Peru is the third largest country in South America in terms of surface area. A majority of the 32 million Peruvians belong to indigenous tribes. The population is growing rapidly. 76% are members of the Catholic Church. While modest prosperity is developing in the cities, there is often abject poverty in rural areas and the mountains, leading to migration to urban regions. The increasing rural exodus often results in drug addiction and broken families. Here the local Church lacks sufficient pastoral workers to meet the needs of the faithful. ACN is therefore increasingly committed to supporting the next generation of priests in Peru.
We sponsor 20 seminaries in Peru.
The strong population growth and the increasing poverty in the country pose great challenges to the Peruvian Church. There are simply not enough vocations. If the number of priests stagnates, the faithful cannot be adequately cared for. The pastoral care being offered is particularly critical in the impassable, far-spread parishes of the mountainous regions and the Amazon. But there is also a lack of priests in the rapidly growing cities. ACN therefore supports the training of priests in about 20 seminaries in the country.
For only new generation of priests can secure the spiritual, pastoral and clerical future of the local Church. But catechists also play an important role in the proclamation of faith. Their education is also supported by ACN. In order to deepen the faith, we provide additional catechetical material to the parishes. We also support nuns who help the poor and weak under the most difficult conditions and often represent the only hope for the population.
Help for nuns
The Congregation of the Servants of God’s Plan was founded in Lima in 1998. The nuns – mostly doctors, teachers and nurses – are primarily active in the proclamation of faith, but also care for the elderly and the needy. They have also founded schools for children with disabilities, for whom there is usually no state aid in Latin America. In this way, the nuns make an important contribution to children developing their individual talents, to reducing social prejudices and to advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities in Peru. The congregation has many religious vocations and is regularly supported by ACN with training and existential help.