Parish History

Virgin of Nazareth Parish

La Virgen de Nazaret Parish accompanies the people of El Agustino, a district within, Lima, our nation’s capital, by promoting pastoral and social ministries, spiritual formation, and projects of human development. Our purpose is to collaborate in the integral and spiritual development with the people we serve.

In 1968 the Archbishop of Lima, Juan Landázuri Ricketts, signed a decree which officially established the parish, entrusting it to the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. In February of that year, Monsignor Luis Bambarén, auxiliary bishop of Lima, promulgated the founding of the parish by celebrating its first mass for the people.

As the parish began, the Jesuits, as representatives of the parish, showed a willingness to accompany and assist the people in their human and spiritual development by attending neighborhood meetings throughout El Agustino. They had a clear vision and awareness not to replace the role of the local leaders, but to walk with them. One of the first successful actions of the parish was accompanying multiple poor families to achieve their basic human rights for land ownership and proper housing.

Today, we celebrate 55 years accompanying the human and spiritual development of one of the oldest and poorest sectors of the city of Lima.

One of our biggest desires has always been discovering the right spiritual formation of our people, who have remained consistently committed to the parish, their neighborhood, and district. For many years we pride ourselves in having formed our parishioners in various pastoral ministries, from administering the sacraments to forming lay pastoral ministers and leaders in the Church.

However, to better serve our parishioners, a few years ago, we undertook a specific quest to focus the spiritual formation to the current desires and needs of our faithful. This led us to tailor various style of formation programs and workshops which has greatly assisted and empowered our youth and adults in a more comprehensive spiritual formation.

The majority of our population within our El Agustino is poor and often excluded from fully participating in the daily social and political discourse that can assist our citizens to achieve their basic human needs and obtain a better life. The presence of our parish, located within this reality, has a special influence that can serve to change this exclusion and to be a voice for and with the people.

El Agustino is one of the oldest popular sectors of Lima and although its situation has improved, it continues to be an excluded and impoverished district. Signs of its current conflicts and struggles include the alarming growth of crime, unsafe neighborhoods, domestic violence, and struggles among our youth, most of whom are at-risk. Our parish is a strong social actor with a viable history. We have developed the trust and credibility to articulate a spirituality of faith and justice which adequately addresses these troubling social problems.

«If we dream together, we can accomplish it together»

Entrance to the Virgin of Nazareth parish. In the 1990s, the parish became a collection center for food donations to be distributed among soup kitchens. Photograph taken from the Peruvian Jesuits archive and heritage website.
From left to right: the Jesuits Francisco Chamberlain, Jesús Valverde and Manuel Peirano, and the layman Ricardo Ibáñez. . Photograph taken from the Peruvian Jesuits archive and heritage website.

The parish became involved in the human rights movement in order to respond to the massive internal displacement of families affected by terrorism and to defend the innocent accused by the police and armed forces. The expression that best describes the movement was «You will not kill, neither with bullets nor with hunger».

Peruvian Jesuits archive and heritage website
Stained Glass from the parish La Virgin de Nazaret
Celebration of the Sunday Eucharist with Fr. Pedro Oblitas, SJ, presiding.
Fr. Miguel Arrieta SJ. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel
Fr. Kevin Flaherty SJ celebrating the Eucharist for the anniversary of the Holy Cross of San Salvador, Cerro Independiente.
P. Roberto Jaramillo SJ. Saint Joseph Chapel


P. Miguel Arrieta, SJ

Together in Community

Since 1968 our parish has served the pastoral needs of the people of El Agustino. We have 7 chapels and 8 communities within our district which continuing to work in the promotion of faith and justice.