Putting our rich culture to work – 28 March 2010

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Putting our rich culture to work – 28 March 2010

Putting our rich culture to work – 28 March 2010
Written by Vernon Khelawan   
In former times the local Church might not have always appreciated and made use of the rich cultural diversity of the nation in its evangelisation thrust.

Today however, things have changed and with a plethora of local priests, who grew up firmly entrenched in the various cultural traditions for which we have become well known, new methods of evangelisation should be developed by exploiting the rich diversity of our culture for its success.

Such a dimension was not lost on Synod participants when on the theme “Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity” a resolution was adopted – Be it resolved that the Archdiocese, at all levels, actively promote the inculturation of the Faith in every area of Church life.

A vivid example of such a method of evangelisation took place two weeks ago when the Assumption parish in Port of Spain staged its Lenten production – Son of God: Son of Man – which went over very well by all accounts.

While this is not the first time that such a method have been used to convey a Gospel message, it amplifies the need for its greater use throughout the archdiocese, since it is more attractive, appealing and satisfying.

In 1990 Pope John Paul II addressed the inculturation issue in several encyclicals and public appearances and he defined the term in the encyclical Redemptoris Missio #52 in which he stated that as the Church carried out missionary activity among nations, it encounters different cultures and becomes involved in the process of inculturation. “The need for such involvement has marked the Church’s pilgrimage throughout her history, but today it is particularly urgent.”

He continued, “Through inculturation the Church makes the Gospel incarnate in the different cultures and at the same time introduces peoples, together with their cultures, into her own community….Through inculturation the Church for her part becomes a more intelligible sign of what she is and a more effective instrument of mission.”

Placing this in the context of the Archdiocese’s Pastoral Priority for the year, it wouldn’t be surprising if parish priests seem to be turning more and more to culture as a vehicle to true evangelisation in an effort to arrest the continuing haemorrhage of the faithful.

How many of the Pastoral Plans submitted to Archbishop Edward Gilbert last December 8 contain evangelisation efforts interspersed with cultural dimensions. They might have been few, but this does not mean that aspects of the various plans cannot be adjusted to accommodate various elements of our cultural traditions.

As Catholic families, holding firm to the theme Catholic Family: Become What You Are make valiant efforts to focus on that message throughout the year, it must be remembered that they too, have cultural values that can be used to evangelise, not only their own families, but the wider family of the Catholic Church in Trinidad and Tobago.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 April 2010 16:03