Argentina: A small pastoral centre for a new parish

The parish of Christ the King in Corcovado in Patagonia is still quite new, having been established only in May 2021. Before that the area belonged to a larger parish, the centre of which was nearly 50 miles (75 km) away – too far away to be able to minister adequately to the faithful.

The new parish has some 4500 souls. Their parish priest is Polish Father Tomasz Grzyb, who was previously a missionary in Bolivia. He is particularly struck by the fact that only a few people really seem to have a link with the Church. Many sects are spreading throughout this wide and thinly populated region, but even among those who belong to the Catholic Church there are only very few who regularly attend Holy Mass, he finds.

Father Tomasz Grzyb with parishioners in Argentina.
Father Tomasz Grzyb with his parishioners.

The local population is a colourful mixture of different peoples. Many belong to the indigenous Mapuche people, while others are descendants of Spanish settlers and others again have migrated here from other regions for various different reasons. It is proving difficult to establish a real community here, Father Thomasz is finding. The pastoral outreach is still only in its early stages and needs to be properly organised.

However, this priest is not a man to be easily discouraged, and is rolling up his sleeves to tackle the task. The most important thing is proper instruction in the Faith and an intensive preparation for reception of the sacraments, he believes. And so he is organising catechetical sessions for children, young people and adults. However, at present there is no suitable place to hold such sessions, so everything has to be done on a makeshift basis – often even in the private home of the catechist. And there is nowhere for the parish office either.

So the idea is to build a small pastoral centre which will also have space for catechesis and for a parish office. We are proposing to support this project. Can you help us?

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