Renovation of a Center for Vocations and Lay Formation in Peru
The prelature of Chuquibambilla in southern Peru lies high up in the hills, at an altitude of 10,000 to 15,000 feet. It is a region of great poverty, where the people have to contend with poor soil and frequent droughts. Added to this was the 10 years of terror and civil war inflicted by the Maoist guerillas of the so-called “Shining Path,” rebels who during the 1980s left behind deep scars among the people that have still not healed to this day.
Many families have been torn apart, psychological and physical violence are still very prevalent, there are many orphans, and many lonely elderly and widowed people left to their own devices and without any help. Nonetheless, there are also many people in whom the faith burns strongly and even in the remote mountain villages there is a rich spirituality among the ordinary people.
Roughly 95% of the 100,000 people living in the prelature of Chuquibambilla are Catholics. They are ministered to by 14 priests and 21 religious Sisters who travel to the most inaccessible villages to support the people there, who cannot expect help from state authorities. Instead, it is the Church alone which helps in all spiritual and material necessities.
There is a desperate shortage of priests in the region, and efforts have been made to fill this gap. This year, 33 young people took part in a vocations program, and five young men have now entered the propedeutic, or pre-seminary stage (a form of preparatory year before entering the seminary proper) in a neighboring diocese (since the prelature itself has no seminary structures of its own).
There is also an aim to do more for the formation of the laity, especially for the catechists who play such an important part in the villages. And there will also be opportunities for families, who in this way, it is hoped, will likewise become a more fruitful soil for spiritual vocations.
A suitable center is needed for these activities, including regular monthly sessions as part of this vocations apostolate and ongoing formation of the laity. There is a building which 45 years ago housed a minor seminary, but it was closed down 30 years ago and has never been renovated since. We are proposing to help with a contribution of $26,000 for the renovation of this building.
Will you give to support vocations and lay formation for this poor region of Peru?
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