On mission in Peru

21st August 2015 - by Ellen Teague

05 MAY - PERU (750)

The link below provides a 10 minute video showing the work of Project Warmi Huasi in the Columban parish of Our Lady of the Missions in Lima, Peru. Two Columbans serve the parish – Fr Ed O’Connell and Fr John Hegarty.

Fr Ed O’Connell, pictured above, features in the video. Originally from London, he has been working as a missionary priest in Lima, Peru over four decades. With periods back in Britain as Columban JPIC Coordinator and Regional Director, Ed is well-known to members of the National Justice and Peace Network in England and Wales.

Ed is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Missions, a parish of over 50,000 people, in the district of San Martin de Porres in north Lima, and there is outreach to the township of San Benito, on the northern outskirts of Lima. Many people live in extreme poverty – suffering many economic, social and health problems – but they have strong faith and a desire to succeed.

Ed has organised his parishioners to participate in the work of “Warmi Huasi” in San Benito, where the houses lack running water and mains sewerage. A small team of women professionals – a social worker, an obstetrician, a nutritionist, a psychologist and an adult educationalist – work in San Benito. Charitable funds go towards the salaries of these professionals. They help educate the women of San Benito on primary health care. Nutrition of the under 5s and visiting women´s groups to prevent family violence have been set up. A Youth program is running, promoting the self esteem of the youth and training them to be catechists of the sacramental programs. Charitable funds have been raised to help them attend secondary and third level education, helping with fees, books and travel costs.

Project Warmi Huasi in Peru