A former Roman Catholic priest, responding to a calling from within, to minister to the indigenous Mayan population of the Country, became Orthodox and established a Church, known officially as the “Orthodox Catholic Church of Guatemala”. Last January, upon the petition of the leader of this group, His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras proceeded to receive them into the canonical fold of the Holy Metropolis. For over twenty years, the then un-canonical Fr. Andrew Giron, who is presently a canonically ordained Archimandrite of our Church, ministered and labored unceasingly among the indigenous Mayans living in the mountainous regions of Guatemala and Southern Mexico. The group has 338 Churches and chapels throughout the region and numbers over 500,000 faithful and catechumens.
The need now is to properly catechize and prepare these hundreds of thousands of faithful for proper reception into the Church, through chrismation and baptism where necessary. The Archepiscopal Vicar for Guatemala, the Right Rev. Fr.Andrew Vujisic and two other clergymen, one from Colombia and the other from Mexico, will travel each month to the Country, and begin catechizing 500 leaders of the community who in turn will be charged with the responsibility of catechizing the faithful. While this is a daunting task and will take years to accomplish, Metropolitan Athenagoras’ vision for the future of Orthodoxy in the whole of Latin America is beginning to bear fruit.