The Most Rev. Martín Barahona, Bishop of El Salvador and the former Anglican Primate of Central America, is sharing the good news of his honorary doctorate conferred by General Theological Seminary last May with friends in El Salvador.
Consecrated in 1992, Bishop Barahona has served as a leader in fostering the vibrant parish life of the diocese and has been an historic advocate for the rights of women, LGBT persons and those in economic distress. He has served as president of El Salvador’s National Council of Churches and enjoys broad ecumenical respect. Despite an assassination attempt in 2010, Bishop Barahona remains deeply committed to his ministry and his people.
Bp. Barahona recently reported sharing news of his honorary doctorate with the people of El Salvador to the Rev. Dr. Lee Alison Crawford, a GTS graduate and Canon Missioner of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador. At la Capilla del Espíritu Santo, a small congregation Bp. Barahona serves in Flor Blanca, young and old marveled at the elegance of his diploma, and all had a chance to see and hold it.
Also, the pro-cathedral church of San Juan Evangelista held a special liturgy of celebration and thanksgiving. In his sermon, Bp. Barahona said that everyone in community shared in the honor, and he asked the people to pray for the necessary strength for him to continue his ministry. The readings for the service were the Proper for Mission of the Church I, and Bp. Barahona related his ministry to that of the disciples Jesus sent out in pairs (Luke 10:1-9):
"I wish to say, having had much opportunity to reflect on the honor that the General Theological Seminary gave me by awarding me the title of Doctor of Theology Honoris Causa, and listening to the argument or justification or reasons for why they were honoring me with this privilege, that I have felt like one of the 70 disciples. This is a symbolic number of the many. Among many, the God whom we serve sent me to be a witness — to the extent of my ability — among all: men and women, especially to those who are in more vulnerable conditions.
I have tried to do what I can, and I hope to continue to do so as long as the same God gives me the opportunity to continue this mission, as was the mandate to the other 70 disciples. I pray that you will join with me in giving thanks on this occasion, because if in any way I have been an instrument of salvation for others, it is because God has been with me. It is to God that we give all honor and glory. At the same time, help me ask God for the necessary strength to be faithful and arrive at the end working in the mission which God has entrusted to me."
"Quiero decirles que en ocasión de reflexionar muchísimo ante el honor que me hace el Seminario General de Teología de Nueva York, al entregarme el titulo de Doctor en Teología Honoris Causa, y al escuchar la argumentación, o la justificación, o las razones por las cuales me honran con este privilegio me he sentido como uno de esos 70 que es un numero simbólico que significa muchos y de esos que el Dios a quien servimos me envió para ser testigo en la medida de mis capacidades entre todos y a todas, hombres y mujeres, especialmente a aquellos que están en condiciones mas vulnerables.
He tratado de hacer lo que puedo y espero continuar haciéndolo mientras el mismo Dios me de la oportunidad de continuar con esta misión, tal como fue el mandato a los otros 70 discípulos, ruego a ustedes se unan conmigo para dar gracias en esta ocasión porque si de alguna manera he sido instrumento para la salvación de otros no ha sido si no gracias a que Dios ha estado conmigo y a El es a quien debemos toda la honra y la gloria y al mismo tiempo, ayúdenme a pedirle que me de la fortaleza necesaria para ser fiel y llegar hasta el final trabajando en la misión que se me ha encomendado."