On Friday, July 10, 2015, Jorge Izaguirre, C.S.C., was ordained to the episcopacy in a beautiful Mass outside San Miguel Cathedral in Camaná, Peru. Bishop Izaguirre was appointed Bishop Prelate of the Territorial Prelature of Chuquibamba, Peru, by Pope Francis on May 11, 2015.
At the time of his appointment, he was serving as a member of the General Council of the Congregation of Holy Cross and working as the Director of the Congregation’s International House of Formation in Santiago, Chile.
The day’s celebrations began with a procession through the town to the cathedral in which then Bishop-elect Izaguirre was joined by local dignitaries, including the governor of the state, the mayor of the city, and other Church and government authorities. The streets were lined with well-wishers, including many school children, waving flags and greeting joyfully their new pastor.
The Mass of Ordination was held at a stage set up in front of the Cathedral in Camaná. The Most Rev. Norberto Strottman, M.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Chosica, presided at the Mass and was the principal consecrator. The principal co-consecrators were the Most Rev. Luis Armando Bambarén, S.J., Bishop of Chimbote, and Most Rev. Mario Busquets Jordá, Prelate Emeritus of Chuquibamba.
Also present at the Ordination were many Holy Cross priests, brothers, and sisters, including Fr. Richard V. Warner, C.S.C., the Superior General of the Congregation.
After the Mass, there was the opportunity for the people who attended the celebration to greet personally Bishop Izaguirre. The newly ordained bishop spent almost two hours greeting the lay faithful and others who came to congratulate him. There also was a luncheon for those in attendance that included some cultural presentations from the members of the local community.
"The ordination ceremony was a blessed moment for Holy Cross, with members of all three branches of our Holy Cross family there to be with our brother Jorge as he was ordained a bishop of the Church,” said Fr. Thomas J. O'Hara, C.S.C., Superior of the United States Province, who was in attendance for the Ordination. “Bishop Jorge is a gifted priest and will be an excellent Bishop. It was moving to see the throng of believers attending the ordination. The area is very poor economically but very rich in faith."
On Sunday, July 19, there was a special Mass of Thanksgiving presided at by Bishop Izaguirre and held in Canto Grande with people of the parish of El Señor de la Esperanza where he had served as a pastor for many years. Many Holy Cross religious remained for the celebration in support of their religious brother. Bishop Bambarén was also in attendance.
While the Congregation of Holy Cross has had bishops in many countries throughout the world, Bishop Izaguirre is the first Holy Cross bishop in Peru. A native son of Peru, Fr. Izaguirre was born on January 14, 1968, in Casma, Ancash. After studying theology in Chile, he professed Final Vows in the Congregation on January 14, 1996, and was ordained on February 15, 1997. After Ordination, Fr. Izaguirre served as Assistant Pastor at Santa Cruz Parish in Chimbote, Peru. In 1999, he was transferred to Lima to take charge of the house of formation where he served for 6 years. In 2004, Fr. Izaguirre went to the United States to do advanced studies at Weston Jesuit School of Theology and Boston College, where he earned his Master in Theology.
After his return to Peru in 2006, he became pastor at El Señor de la Esperanza Parish in Canto Grande. There, with nine other Holy Cross priests, he served over 250,000 people, mostly Catholics, who live in the parish boundaries. Fr. Izaguirre was appointed to the General Council in 2010. While continuing to serve as the Fourth Assistant, he was appointed in 2013 as the new Director of Formation and Superior of the International House of Formation in Santiago.
The Congregation has served in Peru since September 1963 when the first missionaries from the United States arrived in Cartavio to assume pastoral care of the field hands and factory works in the sugar hacienda there. While Holy Cross turned over the pastoral work in Cartavio to the diocese in 1974, its present and ministry in Peru, now focused around El Señor de la Esperanza Parish in Canto Grande, continues to focus on bringing hope to those bearing crosses in their lives.
Special thanks to Kelly Chimeta, who works for the Congregation's District of Peru, for her assistance with this article.