AMERICA/VENEZUELA – The evangelizing mission of the diocese of San Cristobal begins in the apostolic vicariate of Caroni

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San Cristobal – Yesterday, July 20, the decree was made public by which the Holy See, through the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, entrusts the Apostolic Vicariate of Caroní to the pastoral care of the Diocese of San Cristóbal, in Venezuela. The Apostolic Vicariate, which includes the Venezuelan state of Bolívar, was erected on March 4, 1922 by Pope Pius XI. On July 30, 1954, it ceded a part of its territory for the erection of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tucupita. The seat of the Vicariate of Caroni is the city of Santa Elena de Uairén, where the Cathedral dedicated to Saint Helena is located. According to news sent to Agenzia Fides by the Venezuelan diocese, yesterday morning the plane to Saint Elena de Uairén took off from Tachirian soil, with on board the new Apostolic Vicar, Mgr. Gonzalo Ontiveros and three priests who will accompany him on the mission: Hugo Ochoa, Javier Parra and José Luis Pereira. Monsignor Mario Moronta, Bishop of San Cristóbal, announced that in the coming months he will send seminarians and committed lay people, in addition to the material aid that has already been collected by the faithful of the diocese. The Apostolic Vicariate of Caroní was entrusted to the order of the Capuchin Friars Minor, who carried out a long and diligent pastoral ministry in that territory, but due to the lack of missionary vocations they had to leave their office. The Apostolic Vicariate has a population of 91,100 inhabitants of whom 57,700 are Catholics. There are 6 parishes, 2 diocesan priests and 6 religious, 4 religious brothers and 3 nuns. Mgr. Gonzalo Alfredo Ontiveros Vivas was appointed Apostolic Vicar of Caroni by Pope Francis on April 28, 2021. He was born on December 5, 1968 in El Valle Capacho, in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Venezuela. He was ordained a priest on August 14, 1993 and a Bishop on June 26, 2021. He has been a military chaplain and vice-coordinator of the team responsible for preparing for the centenary of the diocese .