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Using Carnival to evangelise – Sep 23

Using Carnival to evangelise – Sep 23 PDF Print E-mail

Revitalising Catholic Culture and IdentityBy Vernon Khelawan

In the context of our changing Carnival culture, mid-September can be considered a little late in organising a band launch. Notwithstanding this however, Word & Associates last Wednesday launched its 2013 production – The Book of Leviticus – at the Assumption Church Hall.

The hue and cry raised when word was first out in 2011 that a ‘Catholic band’ was being contemplated, ended as quickly as it begun. When the band, with rather small numbers, hit the streets that Carnival Monday two years ago, the objectors became silent and many later applauded the venture.
Carnival is an integral part of this country’s cultural mores and what better way to go down the road of evangelisation than utilising an event so rich in our culture. Further, many, even non-Catholics, saw the band as a counter to the beads ‘n bikinis syndrome that has taken over our Carnival for the last decade or so.
Word & Associates with their first ever presentation – Genesis 1: Creation – won some four trophies in various categories at the various judging points in Port of Spain, surprising a lot of people, since the masqueraders were wearing full and colourful costumes, while still enjoying themselves immensely.
Going one better at this year’s celebrations, the band’s presentation of Exodus captured the Medium Band of the Year title and as if winning locally was not enough, received an award for best costume in Hollywood, California, a few weeks ago at the 16th Annual World Championships of Performing Arts.
It is obvious therefore, that the Second Pastoral Priority – Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity – can be played out on the streets of the country, particularly at Carnival time and not only during Church events related to prayerful activities.
This was highlighted earlier this year with the staging of the concert series – Make Joyful Noise – a format that allowed the organisers to use the events to showcase the talent which resides in parishes throughout the Archdiocese and in Trinidad and Tobago.
Word & Associates, through its Carnival presentations, is surely serving to clear the way for more Catholic groups to use the vehicle of culture for the purpose of evangelisation. Sr Juliet Rajah put it in proper context recently when she wrote, “Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity does not call us to go back to former times – the ‘good ole days’ – but to bring the Christian values we once lived so easily in our lives.”

Last Updated on Friday, 05 October 2012 11:26