Spanish-speaking deacon joins in celebration of Latino migration stories

Spanish-speaking deacon joins in celebration of Latino migration stories

Our St Thomas’ Newtown whānau have watched their neighbours from the Wellington Latin Collective with intrigue and delight in recent months, as a mural has taken shape on the wall overlooking their forecourt.  Not only did they get to watch it take shape, but Rev Richard Noble was asked to offer a blessing at the unveiling, and parishioner Raymond McMahon contributed the words “freedom” and “unity,” which appear in the mural, celebrating the diversity of the Latino community and the richness of their contribution to Wellington.
The mural is entitled “Arise to birth with me my brother.” Richard has been learning to speak Español over the last few years, so it was a “pleasure and privilege” to offer the blessing, which he offered in both English and Español.  He tells us that the Latin Collective is a network of Latin American expats, ranging from refugees from the Pinochet regime in Chile in the 1970s to recent arrivals on working visas. The Collective aims to highlight and celebrate the richness, diversity and contribution of the Latino community in Wellington. “Public mural art is a common medium in many Latin American countries,” Richard tells us, “so the Collective thought it would be a wonderfully appropriate way of adding some Latino colour to our cityscape, and had the opportunity to site this in Newtown.”
The Collective engaged the services of renowned Chilean muralista Alfonso Ruiz Pajarito, who was a founding-member of 1960s Chilean art collective Brigada Ramon Parra. (For more info on the project, click here.
Richard’s blessing is as follows:
El Dios de los viajes, de la migración,
God of journeys, of migration,
llamó Abraham a salir su hogar ancestral por una tierra nueva;
You called Abraham to leave his ancestral home for a new land;
guio Moisés y los Niños de Israel fuera de la esclavitud
You led Moses and the Children of Israel out of slavery
y a través del desierto a la Tierra Prometida;
and through the wilderness to the Promised Land;
Se damos gracias por los viajes de ellos que han venido de Latinoamérica
We give You thanks for the journeys of those who have come from Latin America
para hacer sus hogares aquí en Aotearoa-Nueva Zelanda.
to make their homes in Aotearoa-New Zealand.
Bendiga este mural, el trabajo de los manos de un hijo de Chile,
Bless this mural, the work of the hands of a son of Chile,
y un símbolo de estos viajes y los principios nuevos.
and a symbol of these journeys and new beginnings.
Guíe nosotros todos para convertirnos en los niños de la sola humanidad nueva
Lead us all to become children of the single new humanity
por su Hijo, el señor nuestro Jesucristo. Amén.
through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.