Parish Mission Journey to Piura, Peru

Download contribution form here!  

Here is some important information about the Family-to-Family Program. You’ve no doubt heard of the wonderful Missions that St. Patrick's has sent to Piura, Peru. Well, if you can’t make the next Mission this is a great way to help those in need

The following topics are covered below:

Some Facts about Peru

Our Families’ Environment in Peru

Sponsor Process

Gifts/Additional Help for Your Family

Communicating with Your Family  


Map of Peru


Facts (from the CIA World Fact Book, 2015):

·         Population:

o   30.4 million

o   30% are below the poverty line (over 55% in rural areas)

o   81% are Roman Catholic

·         Geography

o   Land area of 1.28 million sq km (slightly smaller than Alaska)

o   Climate is tropical in the east, dry desert in the west, temperate to frigid in the Andes Mountains

o   Natural hazards are earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, and mild volcanic activity

·         Independence Day is July 28 (from Spain in 1821)

·         Labor force of 16.8 million. (26% is in agriculture, 17% industry, 57% services)

·         Unemployment rate is 7.4% in Lima; elsewhere widespread underemployment;

In Piura - Blessed Sacrament Parish unemployment is approximately 50%.

·         12.3 million internet users

Our Families’ Environment in Piura  

The department (county) of Piura is in northern Peru, just south of Ecuador.  Though 66% of Peru is forests and woodlands, Piura is mainly desert, receiving a couple inches of rain a year.

Our Piura Mission takes us to the very poor parish of Santisimo Sacramento (Blessed Sacrament) with over 40,000 people located in the outskirts of the city. Though the families we sponsor are very poor, they are happy and have a strong faith. The poorest of the poor are the ones for whom the missionaries build homes.  A new home built by the missionaries has 3 rooms, with walls of bamboo sheets held together by wire ties and bamboo poles.  The roof of the home is of corrugated metal; the front is thin plywood, with a lightweight tin door.  Some people may paint or otherwise decorate the plywood, so their home looks a bit different from the others in the neighborhood.  Homes are usually built just a couple of inches apart, except in the remote farm areas.  The cost of materials to build each home is about $700. Basic furnishings (double bed, mattress, sheets, blanket, plastic table & 4 chairs can be added for about $300. There are two smaller rooms, usually used as bedrooms, with one long room being more of an open area.  The kitchen is out back, sometimes within some type of shelter.  There is a fire pit for cooking, and a few pots and pans stored on the side.  Generally, there is a clothesline by the kitchen, and sometimes a few plants.  The homes have no bathrooms, though some families have constructed a small outhouse in the backyard. 

Few homes have running water and electricity is beginning to be available in some communities.  However, the cost to hook up to electric is prohibitive for most families.  It is not unusual to see an extension cord running between houses, the family with electricity willing to provide light at night for their neighbor.

The floors are dirt, but are swept regularly to keep the house clean.  Families sometimes pour water outside the front of the home, to keep the dust down and out of the house.  Cardboard boxes are flattened and attached to bamboo walls to help keep out the cool night air; pages from magazines do the same, plus add color to the home. 

Most homes have one or two small bed frames with a thin mattress and a blanket; some families may have bed sheets.  The majority of homes have several holy pictures decorating the walls.

The people of Piura receive much of their clothing from U.S. donations of used clothing.  This means that clothes and shoes don’t necessarily fit well.  But, these people are so excited and grateful to receive the clothes, shoes, blankets!  Folks generally have footwear, though they are primarily sandals and rubber flip-flops. 

With the exception of an occasional ball or doll, there are few toys.  And, there are few playgrounds for children – public, private, or schoolyard.  Public schools also do not have many books (when they have them at all), and school supplies are not provided by the government.  The people of Piura rely on donations of any school supplies – pencils, crayons, paper.

Country saints are:
-  St. Rose of Lima, patron of florists and gardeners 

-  St. Martin de Porres, patron of social justice and public education

Please go to Santisimo Sacramento Parish website to get a better idea of their world and photos of St. Pats Mission trips! – Click on  “English” then “See Gallery of Missionaries” – Click on “2015” – Scroll down and click on “St Patrick Church from Chicago” to see arrival of St. Pats missionaries and greetings from parish staff and sponsored families in Piura.

