February 20, 2010

Where Sisters of Mercy Minister: Peru (3)

In the programme to be held by Mercy International Association this Wednesday 24th February entitled Soup and Substance, the realities of Peru and the ministry of Sisters of Mercy in that country will be featured.  As a parallel to that, MIA is highlighting Peru this week in the series on the various countries where Sisters of Mercy minister.

Peru has high rates of unemployment, displacement of persons from rural to urban areas, and social inequalities.  There is a much higher rate of poverty among women in Peru than among men as 23% of all women in Peru do not have any formal education and a Peruvian woman earns 25% that of a Peruvian man.  Thirty-five percent of all Peruvian children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition, and women endure violence in an estimated 50% of all households.  As a result of these socio-economic realities Sisters of Mercy in Peru have chosen to focus on programmes and services predominantly directed toward women and children.

Sisters of Mercy are dispersed throughout rural and urban areas of Peru and run women’s houses and medical centres.  They are educators, health promoters, catechetical teachers, youth ministers, and providers of programmes in spirituality and adult faith formation.  In the women’s houses, women of Peru come to relax, learn new skills, grow in self-esteem, develop social support networks, and receive necessary professional services.

These ministries are provided by Sisters of Mercy native to Peru and Sisters of Mercy who came to Peru from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, and the United States; Sisters of Mercy from New Zealand have also ministered in Peru in the recent past.  At present, Sisters of Mercy from five Mercy families live and minister in Peru: the Congregation of Sisters of Mercy (Ireland), Institute of Our Lady of Mercy (Great Britain), Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia, and Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland. 

For more information on the ministries provided by Sisters of Mercy in Peru, visit the following websites:

In addition, there are several recent news articles that feature the work of Sisters of Mercy including:

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