The historic seaside resort of Calpe lies roughly centrally along the coast of the Chaplaincy of Costa Blanca, and is home to the Senior Chaplain, The Revd. Marcus Ronchetti. The city’s dominant geographical feature is the great limestone rock of Calpe. Marcus had the idea of inviting the bishop to begin his visit by scaling the rock.
This is quite a challenging walk. The path is in two parts. A broad track goes as far as a tunnel. The path inside the tunnel is well polished and slippery. Beyond the tunnel, it is a case of climbing and scrambling to the summit.
This was the first time I had needed my mountain boots for a chaplaincy visit. Marcus told me that he had long had a fear of heights, but had rather recently managed to conquer it. If he had any such fear, it certainly was not in evidence on our walk, which gave new meaning to the diocesan motto “walking together in faith”.
At the summit, I was invited to bless the Chaplaincy which extends South as far as you can see (towards Alicante airport) and north as far as you can see (towards Valencia airport). I recalled how many significant biblical encounters with God took place on mountain tops. And I was glad to pronounce the Aaronic blessing over the people of the chaplaincy. 2021 happens to be the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Chaplaincy of Costa Blanca, and there was surely no better way to mark the occasion!
The view over the coastline on the way down was spectacular.
All of this made for an excellent ‘warm up act’ to the business of licensing and collating Marcus as a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter of the Diocese in Europe. This was done, safely back at ground level, in a different kind of attire, in a Eucharistic service in the beautiful Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Mercy, which is the Chaplaincy’s Calpe worship centre.
Marcus has been a priest for 40 years. He has given 10 years of ministry to this Chaplaincy. He loves his work, and the joy he finds in it is reflected by the huge appreciation that his people express for his ministry.
Costa Blanca is a large chaplaincy with multiple worship centres, and Marcus leads a big team of PtO clergy as well as talented and committed lay leaders.
Beyond the Chaplaincy itself, Marcus has a particular area of ministry as a presenter and DJ with the Pure Gold radio station, broadcasting to the Costas (and the world) on 94.1 FM. This is a great work of outreach bringing the gospel in an accessible way to many who do not attend church. It is a ministry that has been particularly important during times of lockdown.
Costa Blanca is dedicated to the Holy Spirit, which makes it a Pentecostal Parish. In my sermon, I invited the congregation to reflect on the work of the Holy Spirit in animating our prayers, in guiding us through life, and in generating the fruit of a beautiful character. My hope and prayer for this Chaplaincy is that ‘Costa Blanca at 50’ will be a community where people are growing in Christian character as they open themselves to the purifying and nurturing activity of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul writes: ‘when one member is honoured, all rejoice together’. This ceremony of collation was indeed a real opportunity for rejoicing, after a long and anxious period of living with Covid-19. It was a great joy to be together, to worship together, and in the evening to party together.
4 thoughts on “Collation of The Revd. Marcus Ronchetti as a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter”
Well done RObert to get to the top and Get the cake home too!! I always like to. Hear your news. I am having a quiet séjour in Paleyrac and have just said goodbye to a dear local friend of 30 years W ho lived next door, I,e, 200 metres up the track and he is now moving away to Brittany. Some changes are hard so it always good to receive news of your encouragement of other Christians. Love Madge in Paleyrac
Sent from Madge,s IPad Canford 26 Greenways BEckenham Kent BR3. 3NG
It was a pleasure to walk up the Penon de Ifach with you, and attend to the appointment of Marcus as Canon at Nuestra Señora de la Merced Church in Calpe. I enjoyed your preaching of the holy spirit and you conducted the service very well. I hope you had a nice time here and hope to see you again.
Thank you so much for last Friday. Well done with the climb (and I know it IS a climb) to the top of the Penyon de Ifach. I told our congregation to look towards the rock at the time you were there and blessing our Chaplaincy. The service in Calpe was very special, the gathering at the Gran Sol was great too, I was delighted to have a lovely chat with you and Helen. Take care both of you. Thank you.
Thank you for the lovely description of this event. It is always good to learn of progress in the Diocese of Europe.