The Diocese of Greensburg's relationship with the Diocese of Sicuani, Peru, began decades ago, when then Bishop William G. Connare visited there.
Bishop Connare offered priests of the diocese the chance to serve in Sicuani in parish ministry through the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, founded in 1958 by Cardinal Richard James Cushing during his tenure as archbishop of Boston.
The society is now an international organization of diocesan missionary priests who volunteer for service in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.
The Diocese of Greensburg supplied priests to Sicuani for a number of years; now, the diocese assists ministry there financially and through prayer.
The Diocese of Sicuani comprises four of the poorest provinces of Peru. Its population is scattered throughout mountainous terrain with few paved roads.
There is no industry other than farming, and the people live in extreme poverty due to drought, flooding, poor farming techniques and lack of machinery. Much of the population is illiterate; the educational system is inadequate and doesn't serve large portions of the population. There is also little access to medical care.
Nearly 95 percent of the people in Peru are baptized Catholics, but due to isolation, lack of clergy and religious, and great distances between parishes and peasant communities, many people have a mixture of Christianity and ancient Andean religious beliefs and customs.
Carmelite friars have served the people of Peru since 1949. Msgr. Miguel La Fay Bardí, a member of the American Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, was named bishop of Sicuani, Peru, in 1999.
Bishop LaFay served until the new bishop was named in 2013. The Carmelites continue to support the church's mission in Peru.
Bishop Pedro Alberto Bustamante Lopez was appointed as the bishop of Sicuani, Peru, in July 2013.
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