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Wednesday, 24 August 2016 15:21

2016 in Piura, Peru

This year the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters were blessed to accompany the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter on its mission trip to Peru for the second time. The Fraternity priests and seminarians have led the St. Francis Xavier Mission Trip to the city of Piura, Peru since 2010 as a spiritual outreach to spread a love and devotion for the Traditional Latin Mass along with the corporal works of mercy. 

peru16 collageThirty-three youth participated in the mission activities directed by the Sanctissimo Sacramento Parish of Piura. Each morning these young missionaries from across the USA were divided into groups and assigned to various jobs. Alternating the spiritual with the corporal, they participated in building bamboo houses, delivering food and clothing to the poor in one of the nearby pueblos, or accompanying one of the priests on Communion calls to homes or hospitals. Countless elderly and dying people were offered the consolation of the sacraments of Penance, Holy Eucharist and Extreme Unction. It was inspiring to see the devotion with which these people welcomed Our Lord into their hearts and homes, and wonderful to witness what the simple presence of a Catholic priest could do for these people. The missionary groups would witness how a  blessing or embrace from Father was enough to move an entire family to tears. 

          But the most important purpose of the trip was to expose the people of Piura to the beauty of the Latin Tridentine Mass. Every afternoon, 3 Masses were said in separate (often remote) villages surrounding the city. Some times, an entire year had lapsed since Holy Mass was celebrated in their chapel...the last time having been the previous year’s Mission Trip! Each priest spent afternoons hearing confessions, saying Mass, and blessing holy water or other sacramentals. Wherever they went, priests and missionaries  were always greeted by a warm welcome, happy and grateful smiles... and lots of hugs, especially from the crowds of Peruvian children!

            Aside from the daily activities, the group participated in deepening their spiritual life. Every day began with Mass and ended with rosary, followed by a spiritual talk from one of the seminarians or Sisters. 

         The last day of the trip, missionaries became pilgrims in the capital  of Peru—Lima, to the home of St. Rose of Lima; the church of Santo Domingo – the tombs of St. Rose and St. Martin de Porres and the Franciscan monastery where St. Francis Solano had lived. The visit ended with a Sung Mass in the elaborate church of San Marcello in the heart of this “City of the Saints.” 

         The message of the Gospel of Our Lord, preached by  the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, more than words, was taken home by all participants in this refreshing witness to Christ among the poor. It is proof that the Gospel can be preached anywhere, and like St. Francis of Assisi said, you do not always need words!

galleryCheck out all the great photos from the Mission at the 2016 Mission to Peru Gallery.

Find out more about the missions or how you can support them at the Saint Francis Xavier Mission Website!