St. Francis Xavier Missions in Peru
For a decade now the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has been leading teens and young adults on mission trips to South America to serve the poorest of the poor.
St. Francis Xavier Missions (SFX) travels every summer to the city of Piura in the northern part of Peru to work with the poor and to spread devotion to the Holy Mass. Over the past ten years, over 400 young people put their faith in action through a great variety of charitable works, including helping at orphanages, delivering food to the poor, building homes for needy families, assisting in medical and dental clinics, visiting rehabilitation and hospice centers, and much more. The missionaries, however, are not social workers. Their mission is a spiritual one. They accompany priests bringing communion to the sick, blessing homes, and making hospital visits.
The goal of the St. Francis Xavier Mission trips is to enkindle in the missionaries and those they serve a greater love for Christ and His Church. Missionaries attend daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form, pray the Rosary, spend time in morning and evening prayers and contemplation, and participate in spiritual talks given by the priests and seminarians. It is from these spiritual exercises that the missionaries go out and perform the works of mercy.
One of the most important aspects of the trips is introducing the people of Piura to the Traditional Latin Mass, the heart of our charism.
The parish of Sanctísimo Sacramento, where the St. Francis Xavier Mission trips serve, is a parish of approximately 40,000 souls all served by one parish priest, with chapels all over the countryside. Though the pastor’s labors are nothing less than heroic, he is always extremely grateful for help with his immense flock.
At his request, FSSP priests celebrate public Masses in chapels throughout his parish daily. Each time a new group of people, some of whom only have the chance to attend Mass occasionally, are introduced to the beautiful chants and ceremonies of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and meet our missionaries, they ask if they would be able to attend Mass like this every Sunday.
Without exception, all are edified and comment profusely about the transcendence and beauty of the ritual, and the spirituality of the missionaries. The pastor himself has commented that our missionaries’ spiritual devotion really sets them apart. He has also expressed that when SFX missions come through with their priests, his mind is at ease for two weeks, because he knows that he has help caring for the spiritual needs of his people.
The St. Francis Xavier Mission trips have been expanding, and the people of Piura need our help now more than ever. COVID-19 has decimated much of Peru. Ginet Ambulay, administrator of Santisimo Sacramento Parish recently shared the status of Piura.
“Help is really needed here. Every day people come to our parish to ask for help. Getting sick from COVID is an expensive disease, especially for those who take care of their sick relatives at home. They come to us in need of medicine and oxygen (tanks). The people have a great fear of going to the hospital because they fear it might be the last time they see their family member. Piura’s health system is one of the poorest in South America. We are very grateful for what SFX can send us, everything will be used to continue this work that God has entrusted to us. Unfortunately, the COVID situation has gone from bad to worse, especially our city of Piura. Our dear Monsignor Jose Antonio speaks to us, let us take advantage of these holy days, in which God shows himself to be more propitious, to pray so that, through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ, we will soon be free from sin, illness, disease and all evil.”
By the grace of God, the good works of SFX missionaries, and their supporters, St. Francis Xavier Missions was able to assist the people of Piura by donating over 200 oxygen tanks to Sanctísimo Sacramento.
Fr. Anthony Dorsa, FSSP, Director of SFX Missions, shared his gratitude to the missionaries: “I know the people of Santisimo Sacramento are incredibly reliant on the missionaries who come to Piura to serve every summer. They are deeply grateful and edified by our (SFX) dedication to the people of Piura even when we cannot be there with them during these trying times. I myself am humbled by our missionaries continued commitment to mission work, and I thank you for your dedication to the work of Our Lord amongst his people.”
For more information about St. Francis Xavier Missions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 13, 2021