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SAN JUAN/SANTO DOMINGO: May 12, 2009
Metropolitan Hilarion Visits Communities of the Church Abroad in the Caribbean

During the week of Thomas Sunday, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion visited two Caribbean communities in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

On April 27, 2009, His Eminence flew to San Juan, where he was greeted by Archimandrate Andrew [Vujisic] and was graciously hosted by members of the Dormition parish. The following day, Divine Liturgy was celebrated with two ordinations: Spyridon [Morrow] elevated toreader andsubdeacon, and Reader Daniel Williamson to the subdeaconate and deaconate. The community numbers near 20 members and is a cross-section of Orthodox cultures. After the Liturgy, a festal meal was held in Old San Juan.

From April 29 to May 1, Metropolitan Hilarion was in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where a surprisingly large and vibrant Russian community has formed in recent years. Fr Rafael Martinez Gonzalez, Rector of Kazan Icon Church in Puerto Plata, organized a number of events and meetings to begin the formation of a new parish dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ in Santo Domingo. On April 30, Paschal matins were served and a round-table discussion was held with the local faithful. The Russian community is quickly growing, and is estimated to be between two and four thousand.

Anyone wishing to help the fledgling communities, or attend services during trips to the Carribean, are asked to contact Fr Andrew at crnagora@prtc.net: and Fr Rafael at: Padrerafael.ortodoxo@hotmail.com

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