Peru, South America

Pilgrimage of Prayer: The Women's Liturgical Choir in Peru, 2019

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In 2019, the choir was blessed to partner with Holy Cross Missions for our first overseas international tour to Peru during Spring Break! Our partnership with Holy Cross allowed our tour to become an unforgettable blend of shared music, service, and faith exploration. The week which was filled with friendship, community, and prayer developed into more of a pilgrimage and retreat experience for our group!

We started off the week in Lima with an opportunity to sing at the city’s cathedral where the new Archbishop was celebrating Sunday Mass. In the afternoon we toured two historic convents, prayed at the tomb of St. Rose of Lima, and explored underground catacombs! We spent the majority of the week in Canto Grande, Peru, at the Peyton Center: Holy Cross’ local headquarters and mission center. In Canto Grande, we performed at a local primary school and at a variety of parishes in the district associated with Holy Cross. Our choristers served as volunteers in specialized classrooms for children with developmental or learning disabilities at Yancana Huasy (“House of Work”), and we shared a true spirit of joy through song at this center that attends to the needs of children with physical and mental challenges and their families. Additionally, the choir made another international television appearance--this time on a Catholic Peruvian TV station. We loved the experience of singing at the station and seeing the camera crew hard at work behind the scenes of the production! 

Later in the week, we put our hands to work with a sanctuary restoration project at a local parish. In collaboration with the community there, we spent the day painting, hauling buckets of water, clearing out large rocks, and cleaning a small chapel. We were exhausted after a day of hard work, but we cherished the opportunity to return to the chapel that same night and sing for the first Mass celebrated in the refurbished space. In an effort to raise funds to support the work of the Holy Cross missions, our time in Peru culminated with a final benefit concert at the Peyton Center’s amphitheatre. As our concert approached, the community was buzzing with excitement since our concert was the very first time that the Canto Grande parish of 200,000 had ever hosted an international choir! We were very blessed to be able to share our music with the Canto Grande family. 

We would like to offer sincere thanks to Holy Cross Missions, the staff at the Peyton Center, Fr. John Phelan C.S.C., the Notre Dame Club of Lima, and to all of those who supported us on the ground in Canto Grande. We would like to offer a special thank you to Becky Ruvalcaba, David Smith C.S.C., and Zach Lawson for joining us on our Peruvian journey and offering their gifts and talents to the service of our choir. Our international pilgrimage was truly a success thanks to everyone’s support and accompaniment! 

Documentary and Other Videos from our Peru Pilgrimage