This year, the Little Sisters of the Helpless Elderly (Hermanitas de los Ancianos Desamparados) are celebrating the 145th anniversary of their foundation. Ever since 1873, they have been caring for the poor, the lonely and the helpless elderly. Their congregation, founded in Spain, can today be proud of the fact that they have over 200 houses spread across 20 countries and four continents. Most of their convents are in Central and South America, but the Sisters also have homes in the Philippines, Mozambique and in Europe.

In Peru and Bolivia, they currently have no fewer than 212 religious Sisters looking after over 2,100 elderly people who would otherwise have no one to care for them. In Peru, they have 11 convents and a retreat house; in Bolivia, they have five houses. Above all it is in the big cities that traditional family structures tend to fall apart, with the result that many old people rapidly find themselves alone and helpless. They not only need help to wash and feed themselves, they also need human affection and support in their spiritual and mental needs. The Sisters seek to care for the whole person, to “care for the body in order to save the soul,” as their foundress, Saint Teresa Jornet used to say.

Aid to the Church in Need has been helping the communities in Peru and Bolivia each year since 1994, and we intend to continue helping them again this year with subsistence support.

As a Christmas Gift please help us continue to support these religious Sisters in Bolivia and Peru who are dedicated to caring for the poor, the helpless and the elderly.

Be assured that the Sisters and the people they serve will remember you in their grateful prayers.