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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

FIRST BISHOP of Guatemala - FRANCISCO MARROQUIN (1499-1563): Scholar of the K’iche’ language and he promoted Freedom from slavery for the Maya


Francisco Marroquín (1499-1563) was the first bishop of Guatemala and the country’s first linguist. Born near Santander, Spain, he studied philosophy and theology and was a professor at the University of Osma. He became a Dominican priest and was at the Spanish royal court where conqueror Pedro de Alvarado met him in 1528 and persuaded him to come to Guatemala.
In 1530, Marroquín was appointed parish priest in Santiago de Guatemala (the second capital) and made bishop in 1534. He founded a school for the Spaniards’ children and later presided over the move from the flooded capital (1541) to what is now La Antigua Guatemala.
Bishop Marroquín was truly a leader in forging the new capital in the 1540s. He founded the Hospital Real de Santiago in 1541 and was also responsible for building the first cathedral (1543). He was also well known for his efforts to educate the local Maya, becoming a scholar of the K’iche’ language and published the first catechism in that language in Mexico and later in Kakchikel (the printing press arrived in Guatemala in 1660). Marroquín was a great friend of Bartolomé de las Casas (Bishop of Chiapas), who campaigned to enforce the Laws of the Indies which helped the Mayas to be declared human in Burgos in 1542, leading to their “freedom” from slavery.
Marroquín moved from the Bishop’s Palace on the Central Park in Santiago (La Antigua) to San Juan del Obispo where he enjoyed a magnificent view of the city. The current palace post-dates Marroquín’s life and was restored by Archbishop Mariano Rossell y Arellano in the 1950s and has been administered by the Bethania nuns since 1972. A museum within the palace was created by the G&T Foundation in 2006 and is well worth a visit. The church alongside the palace is one of the best examples of colonial architecture in Guatemala and the colonial art inside is fabulous—a must for all colonial art studies.
Bishop Marroquín also left his inheritance to found the Colegio de Santo Tomás in 1620 (located next to the Santo Domingo Church), which later became the University of San Carlos de Guatemala in the new capital. The university is now a thriving institution in Guatemala City.
It is believed that the remains of our famous bishop were buried under the main altar at the cathedral in La Antigua. Excavations carried out in 1944 could not confirm this. The remains—with other famous historical figures—were deposited in a box at the local courthouse and then tampered with over a 40-year period...¨  fascinating Spanish Colonial history, by Elizabeth Bell for REVUE MAGAZINE:
PLANNING TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA?

Saint Alban Mission Antigua, Guatemala

You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.


St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala
 

MATTHEW 16:13-20: ¨Today the Gospel is not about answers, but about questions¨ R.P. Neli Miranda



Sermon for Sunday August 24th. 2014

Matthew 16:13-20


Today, when we want an explanation or definition of something, we commonly go to Google or Wikipedia and instantly we get an answer.  How easy we find answers on internet for our questions!  It makes us so confident.

We as Christians also feel confident that we have answers for our questions in the   creeds and catechisms; so when we have questions about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and other important topics, we already have given answers. In other words, we could say that our faith has been already defined! We do not need to think about that.

I think that it is good to have been given answers for our questions about faith; they guide us; although we should think that those answers were given for others, in another time. What we commonly do with those answers, is repeat them without any reflection.
                                                            
Today, the Gospel is not about answers, but about questions. It seems that Jesus`s disciples were having a quiz with such fundamental questions. It seems that Jesus did not define his disciples` faith; he made them to reflect on that.

- Who do people say that I am? – was the first Jesus´ questions to his disciples.

How many answers could we find for this question today?

Today there are different opinions about Jesus and various ways that people live their faith. Some of them reflect who Jesus really is, and others do not. Perhaps, some of them are just popular but not deep ideas about Jesus. I am afraid that some of them just repeat what they have heard from others.

Matthew ́s Gospel, which we have read, reflects that concern, the concern about who Jesus is; because, even in Jesus` time and the first Christians time, people had questions about Jesus.

Matthew presents Jesus in a crucial moment of his ministry. After this moment of openness and sincerity, Jesus will tell his disciples about his death and resurrection; so, Jesus wanted to be sure about his disciples understanding.

Jesus heard different answers to his first question, who do people say that I am?
First responses revealed the different opinions about Jesus, all of them insufficient to answer the question. Jesus was more than a prophet and people had not realized it.

The disciples' initial answers, of John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets, did not get to the truth Jesus sought, and in his next question he confronted them: "But who do you say that I am?"

The disciples had lived with Jesus, at least, during the last 3 years, so, they would have been able to know Jesus closely. They had experienced, his love, his power, his compassion and mercy, his teachings, his way to live and talk about God. So, they should have been ready to respond to Jesus. There, we find them, facing such question! They had no creeds or a catechism with them; but they knew Jesus.

