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Renovate a Presbytery on the Isla di Puná in Ecuador

Isla di Puná is an island of 350 square miles just off the south coast of Ecuador. It has a population of 7,000 or so and is generally poor. Most people depend either on small-time fishing or on selling local handicrafts to tourists.

The island also holds an important place in the history of the Church in Latin America, for it was here in 1541 that the first Bishop of Cusco – who was also one of the first bishops at all in Latin America – suffered martyrdom. As a result, the evangelization of the island holds a special place in the story of the local Catholic Church.

Yet despite this Christian history, it was only in 2018 that the first parish was actually established here. It covers 13 small towns and villages on the island. The parish priest, Father Celso Miguel Montesdeoca Robles, wants to breathe new life into the local Church, and indeed he has already achieved a good deal. There is now regular catechetical instruction for children, young people and adults, plus a pastoral youth outreach and local groups who visit the sick and elderly. Father Robles would also like to provide a more solid formation for the group leaders and encourage more new people to get involved. He is being helped in his work by the Sisters of the congregation of the Daughters of Mary (Hijas de Maria).

As Father Robles works to bring new life to his local Church, his presbytery and parish house are in a very dire condition and need urgent renovation. This is an area prone to frequent earthquakes, and there has been extensive damage to the walls and roof – especially during the devastating earthquake of 2016. And the sharp salt-laden sea air has eaten away at the fabric of the building. On top of this, the ageing plumbing and electrical wiring need to be completely replaced. Last but not least, the building has very little protection against the many criminal gangs who roam the area.

ACN is proposing to help towards the cost of this renovation with a contribution of $16,000.

Would you like to Father Robles renovate his presbytery as he works to reinvigorate the faith on the Isla di Puná in Ecuador?

Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.

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