The Misión Ortodoxa San Juan Clímaco in San Germán, PR was founded in 2009 by the efforts of a small community of native Puerto Ricans returning to the island after unexpectedly discovering the beauty of the Orthodox Faith in the United States. Initially comprised of the Priest Gregory Justiniano and his immediate family, it grew in size very slowly. Throughout the years, the Mission has counted on the warm and fatherly encouragement of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, who visited for the first time in 2013, celebrating the first Hierarchal Liturgy on the 10th of November of that year. Fr. Gregory remembers fondly how the Metropolitan blessed his missionary endeavors before returning to his native land.
Recently, in August 2021, the Mission had the honor and joy of welcoming Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and several diocesan clergy, who accompanied the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, a first for the island. Bishop Nicholas’ visit was a great success, bringing the presence of this Orthodox community to the attention of many local inquirers. Three new catechumens were made in the days immediately following the historic visit.
In 2020, land was donated in San Germán for the building of the first architecturally Orthodox temple on the island, since the small house chapel where the mission began is now filled to capacity with several young converts. For the past year, this growing parish has been working hard to finalize blueprints for a church dedicated to the Annunciation, in the Pskov style of Russian architecture, inspired by the beautiful cemetery chapel of the Dormition of the Theotokos at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville.
By the grace of God and an anonymous donation, enough has been collected to begin building, but funds will be required to bring this project to fruition. We, the clergy and parishioners of this lovely budding community, write to you for your help in this missionary effort. We ask first and foremost for your continued prayers and, if possible, your kind donation. In the words of Fr. Gregory:
"My Puerto Rican people do not know the Orthodox Church. This is why I asked my dear Bishop to bless us by visiting us here in San Germán, my hometown, to bring to them the Faith of the Apostles. Today, twelve years – to the day – since the celebration of the first Divine Liturgy in San Germán, the Precious Cross is placed on this land, blessed by our Bishop, and dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos."
Donations can be made at www.misionsanjuanclimaco.org/donar.