The Franciscan Sisters have maintained a constant presence in Latin America since 1962. Sister Joan Gerads (pictured right), who has been working as a missionary in Latin America for over 35 years, founded Parish Neighborhood Renewal Ministry (Ministerio Formador de Comunidades Eclesiales de Base), a program that has since trained over 1,000 people as missionaries who travel from parish to parish to help form “Base Church Communities.”
Casa Hermano Sol y Hermana Luna, located in Cumbaya, Ecuador, is the education center that trains missionaries in spiritual direction and the development of Base Church Communities. The program is far-reaching in that it serves the countries of Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and Colombia. Often these Base Church Communities strengthen the entire community and provide the foundation for growth and progress. The goals of Base Church Communities include evangelizing and spreading the Good News which, in turn, helps strengthen the Catholic Church in Latin America.
The Associate Relationship continues to grow and thrive in Ecuador. Over 40 lay people live their lives by the example of Saints Francis and Clare and support the mission and ministries of the Franciscan Sisters.
Franciscan Associates continue the ministry programs to the poor at Casa Hogar in Durán, Ecuador, which were started by Sisters Ramona Johnson and Berth Gerads during the ’90s. The program provides breakfast to children of the neighborhood along with education activities.
Click to view excellent videos production by Franciscan Associate Veronica Rivadeneira, from Quito, Ecuador.