Saturday evening the Lovely Mona and I were in Gamboa at Iglesia San Simón for their patronal festival. Of course, St. Simon's feast day isn't until this coming Wednesday, but since San Simón holds services on Saturday evenings, we celebrated early. San Simón was the very first church (along with San Juan en Betánia) to which I was assigned when we first came to Panamá over ten years ago. The congregation holds a special place in our hearts, and I fill-in for Padre Nelson when he is away, so I'm the Assisting Clergy there.
Wesley Scott and Padre Nelson had recently found the old church bell, so they had it restored and built a stand for it just outside the door. Since Bishop Murray was presiding, we had him bless the bell. Since we had no acolytes, I filled in as thurifer and acolyte. I realize that some of our Altar Guild and Sacristy-rat readers may be troubled by the fact that the frontals and the Bishop's stole are green while Padre y yo are wearing red stoles. Well, we didn't have enough red stoles or green stoles, and since Padre was using the propers for the Twenty-first Sunday of Pentecost instead of the propers for the Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, the Altar Guild used green. The Bishop and his priests discussed the matter, and decided to go with the Christmasy colour scheme you see here.
The Bishop handed out certificates to Mr. Luther Atkinson and Mr. Wesley Scott for all their work for St. Simon's.
After the Mass we had a lovely dinner of tossed green salad, chicken pot pie, french bread, coconut tart, cocobread, chicha, and helados.
Photos by the Lovely Mona:
Front of San Simón
Mr. Greaves, organist
Thelma and Homer Welsh
Blessing the bell
Ringing the bell
Obispo Murray y Padre Edwards
Mr. Luther Atkinson receives a certificate
Mr. Wesley Scott receives a certificate