The situation of the Church in the diocese of Comodoro Rivadavia:
The diocese of Comodoro Rivadavia, located in southern Argentina (Patagonia), is the second largest jurisdiction in Argentina with an area of 146,552 Km², about three times the size of the whole of Switzerland. Some communities are up to 600 km away from the diocese’s headquarters. The population are Tehuelche Indians and Mapuches, as well as migrants of various nations. 80% of the population live on the more densely populated coast, where in the four larger cities, there are particularly challenging social problems. The hinterland is a series of widely scattered small villages. Overall, the diocese counts only 31 diocesan priests (13 of them local) and 8 religious priests for the pastoral care of its people. In some places, the sisters are the only presence of the Church. There are four communities: one community of the Misioneras Siervas del Divino Espíritu, a congregation of Colombian origin, active in the outlying districts of the town of Comodoro Rivadavia and three communities of the Misioneras San Juan Bautista, a congregation of Mexican origin, active within the diocese (Sarmiento, Dolavon, Las Plumas). Each community has four members.
The Sisters of the Misioneras Siervas del Divino Espíritu organize catechesis for children and teenagers, animate the liturgy and visit families in their neighborhoods. The sisters of the Misioneras San Juan Bautista have several missions: youth ministry (catechesis), families, prisoners whom they visit in prison, the sick (home and hospital visits). They also animate a radio programme. They organize workshops for women. They take part in the social works of Caritas, and are very active. These sisters are characterized by a very austere lifestyle, while being very cheerful in their dedication. They are attentive to the needs of the people they assist. When they receive some kind of help (food or money) they always put it at the service of the people.
Facing the Covid 19
We’ve received a message from Sr Betania de Jesús Zacarias MSJB (Misioneras San Juan Bautista): “The current situation that humanity lives affects us in many aspects but we entrust all of this to the merciful love of God by remaining confident that all of this will eventually pass: « In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8.28 ) » We are currently sewing on masks and distributing food to the most vulnerable. We appreciate your support because it makes our apostolic work possible and, at this particular moment of the pandemic, it becomes a fundamental support to reach those who need spiritual and sometimes material support.”