Sponsor Process

Please make your check out to the St. Joseph Peruvian Mission Fund.  Note on your check, your sponsored family number (located on the bottom of your family’s Information Sheet).  While our preference is for one annual payment in the amount of $300 plus $10 for translation service, you may pay semi-annually ($150) or quarterly ($75). (If you do not need the English translation, please tell us and we will not expect the additional $10.)  Payments must be received before the 25th of the month.  Your contribution should be mailed to Fran or Ginni. Please DO NOT drop off at the Parish Office or in the Sunday collection basket.

Fran Balistreri                                                Ginni Kerpan Andersen

5675 Hanssen Rd.                                         4978 Shagbark Ct.

Gurnee, IL 60031                                           Gurnee, IL 60031

St. Pat’s Family-to-Family committee sends all checks to the St. Joseph Peruvian Mission Fund in Oklahoma, identifying the families of Blessed Sacrament Parish (Parroquia Santisimo Sacramento) to receive the support.  As all administrative costs of this fund are donated, 100% of your donation goes to your sponsored family!

Once a month, employees of Parroquia Santisimo Sacramento will make a delivery to your family.  A typical delivery consists of rice, lentils, pasta, vegetable oil, flour, evaporated milk, and occasionally a plastic bin or a wool blanket.  The families feel so blessed to know that someone is willing to be so generous and to care for them.  It gives them hope and keeps their faith strong.  St. Pat’s missionaries assist on these deliveries during the annual mission trip to Piura.

The support of your family is greatly appreciated.

Your contribution is fully tax deductible as allowed by law, and you will receive a donation statement directly from St. Joseph’s Peruvian Mission Fund or St. Patricks Church.  This is a non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to improving the health, education, and welfare of the 40,000 people of the Santisimo Sacramento parish in Piura, Peru.

Does your employer have a Company Gift Matching program?

If so, your contribution may qualify for additional funds to be provided to Blessed Sacrament Parish.  Please pursue this avenue with your employer!

If you have any questions on the program, please feel free to contact one of the following St. Pat’s F2F Coordinators: 

            Fran Balistreri                                                  Ginni Kerpan Andersen


847-336-4332                                                 847-623-3312

Gifts / Additional Help for Your Family

If you would like to send extra money, to be designated for specific needs or in general, for whatever the family may need, you may do so.  Just follow the Sponsor Process above, adding a note on how you want the extra donation to be applied (e.g., “For whatever the family needs”).

If you choose to send a donation “for whatever the family needs”, the Blessed Sacrament parish staff will visit the family, find out what their needs are, purchase the items, and deliver them. 

Whatever you choose to do, your family will know it is from you, and will give thanks to God for their padrino and madrina (godfather and godmother)!

We are grateful for your sponsorship!

Communicating with Your Family

Communicating with your family is so important to them, especially when you send them the photo of their “American family,” which they will treasure by placing it in a prominent place. While your financial support sustains them physically, it is your letters and prayers that provide hope & encouragement to continue on in their daily lives. The fastest and easiest way to send a letter/photo is via email to Blessed Sacrament parish. They will print it and deliver it to your family when their next food delivery is made. 

If you wish to correspond with your sponsored family, be sure to include with your letter the sponsored family’s name and their I.D. number (SP#____) assigned by our F2F Committee on your Family Information Sheet.

You can help the workload of the staff at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Piura by translating the letter into Spanish before sending. Mary Label has graciously volunteered to assist F2F sponsors by translating their letters  to their Peru families from English to Spanish. Just email her the English and she’ll email back the Spanish translation. Mary’s email is:

Then email the letter to: In the Subject line type: “Letter for St. Pat’s Family (SP#____)”

             - OR -

If you don’t have a computer:

Mail the letter to Mary Label at:  14650 Marcella Ln, Brookfield, WI 53005 asking for a  translation. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return mail. Then mail the translated letter to the following address:

Parroquia Santisimo Sacramento

ATTN: (Family Name) (SP # -    __)

SECTOR: (Name of village - see Family Information Sheet)

Apartado 324

Piura, Peru

Regular mail generally takes about 10 days from the time you mail it to the time the parish receives it. I usually allow 2 wks for delivery (e.g. birthday cards) to the family.

Should your family send you letters, they will be translated to English, scanned, and emailed to our F2F Correspondence Coordinator, Stan Crevier (, who will forward them to you promptly. If you do not use email, Stan will print and mail your letter to you. We pay the parish an additional $10 per year, per family, for translating from Spanish to English, which we add to your sponsorship. If you do not need the English translation, please tell the F2F Committee member (Fran or Ginni) and the extra $10 would not be expected.

If you have any questions about corresponding with your family, please contact:

Stan Crevier

St. Pats F2F

Correspondence Coordinator

847-204-8707   Email: