Monday, April 20, 2009

Juliaca's Mission at the Diocesan Synod

Representatives of the Mission in Juliaca came to Diocesan Synod on the weekend of 18th April. The lay people were proud to bring their new full time minister, Deacon Ruben Mancilla, and he was proud to bring them..... members of his first parish! At the same time they gathered with Luis Vizcarra, the lay minister who will work with Ruben. He is in the final weeks of his seminary training and will have to travel to Arequipa on a weekly basis for his classes. It's a short five hour journey on the bus and he's full of enthusiam to be working there.
One of the first priorities for the team in Juliaca is to put a water tank on the roof, so that they have a supply of drinking water. A second will be to build a bathroom!
Juliaca is a city of commerce and there are markets everywhere. As soon as the two lay reps. arrived at the synod, they got to work selling chocolate to the other participants and raisning funds to cover their bus fares! They'd travelled over 20 hours to get there and had their first experience of Peru's capital city. Both of them are called Celestina - Heavenly.
It was announced at the synod that Ruben will be ordained priest on 23rd May, so we ask your special prayers for him.

Palm Sunday in the north of Lima

Missions in the north of Lima celebrated Palm Sunday in different ways. None of them have churches, yet, but were able to conmemorate Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem with a freshness and vigour which is contagious. Children of the Holy Spirit Mission gathered under a tree for a photo. Padre Stephen and Pastor Zevallos are standing behind them. The children of St Andrew's Mission carried their palms, and Padres Jorge and Jesus, led the celebration of St Matthew's Mission and School.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Suffragan Bishop for Uruguay

It is with great joy that we share the news that our dear friend and co-worker in Christ, the Rev Gilberto Porcal, has been elected Suffragan Bishop of Uruguay. Although the election took place on December 12th, the ratification by the Provincial Executive and House of Bishops had to wait until the Provincial meetings in Paraguay in March.
Gilberto came into the Anglican Church a few weeks after our arrival in South America in February 1986. He worked as my assistant in our ministry among street people in Montevideo's Old City and was eventually ordained in 1990, during the visit of the Most Reverend Robert Runcie, the then Archbishop of Canterbury. Several months later Padre Gilberto was sent to work in Salto, where by God's grace he brought to life St Luke's Church, one of the oldest Anglican churches in Latin America. He also founded the mission church of the Holy Spirit, now a parish.
He will make a worthy bishop and his deep faith and spirituality will be a great blessing to the Diocese of Uruguay and the Province. We look forward with great anticipation to his ordination on May 26th, the Feast Day of St Augustine of Canterbury, who was himself a bishop and missionary.

Deacon Ruben to Juliaca

Deacon Ruben Mancilla has moved this week to Juliaca to take up pastoral responsibility in the St Mary Magdalene's Mission. At over 13,000 feet, Juliaca is a thriving market town high on the Alteplano near Puno and Lake Titicaca. It is a far cry from Villa El Salvador in the South of Lima, one of the capital's largest municipal areas in the desert sands of Peru's coast, where Ruben comes from.
He's excited by the challenge and looking forward to being the resident minister the congregation of St Mary Magdalene has been waiting for several years.
He will be joined in July by Luis Vizcarra, one of the seminarians from Arequipa who has travelled the four or five hours to Juliaca most weekends to care for the congregation. He is due to finish his theological studies and ministerial training in July and will go straight to Juliaca to work alongside Deacon Ruben.
Let us pray for these two young men as they give their lives in the service of the Gospel and of our Lord Jesus Christ and his people.

Doctorate from Nashotah House

I was greatly honoured to be made a Doctor of Divinty, honoris causa, by Nashotah House Seminary last October, and deeply moved. It was a wonderful occasion at which I was accompanied by my wife Judith and son Matthew, and surrounded by many Nashotah House friends.
The citation at the ceremony finished by saying, "For his dedicated service and leadership, exemplifying the meaning of a "missionary bishop" and his inspiration to generations of priests..." Thank you to you all at Nashotah House, very, very much.
My relationship with Nashotah House has grown over the past few years, with staff and seminarians, and I cannot imagine an award I would rather have. Bishop Jackson Kemper, the first missionary bishop in North America, was the founder of Nashotah House; and Archbishop Michael Ramsey spent some of the happiest moments of his retirement there - both being heroes of the faith for me.
We now look forward to a mission team of students coming to visit us in the Diocese after Easter.

Missionaries - Benjamin and Livia

Two of our most devoted missionaries are Father Benjamin and Livia. They began St Andrew's Mission almost two years ago in one of the poorest shanty areas in the north of Lima, and they faithfully visit and care for the people there every day. It takes them two hours by bus from their home in Lima south to get to the mission, and of course two hours back in the evening. Of course the people know they are loved, and the congregation is growing.
They are an example to us all and the smile in the photo is a real image of the love and kindness they bring to their people.
Fr Benjamin was a deacon of the RC Church for many years, but he never lost his sense of calling to the priesthood and was deeply moved when the time came for him to be ordained as an Anglican priest. Livia is working with the women of several areas near St Andrew's, teaching them skills which will enable them to earn their own living. A project has recently been presented to the Mothers' Union in London, which would enable this work to grow, and we all pray for support for the project.

Priests received into Anglican Communion

Three priests were received into the Diocese in Holy Week. All have been part of the Anglican Church for some time, but on this special occasions they were formally licensed as clergy of the Diocese.
Fr Daniel Rodriguez, originally from Argentina, is to be married to Vicki on April 19th and will be based at the Cathedral. Fr Jorge Zamudio is married to Claudia and they have two sons. He is a Biblical scholar and has already taught in the Diocesan Seminary. Fr Esteban Zapata is married to Jessica. They have a fifteen year old son and are expecting their second child in July. He is a missionary priest working in the Holy Spirit mission in Lima north.
It was a very special and happy occasion at which the clergy of Lima renewed their ordination vows, and the holy oils were blessed by the Bishop.
There are now 18 priests in the Diocese, 9 deacons and 22 lay ministers, and we praise God for them all.
[The photo shows the clergy standing outside the Cathedral following the Eucharist. To the the bishop's right are Jorge and Daniel, and to his left Esteban.]

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