Saturday, May 26, 2007

St Patrick's - Our Newest Mission Church

St Patrick's in the northwest of Lima, is our newest mission. It has grown up in a housing cooperative for handicapped people. Fr Jesus Urbina, who is also the diocesan doctor, began the work there in March of this year. Some of the people were born with handicaps and others have been handicapped in road or industrial accidents. They have put up sheeting around the lot they have been given for a church and hope to begin construction of a multi-purpose building there soon.
The area is called Ventanilla and is on a sloping hillside overlooking the ocean. It is a new area, mainly of sand, that has been populated in the last three years by over half a million people. There are almost no facilities and a very infrequent bus service, and the population is very isolated. Fr Jesus says that because most of the people sleep on the sand, without matresses, and because of the damp climate and poor nutrition, TB and bronchitis are very common. So the mission has a soup kitchen and funds have recently been donated to help provide a daily meal for the children. There is also talk of beginning a school.

St Patricks is one of three new missions in the north of Lima, all of which have sprung up in the last few months.

[You can see the ocean is in the background of the second photo.]

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