On September 19, a strong earthquake of a 7.1 magnitude struck the nation of Mexico killing more than 300 people, injuring thousands, toppling homes with many others on the verge of collapse. One major casuality of this earthquake is the single parish directly under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate in the nation - the parish of the Protection of the Mother of God in a suburb of the capital.
By God's Mercy, parish rector, Priest Kiril Chacon, his family and parishioners were not injured. After finally establishing telephone service, Fr. Kirill informed His Grace Bishop John, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, of the current state of the church. A large number of cracks in the foundation, a partial collapse of the cupola and portions of the roof covering the Holy Altar have all occured. After expert review, entry into the temple is strictly prohibted due to the strong probability of the cupola, which also serves as the roof, collapsing completly. To save the building, the foundation needs to be secured, a new dome, made of stronger material than the current stone dome needs to be added as well as other needed work.
Currently, Divine Services are being held under the open skies near the church. Fr. Kirill and his parishioners have began taking a collection to save their church. A modest estimate states that repairs may cost upwards of $30,000. His Grace Bishop John is asking that all clergy and parishioners of the Patriarchal Parishes send monetary help to our parish in Mexico.
We remind our readers that the Protection Parish recently suffered the loss with the unexpected repose of its long-time rector, Archpriest Carlos Chacon on August 24.
Donations in the form of checks may be written out in the name of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA with the memo "For Mexico" and sent to the address below.
Panagiotis S. Billis
Treasurer of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA
PO BOX 46
Lampeter, PA 17537
or through a bank transfer using the following credentials:
WELLS FARGO BANK
1643 LINCOLN HWY E
LANCASTER, PA 17602
Bank Routing #: 031000503
Account #: 1958110718
SWIFT CODE: WFBIUS6S (121000248)