Sunday, September 18, 2011

XIV Pentecost (Proper 20)

  • There were three different opportunities for the bishops and spouses to attend the Eucharist in Quito this morning. Brenda and I went with the largest group to the cathedral church of the Diocese of Ecuador Central. It is a large structure on the north side of town, near the airport, and was filled to capacity and then some (I would estimate there were 1,000 people in the room). The liturgy was completely in Spanish, of course, with music that expresses the life of the indigenous congregation. We were warmly welcomed.
  • Lunch was served banquet-style at the Hilton. Then we accompanied the Bishop of Northern Indiana on a walk (through the rain, at first) into the old section of the city, where we explored the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a magnificent late nineteenth century stone Gothic structure. Eventually we found a small cafe near the top of one of the twin towers on the west end. From there we had a panoramic view of the city in three directions. (An American liability lawyer would have that whole enterprise shut down in about ten minutes!)
  • After dinner on our own, the bishops gathered for an event that has become styled as a Fireside Chat, though there was no fire, and it strains credulity that 100+ people can "chat" about anything. There was a very moving presentation (with video) from the Primate of Japan (a guest of this meeting) dealing with the effects of last March's earthquake and tsunami on the Japanese church. There was also some impassioned discussion about the horribly dysfunctional situation in our host diocese. To call it a train wreck would be too mild. 

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