Monsignor Roos (Padre Julio) Children’s Center & Shetler

Where abused, abandoned or orphaned infants and toddlers
receive loving care.

In the late 1990s, the COS was petitioned by the local orphans court to assume the care of the increasing numbers of babies abandoned during their first year of life. In 2001, utilizing whatever space was available, the mission directors created a small, licensed orphanage on the grounds. Some of the babies had significant mental or physical disabilities and remained at the orphanage for years, but received loving care from the staff until proper homes could be found. Due to physical constraints, these children slept, ate and lived in a common room tucked between the maternity hospital and the space for the medical care of the premature infants. At peak times, the orphanage housed 22 children, with two babies per crib, because the need was so great.

In 2010, a telethon was organized in Chimbote to benefit the construction of a new orphanage. The event had the support of the local diocese and key political, business and civil authorities in Chimbote. The response far surpassed expectations – in one day, a sum of almost $300,000 was pledged. The significance of the response was a gesture of appreciation for the selfless work that has been carried out at the COS and Maternidad for nearly 50 years.

In 2011, ground was broken for a new facility, now called the Padre Julio Children’s Center & Shelter. The new center:

  • provides sufficient space for the babies and children to have their own crib or bed
  • has a separate activity room that allows the older children to play while the babies sleep
  • has a full kitchen to allow several children to eat together, and
  • provides space for physical therapy for the physically disabled children.

Volunteers who attend mission awareness trips to Chimbote often spend time at the Padre Julio Children’s Center & Shelter. They are put to work assisting the staff with bottle-feedings and other tasks, and are encouraged to take the babies out of their cribs to shower them with attention and affection!

Further financial support to sustain the facility is planned through the Mission Milestone Investment campaign. Although the physical space is now more than adequate, the unpredictable monthly costs of caring for a changing range of mentally and physically disabled infants and children requires constant support. 24/7 professional medical care, as well as periodic extra staffing, is regularly required for children with special needs, such as cleft palates, malnourishment, Down’s syndrome, blindness and deafness.

Volunteers who attend mission awareness trips to Chimbote often spend time at the Padre Julio Children’s Center & Shelter. They are put to work assisting the staff with bottle-feedings and other tasks, and are encouraged to take the babies out of their cribs to shower them with attention and affection!

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