|Planning for the new year – Jan 1|
By Vernon Khelawan
Given that most of us have endured the pressures and convulsions of Christmas Day preparations and have come out of it alive – though maybe tired and possibly overweight – there is the need to look ahead and plan for the brand New Year that is upon us.
We would have, I am sure, embraced the many opportunities the joyful season of Christmas provides, to revitalise our rich Catholic culture as reflected in our Church services, inclusive of rites, ceremony, music and song.
Some communities, in an effort to stick to tradition, make optimum use of the more beautiful Christmas carols, and integrate into the liturgy the Nativity story in song as related by the lyrics of the culturally rich parang genre.
But today, as we stand on the threshold of the second year of the second decade of the 21st century, the time is right for “Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity” to become an integral part of whatever New Year resolutions made.
Of course, there is the age-old story that New Year resolutions hardly ever last past January. But the Synod mandate insists that great effort must be made to ensure success in this Second Pastoral Priority, moreso because secularisation continues to tug away at our faith and the erosion must be arrested.
Let us, as we ponder the steps we need to take to successfully carry out this Synod mandate, consult with family, church groups and even just friends, to properly articulate the strategies, which would be adopted to ensure success in the exercise.
Our country is so rich in tradition and culture, and more than that, Catholic culture stands out in no small way in so many aspects of life in Trinidad and Tobago. Catholics would be hard-pressed to come up with reasons, which would mitigate against any effort to increase the influence of Catholic culture on the country’s life values and cultural norms.
Our Catholic identity looms large in observance of many of the nation’s festivals – the Corpus Christi procession in Port of Spain, the increasing number of re-enactments of the Calvary journey, the annual Fatima Devotions at Laventille, the annual Charismatic crusade and of course the Christmas crèches which adorn many of our public spaces.
The influence is there. The need now is to aggressively massage it.