February 13-17, 2015: The DDG Board in the Dominican Republic
By Julius Ariail
Posted March 5, 2015
Members of the Board of Directors of the Dominican Development Group were in the Dominican Republic from February 13-17, 2015, to attend the 57th annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic and to hold their semi-annual meeting. They also visited several sites within the Diocese of the Dominican Republic to see first-hand the progress being made in construction of new buildings and the operation of schools and vocational-technical education programs.
Iglesia Episcopal San Esteban in the coastal city of San Pedro de Macorís was the host church for the 57th annual convention. The meetings were held in the church’s parish hall in the building that is also the site of the Cliníca Episcopal Esperanza y Caridad, one of the Episcopal diocese’s ministries. DDG board members who addressed the convention included President David Morrow, Executive Director Bill Kunkle, and three Bishops of The Episcopal Church: the Rt. Rev. Wendell Gibbs (Michigan), the Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith (Southwest Florida), and the Rt. Rev. William Skilton (Dominican Republic, retired). One highlight of the convention was the announcement of the names of three finalists for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor: Ven. P. Ramon Antonio García De los Santos, Rdo. P. Daniel Samuel, and Rdo. P. Moisés Quezada Mota. The period for nominating other finalists by petition is from March 9-19, 2015, and the election will be held on July 25, 2015, with a follow-up date of August 29 if required. For more information on this Coadjutor election process, check out this website (in Spanish) created by the diocesan Search and Nominations Committee: https://coadjutorrd2014.wordpress.com
After the closing service, the DDG board members visited three sites in the area: the Episcopal school, church, and vocational-technical school in Consuelo; the Episcopal school and church in Angelina; and the Episcopal church in Ingenio Santa Fe, an area within the city of San Pedro de Macorís. St. John’s Episcopal Church in McLean, Virginia, has been the major sponsor of Consuelo’s vocational-technical school, and the Rev. Emily Griffin, associate rector of St. John’s, brought a chalice and paten from St. John’s as a gift for the recently-ordained Rdo. P. José Joaquin de Jesús Lagares, the local vicar. At Angelina and Santa Fe, the board members heard an overview of the needs of both sites from Ven. P. Félix Encarnatión, the vicar of both churches and the dean of the Eastern Archdeanery of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church.
Following these visits, the members gathered for a supper at a restaurant in Santo Domingo and had a report on the status of the endowment fund supporting the eventual financial self-sufficiency of the Dominican diocese. After the board meeting on Monday, February 16, Bishop Holguīn and his wife, Milagros, hosted the board members for a reception and supper at their home.
On Tuesday, February 17, the board members visited the Episcopal church and school in the La Barquita neighborhood of Santo Domingo before proceeding to the airports for flights back to the United States.