The Congregation of Holy Cross went to Chile at the invitation of the Archbishop of Santiago to take over administration of Saint George’s College. The first three priests arrived from the United States on March 1, 1943, just in time for the school year.
Within three years of arriving, Holy Cross had expanded its work in Chile to include parish ministry in the poor neighborhood of Peñalolen, as well as outreach to abandoned children in Santiago and then later in Telegante. The Congregation’s efforts in these early decades were focused on increasing opportunities, especially educational access, for the poor.
Since our foundation here we have worked with the poor and marginalized, but we have also been part of the education of the economic and social elite. Our mission in parishes, schools, and orphanages has built bridges, today more important than ever, in a country with growing wealth, but also with increasing inequalities and social divisions. – Rev. José Ahumada, C.S.C. Read more ...
In solidarity with the people of Chile, the Congregation continued ministering in the country during the military government of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Several members of the Congregation were arrested, tortured, and deported. The government also took over St. George’s College in September 1973. The school was only returned to Holy Cross in 1986. During these years, the Congregation took responsibility for Colegio Nuestra Señora de Andacollo, located in the older sector Central Santiago.
Today, the Congregation continues to administer St. George’s and Andacollo. Both colleges are known for their academic excellence and their strong faith formation, especially in terms of social justice and sacramental preparation. St. George’s, in particular, is perennially recognized as one of the best schools in the country.
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In addition to still working at San Roque Parish in Peñalolen, Holy Cross administers two other parishes: Nuestra Señora de Andacollo, in the same area as the school, and Nuestra Señora de la Merced, in the Diocese of San Felipe. Also, through Fundación Moreau, the Congregation continues its work with abandoned children.
Chile is also home to an international house of formation for Holy Cross. Members of the Congregation from Brazil, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, and Chile are there completing their formation and preparing for ministry in the Church.
After a long history of collaboration, the Congregation's mission in Chile joined with the mission in Peru to form one unified jurisdiction. The work of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Chile is now overseen by the unified District of Chile-Peru (Santiago, Chile, and Canto Grande, Peru).
For a listing of the Congregation's schools, parishes, and other apostolic works in Chile, check out the ministries page.