At the Annual World Day of Prayer for Peace on January 1, 1993, Pope John Paul II reminded us that:
“If you want peace, reach out to the poor! May rich and poor recognize that they are brothers and sisters; may they share what they have with one another as children of the one God who loves everyone, who wills the good of everyone, and who offers to everyone the gift of peace!”
Peruvian mother and child
This past fall 15 people from the diocese had the opportunity to reach out to the poor of Peru during the second pilgrimage from the Diocese of Pembroke. In 2006 a diocesan partnership with Lima was created that saw Bishop Smith of the Diocese of Pembroke and Cardinal Cipriani of the Archdiocese of Lima sign a statement of solidarity that prompted pilgrimages to Peru in November 2006 and again in November 2008.
DIOCESE OF PEMBROKE - ARCHDIOCESE OF LIMA PARTNERSHIP
2008 Report to Parishioners on the
Chorrillos Three-Year Children's Feeding Project - Lima, Peru
For the past two years, the people of the Diocese of Pembroke have been supporting a feeding project to help malnourished children in the region of Chorrillos, an impoverished section of the Archdiocese of Lima.The Lima-Pembroke Partnership Committee made a commitment (on behalf of the people of the Pembroke Diocese) to support this feeding project for three years and we are now entering our third year of fund raising.Our commitment was for $210,000 to be sent to Lima ($60,000 the first year; $75,000 the second year and $75,000 the third year).The first two years' commitment has been sent and we are assured that the program is well under way.
The Diocese of Pembroke is now committed to a formal initiative of answering the scriptural question “Who is my neighbour?” We invite you to be part of this learning and growing process.
This is a response to the direction of the Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America (1999) to “express the unity [existing between North and South America] and point to that closer bond which the peoples of the continent seek and which the Church wishes to foster as... the communion of all in the Lord.”
Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good… to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all. —Pope John Paul II
As a concrete response to this call, a “twinning” partnership has been established between the Diocese of Pembroke and the Archdiocese of Lima, Peru. This partnership will involve communication between the two dioceses at all levels. There will be visits back and forth, exchange of ideas and resources, and many other aspects.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Pembroke currently operate a mission in Peru, South America. Our sisters work in the Chincha Valley, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, 200 kilometres south of Lima.
An individual, family or organization can sponsor a Peruvian child’s studies for one year at a cost of $150.00. This donation pays for the child’s school supplies and his or her uniform. The school year in Peru begins in March and terminates just before Christmas. Benefactors will receive correspondence twice a year, as well as a picture of the sponsored child.
For the last 17 years, students and staff from Renfrew County Catholic District School Board’s Bishop Smith and St. Joseph’s Catholic High Schools have been participating in the Dominican Republic Experience. Begun as a way to support the mission of the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Yamasa, Dominican Republic, the trip has grown into a well-organized yearly opportunity to experience the culture and the people of this area. Over the years the trip has developed into our board’s major social justice effort.