Continuing to Teach the Sacraments in Colombia

“Yesterday was a spectacular day, simply spectacular.  Your lessons were well understood and the people who attended were happy,” noted Fr. Rafael Padilla, when asked to reflect on the Virtual Team that gathered individuals from the village of Cereté, along with others that connected remotely on February 27.  Even though it was in the middle of planting season, the community of St Athanasios Orthodox Church gathered outside for the second OCMC Virtual Mission team to Colombia. 

Seven individuals from all over the United States, representing numerous Orthodox jurisdictions, taught on the remaining Sacraments of Marriage, Confession and Unction as well as other Orthodox services.  The unique blessing was that each presentation was offered without the need of translators because each of the team members were able to teach their lessons in Spanish. Some of the Team members had served in Colombia as missionaries in the past.  Colombian born Team member, Luis Fernando Arango of St. Augustine, FL, noted he is “excited to see the true Faith being taught in Colombia.” 

Other Team members who taught included:  Fr. Paul Olson of Tustin, CA; Sdn Anthony Dossey of Lompoc, CA; Nancy Gilbert of Carlsbad, CA; Lynn Horng of Hatfield, PA; Demetrios “Jim” Petrou of Cranston, RI; and Jamie Zaine of St. Louis Park, MN. 

“We hope in God that one day, very close, you will come to Cereté in person to teach us.  Thank you again for your kindness.  We are always very happy with the help you give to this parish and the mission here.  May our Almighty God grant you many blessings in your mission work and in your lives,” shared Fr. Rafael. 

Again, we thank Fr. Rafael and the community of St Athanasios.  We also offer thanks to His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico and His Grace Bishop Timoteo of Assos for blessing this event.    

OCMC continues its efforts so that all people may come to know the saving love of our Lord – even virtually.  Please visit for upcoming virtual mission team opportunities to Kenya and Nigeria.