Thursday, December 21, 2006
Mission Centre in Colca Canyon
The Mission Centre in the Colca Canyon now has the roof of the ground floor. The Bishop was in Cabanaconde (where the centre has been built) on December 18-19 to see progress.
This first floor will house the kitchen, dining room, a bedroom and two bathrooms.
Work on the second floor begins today, December 21, and it is hoped to have the roof on by Epiphany (January 6).
The Centre is being faced in stone from the surrounding hills and the roof will be finished in thatch, all of which will blend in perfectly with the surrounding area. The views of the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world (over 3/4 mile at some points), are spectacular.
The Mission Centre is a quarter of a mile outside the local town, Cabanaconde, and will serve both the local town and the 12 villages on the other side of the Canyon. Many of the villages are over a day's walk away, along narrow mountain paths. Mission teams will go out from the Centre, and local catechists will be brought in for training and support. P. Alejandro is the mission priest in charge of the work. The Mission will have it's own donkeys and mules, an essential means of transport in the mountains.
The Mission's name is San Felipe (St Philip's), although we've not yet decided if it is to be St Philip the Apostle, St Philip the Deacon (Acts 6) or St Philip the Evangelist (Acts 8).... or maybe we should include them all as we hope the mission will be apostolic, "diaconal" (in service), and evangelistic.... so maybe it should be "The Saints Philip Mission".
There will be a second block with more bedrooms, an office, meeting room and chapel. The third phase of the development will be a church.
[The photos show: (top left) the Mission Centre with the mountains on the far side of the Colca Canyon; (top right) front view of the building; (bottom left) Reynaldo, the Bishop, P. Alejandro and Richard standing in front of the stone facade; (bottom right) P. Alejandro, Reynaldo and Richard looking at the new roof.]