AMERICA/BOLIVIA - The first indigenous diocesan priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of El Beni has died

Tuesday, 11 January 2022 local churches   priests   indigenous  

Iglesia viva

Trinidad (Agenzia Fides) - Father Maximiliano Noe Valverde was born on August 18, 1962, the third of eight brothers in the parish of La Fortuna on the Mamoré River. In the ten years from 1990 to 2000, nine deacons and seven priests were ordained in the Vicariate Apostolic El Beni. Among them was Maximiliano Noe Valverde, incardinated in Trinidad, El Beni since May 22, 1994.
According to the news released by the Bolivian Bishops' Conference, sent to Fides, Fr. Maximiliano had been parish priest of the Parish of La Resurrección since August 4, 1995, a task that he carried out until the last days of his life, despite his diabetes, which ultimately led to him being admitted to the Cossmil hospital, where he died on the afternoon of Monday, January 1, at the age of 59 and after 26 of priesthood.
In his pastoral and evangelizing mission he cared for the indigenous communities of TIPNIS (Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Secure), a protected area and land of indigenous communities between the north of the department of Cochabamba and the south of the department of Beni and in the surrounding communities. He was also chaplain of the Armed Forces in Beni. His funeral will take place today, January 11, in the parish that he led for 26 years.
The Apostolic Vicariate of El Beni or Beni was erected on December 1, 1917 and entrusted to the Friars Minor (OFM). It covers almost the entire Bolivian department of Beni, in the northeastern part of the country. The seat of the vicariate is the capital of the department, the city of Trinidad. The vicariate has 239,498 inhabitants, of whom 191,598 are Catholic. There are 30 parishes, 12 diocesan and 13 religious priests, one permanent deacon, 15 friars and 30 nuns. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 11/1/2022)