|The Hill of the Cross, Antigua, Guatemalaa (Agua Volcano in the distance)|
"Growing up attending St. Mark’s Church in Palo Alto, California, I never imagined that we would move to the colonial capital of Antigua Guatemala in 1969. The one hour drive to the Episcopal Church in Guatemala City seemed too far and, over the years, I missed the Episcopal Church more and more. When my Mom moved back to Antigua in 2011, I commented to her how I wished there was an Episcopal Church in town. When she passed away in January, I guess she helped make my wish come true."
A friend, Father Ricardo Fromader, was ordained in February/2013 and said that we could set up an Episcopal Mission. We rented a Exercise Studio for $1.50/Sunday (the owner is an Episcopalian!). The next task brought new life to the meaning of the Lord’s table as I went to the Guatemalan home furnishing store for napkins, candlesticks, candles and pitchers. A big plastic box became our “sacristy”! Spencer J. Buchanan Jr. donated the altar and Tom Fourke donated a lectern and we held our first service on March 1st. The singing was SO bad, I was sure our church would fold. Andrea, a soprano, from the Cathedral in Guatemala City and a simple keyboard certainly helped! Photocopying the hymns became tiresome. Our Bishop’s daughter – Norma Guerra – donated 12 hymnals from All Saint’s Church in Pasadena! Wow – with prayer books and hymnals, it began to come to life. But the Lord’s Table wasn’t complete.
My sister, Mary Kingman, helped with guidance and sending REAL linens for communion – an altar cover and a frontal. Father Ricardo lit up like a Christmas tree when I delivered the green veil and burse for blessing Mary hand made. Wow – the table was “real”. He has since placed an order for the linens for advent!
Leonard Clark donated a prie dieu for the service with two confirmations by Presiding Bishop Armando of the Anglican Church of the Central Region of America in June for St. Alban’s Day…and
We were honored to attend mass at St. James’s Cathedral presided by the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury on August 11th! MORE WOW! Sharing the peace to his wife, Caroline, has special meaning for me. Fr. Ricardo was His Grace’s translator for the sermon “Reconciliation is Cross-Shaped”. Now THAT was a fellowship afterwards and helped us appreciate that are all part of the same Anglican family. Our friend, Leonard, painted the chairs for His Grace and the Bishop and the photos appeared in Anglican blogs all over the world! How exciting.
So thank you, Mary. Thank you, Mom. Thank everyone who has created the new Episcopal mission of St. Alban’s in Antigua Guatemala.
St. Alban´s Mission, Antigua, meets every Sunday at the Casa Convento Concepcion at 12:00 noon. Holy Eucharist is celebrated.
*St Alban´s, Antigua, Guatemala is a special mission project of St. James English speaking parish at the Cathedral of Santiago, Guatemala City.