Columban Sisters Mary Nolan and Anne Carbon send this report:

L to R Sisters Mary Nolan, Anne Carbon and Brigid Sullivan
L to R Sisters Mary Nolan, Anne Carbon and Brigid Sullivan
On July 20, 2009 a gloriously sunny morning in Ayacucho, we gathered with the people from north, centre and south of the Archdiocese for the Jubilee celebration of the Archdiocese.  It’s 400 years since Ayacucho became a Diocese, so a great time for looking back with gratitude and forward with hope.  For the past 3 years we’ve been involved in mission – an effort to deepen the faith of the people and a preparation for the events of this week.
Bishops arrived from all over Peru for the celebration; there was also a bishop from Spain and one from Miami.  The Pope’s special representative was Cardinal Cipriani, a person not very popular in Ayacucho since during his years in office here in terrorist times his care for the people left much to be desired.  There was a certain nervousness in case there might be protests during the celebration.  However, all moved peacefully and there was a great sense of joy and gratitude in the celebrations of the vigil, during the Mass and later in the sharing of food and drink.  The many ‘lines’ of the Church seemed to blend into a colorful rainbow as members of Opus Dei, of Sodalitium and of Liberation Theology shared in conversation, prayer and food.  The highlight of the Liturgy for us was when the ‘campesinos’ participated in the Offertory procession bringing to the altar the fruits of their fields and the work of their hands.  The people of the Selva   ( jungle) were also represented bringing with them the richness of their traditions. bishops

Many meaningful words were spoken, but maybe the message of our own Archbishop sums up best the meaning of this time.  In a part of his exhortation he states: “We need a local Church that makes a firm commitment to heal and close the wounds of a people who have suffered much, victims of years of social violence.  The task is to help people overcome traumas, anger and hatred in order to reach forgiveness and true reconciliation among all the people of Ayacucho.  In this way we will reach a Peace which will lead us along the path of integral development for all our peoples….”

Categories 2009