LMPA hosts competition for Fatima anniversary

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LMPA hosts competition for Fatima anniversary

The prize-giving ceremony of the Laventille Morvant Pastoral Area (LMPA) Art, Essay and Digital Media competition was held July 6. The competition was organised to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.

Thora Best, parish co-ordinator of St Dominic’s RC Church, Morvant welcomed all those gathered at the Corpus Christi RC Church Hall and brought greetings on behalf of the parish priest Fr Trevor Nathasingh, and the Catholic Education Board of Management.

This was followed by an overview of the competition. With widespread distribution of entry forms to Northern Vicariate schools, amazingly, the first two entries were from students outside the vicariate. A week before the deadline date of the competition, there were no entries and so the project team petitioned Our Lady of Fatima to open the hearts and minds of parents, teachers and children to encourage participation.

A ray of hope came when a call was received from Mrs Newallo-Smith from Maria Regina Grade School who indicated that she already had some entries and had a few more to send. Then on the deadline date, the Liturgical Commission called to make arrangements for us to collect the flood of entries being received on the deadline date. A total of 80 entries from schools far and near were received.

The one-hour programme included the viewing of the video submitted in the Digital Media category, and the reading of the winning essay on the topic ‘What is the message of Fatima, and in your opinion, what is its relevance to the world today?’ The other essays and art pieces were on display for attendees to view.

Before the distribution of the prizes, remarks were delivered by Farid Antar, General Manager, Republic Bank, whose department partnered with LMPA for the competition. Through their ‘Power to Make a Difference’ programme, they sponsored all the monetary prizes and tokens.

The winners in the three categories were presented with their prizes, MovieTowne passes and commemorative rosaries.
Art category – 1st: Nicholai Soobhanath, St Monica’s Preparatory; 2nd: Amelia Serah Bryan, St Joseph’s Convent, POS; 3rd: Karisa Bryan, Sacred Heart Girls’ RC Primary

Essay category – 1st: Tada-Marie Boneo, Arima Central Secondary; 2nd: Sophy Wong Sing, Rosewood Girls’; 3rd: Joneil Robinson,  Holy Name Convent, POS

There was one qualifying entry in the Digital Media Category, won by Carissa Renwick of St Dominic’s RC Church, Morvant. The 2nd and 3rd prizes for this category were redistributed in special prizes and tokens for all participants.

Special awardees were: Christopher Samaroo, Jonathan Bain, Kassidy Gaulteau and Rosario Singh (Maria Regina); Elijah George (Rosary Boys’ RC); Daniel Gibbs and Joshua Salina (Sacred Heart Boys’ RC); Sky Dopson (St Monica’s Preparatory); Aaron Smith and Leung Burnley (Our Lady of Laventille RC); Ciara King (Rosehill RC); David Welch (Success Laventille Secondary); and Niemah Caseman (National Marian Shrine, Our Lady of Fatima, Laventille).

Maria Regina won the special cash prize of $1,000 for the school with the most entries, 31 art pieces. The Head of the Art department at Maria Regina announced that the school had already decided that their prize winning would be used to assist a school in the Moruga area. Even Our Lady of Laventille RC benefitted from a monetary contribution towards basic school supplies and a basketball hoop, for the enjoyment of the children.

Gerard Forbes, parish co-ordinator of Corpus Christi Parish, Laventille, gave the closing remarks. He congratulated all the winners and special awardees and encouraged them to keep drawing, writing and using technology in a positive and uplifting way.

On behalf of parish priest, Fr Trevor Nathasingh, we thank Republic Bank Limited and MovieTowne for their kind generosity in sponsorship of the prizes. We also commend all parents, teachers and children who responded to this competition. – Cheryl Ann Mader, parishioner, St Dominic’s Morvant

Aaron Smith

Special award – Essay Category

 What is the message of Fatima and in your opinion, what is its relevance in the world today?

The message of Fatima is for men to give up their sinful ways which grieve God.  Its relevance to the world today would be to leave the life of crime. This now means that men within gangs would have to put down their guns and leave the life of crime behind them. Once this is done, the second step would be to give their lives to God.

This second step means that they would need to join a church and serve the Lord and Saviour through Our Lady of Fatima. They would then be baptised to wash away all sins and cleanse their souls and give their lives over to Christ through Our Lady of Fatima. Going to church regularly must still be done.

The final step would be to practice healthy living through prayers and meditation.  This last step means that these individuals would want to have Our Lady of Fatima around them every day. They would never want to look back to the life of crime – continued prayers and doing away with evil and for them to stay away from their past sinful ways that once grieved God.

The message is the same today as it was when our blessed Mother appeared in Lourdes and Fatima in 1917. Mary told the children that they should pray the Rosary daily as it is a powerful weapon against sin.

Antonia Mader

Guest writer – Essay Category

What is the message of Fatima and in your opinion, what is its relevance in the world today?

