News & Events


Christmas in the Andes

As more than 100 children from the IHM Sisters´ neighborhood in Sicuani, Peru flocked into the meeting room in the IHM House of Studies, Advent beganwith song!  Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during Advent the children came at 7:00 p.m. to practice Christmas carols for the parish Christmas mass. Sister Eileen Egan led the singing accompanied by Miriam Mendoza, Peruvian, and Karina Kroemer from Germany. At the same time Sister Norma Poma Arpi was preparing her youth group for the dramatic presentation of the Nativity during Christmas Eve Mass.

On December 8, the three IHM sisters renewed their vows in the Cathedral at 5:00 a.m. mass. Later in the day, there was a procession through the streets with the statue of our Blessed Mother. Each evening of the nine days before Christmas, the sisters, friends and IHM Associates visited different homes to celebrate “Posadas,” the prayerful enactment of Mary and Joseph seeking a place for Mary to give birth to the child Jesus.

In the Prelature there are priests and sisters from several different countries. Over the course of several months, each group prepared a meal of their customary foods. The Bishop asked Sister Eileen to organize the Christmas dinner for the 50 priests and sisters! Sister Ancilla and children from the neighborhood prepared hundreds of cookies. Sister Norma prepared barbecue chicken and Father Daniel prepared tapioca. With the help of friends, sisters,  associates, and priests, the Christmas dinner, a wonderful corporate effort, which included the singing of Christmas carols, became a
wonderful community celebration!

Students from one of the city high schools brought hundreds of bags of food which the sisters then distributed to pueblos in the mountains for elderly poor persons. They also sent bags of toys to the pueblos for the children.

On the last day of Sister Ancilla´s library program, the children gathered around a huge birthday cake to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. The culmination of the activities was Christmas Eve mass, followed by Christmas bread and hot chocolate for all as well as gifts for each child present.

IHM Associates and friends prepare a festive dinner. L-R:
Juana Puma, Karina Kroemer, Father John Prochaska, Casilda Morocho, Delfina Hualla, Matilde Rendón

PeruChristmas2019-8Sister Ancilla made cookies with neighborhood children who have not had that experience before because their family does not
have a stove.

PeruChristmas2019-6Feast of St. Nicholas-Girls in the IHM House of Studies opening their presents