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Hooded vandals had dragged out the pews, statues and sacred images into the street, smashing them and setting them on fire. They also sprayed graffiti and abusive slogans on the inside walls of the church as well as on its doors.
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.
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 …
For 20 years now, the Dominican Sisters in Docordò, Colombia, have been trying to help young people. Through educational work and intensive personal accompaniment, they try to keep young people from falling into the clutches of the armed gangs, who are very prevalent and active in the region. Many of these young people are suffering and exploited, often lacking love and hope in their lives.
“What most impresses me is that there are people on the other side of the world who are helping us, people whom we will undoubtedly never meet or get to know. They are helping because we are all one Church, united in love of the Kingdom of God.”
Sitting at an altitude of almost 12,000 feet, La Paz is the third largest city in Bolivia and its capital in all but name. It is also growing constantly, owing to the steady influx of people from the rural regions, and now has a population of approximately 1 million. This population increase is likewise resulting in a steady growth of the parishes within the city. Close to 80% of the population in Bolivia is Catholic, while at the same time there are far too few priests.
In many countries of Latin America there is no state help of any kind for the physically or mentally handicapped. Most families, already living in poverty, have little possibility of helping their own handicapped children in a manner appropriate to their needs. Thankfully, the congregation of the Servants of God‘s Plan (Siervas del Plan de Dios) have a special vocation for the care of the poorest and most needy.
Bishop Jean said that “despite our repeated pleas for nearly two years, Haiti’s politicians have not responded. In July 2018 we already had a big crisis and the government did nothing. But the other political parties should also work on a solution. The worst thing is that the different factions are not open to any dialogue.”
“We are going to have to ask for many prayers so that we can have the gift of discernment. We have considered the reality of the situation in Amazonia and have listened to the clamor of its peoples, who are expressing their unhappiness. Above all we will be listening to what the Holy Spirit wishes to say to the Churches in the Amazon region.”
Pictured here are 91 seminarians, currently studying at the Diocese of Sonson-Rionegro in southern Colombia. The diocesan seminary has been popular since its founding in …