‘Blessed are you amongst women’. Mary is a central figure in the Catholic faith.  She was sent by God to request prayer, reparation, repentance, and sacrifice, and the abandonment of sin.  Before Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, the angel of peace visited them for their preparation.  The angel demonstrated to the children the fervent, attentive and composed manner in which we should all pray, and the reverence we should show toward God while in prayer.

Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern apparitions.  When Our Lady visited the children, they were shown a mortifying vision of hell, the Second World War and finally the prediction of the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by spreading its errors, fomenting wars, persecuting the Church and annihilating nations by embracing Communist totalitarianism.

They were asked to pray the Rosary every day for peace not only for personal salvation but also for world peace and that Russia would be saved and consecrated to Mary who will grant peace to humanity.  The children were also told to pray and sacrifice themselves for sinners, in order to save them from hell.

Another principal part of the Message of Fatima is devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.  Mary showed her heart, surrounded by piercing thorns, to the children who understood that their sacrifices could help console her.

This message was the zenith of profound piety.  However, these spiritual perspectives are alien to present-day attitudes because of rationalism and materialistic ideologies.

These are antithetical to Christ’s finished work on Calvary and of our need for salvation by faith in Him alone.  They enlighten us to know that the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are our last remedies.  It helps us comprehend the importance of penance for sins and making offerings for world peace.  Our Lady reminds us that humanity’s future is in God, and that we are active and responsible in unveiling that future.

Joneil Robinson

3rd place winner – Essay Category

What is the message of Fatima and in your opinion, what is its relevance in the world today?

One hundred years ago on May 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three shepherd children, Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco in Portugal.  These apparitions continued on the 13th of each month in succession until October where it was said that she would perform a miracle for all who believed.

Within these apparitions she left a message which was ‘a call for men to give up sinful practices which grieve God and draw down His chastisements on the world, and to make reparation for them’.  This message is to be fulfilled through prayer and penance.

Our Lady said to pray the rosary daily to obtain peace in the world. Truly, in my opinion, this message is relevant today as there is a great deal of wars, uprising and terror attacks taking place, and in order to restore the world, we should devote ourselves to reciting the Rosary daily.

Another way is through the pillar of penance. Making great sacrifices not to go to hell by turning away from sin, coming back to God and asking forgiveness should be the key to the conversion of sinners but instead society does not see this as relevant as it is more prevalent to idolise things of the world rather than enriching the spirit through confession or by even making small sacrifices to enter into eternal life with Our Father in heaven.

Therefore, in my opinion, Our Lady’s messages are very important and relevant in our society but it is not heeded by many. So if we turn our life over to God through prayer and penance, I believe the world’s current situation can be changed.

Sophy Wong Sing

2nd place winner – Essay Category

What is the message of Fatima and in your opinion, what is its relevance in the world today?

Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God appeared to three children – Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. She came to a little village of Fatima where the children lived.  She appeared there because the village had remained faithful to the Catholic Church throughout the previous persecutions by the government.  She appeared six times between May 13 and October 13, 2017.

Our Lady appeared with a message from God to every living human: man, woman and child.  Penance, prayer and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary were our Lady’s three requests.  Pope John Paul II said, “the message of Fatima is more relevant and more urgent” than when Our Lady first appeared.  She saw us in danger and came to assist us.

The message is a sorrowful and suffering plea of Our Lady. God has given us the freedom of choice yet today we continually make the wrong choices, seeking to justify our actions instead of praying for guidance.  Jesus told us to “love one another as I have loved you” yet we continue to hurt and kill one another without seeking atonement for our sins.  She reminds us of the power of prayer, of praying the rosary daily, and promises that those who are devoted to her Immaculate Heart will be saved.

Tada-Marie Boneo

1st place winner – Essay Category

The message of peace in which Our Lady of Fatima (Mary) gave to the three children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, between May 13 and October 13, 1917 (100 years ago) at Fatima, Portugal is still timely and urgent in 2017.

I remember watching the CNC3 Morning Brew in April with my grandmother and my aunt, who had recently given birth to a son, and I vividly remember her asking God for peace while the gang members chanted ‘D’ Gunman Song’.  At the end of the song my grandmother turned to my Aunt and said “Don’t let that boy grow up without peace in his life”.

Peace is the state of tranquility, a facet missing from our world. The global uprising in wars and conflict in 2017 sees a world desperately crying out for peace and tranquility.

It’s amazing that Mary would appear, not to heads of state nor diplomats nor religious leaders to directly recruit them in the cause of peace but to three simple children without much education and entrust them with a message, secrets and a special task for the cause of peace and the good of souls.

I believe this appearance occurred because she knew that children are the future.  The Lady of Fatima’s message is very relevant today with more than 50 active violent conflicts across the globe categorised by Pope Francis as a ‘Third World War fought piecemeal,’ aligning it to the century-old First World War.