Fund the Training of Catechists in the Peruvian Andes
The territorial prelature of Chuquibambilla lies high up in the Andes, at an altitude of up to 16,000 feet, in one of the poorest regions of Peru. Fourteen diocesan priests are currently working here in very difficult conditions – given that the almost 100,000 Catholic faithful within the prelature live widely dispersed in many small and often isolated settlements. The distances are large, and the roads bad. Often there is no electricity, telephone service or Internet. In the rainy season many of the roads are impassable and flooded.
Given these conditions, many of the villages are only rarely visited by the handful of available priests, so the work of the lay catechists, who live in the villages and are responsible for a major part of Church life in them, becomes even more important. They prepare the faithful for reception of the Sacraments, instruct them in the Faith and pray together with them.
Before these catechists can do their work, they need to have a sound knowledge of the faith so they can pass it on to others. Most of them are simple country people, so the prelature has established a series of training courses in order to equip these volunteer catechists with the necessary knowledge to carry out their important work.
Some of them cannot even read and write and must therefore first follow a course in basic literacy. At the same time, teaching materials have to be produced in the local Quechua language, which is spoken among the majority of the population, most of whom do not speak Spanish.
The last course of this kind was given 11 years ago. Now it is time for a new course to be given. All the parishes of the prelature are sending candidates for these courses. This is vital work, since the life of the Church in this region would be unthinkable without the work of these lay catechists.
ACN is proposing to support these important training courses with a contribution of $16,200.
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