Annual dinner to aid diocesan mission

Thursday, October 05, 2017 - Updated: 12:33 pm

Pittsburgh Catholic Staff Report

Tickets are still available for the 52nd annual Peru Mission Dinner to be held Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel. Proceeds benefit the diocese’s Center for Social Works in Chimbote, Peru.

“It is a night for the entire Church of Pittsburgh to celebrate the life-giving, life-sustaining and life-affirming ministry of our Catholic medical missionaries,” wrote Bishop David Zubik in a letter to the faithful. “It is an annual priority for me. I know it is for you as well.”

A reception will be at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7.  

In pointing out that Matthew’s Gospel challenges us with the question, “When did we see you, Lord?” the bishop said he has seen Jesus walking the streets of Chimbote, with the late Msgr. Jules Roos, who served in Chimbote for some 50 years, and with Dominican Sisters Margaret Mary Birchmeier and Lillian Bockheim, who continue to serve there.

“I have seen Jesus alive in the 139 professional health care and social workers serving daily in his name,” he wrote. “These women and men whom you support through this annual mission dinner are the face of Jesus Christ himself.”

Mike Clark of WTAE-TV will once again serve as master of ceremonies. Members of the two 2017 mission teams will serve as honorary hosts and will be joined by more than 60 members of previous mission teams. As in past years, Sister Margaret Mary and Sister Lillian will be among the honored guests. The images of videographer and storyteller Dr. Dennis Woytek will chronicle the story of this year’s mission trips.

Student ambassador teams will share their projects at the reception and be among the dinner guests. A featured story this year will be the greatly expanded and modernized wellness clinic, La Nueva Posta Medica. It was made possible because of the support of diocesan mission partners of the Chimbote Foundation, and students in Catholic schools and religious education programs.

In addition to the wellness clinic, support of the center provides for a first-rate clinical laboratory and pharmacy; a shelter for abused, abandoned or orphaned children; and a home-visit program into the barrios where destitute poor people struggle to live and die in dignity.

“Your presence helps us sustain and spread this powerful story of a “bridge of love and hope” linking the Church of Pittsburgh and the people of Chimbote,” Bishop Zubik said.

Tickets are $150 per person, $1,500 for a table of 10. Sponsorships also are available. For more information, call 412-456-3085 or e-mail: Chimbote@diopitt.org. To register and/or pay online, visit chimbotefoundation.org. Checks may be made payable to the Chimbote Foundation, c/o Diocese of Pittsburgh, Office for Stewardship, 111 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222.

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