On the weekend of January 13, 2019, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, made his annual visit to the Diocese of Mexico together with His Eminence, The Most Reverend Benjamin, Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West. See the story on the OCA website here. The hierarchs joined His Eminence, the Most Reverend Alejo, Archbishop of Mexico City and the Diocese of Mexico and area clergy and faithful in celebrating the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Ascension Cathedral on January 13th, and the Great blessing of water.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy Archbishop Alejo performed the Chaplain Commissioning Service for Reader Abraham Labrada-Santiago, his great nephew! This is certainly a significant event because Reader Abraham is the first chaplain commissioned by the Diocese of Mexico. He in fact translated the OCA Commissioning Service into Spanish for the service on Jan. 13th!
Reader Abraham is currently a staff chaplain at Providence Alaska Medical Center and hopes to provide education about health care ministry, especially with spiritual support and counseling at the End of Life for the clergy of the Diocese. He has been an active presence in the Diocese of Mexico as well as serving as a chaplain.
Abraham Labrada-Santiago, is a 2011 graduate of St. Tikhon's is the chaplain. He traveled with then Bishop Tikhon in visitations to the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania from 2008-2011. Back in Mexico he was blessed by Archbishop Alejo to write icons. Reader Abraham painted several of the murals in the altar at the Holy Ascension Cathedral, where he returned to serve following seminary graduation. He was diocesan communications for two years there, 2011-2013.
Subsequently he began his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in Providence Alaska. There he met his now wife Anna. They have two daughters Elizabeth and Alexandra. He has been serving as a chaplain in Alaska, and is preparing for a certification review with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC). Laypersons are commissioned as a step in the endorsement process.
May God bless the newly commissioned Chaplain Abraham, his wife Anna, and their family!
Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Director
Office of Institutional Chaplains
(Photos forwarded by Chaplain Abraham)