To the Ends of the Earth

Orthodox Christian Missions

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Missions Day: Orthodoxy in Guatemala

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Some of the Guatemalan clergy, from left to right: Fr. Mihail, Fr. Evangelos, Fr. Andrés Girón, Fr. José, and Fr. Danil

This is coming up quick–this Wednesday, November 7, but if you are able to go, this sounds very interesting. News of this “explosion” first started appearing a couple of years ago, but it is only in the last couple of months that more substantial information is becoming available.

If you can’t attend the event at the seminary, or even if you can, I highly recommend the account of seminarian Jesse Brandow, who travelled to Guatemala this last summer for two months to see what was happened, and blogged about his experiences and observations here. An article about Fr. John and Mat. Alexandra Chakos, missionaries to Guatemala, can be found here.

UPDATE: Fr. John Chakos and Fr. Andre Giron are also at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology this week, in Boston. On Thursday, November 8, at 7 pm, they will be giving a lecture titled, Mission to Guatemala: Receiving the Mayan People Into the Orthodox Church. The lecture can be viewed live here, or available later from their video archives. It sounds interesting!

YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications] Saint Vladimir’s Seminary invites the public to its second annual Missions Day on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., for a presentation on the “explosion” of Orthodox Christianity in Guatemala, where in recent years 338 Orthodox churches, with 200,000 faithful and catechumens, have become part of the Orthodox Metropolis of Mexico.

Archimandrite Dr. Andres Girón de Leon and Archpriest John Chakos will be the guest lecturers, sharing first hand their missionary activities among the indigenous people of Guatemala, within their presentation, “Mission to Guatemala: Receiving the Mayan People into the Orthodox Church.” The presentations will be in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building on the seminary campus.

Father Andres, a native Guatemalan who grew up in a family of privilege, has crammed several lifetimes into one: former Roman Catholic priest, trained counselor, Senator in the Guatemalan Congress and advocate for the rural poor, UN Ambassador, and now Orthodox priest among disaffected Mayan people who were searching for a spiritual home outside the Roman Catholic Church.

Father John is a “retired” Greek Orthodox priest from Pittsburgh, serving in Guatemala under the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) for six months out of the year, with his wife, Presbytera Alexandra. Father John serves the vast spiritual needs of the new Orthodox faithful, while Presbytera Alexandra sets up shop as a seamstress and teaches the Mayan women sewing skills that will bring them fresh purpose and needed income.

The presentations are open to the public.


Written by Stephen

November 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm

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