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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > T > Tarapacá


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Situated in Chile, bounded on the north by the canon of the Camarones and on the south by the Loa River. It comprises the civil province of the same name, has an area of 19,305 square miles, and a population of 106,215 Catholics and 3821 non-Catholics. The diocese is divided in 11 parishes, and has 63 churches and chapels, and 30 secular and 14 regular priests. The male religious orders are represented by the Franciscans, Redemptorists, and Salesians; they have 4 houses and 24 members. The female orders are Sisters of the Good Shepherd of Angers, of St. Joseph of Cluny, and the Selesian Sisters; they have 50 members and 5 houses. In Iquique the Salesian Fathers have a college for boys and the Salesian Sisters one for girls, the latter having more than 200 pupils. The sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny have a school in Pica, and a hospital and asylum for children in Iquique. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd have a house of correction for women in Iquique. There are many societies and pious associations in the diocese, the principal being that of Orden Social for men, the Centro Cristiano and the Society of St. Philomena for women in Iquique, and the Society of St. Andrew in Pica. There are 5 primary schools with 481 pupils. The State pays an annuity to the vicar Apostolic, and to the employees of the vicarage, the parish priests, and curates, and also contributes towards the construction of the churches. The vicariate was erected in 1882, when Chile took possession of the Province of Tarapacá, which had formerly belonged to Peru and to the Diocese of Arequipa. Five vicars apostolic have ruled the vicariate since its erection: Camilo Ortûzar; Plácido Labarca; Daniel Fuenzalida; Guillermo Juan Cárter, titular Bishop of Anthedon; and Martín Rücker. The principal cities are: Iquique (45,000 inhabitants) and Pisaque (5105 inhabitants). The population is composed mainly of miners and workers in the saltpetre beds, who are homeless and little given to the practice of their religion. To provide a remedy and alleviate this condition, missions are preached almost every year in the saltpetre works.


Catalogo de los Eclesiasticos, etc. de Chile (Santiago, 1911); Anuario Estadistico de Chile (Santiago, 1910); Censo de la Republica de Chile en 1907 (Santiago, 1908).

About this page

APA citation. Silva y Perez Cotapos, C. (1912). Tarapacá. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Silva y Perez Cotapos, Carlos. "Tarapacá." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Thomas M. Barrett. Dedicated to the Christian Community of Tarapacá.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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