The answer comes from Peter`s mouth when he said: "You are the Messiah [or the anointed one], the Son of the living God." When Peter says “You are the Messiah”, he means “You are the one we have been waiting for”. You are the one who will bring into fruition the Kingdom of God.

Jesus commends Peter for his answer, but also reminds him that this is a revelation of God. It’s not something that Peter had gained on his own; he’d had his eyes opened by God.  That this confession has been put into the mouth of Peter, tells us of the important position that Peter had in the early community. At that time, the communities had a very strong emotional attachment with the leadership that had led to the community.

However, Peter was not the first and the only apostle to recognize Jesus as the Anointed One (Messiah); that revelation was given to the whole community.   Remember that two weeks ago, we read Matthew’s Gospel, when in midst of the lake, the disciples worshiped Jesus and said: “Truly you are the Son of God”. Also in John`s Gospel, Martha makes same confession: She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”  So, for the first communities, the confession and belief of Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God, was already a well-known statement. This revelation was not privatized, it was open to all. 

Is it Peter, or his confession, that becomes the rock mentioned by Jesus?  Both maybe?  There are many discussions about that. On what we can be sure is that Jesus is talking here about the new community, the ecclesia, the church, The Sacrament of God to the world.  Jesus added: “and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it”. This expression could be understood that death will no prevail against this community.  Also Jesus meant that Peter will take a leading role in the becoming community.
It is good to know that our community is based on the understanding of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the son of God; and that we are part of a living community that announces life and nothing will destroy it. 

Peter on behalf of the community received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the power of binding and loosing.  According to Matthew 18,18 and John 20,23, the same power of binding and loosing, is given to the whole community and the other disciples too.  “Binding and loosing” here, are related to the church ́s ministry of reconciliation and forgiveness.

The keys of the kingdom here are a symbol of service, but not of dominant power. Our faith is based on the understanding of Jesus Christ not as a dominant king, but as the messiah who came to serve.  “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Marcos 10,45

Today, as the new community, we are called to be a sign of God in the world. More than preaching rules, statements, requirements, punishment, we are called to bring the message of forgiveness and reconciliation in the world. When we do not accomplish our calling, we let the world stay as it is – in its bondage to sin and death; in doing this, we bind its sins.

How many people wait to be released today? Are we binding or loosing?

Who do you say that I am? – Jesus asks us today

Will we repeat what other people say about Jesus? Or, do we want to respond that question by ourselves based in our experience with Jesus? 

May we receive God`s revelation; so that, we can think personally and deeply on our faith
May our faith will lead us to serve God in our brother and sisters
May our faith give us the Key`s Kingdom; so that we can release people for their chains.

Dear God, we thank you for sending us Jesus your son.  We come before you today in need of your revelation; so that we can confess Jesus as the Messiah, not only with our lips, but with our actions.  We thank you for we are part of a living community; we thank you, for in Jesus we can learn that we are also called to serve our sisters and brothers.   Help us to walk in the light of your revelation while we proclaim your love to the world.

Amen

R.P. Neli Miranda

PLANNING TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA?

Saint Alban Mission Antigua, Guatemala

You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.


St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala
 

Friday, August 22, 2014

BISHOP ELECTION NEWS - Diocese of El Salvador - IARCA - BREAKING NEWS - The Rev'd David Alvarado elected Bishop Diocesan in the second ballot

UPDATED SATURDAY:  THE REV´D DAVID ALVARADO elected Bishop Diocesan 

TOMORROW, SATURDAY, A NEW BISHOP WILL BE ELECTED AT THE IARCA DIOCESE OF EL SALVADOR
The Rt. Reverend Martin Barahona, Bishop of El Salvador and Primate Emeritus, IARCA

Iglesia Episcopal Anglicana elegirá a nuevo obispo

Son cinco aspirantes que participarán este sábado en la elección y por primera vez compite una mujer

