Tajumulco, Guatemala, July 6, 2018
Most recently, as Jesse Brandow, a missionary to Guatemala and Mexico, reports, 20 children were baptized into the holy Orthodox Church in the village of Tajumulco, 150 miles northwest of Guatemala City, not far from the Mexico border.
Among the celebrating priests were local rector Fr. Alexios Sosa and Fr. Thomas Hernandez of St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church in Riverside, California. Fr. Sosa is an iconographer and spent a year studying theology in Greece. The church has been expanding quickly under his guidance.
As Brandow writes, four Orthodox Christians from the United States, including Fr. Thomas Hernandez, were teaching a 6-day program “to inspire and train the faithful in this region of Guatemala.” This first such program in Tajumulco included talks and educational activities for the choir, youth, and parents and Godparents of recently baptized children in the community.
For more information on all the great things happening in the Guatemalan mission and how you can help, see missionary Jesse Brandow’s latest update.
Weren’t these people already Catholic? If so, why rebaptize?
Fr. John says
The method of reception into the Orthodox church is at the bishop’s discretion, and the normal method is baptism. For whatever reason, he decided that this was necessary.
cynthia curran says
Well, not all are Catholics, some came from a penecoastials background. So, I can see him baptizing them again. Also, with the gang problem in Guelamala I came see why Orthodoxy is appealing/
Fr. John says
Cynthia, you are, of course, correct.
It’s possible they were baptized Catholic or Protestant but could not locate their baptism certificate. I had a friend who was baptized in infancy as a Catholic. As an adult, she returned to her faith but had no idea where to get her baptism certificate. (from another country and her parents were deceased. She had pics of her baptism but no certificate) The Catholic priest had to do a “conditional” baptism before she could receive her other sacraments. Maybe this is what the Orthodox priest had to do? Because I’ve known Catholics who convert to Orthodox and don’t need baptism.
Please note that it says CHILDREN were baptized.
So most likely they had not been previously baptized in ANY church community.