The Congregation of Holy Cross first arrived in Peru in September 1963. Several priests from the United States came to assume the pastoral care of field hands and factory workers in a sugar hacienda on the coast named Cartavio.
In 1974, the Congregation turned the work in Cartavio over to a diocesan team and assumed leadership of three parishes in Chimbote. Chimbote was a growing industrial town in which many of the workers and their families lived in squatters’ villages on the city’s outskirts. As it had done previously in Cartavio, the Congregation lived among the poor whom they were accompanying and serving.
From Chimbote, in 1977, the Congregation expanded its work to include parishes in Canto Grande, which is a poor sector of the capital of Lima, and in Puno, which is among the indigenous aymaran community.
In 1981, within the boundaries of Lord of Hope Parish in Canto Grande, the Congregation established Yancana Huasy–meaning House of Work in the language of the Incas. Yancana Huasy attends to the needs of children who live with physical and mental challenges, including Down syndrome, and their families.
Since 2003, Lord of Hope Parish in Canto Grande has served as the hub of Holy Cross in Peru. The parish, which is divided into 19 churches and chapels, serves more than 200,000 people.
To better serve the complex and diverse needs facing the urban poor who they serve in the parish, the Congregation established the Peyton Center with the generous support of Holy Cross Family Ministries. The Peyton Center is a multi-purpose cultural center, hosting meetings, groups, workshops, and special celebrations.
After a long history of collaboration, the Congregation’s mission in Chile joined with the mission in Peru to form one unified jurisdiction, the District of Chile-Peru.
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