Stricken with grief, Lena ran to the only Russian Orthodox church in Costa Rica – the Our Lady of Vladimir Church. Her thoughts were scattered, despair crushed her throat…
Could it really be that Peter, her youngest son, was dead?! Only a few hours earlier, the 20-year-old youth had died in a car accident… But the church was closed. The priest came to serve once a week from several towns away. Lena had to wait several ‒ oh, how painful and never-ending! ‒ days until she could have a comforting talk with him, and attend divine services in church.
For almost a year, Fr. Ignacio Miranda, who cares for the Russian Orthodox community of Costa Rica, has been traveling to church every Sunday with two stops. Each way takes two hours – he takes two buses and a taxi ride. Parishioners serve the All-Night Vigil as laymen, since two such trips per weekend would be too much to handle; moreover, Fr. Ignacio works a secular job on weekdays.
"She never imagined that there would come a day when she would need a priest and church so badly. But that day came. They come to all of us in different ways. That’s when the presence of a loving priest matters most."
Imagine how difficult it would be to wait at the bus-stop in the tropical heat! Especially for a priest, who needs to give all of himself ‒ his whole heart, soul, and energy - serving before God’s altar.
This is why I am appealing to you for help – the community simply cannot survive without a car!
Please take a look at Fr. Ignacio’s approximate Sunday schedule:
5:00 AM – wake up; read liturgical prayer rule
6:00 AM – get the family together for church
7:00 AM – board first bus
8:15 AM – board second bus to Coronado
9:00 AM – bus arrives at the terminal; wait for taxi
9:30 AM – arrive at church
9:30-10 AM – perform Proskomedia
10 AM-12 PM ‒ Liturgy
12-2 PM – lunch, talk with parishioners
2:30 PM – return trip home
How long do you think you could endure this tempo, without a single day off? One month? Two?
After weekends like this, Fr. Ignacio goes to work physically exhausted… Who knows how long he can withstand such a stressful routine.
This is why I implore you ‒ help us collect the money needed to buy a car! It will make life for the parish so much easier.
Today, Lena is doing much better. After a long talk with Fr. Ignacio, she knows that her son has not left her forever. Every time she comes to church, she feels much better in church. And she is now a regular parishioner of Our Lady of Vladimir Church.
Lena grew up in the Soviet Union. She never imagined that there would come a day when she would need a priest and church so badly.
But that day came. They come to all of us in different ways. That’s when the presence of a loving priest matters most.
Please, make a donation today!
We are grateful to you for all that you have done for our Church. A donation of any size ‒ $10, $20, $50, $100 dollars – will bring closer the day when Fr. Ignacio can quickly drive to Corondo when the parishioners of Our Lady of Vladimir Church need him the most!
President, Fund for Assistance to ROCOR
P.S. If you make your donation before May 30, we will match any amount up to $5,000!