Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg

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 Diocese of Sicuani, Peru

_Peru_1.jpgThe Diocese of Greensburg's relationship with the Diocese of Sicuani, Peru, began decades ago, when then Bishop William G. Connare visited there.

Bishop Connare offered priests of the diocese the chance to serve in Sicuani in parish ministry through the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, founded in 1958 by Cardinal Richard James Cushing during his tenure as archbishop of Boston.

The society is now an international organization of diocesan missionary priests who volunteer for service in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

The Diocese of Greensburg supplied priests to Sicuani for a number of years; now, the diocese assists ministry there financially and through prayer.

The Diocese of Sicuani comprises four of the poorest provinces of Peru. Its population is scattered throughout mountainous terrain with few paved roads. 

There is no industry other than farming, and the people live in extreme poverty due to drought, flooding, poor farming techniques and lack of machinery. Much of the population is illiterate; the educational system is inadequate and doesn't serve large portions of the population. There is also little access to medical care.

Nearly 95 percent of the people in Peru are baptized Catholics, but due to isolation, lack of clergy and religious, and great distances between parishes and peasant communities, many people have a mixture of Christianity and ancient Andean religious beliefs and customs.

Carmelite friars have served the people of Peru since 1949. Msgr. Miguel La Fay Bardí, a member of the American Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, was named bishop of Sicuani, Peru, in 1999.

Bishop LaFay served until the new bishop was named in 2013. The Carmelites continue to support the church's mission in Peru.

Bishop Pedro Alberto Bustamante Lopez was appointed as the bishop of Sicuani, Peru, in July 2013.

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 A Note from Sicuani

Mons Pedro Lopéz Bustamante (Mons. is the title used for a bishop here in Peru) leads a procession before the Statue of Our Lady of the Nativity, high in the Andes mountains where the Prelature of Sicuani is located. Two years ago, at the Easter Vigil in the community of Livitaca, only two parishioners came to the liturgy. The rest were across town in the stadium for a service conducted by the leader of one of the many sects that has moved into the mountain communities.There is a significant priest shortage in the Prelature and hundreds of communities see a priest only once a year.

Father Paul Prendegast from New Zealand, in addition to his parish in Yanaoca, has over 80 communities to visit, and because of his concern for this community, Mons. Pedro organized a pilgrimage to the mountain shrine of Our Lady at Huampu Huampu located near Livitaca. Over 800 pilgrims from all over the Prelature have attended the past two years.

This year, the teens had an overnight retreat at the site, climbing the mountain on Friday evening singing hymns and praying the rosary led by the cross and each carrying candles. The following day consisted of four workshops, Family and Mary, our Mother, Vocations, Mercy and the Gospel of St. Mark followed by the celebration of the liturgy and a procession.

 How To Help

To help the Diocese of Sicuani, Peru, please mail all donations to the attention of the diocesan Mission Office​ - 723 East Pittsburgh Street, Greensburg, PA 15601. Please make checks payable to the "Diocese of Greensburg Mission Office." All funds will be processed through secure channels to Sicuani, Peru. Only monetary help is accepted due to Sicuani's difficult terrain and road system. 

The letter below serves as an acknowledgement received from the Carmelites for Sicuani Peru's Mission Cooperation assignment recently conducted in our diocese by their representative. Read the full letter

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