Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hoy en Parroquia San Cristóbal

It was a big day at the 7:30 am service. We celebrated the 70th anniversary of the St. Martha of Bethany Altar Guild. You may remember that the parish celebrated its 68th anniversary in July, but the Altar Guild has been around longer than the parish. When I questioned this, it was explained that the Altar Guild was formed when the first group of worshipers were congregating in houses and the former "Cantina that was across the street from where Kelvin's is now" (that's how we give directions here: "Do you remember where insert name here used to be?" For a long time I had to answer "no," but now I give directions that way: "You know where that flat concrete area where the Haitians used to sell those paintings? Yeah, down the street from there"). We had representatives from the Altar Guilds of other churches: ladies from San Juan, San Mateo, San Albano, San Francisco de Asís, Christ-Church-by-the-Sea, and San Pablo visited this morning. We also had a Festive Coffee Hour. At la Misa en español, we were visited by the students of el Cuarto Grado (equivalent to the 10th grade in the U.S.) from Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal and their parents. Profesora Katia Medina played guitar and Ricardo Staples and I backed her up. The Lovely Mona, who is a member of the Altar Guild and the director of el Coro de Jóvenes, took some time out from her many duties and snapped some photos for us to share. The first group of photos are from the 7:30 Mass and then we have fótos from la Misa en español.

The Lovely Mona arranged the flowers for this morning's services.

The Procession

Members of St. Martha of Bethany Altar Guild singing. All the members of the Altar Guild wore their blue dresses this morning. Usually, on the second Sunday of the month, they all wear white.

Censing the altar

The Choir singing the Offertory Anthem

Revda. Glenda and Priscilla McQueen's Grandma Mary. I love it when Grandma Mary is here visiting from Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, because she cooks and bakes all manner of wonderful stuff for me, besides the fact that she is a lovely person. Two weeks ago she made me coco-rice and peas with pig tail and fried plantain. She also bakes a mean plantain tart and makes this stuff with coconut, ginger, and molasses. I don't know what it's called but it is great.

Ms. Adica Moore gives the history of the St. Martha of Bethany Altar Guild.

Breakfast! They hadn't put the empanadas on the plates yet.

The cake.

Mrs. Rachel Weeks, president of St. Martha of Bethany Altar Guild and Mrs. Doyle, former president of the guild, with the cake.

La Familia Smith: Barbara Smith, her mother, Mabel Smith, and Barbara's husband Fred Smith at breakfast.

In the kitchen, where the action is!

The men (Mr. Scotland and Mr. Moses) serve the coffee

Folks at Breakfast.

I wish I could hear that conversation! Those expressions are priceless.

Mrs. Doyle, Matriarch of the Parish

Yvonne MacIntosh

Profesora Patricia Lewis, Directora of Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal

Mary Calender and Sislin Thomas

Congregación en la Misa en español (estudiantes del Instituo Episcopal San Cristóbal y sus padres)

El Coro de Jóvenes

Profesora Katia Medina playing guitar

Padre lays down the bottom with the invisible Ricardo Staples while Padre Cáceres heads down the aisle.

Oh yeah, I didn't get a photo of this incident, but this morning as I was preparing the altar book, I saw a squirrel run by and hide under the pew where the Altos sit. Once I finished preparing the book, I went to find the squirrel, as I thought that if the squirrel were to pop out from under the pew while the Altos were sitting or standing there, they just may hit notes they have never hit before and perhaps even cause a scene! DURING CHURCH!! But, it turned our that Young Mr. Bushytail, Our Squirrel Friend, had ran down the aisle and hid in the bathroom near the patio (across from where the women members of the choir vest). I learned this when I went to tell Mr. Hudson, the Sexton, about Our Rodent Pal. He eventually left the bathroom and headed back for a tree. So, another Wildlife Intervention was prevented.


Jane Ellen+ said...

Two comments:

First, those directions-- sounds as though they're in Montana! In the first two weeks I was here, I heard:
--"Oh, you just go down by where the gas station used to be." (torn down years ago and replaced with a home)
--"Turn by the Mafia house, and go 8/10ths of a mile..." (home reputed to have originally been built by someone with mafia connections back east.)

I've spent a lot of time learning to translate.

Secondly: the squirrel story made me laugh out loud. If you have never heard Ray Steven's song about "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival," you need to find it. Hysterical!

Matty Boy said...

Do squirrels and iguanas get along with each other? My first guess as a non-expert on the subject would be no.

Jane R said...

Wanna co-author the rest of my upcoming post on rodent ethics?

Jane R said...

P.S. Party, party, party!

P.P.S. Grandma Mary is beautiful -- in addition to being a fabulous cook, of course.

David Austin Allen said...

I see that Padre has made a trip to the peluquería. Ed Winn has taken a leave of absence.

I think with Grandma Mary around I would need to by a new belt and have a few alterations.

Padre, is there any racism in Panama? The skin colors are much more varied than here in Mexico from the African heritage. We have white to light brown, but there is a subtle, and at times not so subtle, racism here. There was a time that folks bought forged documents to attest that they were full-blooded Spanish and not mestizo. Still today, people who are without a doubt more indigenous than European swear they are not.

Grandmère Mimi said...

What a lovely celebration. The altar ladies look beautiful in their blue dresses. Another party! Party time is every week at Parroquia San Cristóbal.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes your churchstuff makes me silently fill-up cry with joy...I loved your pictures today and I thank you very much for including all of us in the festivities...tell Mrs. Doyle I especially appreciate her and I'll include all of you in my thoughts (the good ones) and prayers today...peace be with you, now may I have a plate of breakfast too? BTW, who took the rest of the cake? That squirrel knew stuff.

Fernando Galacia Romano Schwartz-Ribbercoff

Jane R said...

Leonardo Ricardo Fernando Galacia Romano Schwartz-Ribbercoff von Tutti Frutti con Salsa y Limon, you have the best names!

Anonymous said...

NO, NO, please, a thousand times no...I *really* am Fernando Galacia Romano Schwartz-Ribbercoff von Tutti Frutti con Salsa y Limon, Squirrel Extraordinare...por favor, don't confuse me when I'm licking the drips off the cake plate as I almost forgot who I was and why I'm here (wherever here is)!

Arq. Fernando Galacia Romano Schwartz-Ribbercoff von Tutti Frutti con Salsa y Limon

eileen said...

Looks like a great service and after service shindig.

Those plates look delish!

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