Ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete (Peru)
The Prelature of Yauyos, Cañete, and Huarochiri, whose pastoral care is entrusted to priests of Opus Dei, was established by Pope Pius XII in 1957, fifty years ago.
The Golden Anniversary celebrations took place in various cities. They began in the Sierra, the original territory of the Prelature (several years later the area was enlarged to include the region of Cañete). In Alis, at over eleven thousand feet in altitude, a colorful committee awaited Bishop Ricardo Garcia, who arrived accompanied by a number of priests. After the religious ceremony, speeches were given by various officials, followed by dances and songs. A Mass was also celebrated in the mining town of Yauricocha, located at an altitude of fifteen thousand feet above sea level (the highest church in the Prelature).
In the city of Yauyos, the original seat of the Prelate, the firing of rockets welcomed the bishop's committee. Accompanying the bishop were several priests who had worked in the mountains years ago and later went back to their homelands. They had returned for a few days to take part in the celebrations and to share the deep emotion of all who had sowed the seed of the Gospel in this region of the Andes. The local people also showed their gratitude for the work of social development and education carried out by the priests in this, one of the poorest areas of the country.
The bishop prelate walked to the church through the same streets that fifty years ago, on October 2, 1957, Msgr. Ignacio Obregoza had traversed with the first five priests who arrived in the Prelature of Yauyos. In the Mass of thanksgiving, the Sacrament of Confirmation was administered to a hundred young people.
The provincial mayor, who wanted to thank the priests for their work, organized addresses, poems and dances, ending with a “fireworks castle.” On the morning of October 2, in the central square of San Vicente de Cañete, current seat of the Prelature, the first five priests who accompanied Don Ignacio to the Prelature once again were honored. Of the five, two were missing, Bishop Enrique Pélach, who had died on July 19 as Bishop Emeritus of Abancay, and Fr. Alfonso. The flags of Peru, the Vatican, and the Province of Cañete were raised and a reading of a proclamation of recognition by the city took place.
The principal celebration was held in the evening with a Mass of thanksgiving in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fairest Love, whose reredos has a statue of our Lady that was a gift of St. Josemaría. A large number of faithful participated, showing their gratitude to the priests of Opus Dei for the work carried out during these past fifty years.
Romana, No. 45, July-December 2007, p. 312-313.