The 2019 Spring Pilgrimage started in Boca Chica on the last day of the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN) Conference. Attendees were offered two options for site visits highlighting the varying stages of development and ministries of the Dominican Episcopal Church. The first visited three nearby church congregations, including Iglesia de la Gracia in La Caleta, Santo Tomás in Gautier and the recently completed Monte de Sión in Andrés. The second destination was San Pedro de Macorís to see Iglesia y Colegio San Esteban, the Bishop Kellogg Conference Center and the Clínica Esperanza y Caridad.
On Saturday, nine Episcopalians representing four dioceses headed west towards Haiti. After leaving the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo, we made several site visits. Members of the group had special interests in medical mission opportunities and in the Dominican Episcopal schools. At each location, we met with the local priest, church members and community leaders engaging in prayer and learning about their many ministries.
Stops on our journey included Iglesia San Miguel in Doña Ana and Iglesia y Colegio San Matías in Santana, Baní. We participated in a Holy Eucharist at Santo Nombre de Jesús in Catalina at temporary quarters with a modest corrugated metal roof followed by visits to Iglesia y Colegio San Antonio de Padua in El Carretón and San Timoteo in Nizao, where mission teams from the Diocese of Southwest Florida are returning this summer to complete the second floor and begin development of an agricultural cooperative.
Attending Sunday's Holy Eucharist at Iglesia La Transfiguracíón in Baní were several representatives from civil defense, police and fire services to express gratitude for the fire truck and ambulance donated by the Episcopal church and the DDG. Afterwards, we toured the school and enjoyed fellowship with a light lunch. Heading west, stops included the recently completed Iglesia Espíritu Santo in Las Carreras and San Jorge in Azua.
On Monday, we made our most westerly stop at Iglesia San Pablo Apostól and Colegio Episcopal Profesora Laura Morrow in Jimani, a town on the border with Haiti. An emotional welcome awaited us as the teachers and staff were wearing David Morrow T-shirts and each classroom had signs welcoming us to the school -- "with love." We also saw the new building housing a generator donated by David to help overcome the frequent power outages in this region. Nearby site visits were made to Boca Cachón (Iglesia San Tito) and Tierra Nueva (Iglesia San Ignacio) before heading to the southern coastal city of Barahona.
|The teacher (on far left) and his students in a 6th grade class in the Episcopal school in Jimaní. Click this image to see this location on Google Maps.
Iglesia La Redencíón, which houses the only school for the hearing impaired in the province, and Iglesia Jesús Peregrino in Barahona were on Tuesday's itinerary. After stopping at Iglesia y Colegio San Bernabé in Pizarrete, our final visit was to Iglesia San Marcos in Haina to see a successful and well-established school exemplifying the potential for many of the other schools we visited.
The next Pilgrimage Trip is scheduled for November 14-20, 2019, and will follow a similar east-west path, but the eastern section will include Santo Domingo, Santa Fe and La Romana, as well as San Pedro de Macorís and Boca Chica. For more information on this trip, contact the DDG Executive Director, Bill Kunkle, at <
-- Sally Thompson
Member of the DDG Board of Directors
Diocese of Southwest Florida