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Peru – Subsistence aid for 26 religious sisters in the in the Andes

Working in the Archdiocese of Huancayo, high in the Peruvian Andes, are 26 sisters from eight different congregations. This vast region covering around 15,145 km²—as large as some small countries—is home to only about 743,000 people, 71.5% of whom are Catholics. Consequently, each priest must minister to more than 8,000 faithful on average who are scattered over this extensive land.

The sisters work above all among the people in the rural regions, most of whom live in extreme poverty, barely managing to scrape a living from their livestock and agriculture. The houses they live in are built in the traditional Quincha style of wattle and daub and many places are lacking even basic infrastructure. Furthermore, the sisters have to travel over long distances on challenging roads to reach the faithful.

Nevertheless, Cardinal Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, the archbishop of Huancayo, is very pleased with the sisters’ work and has asked us to support them. He tells us: “There is a lack of vocations. We have fewer and fewer vocations, and consequently fewer priests and religious. Huancayo is a vast territory, and the priests we do have simply cannot cover it all. This situation means that people in the remotest communities, who cannot be reached by the priests, feel dissatisfied and abandoned. Moreover, there are sects in these areas who win over more and more followers every day and take advantage of the people’s poverty. Our religious sisters focus their care and their activities on these places, where the priests are not regularly available. They spend two or three days in each community, bringing the people hope and joy, living alongside them and sharing the reality of their lives in order to encourage them and show them God’s word by their living example. The work of the sisters is greatly appreciated, but they do not have the financial resources to cover their own living costs.”

Among other things, the sisters help prepare children, adolescents and adults for the reception of the sacraments, teach them the faith, support and accompany the families and care for the sick. They stand by these people in all their spiritual, psychological, and material needs. To help them continue this priceless apostolate, we are proposing to help them with $16,305 in subsistence aid. Will you help us?

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