Sunday, June 24, 2012

Visit to Telpepan

 As mentioned in a previous post, Archbishop Athenagoras of Mexico arrived for his first visit to Guatemala on June 15.  He came to personally acquaint himself with the large group of faithful he had accepted into the Orthodox Church.  Along with my husband, Fr. John Chakos, Fr. Andres Giron, and several other clergy, the Archbishop traveled to many villages in the rural mountain regions of Guatemala.  In each village that they visited, they were greeted with great warmth and enthusiasm.  Below are some photos and an account of one of those visits, sent to me by Fr. John:
Today (6.23.12) we traveled to Telpepan and were greeted entusiastically by hundreds of faithful of the Ascension parish.  I photographed a historic moment in which Fr. Andres addresses Archbishop Athenagoras, presenting him with the church.  This was a very emotional moment that brought tears to the eyes of all who witnessed it.  The two embraced warmly and the people began singing songs of praise to God.  The joy we felt cannot be expressed in words.  We began dancing, singing, and clapping to the lively melodies of the Guatemalan Orthodox Church.  The people lingered long after the event finished to get a blessing, a photo, and a hug from all the clergy present. 

The people of Telpepan express their joy with singing and dancing.

Archbishop Athenagoras blesses his flock.

Fr. Andres presents his church to the Archbishop

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