50 Years of Augustinian Presence in Morropón
Shortly after the Prelature of Chulucanas was established in 1964, with Prelate (later Bishop) John McNabb, O.S.A., as its spiritual leader, the parish of San Isidro in Morropón was entrusted to the care of the Augustin- ians. Father Pedro Lopez, O.S.A., from Mexico, was named pastor, and Father Edward Chapman, O.S.A., one of the first missionaries to Peru from the Chicago Province, soon joined him.
Father Chapman served in Morropón for over 20 years. One of his main projects was the construction of St. Rita School, originally a high school for girls from poor families in the parish. Father Ed recognized the need for education for these young women, and the school included boarding facilities for fifty girls from the many outlying villages of the parish. Operated by Benedictine nuns and Peruvian Augus- tinian sisters, the school offered basic secondary education and vocational training to the girls, many of whom evangelized their remote villages when they returned home during vacation periods. The school later added an elementary level and has expanded to include boys.
The golden anniversary of Augustinian presence in Morropón was celebrated in August 2014. A large youth gathering from the Augustinian parishes and schools in Northern Peru joined in the festivities marking 50 years of service and evangelization.