The diocesan retreat house at Valdivia was the chosen place to have our annual Assembly from January 23th through 27th. The house is located at the shores of the Calle-Calle, a sailing and most picturesque river that takes visitors to some of the old Spaniard colonial fortresses and then directly towards the Pacific Ocean, from where, if the boat continued sailing west, could reach the coasts of New Zealand! This time the Vicariate didn´t take the trip that far and decided to stay ashore and keep an eye close to some down to earth issues. Election of leadership took place and the following members where elected to lead the Vicariate for the next four years:
Fr. Nicanor Azúa (Vicariate Director)
Fr. Omar Cerda (First Counselor)
Fr. Miguel Ángel Soto (Second Counselor)
Fr. Mauricio Álvarez (Third Counselor)
At the end of the Assembly, on Friday 27th, candidate Diego Gallardo was temporally incorporated to the CPPS and made his commitment at the final liturgy, presiding was the new Vicariate Director, new Council, members and relatives of Diego.
Also at the end of the Assembly veteran Precious Blood Missionary Fr. Donald Thieman announced his wish to retire at St. Charles Center, Carthagena, Ohio. Fr. Donald a native from Coldwater, Ohio, has faithfully served the Chilean Vicariate for the last 53 years and with all probability is the oldest living CPPS Missionary that has served for so many years abroad. The Chilean Vicariate is most grateful for his commitment and loving ministry to the Chilean people. We are going to miss him. Fr. Donald will leave Chile for good in May of 2012.
The 2012 annual Assembly came to an end with the remarks of visiting Cincinnati Province Provincial, Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn who stressed concerns such as collaboration, cross cultural experience and a spirituality of fund raising, this last issue according to his own experience over a period of ten years.
Definitively the Chilean Vicariate of the Precious Blood is not sailing towards New Zealand but we have lots of reasons to be grateful to the good work more than 83 CPPS missionaries have done over sixty four years of ministry in Chile.
Text and photos: Antonio Baus, CPPS