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Ours is a Church that proclaims and disseminates the Word and celebrates the Holy Sacraments as signs of Life. Our Church grants a special importance to our communities of Christians working together and commits itself to protect and dignify all human people and to express and promote full solidarity to one another, particulary the poorer and destitute. Our Church is active in helping people to grow and develop into full human persons and is tireless in proclaiming its missionary zeal and trying to overcome old and individualistic practices among the members of today's society. Our Church proclaims the Gospel and shows the paths of Hope and Liberation that lie ahead of us.


Bishop Carlos M. Camus was born in Valparaíso on January 14, 1927. He graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the Catholic University of Valparaíso in 1949. On the same year he entered the Pontifical Seminar of Santiago to study for the priesthood and on September 21, 1957 he was ordained as a priest. His Holiness Paul VI named him as a bishop for the See of Copiapó on January 31, 1968. His episcopal ordination took place on March 3, 1968. He was translated to the See of Linares as its fifth diocesan Bishop on December 11, 1976.


The Diocese of Linares was established by His Holiness Pius XI on October 18, 1925, by Bulla "Notabiliter Aucto", as soon as the separation from State and Church in Chile came into effect. Six other Chilean dioceses were established on the same day. These were: San Felipe, Valparaíso, Rancagua, Talca, Chillán and Temuco. In 1963 the Linares diocesan territory was enlarged when all parishes of the then Province of Maule - now Cauquenes - which belonged to the Diocese of Chillán, and one parish under the Diocese of Talca, were placed under Linares' jurisdiction. Prior to 1925, the territory now comprised by the Diocese was part of the ancient Diocese of La Santísima Concepción - now the Archdiocese of Concepción. The titled centre of the Diocese and residence of the bishop is the city of Linares. The Catedral Church is dedicated to Saint Ambrose of Milan.

The Diocese of San Ambrosio de Linares, a suffraganean Diocese of Santiago de Chile, is located in the very middle of the long and narrow territory that makes up Continental Chile. The Diocesan territory encompasses two provinces (Linares and Cauquenes) and two municipalities from another (Talca), in the Seventh region of Chile (Maule Region). Among Chilean dioceses, our diocese has one of the highest proportions of people living in rural areas (roughly 40% of the total population). This mix of rural, urban and periurban settings, with a substantial proportion of the population living in poverty, is a challenge for our diocese since it imposes a big demand for pastoral work. Despite its limited human and material resources, the Diocese has met this challenge by creating a network of services and voluntary workers to proclaim the Word, to affirm the sacred dignity of every human person and to protect the poor and destitute. In order to spread the Word to every corner of the Diocese, a large number of chapels has been built in the last ten years, particularly in rural areas. The number of chapels in the Diocese now amounts to 450. The Diocesis has played an active role in the Chilean Conference of Catholic Bishops (CECh). The pastoral orientations released by the Chilean Bishops for the period 1996-2000, have a special importance for the Diocese of Linares inasmuch they provide a valuable instrument of orientation that facilitates the Diocesan pastoral planning.


The diocese encompasses 15.111 square kilometers and its total general population is about 350.000, with more than 80% of the population regarding themselves as Catholics (census data). There are 6 Deaneries, 32 parishes, 450 chapels, 35 diocesan priests, 19 priests in religious orders, 11 permanent deacons, 8 religious brothers and 109 religious sisters. In 1994, the number of baptisms celebrated in the Diocese was 5749. (Map of the Diocese.)


Bishop: Rev. Bishop Carlos M. Camus

Vicar General: Rev. (Msgr.) Silvio Jara

Judicial Vicar: Rev. Héctor Villar

Diocesan Address: Independencia 248, (P.O. Box:) Casilla 107, Linares, Chile.

Telephone: 56-73-210046, 56-73-210286

Fax: 56-73-213561

Bishop's House: Paseo de Jaén s/n, Linares, Chile. Telephone: 56-73-211046

Bishop's Secretary:
Ms. Sandra Méndez, Independencia 248, Casilla 107, Linares, Chile. Telephone: 56-73-210046

E-mail address:

Patron of the Diocese: San Ambrose of Milan


- Bishop Miguel León Prado, First Bishop of Linares: 1925-1934.
Born December 25, 1854 in Santiago. Ordained September 22, 1877. Ecclesiastic Governor of Talca between 1913 and 1925. Elected Bishop of the newly created Diocese of Linares on December 14, 1925. Consecrated in Santiago Cathedral on December 27, 1925, by Mgr. Benedetto Aloisi Masella, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio. Took possesion of his Diocese on April 25, 1926. Died while Bishop of Linares in 1934. Buried in the Church of "Inmaculado Corazón of María", in Linares.

