In 1952 the Columban Fathers made a pioneering move by establishing a permanent mission in Peru.
The Columbans followed this achievement up in 1953 when three Columban Fathers, James Loughran, Hugh McGonagle, and James McCarthy started a new Columban mission in a second South American nation: Chile. They assumed the administration of the San Andres Parish in the capital city of Santiago.
Over the years the Columban mission in Chile has branched out and expanded, including work with the indigenous Mapuche people of southern Chile, and economic projects for the poor in Santiago.
The Columban Sisters would arrive in Chile in 1974. Many Columban associate priests and lay missionaries have served in Chile as well over the decades.
Columban Fr. Alvaro Martinez, a Chilean, joined the Columban program in the 1990s, went to Fiji on his first missionary assignment, worked in vocations ministry and now is the current regional director of Chile.
The Columban presence in Chile continues today, a testament to the dedication of the Columbans to Latin America.