Rolling Circle Press

Mill Valley, California

Money Laundering

“We do have a need,” Sister admitted, as Loco on the other side of the partition continued his effort to fix the unfixable. And Loco had heard her sigh that her appeals to the diocese, to foreign charities had not been answered. Beneficial work in communities suffered greatly when guerrillas were fighting openly with the Guardia Civil. Bodies were found in the street nearly every morning, and the Santuario’s connection to the Maryknoll sisters and other interfering radicals had damaged their reputation with the local authorities as well as with Rome.

“Good work should be rewarded,” continued the sympathetic man on the other side of the window, who went on to ask for her blessing, in exchange for which he offered a donation, because a mere gesture cannot measure the value of a blessing, “Let us say a donation of $50,000 so that you can continue your good work.” And the way the transaction was to be done was that the sympathetic man would deliver $500,000 in cash, in small denominations, which could be described as having come from the collection plate and from bequests and fees from members of the community grateful for the fine work undertaken by the Sisters. And the shopping bags full of cash in small denominations Sister would then deposit in the Santuario’s own account. Then at a later date she would issue a check back to the man’s organization. Conveniently, the gentleman had the check already made out, the stated date filled in, needing only her signature as trustee of the Order’s bank account, for $450,000.