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A Blessing And A New Beginning

posted Dec 1, 2013, 9:07 PM by Madre Alexandra   [ updated Dec 1, 2013, 9:07 PM ]
OVER 300 LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL GUESTS ATTENDED the Blessing of San Miguel del Lago, the children’s new home on the shores of Lake Amatitlán, in Villa Nueva, Guatemala, on Sunday, November 17th. The beautifully sunny day in the Land of Eternal Spring began with a Divine Liturgy in the monastery church, Holy Trinity, led by His Eminence, Archbishop Metropolitan Antonio Chedraoui, of the Orthodox Antiochian Church of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean.

An open air procession from the church down the lakeside lane led to the new hillside campus featuring a protected courtyard created by the careful positioning of the dormitory and school buildings. Guests gathered in the cafeteria, or comedor, with sweeping views through a wall of windows of the lake and mountains beyond, for a formal blessing of the new buildings by Metropolitan Antonio. Attending priests then carried the blessing throughout the campus and into each dorm room, workshop and classroom.

During the buffet luncheon prepared with the help of many volunteers, Abbess Madre Inés thanked the 6,000 donors whose financial support over the past 7 years turned the dream of a new home for the children into a reality. Honored guests received intricately carved wooden plaques and desktop bookshelves crafted by the girls in the carpinteria and all guests received a commemorative journal produced by the FHRA. An anonymous donor also contributed two traditional gifts for all who attended; a ribboned lapel pin with an image of the Archangel St. Michael from the monastery church and a souvenir ornament featuring an ironwork cross detail from the monastery gates.

The call of a trumpet and the sound of music drew guests to the courtyard windows and chairs placed outside on the locally quarried stone patio to enjoy a spectacular, a dramatic presentation in full costume by the children of the legend of St. George and the Dragon. With smiles and hugs guests reluctantly departed in the late afternoon, leaving behind the gifts of their love and prayers to strengthen a new beginning for the children.