Este sábado, la Iglesia Anglicana de El Salvador elegirá un nuevo obispo episcopal, durante una ceremonia extraordinaria que se llevará a cabo en la parroquia San Juan Evangelista, de la colonia Escalón.
Durante esta jornada, que iniciará a las 8:00 de la mañana, las cámaras de delegados laicos y clérigos serán las encargadas de elegir al sucesor del actual obispo Martín Barahona, quien por estatutos de la iglesia, ha llegado a la edad de su jubilación.
En esta votación la congregación ha elegido a cinco candidatos, entre ellos cuatro sacerdotes salvadoreños que se han destacado por su labor y por primera vez una mujer de origen estadounidense. que busca representar a este iglesia en el país.
Los aspirantes son: Lee Craw ford, reverenda estadounidense de 57 años quien actualmente trabaja en la diócesis del estado de Vermont.
Entre los candidatos también está el sacerdote salvadoreño Vidal Rivas, 50 años, quien actualmente desempeña su labor en la diócesis de la iglesia episcopal de Washington D.C., Estados Unidos.
Antonio Méndez, sacerdote salvadoreño de 63 años, quien trabaja en la iglesia episcopal de Guatemala.
Además, Ricardo Bernal, de 58 años, salvadoreño que trabaja en Costa Rica y el reverendo David Alvarado de 52 años , quien se desempeña en la diócesis de El Salvador.
De acuerdo con el actual obispo Martín Barahona, todos estos aspirantes han sido elegidos por una comisión nominadora, la cual fue seleccionada durante la Convención Diocesana, ellos han venido trabajando desde hace dos años para escoger a los mejores candidatos.
De acuerdo con Barahona, para llegar a ser obispo, los candidatos deben cumplir con requisitos como: tener al menos seis años de haber sido ordenados sacerdotes, ser mayores de 30 años, pueden ser de cualquier país del mundo y conocer la iglesia de El Salvador.
Barahona explicó que desde 1991, año en el que fue electo, no se hace ese proceso de votación en el país.
El obispo explica que de acuerdo a los cánones, leyes y estatutos de la iglesia, cuando el obispo cumple 72 años, debe jubilarse y el episcopado elige a otro sucesor.
Añade que la iglesia cuenta con un sistema democrático representativo bicameral, en el cual se instalan dos cámaras, la de los delegados laicos y también la de los clérigos.
Los delegados laicos se constituyen por aquellos que han sido electos por cada congregación.
Barahona detalla que las votaciones se hacen por separado y hay elección hasta que en una votación simultánea, el candidato alcance la mitad más uno de los votos.
La cámara de este sábado estará constituida por 50 delegados laicos y para que haya elección el candidato tendrá que tener 26 votos a su favor
Y simultáneamente en la misma votación en la cámara de los clérigos debe obtener ocho votos a su favor para que haya la mitad más uno de ambas cámaras simultáneamente para tener un nuevo sucesor lo que se espera concluya en la ceremonia. ¨ 
Thanks to ElSalvador.com
PLANNING TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA?

Saint Alban Mission Antigua, Guatemala

You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.


St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala
 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

COLORFILLED GUATEMALAN TRADITION: ¨Convite¨ Street Dances mix the past with the present and beyond - Mayas, Conquistadors, Religious spectacle, Fables and Legends come to life with fresh interpretation each year!!



DANCING IN THE ALTIPLANO - K´iche´ Maya, 101 Anniversary in Santa Cruz, de Quiche last SUNDAY




Every year in some of the towns in Guatemala, on regularly scheduled annual dates, we have ¨Convites¨ which are costumed street parades. These extravaganzas, and they really are, have groups who are invited to participate. These groups plan a year in advance their elaborate costumes and dancing messages. Originally over one hundred years ago (that we know) the ¨Convites¨ displayed the local cultural combinations of Conquistadors and Indigenous interpretations of their daily mix into each phase of contemporary and local society, also there is a heritage of ¨Mexican Dancing¨ that is also ¨invited¨ to participate. The organizational approach of these ¨dance´societies¨ reflect the way they see themselves connecting with the outside world...it's a great a colorfilled and cultural explosion. 





Last weekend my art assistant Henry and Glenda his wife traveled to Santa Cruz de Quiche for the famous and annual, this year celebrating 101 years, tradition. Henry returned home with videos and many photographs of the spectacular event...I will share some here so you will SEE how we have become inspired to paint ¨Convite¨ paintings, murals and even ceramics...they have already become a fascinating new direction for us because, like the dance groups, the imagination level is limitless...it's all about absorbing influence from NOW and centuries before NOW and even beyond NOW!




I love the ¨Convites¨ and in our town of San Miguel Dueñas we will have ¨ritual dances¨ after the procession of the VIrgin of the New Year, December 28th, mid-day, in San Miguel Dueñas...really fascinating and I think I will plan a lunch party around it and after the Virgin of the New Year passes my house we will then see the CONVITE FANTASTICO de San Miguel Dueñas, come visit ...vamos a ver, but for now, here is more of a glympse of what appeared before Henry, Glenda and their baby at San Cruz de Quiche last Sunday: 




REAL PEOPLE, REAL TRADITIONS, REALITY!  MORE CULTURAL WONDERS of the WESTERN WORLD in GUATEMALA!



PLANNING TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA?

Saint Alban Mission Antigua, Guatemala

You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.


St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala