LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA – Msgr. Jules Roos, a Pittsburgh diocesan priest who has served the poor of Chimbote, Peru for 36 years was honored as a Saint Vincent Alumnus of Distinction by the Saint Vincent Alumni Association on October 26, 1999.
Msgr. Roos, a 1952 graduate of Saint Vincent College and a 1956 graduate of Saint Vincent Seminary, is the executive director of The Social Work Center in Chimbote. The Center began many years ago in one room, but now consists of a maternity hospital, outpatient clinic and clinical laboratory, with a number of social service, special studies and foreign service programs. From January through June of this year, the Center handled a total of 100,313 cases, including 1,539 babies delivered. The patient treatment statistics from 1966 through 1998 show that 3,014,028 individuals have been served.
Once a thriving fishing port 250 miles north of Lima, Chimbote attracted a great number of unemployed persons looking for work. Atmospheric conditions decimated the fish population, and natural disasters, ranging from a 1970 earthquake to floods in the early 1980s have created very poor living conditions, and resulted in a 70 percent unemployment rate. Many people live in straw shacks without benefit of water, electricity or sewerage.
The poverty of this region and its substandard living conditions, results in malnutrition, dehydration, tuberculosis, premature delivery of newborns, and high risk newborns. In addition to treating these and other medical programs, the Center is also focused on meeting the moral and spiritual needs of the people it serves and on providing maternal and child care programs.
In presenting the award, Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., the Chancellor of Saint Vincent Seminary, said that “Monsignor Roos has served the poorest of the poor for most of his priestly ministry. His care and service to those whom he has been called to serve has brought hope to people who each day are confronted by the challenges of survival. For them, he is God’s hands and feet.”
“We honor Monsignor Roos for his outstanding service to the Church and society,” said Rev. Gilbert J. Burke, O.S.B., Alumni Director. In honor of Msgr. Roos, the Saint Vincent Alumni Association and Saint Vincent Seminary provided a monetary gift to The Social Work Center in Chimbote.
Presenting Monsignor Jules Roos, center, with the Saint Vincent Alumnus of Distinction Award recently were Rev. Gilbert J. Burke, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Alumni Director and Very Rev. Thomas P. Acklin, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Seminary Rector. Monsignor Roos, a Saint Vincent College and Seminary graduate, is a Pittsburgh diocesan priest.
more than 2,300 men for the priesthood since its founding by Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., in 1846.