- Bishop Juan Subercaseaux, Second Bishop of Linares: 1935 -1940.
Born in Santiago on August 26, 1896. Ordained in Rome on April 3rd. 1920. Elected Bishop of Linares on February 23, 1935. Consacrated in Santiago Cathedral on April 28, 1935, by Mgr. Ettore Felici, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio. Took possesion of his Diocese on May 12, 1935. Translated as Archbishop to the Archdiocese of La Serena on January 8, 1940. Took possesion of La Serena on April 9, 1940. Died in a car accident while Archbishop of La Serena, on August 9, 1942. Buried in La Serena Cathedral.

- Bishop Francisco Javier Valdivia.
Born in Ovalle on May 25, 1885. Ordained on December 25, 1908. Elected Bishop of Linares by Pope Pius XII on July 27, 1940. Resigned to the See before he was consacrated as Bishop of Linares. Died in Santiago on June 17, 1951.

- Bishop Roberto Moreira, Third Bishop of Linares: 1941-1958.
Born in San Bernardo on March 26, 1896 . Ordained on September 18, 1920. Secretary of the Diocese of Rancagua. Elected Bishop of Linares on March 22, 1941. Consacrated in Rancagua Cathedral on June 11, 1941, by Mgr. Aldo Laghi, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio. Took possesion of his Diocese on June 15, 1941. Died while Bishop of Linares in April, 1958. Buried in Linares Cathedral.

- Bishop Augusto Salinas, SS.CC, Fourth Bishop de Linares: 1958-1976.
Born in Santiago on September 11, 1899. Graduated as a lawyer in 1923. Ordained in Valparaíso on December 16, 1928. Elected Bishop of Temuco on August 29, 1939. Consacrated in Valparaíso on November 26 , 1939, by Mgr. Aldo Laghi, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio. Took possesion of his Diocese later that year. Named auxiliary Bishop of Santiago on February 9, 1941 (to the Titular See of Nisiro). Translated to San Carlos of Ancud on August 3, 1950. Translated to Linares on June 15, 1958. Took possesion of Linares on August 29, 1958. Pope Paul VI accepted his resignacion to the Diocese on December 14, 1976, on account of his age. He died in Valparaíso in August 1991, being Bishop Emeritus of Linares.


Urban Linares and Rural Linares Deaneries. Deans: Rev. René Durán, Cmf and Rev. José Prado, respectively.

1) El Sagrario (Cathedral), Linares - Independencia 280, Casilla 259, Tel. 56-73-210129, Linares. Parish Priest: Rev. Héctor Villar. Date of Foundation: In 1796 the ancient parish of Putagán, located some ten miles north of Linares, was transferred to this town, which had been erected two years before with the name of Villa de San Ambrosio de Linares.

2) Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Linares - Brasil 170, Casilla 385, Tel. 56-73-210292, Linares. Parish Priest: Rev. Hernán González. Date of Foundation: 1960

3) Inmaculado Corazón de María, Linares (Claretian Missionaries of Mary's Heart) - Maipú 114, Casilla 186. Tel. 56-73-210232, Linares. Parish Priest: Rev. René Durán, CMF. Other priests: Rev. Gabriel Aguirre, Br. Carlos Vargas, Br. Germán Jiménez. Date of Foundation: 1960. The church was built in 1906 and is now a National Monument.

4) María Auxiliadora, Linares (Salesian Fathers) - Valentín Letelier esq. Eleuterio Ramírez, Casilla 217, Tel. 56-73-211736, Linares. Parish Priest: Rev. Roberto Sánchez, SDB. Other priests: Rev. Miguel Morales, Rev. Eric Camp, Rev. Mario Peralta, Rev. Germán Balboa. Date of Foundation: 1925

5) Jesús Obrero, Linares - Av. Presidente Ibáñez 1010, Casilla 431, Tel. 56-73-214202, Linares. Parish Priest: Rev. Francisco Lavín. Date of Foundation: 1967

6) Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Linares - General Cristi esq. Covadonga, Casilla 424, Tel. 56-73-210579, Linares. Parish Priest: Rev. Plácido Soto. Date of Foundation: 1976

7) María Peregrina, Linares - Coironal s/n, Casilla 259, Tel. 56-73-210999, Linares. Parish Priest: Rev. Alejandro Quiroz, Vicar: Rev. Héctor Villar. Date of Foundation: 1994

