Ministry of the Sacraments

The most urgent need of the Prelature of Ayaviri is spiritual in nature.  It is the need to administer the sacraments to the people of the region.  To do that effectively, the Prelature needs more priests.

In the last several years the Prelature has had, on average. around 18 priests to minister to a people who are dispersed throughout a territory of about 32,000 sq. km (12,392 sq. miles). In order to minister to the entire Prelature, the average priest must tend to two parishes, each with an average territory of 1000 sq. km (386 sq. miles). In total, the typical priest of Ayaviri must minister to an average area of 2000 sq. km (772 sq. miles). Taking into account that traveling within these various towns often implies unpaved and unmarked roads, it is clear that these priests offer a heroic service to a people needing the grace of the sacraments. Needless to say, daily or weekly reception of the sacraments for many is impossible.  In fact, the challenge of administering sacraments even a few times a year to the more distant towns is immense.

A handful of young men within the Prelature have discerned a vocation to the priesthood and are currently undergoing their studies as seminarians. Even so, the people of Ayaviri have a profound experience of the Lord’s own words: “The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few” (Matt 9:37).

This is the most crucial and pressing need of the Prelature of Ayaviri.  It is also the one that most requires the generosity of others. The gift of the priesthood is something that only God can bestow, and what God realizes in the priest is something that cannot be imitated. It is certain that God calls to provide the ministers necessary to tend to the needs of the people of Ayaviri. It is also certain, as the shortage of priests manifests, that not everyone who is called has responded.

The Prelature of Ayaviri prays that those called to the priesthood in all parts of the world may respond with generosity. May they be another Christ to the people to who are in need of Him.