By Bp. Angel Francisco Simon Piorno, Bishop of Chimbote.
Dear Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, priests, congregational family, sisters and brothers,
Today we gather at the Church of San Francisco, which was the first community served by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word here at Chimbote. Five Sisters came in 1964, and some of our seniors still remember them. They came to serve the people of this parish and were also present in other communities. The Sisters who worked in the health field are particularly remembered.
The first Bishop of Chimbote contacted the Sisters’ Superior in San Antonio at that time and invited her to bring Sisters here.
In what have they worked? In the Charism. I interpret Charism as making present the saving and merciful love of the Incarnate Word by promoting human dignity through works of mercy. This means they presently work to extend that merciful and saving love of Jesus Christ, the eternal word of God made flesh, to return dignity to so many marginalized people. In fact, the first work at Chimbote is the Santa Clara Center, which has provided care for thousands of people with truly extraordinary quality.
Within the important structure of the diocese, we have impressive education works; in fact the best schools in Chimbote belong to the Church. We also have a series of charitable and health services that are a model of how to do things well when there is mysticism and that love for the Lord, and for our brothers and sisters. Santa Clara is a model of ministry to the poor and the marginalized, as well as maternity, asylum and home care. Those works are very dear to me, because they are the expression of the charity of Christ and of the Church.
Today we celebrate 55 years of the Congregation in Chimbote, and it is a great reason to thank God.
I expect the Congregation to continue serving here beyond the bishops and priests, to continue working here in ministry with the poor and the marginalized people. They live in a working-class neighborhood, and the people who come are also humble and suffering people. They have worked in promoting justice and human rights, which is very alive today in the heart of the Church by defending the defenseless, the handicapped, the vulnerable population. The Sisters have done this through their presence and I hope they will continue their ministry into the future.
Let us thank the Lord for the 150 years of the Congregation that was born in San Antonio, Texas, and for their 55 years here in Chimbote, one of the first to arrive in our Diocese.
Click here to read the Words of Sister Tere Maya in the Jubilee Celebration 150 CCVI.
Click here to read Lima – Homily by Bp. Guillermo Elias Millares, Auxiliary Bishop of Lima.
Click here to read more about the photo exposition in Chimbote.