Vincentian Sisters Perish in Peru Earthquake

(August 15, 2007; Pisco, Peru)

I just received news that a dear friend died in the Peruvian earthquake. Her name was Sister Elizabeth Ore Ventura (her picture is below). She was a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul who serve the poor of Peru, especially orphans. She served many years at the orphanage in Puno. Also below is a picture I took last year of “Sor Elizabeth” and the three other Vincentian Sisters who staff the Puno orphanage. Later in the year Sor Elizabeth was transferred to Pisco on the coast. On August 15 she was attending Mass at the Church of San Clemente when the earthquake struck, killing over 85 people. Another Vincentian Sister, Sor Antonieta Perla Cavagneri (picture below) also perished when the church collapsed. With them were several children who died at their sides. I ask your prayers for the eternal rest of these beautiful Sisters and for all who died in the earthquake, as well as prayers that God will console their loved ones – and inspire many people to assist the victims of this terrible natural disaster The Los Angeles Times has an article and pictures: Death and disbelief in a hard-hit city.

Sister Elizabeth was a dear friend, very thoughtful and dedicated to the children and the poor she served. Her parents lost a wonderful daughter, her sibling an outstanding sister and for the children, especially the orphans, she served it Puno and Pisco, it was like losing a mother. We join the orphan children and the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in their grief. In addition to the loss of lives, they suffered destruction of their property – schools, orphanages and convents in Pisco and other cities were badly damaged or completely ruined.

Right after the earthquake struck, someone gave me $200 for earthquake relief. I notified Obst. Luz Marron, director of the Mary Bloom Center in Puno. She used the $200 to purchase 28 blankets, which were sent to Pisco, along with a shipment of aid from the people of Puno. Any donations received will be used for the most immediate needs, as well as projects which will help people get back on their feet after this terrible disaster. If you are able to help, please send your donation to:

Peru Earthquake Relief
c/o Holy Family Parish
9622 - 20th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

I will be visiting Peru from Oct 1 to 25 and will be talking with the Vincentian Sisters and others about how best to direct long-term assistance.

Acabo de recibir noticias del fallecimiento de las hermanas vicentinas, Sor Elizabeth Ore Ventura y Sor Antonieta Perla. Murieron en el terremoto en la ciudad de Pisco. Favor de rezar por su eterno descanso y por las Hijas de la Caridad - y los miles de niños que ellas sirven.

--Fr. Phil Bloom (Pastor - Holy Family Parish, Seattle)

Sor Antonieta, R.I.P.:

Sor Elizabeth, R.I.P.:

Daughters of Charity - Sor Maritza, Sor Elizabeth, Sor Fanny, Sor Estrella at Orphanage in Puno:

Vincentian Sister at site of collapsed church in Pisco:

Reports of the Vincentian Family on Peru Earthquake

El apocalipsis por el terremoto en Perú fue en la iglesia de San Clemente de Pisco (El Tiempo)