Focus 2008

Chaco - PAR15-04-2008

Project: Vicariate Apostolic, Chaco Paraguayo
Date: da 1917
Place: Chaco, Paraguai
Province: PAR

Vicariate Apostolic of Chaco Paraguayo

On 28 December 1878, the Holy See, through Cardinal Nina, asked Don Bosco to send missionaries to Paraguay, as from Rome the Extraordinary Apostolic Delegate, Mons. Ángelo Di Prieto from Asunción had asked.

On 7 June 1894, Bishop Lasagna, arriving in Mato Grosso, went to Concepción and saw the Chaco Indians for the first time, from his boat.

In 1917 Fr Emilio Sosa Gaona, who became the first Bishop of Concepción and Chaco, established the first Salesian community in Fuerte Olimpo. The Salesians and Salesian Sisters set themselves up along the banks of Río Paraguay to await the Paraguayans who were coming to Pto. Pinasco, Pto. Casado, Pto. Sastre and Guaraní in incrfeasing numbers, looking for work.

Some features of the Vicariate:

  1. A broad, difficult terrain in every sense
  2. Drought and floods seem to alternate
  3. Scarcely populated (2% on the national population)
  4. People are scattered>
  5. Lack of roads (impossible to move around during rainy season)
  6. Extreme poverty (natives and farmers).

SDB/FMA Presence

  1. Salesians have three mission stations. Salesian Sisters have four.
  2. Ministry is carried out in population Centres but also on the move. Formation of catechists and Basic Ecclesial Communities, schools, formation centres for workers, health care.
  3. Two community radios carry out a work of animation in the community and proclaim the Gospel.
  4. Salesians accomapny and and help the people defend their lands against large farming corporations.