AMERICA/CHILE-The Church of Santiago celebrates 450 years in the service of the community

Santiago, Chile (Agenzia Fides) - "Christ ayer, hoy y siempre" is the motto with which the Church of Santiago, created as a diocese in 1561 by Pope Pius IV, celebrated her 450 years of life. The Archbishop of Santiago, His Exc. Mgr. Ricardo Ezzati, together with the Vicar General of the Pastoral, Mgr. Cristián Precht, presented the many events that are taking place throughout the month at a press conference. Mgr. Ezzati noted that only a few weeks ago, the Church celebrated 200 years of the National Congress and last year the bicentenary of Chile, underlining that "the Catholic Church has more than 250 years since the country gained independence ". According to the Archbishop, the Catholic Church has contributed much to the construction of the country: "a Church that has accompanied from the outset the lives of our people, which has always supported the indigenous people and that has always been present in the creation of cultural centers, health, education, seminaries and in many other fields". Mgr. Precht, has indicated the activities that will take place for the celebration. The first will be the XV Theological-Pastoral Week 2011, a training activity for the clergy and the laity with the theme on "Present and future of our past: 450 years of history in the Church of Santiago". Each day a specific theme will be dealt with. There will also be a great Archdiocesan assembly, with representatives of the whole Church of Santiago, and a solemn Mass presided by the Archbishop. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 07/13/2011)