Reverend Thomas Huckemann
There are 23 seminarians in the Major Seminary "San José" in Cañete. Nearly all of them come from our relatively poor rural area and can only pay a small amount of the actual cost of their studies and food. One may receive diaconal ordination towards the end of this year. Our seminarians participate in the Theological Updating Course and help organize the event for some 100 priests, seminarians, teachers of religion and other interested people about "Living in Christ: the faith that works through charity" by Prof. Juan José Pérez of the Pontifical Juan Pablo II Institute and the University of San Dámaso in Madrid on the current moral crisis and how a well understood New Evangelization can help to face it. Our seminarians teach catechism and other education components to children, adolescents, and youth on a weekly basis. In our missions we visit villages at 3,200m, teaching doctrine and sacraments. These missionary activities strengthen the seminarians in their vocation because they see the great need for priests, so that the Word of God reaches all corners of the earth. Throughout the year they organized meetings from all in the territories. A blessing has been to receive a pleasant visit from the Nuncio who, afterwards, wrote encouraging words in the gold book of our Seminar. Your support is necessary. Please consider donating to help seminarians continue their studies and pastoral care.
Stephen donated $25.
Stephen donated $25.
until the next morning. They close at 2 or 3 p.m., regardless of whether 80 customers are still in line. In the meantime, it has decreased somewhat at most banks. The few open stores, small banks and pharmacies suffer more than usual from a lack of small change. Sometimes I can help out a little from selling Sunday papers.
Are now mandatory outside of the houses, although I have not yet seen that there are penalties for non-compliance. But almost everyone wears them, often proudly, often homemade, painted with badges of the football club or grim teeth, etc. It is also very easy with a strip of toilet paper around your mouth and nose. I could not believe my eyes when in my presence 2 quite common disposable masks for 25 soles (=$8) per piece were sold in a pharmacy, they should cost 30 soles even in Lima, actually you can get them for 80 cents ...
are not even allowed into the 10m restricted area around the hospital. And you can't just take the corpse just like that. Earth burial is allowed, but burning in Lima is recommended. In the meantime, I was able to visit non-corona patients in the hospital, only a few, but also very grateful. A former valet who cleans the hospital is also ill, most likely from cleaning. Recently I was allowed in unplanned for the non-corona patients, an unconscious man was given oxygen, I absolved him on condition and gave him the papal blessing. I returned in the afternoon with the holy anointment, and he passed away 1 hour after my morning visit.
The government promised all the poor listed as such in the municipality a $100 bonus gift every 14 days. This does not include the approx. 700,000 Venezuelan refugees with us, probably a good 3,000, of whom live from begging or working in completely closed restaurants or 70% decommissioned minibuses. I know several Peruvians who should get a bonus via the internet, but for 3 weeks no deposit has been shown. At the end of the curfew, a large population migration from all villages to our provincial headquarters to the banks takes place, also to do other money transactions. Long lines form before 4:30 in the morning, initially at a distance of 1 m, which is even now painted on the sidewalks, then covered up thickly, but soon suffering from the scorching sun, on a rented stool, standing or sitting on the floor.
Banks open at 9 a.m., others at 10 a.m. on Sa. The queue goes around an entire street area. In addition to ice cream, drinks, sandwiches, etc. I also offer the weekly Gospel leaflet together with all lectures and practical tips. Many have become quite fat due to the lack of exercise, and I sometimes say that this also seems to be contagious. Shortly before the bank opens, there are often loud discussions as to who may rush in first. In front of the Scotia Bank there were two violent attacks, which is why the bank closed complete
but a lot of people easily print out a special permit online if they have a tax number "to enable the most important supply", which is valid for 24 or 48 hours and can be renewed as required. There were many police on the street, some are now infected and there are only a few left who do little to intervene with us. At the first curfew, the younger policemen with excessive speed with siren and flashing lights were rushing in their cars menacing through the main streets.
Only around ¼ of the employees in the town hall work, mainly to plan the distribution of food, as well as 1/4 in the administration of the medical centers; but the court, public prosecutor's office, administration of the district president, etc. not at all. The guards are on duty as usual, of course very bored, and sometimes want to pray or speak with me. That’s fine with me. The municipality workers, especially the street sweepers, gardeners and garbage collectors, received free food for two weeks. Most days they donated to me 1-2 surplus lunches which I could gladly donate to very poor and needy people, and bakeries often have a lot of “old” bread left over, and other friends give us priests groceries that I am happy to redistribute. There is no public transport on Sundays, some guards walked for 1½ hours e.g. from San Luis.
Jails are built for approx. 800 prisoners each but are occupied by almost 3000, housed in 14 pavilions (large buildings). Visitors are prohibited from any contact with their infected relatives. There are also infections among the guards. Some carry non lethal arms.
I could speak and pray with some of them as long as some prisoners were there. They stayed all the time outside of the Hospital.
Every prisoner in the hospital now needs 2 guards for 12 hours each. Up to 6 guards are outside the hospital. Several other sick people have been tested and admitted and are not even allowed to have cell phone contact with relatives who, like priests, are
of Ica, where they only offer 4 years of philosophy studies, while the 3 following theology years are completed in Cañete. On the feast day of St Joseph, March 19, 2 priests were to be ordained there, unfortunately it had to be canceled. The seminarians did not arrive in time before the travel ban took effect. We hope that everything can take place as soon as possible. Since there are 2 elderly priests living there, only 1 seminarian is allowed daily for shopping. Lessons are with "Zoom" on computers that work more or less well, otherwise “business as usual”. One evening they played soccer on the inner small square with some priests, of course, without recognizable priestly clothes, from the cathedral parish 400 meters away, a national sport without which many Peruvians could hardly live. Police officers entered through the unlocked gate and arrested some, including priests, for a few hours.
We hope and pray that the seminarians will become even more faithful to their calling under such special circumstances. There are no school visits, among other things, to get young people excited about the priesthood. Let's see how many will enter next year.
In summer we have been organizing lotteries in favor of the seminary for years, unfortunately the second one could not take place so far and will not bring us around $ 5000.
President Vizcarra does not want to call it that. On Sun March 15 he spoke in the evening at 7 p.m. At 8:00 p.m. there were fewer than half of the normal faithful at the Holy Mass in the cathedral. On Monday I celebrated 7 a.m. Mass for a few faithful, but the pastor closed the church door during my Holy Mass celebration. Only a few remained until they could receive Holy Communion. Then, before 8:00 p.m., many ran into their homes. The police arrested a thousand across Peru, but released them the next morning. A few days later, curfew was restricted from 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., now "only" until 4:00 a.m. Private car use was prohibited, but a lot
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