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San Carlos de Ancud

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(Sancti Caroli Ancudiæ).

The most southern of the Chilian dioceses. It extends from the River Cautín on the north to Cape Horn on the south; comprises the civil Provinces of Valdivia, Llanquihue, and Chiloé, part of the Province of Cautín and the Territory of Magallanes; has an area of more than 77,220 square miles, and a population of 371,856 inhabitants, 356,267 of whom are Catholics. San Carlos de Ancud (3,500 inhabitants) is the episcopal city, and the other important cities of the diocese are: Valdivia (15,000 inhabitants); Puerto Montt (5,500 inhabitants); Osorno (7,600 inhabitants); and Punta Arenas (12,300 inhabitants). The diocese is divided into 48 parishes. The cathedral chapter is composed of the dean, archdeacon, doctoral (councillor), and one canon. The seminary is directed by the Jesuits and has 106 students. There are 69 secular priests and 86 regular. The male religious orders have 30 houses and are represented by 141 members, the orders being the Jesuits, Franciscans, Capuchins, Discalced Carmelites, Salesians, and Brothers of the Christian Schools. The female religious orders have 18 houses and 95 members. In Puerto Montt there is a college directed by the Jesuits, and an industrial school in charge of the Christian Brothers ; in Valdivia there is a commercial school under the care of the Salesians. There are 5 colleges for girls under the care of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Paderborn, and the Salesian Sisters conduct another; there are also 12 primary schools, five of which are for the Indians; all these schools are in charge of religious teachers. There are 2 orphan asylums , and 6 hospitals in charge of nuns. More than 3,300 children are taught in these schools. The churches and chapels number 255. The Prefecture Apostolic of Araucanía is situated within the confines of the diocese, and has 19 missions in charge of German Capuchins from the Province of Bavaria ; in these missions there are 18 churches and 13 chapels. The native population of this prefecture is about 60,000. The Territory of Magallanes belongs to the Prefecture Apostolic of Southern Patagonia, under the care of the Salesians. The Prefect Apostolic, Mgr. José Fagnano, lives in Punta Arenas. The missionaries have evangelized the Indians of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego; the latter are composed of three races, Onas, Yaaganes, and Alacalufes, and are greatly reduced in numbers.


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The diocese was separated from the Diocese of Concepción by Gregory XVI, erected 1 July, 1840 by the Bull "Ubi primum", and made a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Santiago. Five bishops have goverend the diocese : D. Justo Donoso (1845-53); Fray Francisco de Paula Solar (1857-82); Fray Juan Agustin Lucero (1887-97); D. Ramón Angel Jara (1898-1910); Fray Pedro Armengol Valanzuela. Three diocesan synods, 1851, 1894, and 1907, have been held in the diocese. The clergy annually hold conferences from April to October to discuss moral and ethical questions, and make an annual spiritual retreat of eight days. In almost all the parishes, a nine day's mission is given to the faithful each year to prepare them for the paschal communion. The people are law-abiding and industrious, and they observe the principles and practices of their religion. Each parish has pious associations and confraternities, such as that of the Blessed Sacrament , and also various associations for the improvement of morals and for mutual support.


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