The latest exciting adventure in the ongoing partnership between St. James’ Church, Taichung and the Episcopal Diocese of Central Philippines (EDCP) has been the visit to St. James for the last 2 months of Rev. Joel del Rosario – and these last 3 days on his way back home to the Philippines he had the chance to come to Taipei ~ YES!
Fr. Joel was previously in charge of several of the churches in EDCP that have been built with money raised by St. James’ Church since 1998. He was also previously dean of the national cathedral in Manila, and we’ve all met him several times on our visits to the Philippines. So it was extra nice to have a chance to show him around Taipei!
A non-stop visit, so much to see, so much to do! He could have been here for a week, and still there would not have been enough time to meet everyone and see everywhere, ha ha! So, on Wednesday, a short visit to St. John’s University and Advent Church, then an evening walk at Baishawan Beach to see the northern tip of Taiwan in the distance and to escape the afternoon storms further down the coast…..
Thursday was busy busy busy! The whole day in Taipei City, to Good Shepherd Church, St. Christopher’s R. C. Church – where the Filipino community worships, St. John’s Cathedral (lots of photos of the stained glass!), Changing of the Guard at the C.K.S. Memorial, visit to the diocesan office (Bishop Lai is away at the General Convention in the USA, so we did our own tour, and the diocesan staff kindly welcomed us and smiled for photos!), then Taipei 101 – where it was very grey and stormy when we went in, but an hour later there was bright sunshine! In both Good Shepherd Church and St. John’s Cathedral, the churches were decorated for their kindergarten graduations this weekend. And finally dinner with my good friend, Fr. Joy…
And yesterday – well, to the airport!
Although I spent the day taking photos while Fr. Joel kindly posed for them, he went up Taipei 101 on his own with my camera, so those photos are all his own work!
Fr. Joel’s baby granddaughter, Alyss, is currently in Chang-Gung Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the partner hospital of St. Luke’s Hospital in Manila. She and her parents have been here for several months in order for baby Alyss to have a liver transplant – the surgery was in early April, and she is making a good recovery. Please do pray for her and for the family at this time.
So it’s been a great 3 days, thank you to everyone in Taipei for your hospitality, thank you Fr. Joel for coming, and thank you Bishop Dixie and our friends in EDCP for a great partnership in mission! And Fr. Joel – please come back again soon!