The Augustinian missionary spirit has been alive and a core element of the Order for centuries. It was the same missionary spirit that initially brought the Augustinians to the United States from Ireland in 1796. That very same call to global solidarity led the Midwest Augustinians to rebuild the Church in northern Peru at the request of Pope John XXIII in 1963.
Peru, a third world country with a developing economy, has suffered natural disasters, political instability, and economic uncertainty in recent past. Northern Peru, in the area near Chulucanas, is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped regions in the country. The missions we serve daily stretch from the desert area along the Pacific Coast to the Andes Mountains.
Bishop John McNabb, O.S.A. led the Diocese of Chulucanas as its first Bishop and is succeeded by current Bishop Daniel Turley, O.S.A; both Bishops are Augustinian missionaries from the Midwest Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel. The Diocese has flourished over the past 50 years to give birth to 22 parishes, one hospital, one Catholic university, and many projects to benefit and educate the local extremely impoverished community.
To grow the Augustinian Order in Latin America, our Province has developed priorities for the success of our Vicariate in Peru. The long-term goal of our missionary efforts is to incrementally strengthen the local Order with native vocations and financial sustainability so that it may one day be fully independent. We are nearing this dream each day.
Building the Native Church
Missionary Bishop John McNabb, O.S.A. once said, “Our best investment would be in the people, not in buildings. We arrived in Peru to promote the Peruvians, not to replace them.” 50 years later in 2013, we now see an incredibly rapid growth in native Augustinian vocations. In the entire country of Peru, there are 59 men in various stages of formation.
Similar to our formation program in the United States, the houses of formation are shared across the country between two other Augustinian Vicariates located in Iquitos (the Amazon Jungle) and Apurímac (in southern Peru, near Machu Picchu). Our novitiate is located in the country's capital of Lima, and our largest formation center is located in Trujillo, a city along the Pacific Coast.
The Midwest Augustinians have nurtured Augustinian Vicariate in northern Peru, since it was formally founded in the Augustinian Order in 1986. With the growth of the Latin American Church, we are passing more responsibility into the hands of the native clergy. In 2010, Fidel Alvarado, O.S.A. became the first native Peruvian to serve as the Regional Vicar. Presently, 80% of the Augustinians in solemn vows in northern Peru are native Peruvians. We are even seeing that they, too, have embraced the missionary spirit by serving in distant countries: currently in Cuba, Algeria, and Rome.
Providing the Sacraments to God’s People
Creating Opportunities through Education
Walking with the Poor and Underserved