​Father Michael
J. Gillgannon

is a Catholic priest of the diocese of 

Kansas City - St. Joseph, Missouri, USA

Padre Miguel: A Memoir of My Catholic Missionary Experience in Bolivia Amidst Postcolonial Transformation of Church and State

When Father Michael J. Gillgannon (Padre Miguel) left for Bolivia in 1974, he thought he would complete a five-year stint of mission and return to the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Little did he realize how fascinated and involved he would become with struggles that were changing everyday life and the Catholic Church. Father shares about his work alongside the people of Bolivia and about encounters with teachers, artists, theologians and others. The Parish of San Antonio de Padua in the Andes comes alive when he describes the colorful annual fiestas of life, community and faith. The parish school grows, and its youth encourage him to initiate an extraordinary campus ministry at the State university of La Paz. Studying theology, philosophy and economics prepared Father Gillgannon for his work, but just as vital were the Religious Sisters of various orders who taught him much of what he needed to know, whether related to the political context or the importance of comunidades eclesiales de base or Base Communities. “During my first couple years in Bolivia, I simply followed the Sisters into neighborhoods and prisons and spoke in halting Spanish with the people I met.” He recounts his experience with the anti-democratic military dictatorship of General Banzer and with the democratic presidency of Evo Morales. At the age of 79 Father Gillgannon returned to Kansas City where, through engagement with Hispanic Ministry in the United States, he continues to raise ethical questions and work for social change. 

Product Details

Paperback: 140 pages

Publisher: Pacem in Terris Press (February 5, 2018)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0999608827

ISBN-13: 978-0999608821

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 8 ounces

How to purchase the book

The book is available on Amazon.  To purchase it, click here.   

My Blog

About Fr. Gillgannon

My goal


 Fr. Gillgannon's goal is to provide ethical and religious insights from personal experience and scholarly work into contemporary processes of globalization, particularly in Latin America, and to raise epistemological, theological and ethical questions important for human development. 

My faith


Father Michael was ordained in 1958. He served in various parishes. He was Chaplain at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, 1965-1974. 

My involvement


Father Michael was National Secretary of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, 1972-1974. He served in La Paz, Bolivia as a missionary, 1974-2012; he was a parish priest with native Amarya people, 1974-1994. In 1994, he co-founded the Campus Ministry at the State University of La Paz, Bolivia. He has two honorary doctorates from universities in the USA. He continues to write on Latin American issues of human development and human rights. He speaks and lectures in both the United States and Latin America on Catholic social ethics and on economic development. He is particularly concerned with the consequences of globalization. 

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