In June, the St. Vincent de Paul Pastoral Center, Piura, Peru, introduced two new services – one to benefit older persons; the other focused on employability of young adults and women.

With an emphasis on health and well-being, the center is an SCL-sponsored ministry. Hermana Laura Rumiche Morales is the executive director.

The program for older adults aims to improve and sustain quality of life through education and activities that are preventive and rehabilitative. Licenciada Jahaira Ypanaque Huancas coordinates this program.

At the heart of this service is the philosophy that older adults are valued wisdom figures. Hermana Laura quotes Pope Francis, who said, “Elderly are the wisdom of the family, they are the wisdom of a people.”

Hermana Esther Vilela Gutiérrez and Fany Zapata Martinez coordinate the other new program that strives to enhance employability of young people and women. Twenty to 25 women participate in evening sessions that begin with prayer and include skill-building directed toward employment opportunities.

“It is wonderful to see happy women, learning a way to have an affordable income for their homes,” Hermana Laura says.

This year, St. Vincent de Paul Pastoral Center marked its 12th anniversary. The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth established missions in Latin America in 1963. In the 1980s, the Community welcomed its first Peruvian members as Hermanas de la Caridad. Today, nine native Peruvian Hermanas serve in teaching, pastoral ministry, social service and other roles in Piura, Chuschi and Chalaco, Peru.