The Saints Peter and Paul Formation Center in Huehuetenango will house the future seminary and mission center.

Excitement is growing in Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico, as the Orthodox Church carries out the vision of Archbishop Athenagoras of Mexico to take the Gospel message into all of Central America and beyond. The thousands of Mayans who have already made Orthodoxy their spiritual home are looking to the future, so that the Church’s many pastoral and evangelical challenges can be met by trained clergy and dedicated missionaries and catechists. To help meet this great need, construction of a seminary/mission training center, with the support of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and generous donors, has begun in the mountain village of Talmiche, perched high above the fast-growing city of Huehuetenango. Twelve years ago, I first visited this lofty site with the late Father Andres Giron, the founder of this great church movement towards Orthodoxy. From this lofty vantage point, we dreamed of a future waiting to be fulfilled throughout his beloved land. His was a soul on fire with the love of Christ and a burning desire to help the long-suffering people of Guatemala with their spiritual and material needs.

Fr. Andres reaches out to his people with prayers for healing.
The men from the villages gather for a water blessing service before construction.

On Palm Sunday of this year, I received an excellent architectural plan from George Prosiliakos, whose generous services and skill captured the spirit and style of Byzantine structures for our two story building, displaying a noticeable monastic flair. Then with the purchase of building materials, construction began in mid June with a water blessing service, attended by the volunteer workers from various villages.

The foundation is marked out and prepared for laying the base.

They began the project with great zeal, employing the unique talent of Guatemalan tradesmen to take a complex building plan and fashion it into a thing of beauty, using their ingenuity and local building methods. As of today, the foundation is poured and the walls are going up, as different teams arrive, up to 20 at a time, to take their turn at building the future of the Church.

After a few days the walls start to go up.

And so it is that Fr. Andres’ dream is taking shape through the very hands of those that he mentored for so many years. His arduous journey of service through many apostolic trials and a brutal civil war is now over. The future of this mission rests squarely upon those whose lives he inspired by his example of selfless service and love. The seminary and mission training center will be ground zero for the next phase of explosive growth, ushered in and led by the Christ-loving people of Guatemala. We pray that their efforts will bear much fruit for the glory of God.

As the first floor walls go up the windows and doorways are framed.


  1. Santiago Drexler says

    Glory to God! The Orthodox faithful of Guatemala will benefit immeasurably from the work to be done in this seminary.

  2. Michael Bosworth says

    I look forward to visiting someday and seeing in person the progress made on this seminary initiative by our Orthodox brethren in Guatemala!

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