Mérida, Yucatán — The Saint Luke’s Anglican Mission celebrated its first anniversary with goals achieved, projects under development and the presence of God in their lives and community, says Rev. José Vieira Arruda.
The Anglican congregation began English- and Spanish-language worship on March 6, 2016 and since has been received well in the community, Arruda told Diario de Yucatán.
Among their social programs, on Sundays, members visit O’Horán and Benito Juárez hospitals to give cochinita sandwiches and refreshments to the patients’ families. The food is a gift from founding member Frank Kriegel, who also lends his kitchen for the project.
Father Arruda, who moved to Mérida from Montreal several years ago, began here as a Roman Catholic priest with an expat following at Las Monjas. But conflicts led to Arruda affiliating with the more progressive Anglican Church of Mexico.
After initially meeting at Casa Feliz in Santiago, the St. Luke’s faithful now gather at Casa de los Torres in La Ermita.
By Easter, St. Luke’s will move again — to the corner of Calle 76 and 55, in the Santiago neighborhood. Then they will stay put for at least five years, Arruda says.
The Anglican Mission will commemorate their first anniversary on Sunday, March 12, with a service at 11:15 a.m. and lunch at Casa de los Torres.
The anniversary celebration will also commemorate the official reception of Father José by the Anglican Church of Mexico and the Anglican Communion of the world, which has more than 80 million members.
Arruda was formally received last Saturday, at the synod of Tuxtepec, Oaxaca.
Worship services are open to the public, regardless of social class, race or sexual orientation.
The Anglican Church is rooted in Britain. The Anglican Church of Mexico is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which is led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, England.
In Mexico, membership is at around 100,000, much smaller than Roman Catholic membership, which even in decline is counted at 98 million faithful.
At the Anglican Mission of St. Luke’s, about 150 people participate, says Arruda.
“We do not want to lose this personal touch, to be together, to know each other by name and to help in what we can,” Arruda told Diario de Yucatán.