of leading us down new and strange paths in order to fulfill his plan for us: I went from being a salesman to a teacher and a tutor.

God spoke to me through a simple request by an acquaintance asking me to help a Ukrainian gentlemen with his English.  That request led me to an English as a Second Language Certificate  program at Front Range Community College and ultimately to Centro San Juan Diego, theHispanic ministry center for the archdiocese.

While attending the Living the Catholic Faith Conference two years ago, I was introduced to Centro and learned of its mission to Hispanic families. I was delighted to find an apostolate in the Catholic faith where I could help.  At Centro I start each class with a prayer asking for God’s blessing on our endeavor.  That is important to me.  The staff at Centro are God-centered people and are wonderful to work with.  They are always ready to support each other.

I love my students  They are a real tribute to our Catholic  faith.  Their determination to be a success in the United States is evident in everything they do.  They came here for the American dream and to earn their own way so they can provide a better life for their families.  They are a great inspiration to me.  How can I not want to help them!

They want the ability to converse in English and to improve their reading and writing so they can get better jobs and help their children to do their homework.

I do not speak Spanish but it is on my “bucket list.”  I encourage my students to teach me Spanish so I can learn from them as they learn from me.  It works very well.

Roxanne King
Roxanne King
Roxanne King is the former editor of the Denver Catholic Register and a freelance writer in the Denver area.

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