Chancellor Attends Guatemala Orphanage Blessing

15–17 November 2013 • Off–Campus • Chancellor/CEO Travels

Visitors tour the beautiful new orphanage groundsVisitors tour the beautiful new orphanage groundsView the photo gallery by Dr. Vicki Athens

Seminary Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield recently attended the blessing of the new lakeside home and property–San Miguel del Lago–for Guatemala's Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage, Holy Trinity Church, and Holy TrinityFr. Steven prepares the giftsFr. Steven prepares the gifts Monastery. Mayor Álvaro Arzú of Guatemala City, Russian ambassador to Guatemala Mr. Nikolay Yevguénievich Bábich, and other distinguished guests were also present.

His Eminence Archbishop Antonio (Chedraoui), metropolitan of Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela (Antiochian Archdiocese) presided over Sunday's Hierarchical Liturgy in Holy Trinity Church. Two St. Vladimir's alumni also served with Fr. Chad and the other visiting clergy: The Very Rev. Steven Kostoff of Christ the Savior/Holy Spirit Church in Cincinnati, OH and The Rev. Justin Foster, Protection of the Holy Virgin Mary Church in Royalton, IL.

Following the Liturgy, Metropolitan Antonio and Fr. Chad blessed the tranquil, rural orphanage grounds, and then over 500 guests attended a celebratory luncheon. In his remarks, Metropolitan Antonio commended the orphanage's dynamic leader, Mother Ines Ayau, for her many accomplishments, noting that St. Vladimir's had awarded her a Doctorate of Humane Letters honoris causa during the Seminary's 2013 Commencement Exercises.

"The Holy Angels have protected us on each step and now we must rejoice and let God fill us with His joy and satisfaction of a well done job for His glory," wrote Mother Ines to orphanageFr. Chad's view of scenic GuatemalaFr. Chad's view of scenic Guatemala supporters after the celebratory day." The road Madre Ivonne of the Hogar, with childrenMadre Ivonne of the Hogar, with childrenhas been filled with obstacles, but the miracles have prevailed."

Back on St. Vladimir's campus, Fr. Chad reflected, "The missionary work in Guatemala is an inspiration to many of us from around the world and is a model for students in the missiological courses offered here." In his eight visits to Guatemala, the Chancellor has led three mission trips and also filled in as the community's priest. Most recently in 2012, he led a mission team from the Seminary that helped the orphanage relocate from "Zone 1," a crime-ridden and dangerous area of Guatemala City, to its new location at San Miguel by the Lake. 

Photo gallery of Fr. Chad blessing the property