The parish of Christ the King in Corcovado in Patagonia is still quite new, having only been established in May of 2021. Before that, the area belonged to a larger parish, whose main office was nearly 75 kilometres away – too far away to be able to minister adequately to the faithful.
The new parish has some 4,500 souls. Their parish priest is Polish Father Tomasz Grzyb, who was previously a missionary in Bolivia. He is particularly struck by the fact that few people really seem to have a link with the Church and many sects are spreading throughout this vast and sparsely populated region. Additionally, even among those who belong to the Catholic Church, only a very small number regularly attend Holy Mass.
A lot to be done
The local population is a heterogeneous one. Many belong to the Indigenous Mapuche people; others are descendants of Spanish settlers, while others have migrated here from other regions for various reasons. Father Grzyb is finding that it is proving difficult to establish a real community here. The pastoral outreach is still in its early stages and needs to be properly organised.
However, this priest is not easily discouraged and is rolling up his sleeves to tackle the mission. In his view, the most important things are proper instruction in the faith and an intensive preparation for reception of the sacraments. Consequently, he is organising catechetical sessions for children, young people, and adults. However, at present, there is no suitable place to hold such sessions, so everything is done on a makeshift basis – often even in the private home of the catechist. There is no location for the parish office either.
The plan is to therefore build a small pastoral centre, which will provide space for catechesis and for a parish office. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is aiming to support this construction project with a contribution of $10,500. Can you help us?