|Timely reminders – Feb 12
By Vernon Khelawan
Archbishop Joseph Harris continues to be upfront and frank when addressing his flock. He struck another noteworthy chord when he said recently that Catholic schools were not for Catholics only.
The message was part of his homily at a special Mass closing the year-long celebration of the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny in Trinidad and Tobago in 1836.
The Archbishop said all could benefit from good example; all “need to be taught”. He noted that when the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny were invited to Trinidad it was, “to educate women of all classes, of all religions”. It was the Catholic thing to do.
This mandate shows it was clear 175 years ago – as it is today – that the Church has, in the first place, to proclaim the Gospel and secondly to ensure that Catholic culture and identity are expressed and deepened.
Archbishop Gilbert stressed, “We all have a vocation to witness to truth, as painful as the truth may be.” He seemed to be also saying that in the present environment, where traditions and rituals were being abandoned in the insatiable quest for the material things, there lay myriad opportunities to consolidate Catholic culture and identity.
Although the Archbishop was addressing a religious teaching community, his message reflected the mandate of Synod 2009 in its Pastoral Priority – Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity – and, as such, is a pertinent reminder for the entire Archdiocese.
This means, therefore, that the 61 parishes, which make up the Archdiocese, have to get down to the task of making the second Pastoral Priority work. The seeds have been sown, and the Archbishop is nudging the process along with timely reminders, as I am sure he will continue so to do.