8) San Antonio de Padua, Linares - Salida al Huapi s/n, Tel. 56-73-216537, Linares. Parish Priest: Rev. Silvio Jara. Vicar: Rev. Waldo Alfaro. Date of Foundation: 1994

9) Nuestra Señora de la Buena Esperanza, Panimávida - Clasificador 14 Panimávida, Tel. 56-73-361009. Parish Priest: Rev. Germán Cáceres Date of Foundation: 1913

10) San Miguel Arcángel, Colbún - Clasificador 2 Colbún, Tel. 56-73-492102. Parish Priest: Rev. José Gabriel Ulloa. Date of Foundation: 1930

11) De la Santa Cruz, Yerbas Buenas - Casilla 14 Yerbas Buenas, Tel. 56-73-390057. Parish Priest: Rev. José Prado. Vicar: Rev. Lorenzo Solari. Date of Foundation: 1774 with the name of Santa Cruz de Abránquil.

12) San Lorenzo, Longaví (Capuchin Fathers: O.F.M. Cap.) - Calle 1 Sur s/n, Casilla 28, Longaví, Tel. 56-73-411008. Parish Priest: Rev. Alberto Hitschfeld. Vicar: Rev. Pastor Salvo. Date of Foundation: 1905

San Javier Deanery: Dean: Rev. Christian Hernández

13) San Francisco Javier, San Javier - Catedral 1279, Casilla 73, San Javier. Tel.: 56- 73-321136. Parish Priest: Rev. Christian Hernández. Parish Vicars: Rev. Jaime Vallet, Rev. Gastón Retamal, Rev. José Inostroza. Date of Foundation: 1861.

14) Santísima Virgen de la Merced, San Javier - Av. Balmaceda s/n, Casilla 59, San Javier. Tel. 56-73-322355. Parish Priest: Rev. Juan Pinto. Date of Foundation: 1972.

15) Santa Rosa, Melozal - (Maryknoll Missionary Fathers, U.S.A.) Correo de Melozal, San Javier. Parish Vicar: Rev. Eugenio Toland. Date of Foundation: 1961.

16) Del Niño Jesús, Villa Alegre - Abate Molina 371, Casilla 38, Villa Alegre. Tel. 56-73-381577. Parish Priest: Rev. Erasmo Salazar. Parish Vicar: Rev. Gerardo Valenzuela. Date of Foundation: 1889 as a Vice-parish and 1912 as a parish. The parish church is a National Monument.

17) San Francisco, Huerta de Maule - Correo Huerta del Maule. Tel. 56-73-322355. Parish Priest: Rev. Juan Pinto. Date of Foundation: 1771.

18) San Juan, Orilla de Maule - Aurelio Meza 3033, San Javier. Tel. 56-73-328038. Parish Priest: Rev. Gabriel Lacaux. Date of Foundation: 1966.

Parral Deanery: Dean: Rev. Raúl Castro Viera OMI

19) San José de Parral - Dieciocho s/n, Casilla 72, Parral. Tel. 56-73-461562. Parish Priest: Rev. Juvenal Pereira. Parish Vicars: Rev. René González, Rev. Custodio Ruiz, Rev. Rev. Gerardo Valenzuela, Rev. Luis Castro (OMI), Rev. Hernán Correa (OMI), Rev. Manuel Pérez (OMI). Date of Foundation: 1772.

20) San Francisco de Parral - Dieciocho s/n, Casilla 29, Parral. Tel. 56-73-461581. Parish Priest: R.P. Pedro Cornejo, OFM. Parish Vicar: Rev. Pedro Morales, OFM, Rev. Pedro Villagra, OFM. Date of Foundation: 1961.

21) San Sebastián de Los Cuarteles - Casilla 72, Parral. Tel. 56-73-461581. Parish Priest: Rev. René González. Parish Vicars: Rev. Juvenal Pereira, Rev. Luis Eduardo Castro OMI, Rev. Hernán Correa, OMI, Rev. Manuel Pérez, OMI. Date of Foundation: 1960.

22) San Ramón, Retiro - Av. Errázuriz s/n, Casilla 1, Retiro. Tel. 56-73-421008. Parish Priest: Rev. Rolf Schnitzler. Date of Foundation: 1913.

