Respect life – Oct 26


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REGENERATING THE MORAL AND SPIRITUAL VALUES OF OUR SOCIETY

By Vernon Khelawan

Now in its fifth year, Respect for Life Week seems to be gaining some currency. Ironically, its appeal seems to have been helped by a prevailing disrespect for life in our country.

With this year’s theme “Transforming Society to Reflect Gospel Values”, the Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ), which initiated the event in 2010, has closely aligned the Week with the Third Pastoral Priority – Regenerating the Moral and Spiritual Values of Our Society.

Today in Trinidad and Tobago, human life seems to have become “worthless”, what with so many of our young men wantonly shooting each other. At first, they used the cover of darkness to carry out their nefarious deeds. Today, it happens in broad daylight and, in some instances, mere feet away from buildings which house law enforcement officers.

In her rationale, Chair of CCSJ Leela Ramdeen explained that like the Third Priority, Respect for Life Week also came out of Synod 2009. Catholics asked then for an entire week to focus on respect for life because of the noticeable rise in killings.

This year, the programme for the Week (October 25 – November 1) is all encompassing. It will involve the young people, whose October 26 session at St Charles, Tunapuna, will focus on the theme “Youth Seeking to Transform Society to Reflect Gospel Values”; ecumenical groups, with a panel discussion on Wednesday themed “Transforming Society to Reflect Gospel Values”; and a vigil on Friday by the Emmanuel Community with the theme, “Transforming Society to Respect the Unborn.”

Ramdeen said the whole idea is to promote moral and spiritual values, which are at the foundation of the Gospel. “It we are true witnesses, we will instill moral and spiritual values,” she added.

But do we always have to wait for an event like this for us as Roman Catholics to embark on our own private or collective efforts to set the stage for regenerating moral and spiritual values in ourselves and others?

The call, therefore, is for us as true soldiers of Jesus Christ to find ways and means to engender that elusive dream of transforming Trinidad and Tobago into a community of love.