Bishop Pedro Shaw, OMI, dearly known as “Pa’i Puku” (or “Long Father”, because he was 1’99m tall), was a holy missionary in the Paraguayan Chaco (1925 – 1984), who travelled on horseback, in cachapé and sometimes on foot, through arid deserts and extensive marshes, crossing rivers and streams, swamps plagued by all kinds of insects and vermin, mosquitoes, dusters and others, knowing neither time, nor hour, nor borders, nor limits as to his physical constitution.

After Bishop Pedro Shaw’s death in 1984, the idea of initiating the official process of his beatification has found more and more support. For several months now, the Vice Postulator of the cause, Dr. Michel Krischer, a German layman and expert on Pa’i Puku, has been working hard to ask the bishop of the Paraguayan diocese of Benjamín Aceval, Bishop Amancio Francisco Benitez, to formally initiate the Cause, which was scheduled to begin in 2020, but which the Covid-19 pandemic has forced to be postponed.

With Saint Pope John Paul II (Creative Commons)

This year 2021, to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic death of Pa’i Puku, the Vice-Postulator has organized a Novena in the form of a “Prayer marathon for the end of the pandemic”. The novena is in preparation for the festivities on the day of his fatal road accident on 21 June 1984, near the 28 km post in the Transchaco Route. There, where the chapel of the “Pa’i Puku Spiritual Centre” is located today, a solemn mass will be celebrated in memory of our great missionary of the Chaco on Monday 21 June in the morning.

Tomb where the remains of Pedro Shaw rest in San Miguel Roga de Mcal. Estigarribia, Paraguayan Chaco.

To publicise the decision of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate to request the opening of the Cause, as well as the concrete initiative of the Novena, a digital press conference organized by the press service of the Paraguayan Episcopal Conference took place on 11 June, in which Fr Diego Sáez Martín, OMI, Postulator General (Rome), and Dr. Michael Krischer, Vice Postulator, together with other members of the beatification commission, explained the steps taken in the process of beatification of Bishop Pedro Shaw.

For more information about Pa’i Puku and his beatification process, please visit the website of the Cause: