Peru – Chile

Peru – Chile

Provincial Superior: Fr. Martin Vargas Francisco Jose

In 1938 the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith invited the Comboni Missionaries of the German branch to take up evangelisation activity in Peru, in Pozuzo, Huanuco diocese. The zone was inhabited by Peruvian citizens of full or partial German ancestry. Frs. Luis Ipfelkofer, Andres Riedl and Miguel Wagner answered promptly. Within months, the bishop assigned Wagner to the diocesan seminary and in 1940 Fr. Riedl took up the role of rector.

In Europe, 12 more confreres were preparing to go to Peru, but the II World War began and all were ordered to join the army. Only in 1948 three of them could join the confreres in Peru, and the Comboni group were able to take full responsibility of the running of the seminary till 1952, when Spaniards priests arrived to replace them. Free from that commitment, the 14 Comboni missionaries soon accepted the care of some parishes: Llata, Hacaimbamba, Cristo Rey San Pedro and Panao. In 1954, they began a parish also in Lima diocese.

In 1958, Pope Pius XII created the ”quasi-diocese” of Tarmay Pasco, and nominated Fr. Anton Kuhner first Prelate; in 1964, he was ordained bishop and Moreover, in 1980 he would be sent to govern the diocese of Huanuco. In need of personnel, bishop Kuhner asked the general direction of the ”Italian branch” of the Comboni Missionaries to send to the new Prelature some priests for pastoral work. In 1966, 2 Italian and 1 Spanish Comboni priests took charge of the parish of St Peter in Yanahuanca; another group was sent to take up the parish of St. Juan in Cerro de Pasco.

In 1969, Fr Lorenzo Unfired was nominated auxiliary bishop of Arequipa and he, too, asked Rome for personnel. In 1969 the Provincial House was opened in Monterrico. In 1970s and 1980s, the Province knew an extraordinary development. In 1979 a Missionary Animation Centre was inaugurated in Lima. Two missionary magazines were launched (one for children). Vocations began to stream in and the Postulancy (1979), the Novitiate (1983) and the Scholasticate (1985) were opened.

Meanwhile, the two branches of the Comboni Family had united (1979), and in 1984 the first mission was opened in Santiago de Chile (Chile). The number of personnel creased allowing new commitment in both countries. in December 2016, Fr. Luis Alberto Barrera Pacheco, a Peruvian Comboni missionary, was consecrated bishop of Tarma. Today, the Comboni missionaries working in the Province are 46 (1 bishop, 41 priests and 5 brothers), of 12 nationalities and the scholastics are 4.

 

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