Our Sister Parish in El Salvador

In 2004, our parish entered into a partnership with San José Villanueva located near La Libertad, El Salvador. This partnership is primarily a spiritual joining of two equal parishes praying for each other and learning from each other. Check out this video produced in 2016 highlighting some of the activities in San Jose!

The idea of a creating a relationship between a parish in El Salvador and St. Joseph began in 2003. Fr. Bob Sanson, our Pastor at the time, was involved with an orphanage in Zaragoza called The Community of Oscar A. Romero (COAR). In 2004, Father Bob suggested some of the parishioners accompany him on a mission trip to El Salvador.

At the time, a local priest from the nearby village of San José Villanueva, Fr. Mario Adin Cruz Zaldivar, celebrated Mass beneath a strip of corrugated metal, propped up by sticks. Touched by their devotion and obvious needs, a partnership was created between our parish and the Catholic community of San José Villanueva. As a result, the parishioners of St. Joseph have provided that community with several concrete chapels and gifts to furnish them.

Today, a committee of 26 members and support by the financial gifts of so many, supports the sister parish partnership, which is both spiritual and financial. Since the inception of this Education Partnership, our parish has provided over $110,000 in scholarships. For one year of school, it costs approximately $120 for an elementary school student, $150 for a middle school student, $180 for a high school student, and $1,000 for a college or seminary student.

Our parish has served the people of this large parish in El Salvador in a host of ways. We’ve offered them our prayers and our financial support. We’ve been able to raise money for school scholarships for the children. We’ve helped them improve their parish facilities, and some of our financial support has even enabled the building of a chapel out in the rural areas – where the people haven’t been able to celebrate Mass for months and even years at a time.

St. Joseph parishioners are invited to join in solidarity with the people of San José in any of the following ways:

  • Become a Prayer partner with a San José family
  • Become an Education partner by sponsoring a child's education in grade school, high school, or university
  • Become part of the planning committee to assist with promotion and development of the partnership
  • Visit San José as part of a parish group


Please contact our trip coordinator to learn more about San José Villanueva and what you can do to help.

  • John Novak, 440.228.0592, Turn on JavaScript!

Education Partners

Every year, our parish sponors students in El Salvador. Here is the 2017 Scholarship Support Form. They've always appreciated our support and have sent us letters sharing their appreciation. Read their 2015 Letters.

Mission Trips

Every year, our parish sends thousands of dollars to our sister parish in El Salvador. Imagine being able to see firsthand how that money is being used and the people it is going to help. Here's a look at our 2016 Trip!

In addition to visiting the newly built chapels, parishioners will have the opportunity to meet many of the students we sponsor. The trip will cost around $1,000, which covers airfare, food, lodging, and transportation in El Salvador.

I enjoyed it so much. The people were so poor, but were so warm and welcoming. They had a sense of prayer that was deep and touching.” — Helen Yurek
We have so much in this country. The El Salvadorian people don’t even eat meat for years at a time. In fact, their daily diet would be considered by many of us as torturous.” — Dee Downey

Perspective & Insights

In 2013, the parish of San José Villanueva received a new priest, Father (Padre) Gonzalo Ortega, while Padre Mario relocated to a new parish in Honduras. Neither Padre Gonzalo, nor any of his parishioners, takes their freedoms or blessings for granted. They also take wonderful responsibility for taking care of the poorest among them. We visited people with only polluted river water to drink, little food for their family, a piece of corrugated tin for a roof, and if they have work, making perhaps $5 a day or less, laboring in the fields for a landowner from dawn to dusk. Many have no document of birth, so they cannot marry officially, cannot own land, cannot leave the country, etc.


Please contact our coordinator to learn more about San José Villanueva and what you can do to help.

  • John Novak, 440.228.0592, Turn on JavaScript!