News from Peru

On 8th June, during a short visit to the monastery at Pachacamac, Fr Abbot bestowed the Ministry of Acolyte on Brs. Percy, Wilmer and Juan Edgar. The simple but significant ceremony took place during the Conventual Mass.

There are now two excellent young men living at the monastery as aspirants for the monastic life. Br Ascensio, who is from Cuzco and speaks Quechua, has now completed his aspirancy and hopes to become a postulant very soon. He is 25 years' old and, among other things, is an excellent chef. Br Jaime, aged 35, is from Arequipa and he has only just begun his aspirancy. Before coming to the monastery he had a successful career, but is pleased to be able to dedicate his life now to the search for God. We pray for their perseverance.

Fr Luis' mother is now 93 and very frail indeed. The most wonderful of ladies, she has been living in a bungalow attached to the monastery for the past 7 years. Because of the distance from Lima and the difficulty of getting a doctor to the monastery, she and Fr Luis decided to move back to her apartment in the city. Fr Luis has been given permission to live with her there in order to look after her.

The problems we had with the 21 acres above the canal have at long last come to an end. The land is mountainous and not suitable for building, though with the help of AIM we had begun a forestation project. However, the local land mafia had their eyes on it and did everything in their power to prevent us from keeping it, above all to protect the 7 acres or so we own below the canal, which are suitable for building and agriculture. Br Mario is to be congratulated for his assiduous and detailed work on the matter, together with three groups of solicitors, and for his courage and perseverance. We are now the freeholders of the land and have been inscribed as such on the national land registry.

Fr Joseph is preparing to retire from active duty as a parish priest in the north of Peru, in the Parish of San Lorenzo. It has been agreed with the Archbishop of Piura that he will relinquish the parish on 31st December. This means that Belmont monks will have served that part of Peru for 32 and ½ years. Fr Joseph hopes to return to Belmont early in 2014.

Photographs of the Monastery and Community