Scarboro priests and laity first went to Guyana in 1953, working in the major urban areas of Georgetown and New Amsterdam and in towns and villages along the Atlantic Coast. For several years two Scarboro lay missioners also served in the remote area of the South Rupununi among the Makushi indigenous peoples.
Missioners responded to the needs of both Catholics and non-Catholics in this multicultural, multi-faith nation known as the “land of many rivers.” They cooperated with the thrust of the local Church, focusing on faith formation and renewal of the laity and encouraging and promoting vocations. The vitality of the Parish Lay Assistants (PLA) program, pioneered in Guyana, gave meaning to the future of the Church in Guyana and in other Caribbean nations.
For many years, Sisters of Our Lady’s Missionaries from Toronto worked alongside Scarboro missionaries in Guyana. In the latter years, Scarboro missioners were actively involved in parish ministries as well as working in prison ministry, health care, and education. They also worked with Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity in their homes for the elderly and daycare for children.