Constitución Deanery: Dean: Rev. Domingo González

23) San José, Constitución - Oñederra 555, Casilla 24, Tel. 56-71-671062, Constitución. Parish Priest: Rev. Domingo González. Parish Vicars: Rev. Ramón Iturra, Rev. Moritz Ortiz, Rev. Raúl Luna. Date of Foundation: 1832

24) Nuestra Señora del Tránsito, Putú - Correo Putú (Talca Province)*. Parish Priest: Rev. Luis Alberto Retamal. Date of Foundation: 1824

25) Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Nirivilo - Correo de Nirivilo *. Parish Priest: Rev. Raúl Luna. Date of Foundation: 1933. Parish church has been declared a National Monument.

26) San Ignacio, Empedrado - Correo de Empedrado (Talca Province)*. Parish Priest: Rev. Moritz Ortiz. Date of Foundation: 1836

* Residencial address of these three parishes: Bulnes 594, Casilla 133, Tel. 56-71-671076, Constitución.

Cauquenes Deanery: Dean: Rev. Gonzalo Aravena

27) San Pedro, Cauquenes - Calle Catedral 493, Casilla 143, Tel. 56-73-511131, Cauquenes. Parish Priest: Rev. Domingo Herrera. Parish Administrator: Rev. Gonzalo Aravena. Parish Vicars: Rev. Luis Humberto Alarcón, Rev. Luis Fuentealba. Date of Foundation: 1748

28) San Alfonso, Cauquenes - Montt 121, Casilla 43, Tel. 56-73-511867, Cauquenes. (Redemptorist Fathers). Parish Priest: Rev. Raúl Sobarzo. Parish Vicars: Rev. Jerónimo Aguayo, Rev. Eduardo Villagrán, Rev. Juan Foster, Bro. Antonio Carreño. Date of Foundation: 1927

29) Convent San Francisco, Cauquenes - Claudina Urrutia 3, Casilla 45, Cauquenes. Guardian: Rev. Hernán Alvarez. Date of Foundation: 1956, although there is evidence of the existence of a convent in Unihue, circa 1662.

30) Santo Toribio, Curanipe - Manuel Montt 450, Tel. 56-73-556040, Curanipe. Parish Priest: Rev. Benjamín Retamales. Date of Foundation: 1906

31) San Luis Gonzaga, Sauzal - Sauzal, Correo de Cauquenes. (Residencial Address: Calle Catedral 493, Casilla 143, Tel. 56-73-551131, Cauquenes.) Parish Priest: Rev. Luis Fuentealba. Date of Foundation: 1677 as vice-parish and 1836 as parish.

32) San Ambrosio, Chanco - Abdón Fuentealba 715, Casilla 16, Tel. 56-73-551314, Chanco. Parish Priest: Rev. Rolando Escobar. Parish Administrator: Rev. Francisco Hormazábal. Date of Foundation: 1835 although the first church for the Mission was built in 1727 during the mandate of bishop Diego de Humanzoro, O.F.M.


At Diocesan Pastoral House: (Address: Independencia 248, Linares, phone 56-73-210046, Fax: 56-73-213561)

  • Department of Catholic Education. Director: Bro. José Pascual, SM.
  • Department of Family: Coordinators: Patricio and Rebeca Mozó
  • Department of Communities and Ministries (COMIN). Diacons Oscar Villagra and Alejandro Valenzuela, respectively
  • Department of Diocesan Pastoral for Young People. Adviser: Rev. Waldo Alfaro


      • Diocesan Pastoral for Vocations
      • Diocesan Pastoral for the Child
      • Schools
      • Catholic Formation
      • Rural Youth

    At Foundation "CARITAS Diocesana": (Address: Freire 452, Linares, phone 56-73-210736, Fax: 56-73-210736). Foundation President: Rev. Silvio Jara, Executive Director: Mr. Roque Prado

    Department of Rural Action. Address: Kurt Möller 681, Linares, phone 56-73-210396. Director: Mr. Edgardo Quezada.

    Foundation "Nuestra Señora del Carmen", Northecar, Ltd. Address: Freire 184, Linares, phone 56-73-210046, Fax: 56-73-211674. Foundation President: Rev. Erasmo Salazar. Exec. Director: Diac. Oscar Villagra.

    Diocesan Press Office. Address: Freire 452, Linares, phone 56-73-210046.

    Radio "Buena Nueva" ("Good News"), Linares. Address: Valentín Letelier 549, Linares, phone/fax 56-73-210302. Director: Mr. Guillermo Ortega.

    Radio "Buena Nueva" ("Good News"), Chanco. Address: Abdón Fuentealba 715, Chanco, phone/fax 56-71-551323. Director/Manager: Rev. Francisco Hormazábal.


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    This page last updated: February 29, 2000. This site is maintained by Ernesto Guiraldes. E-mail address: