Leadership by example
August 4, 2017
High hopes for Harvey
August 8, 2017

Called to be a worthy instrument

A “happy humility” should characterise and pervade the ministry of a bishop, the President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC), Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau advised new Bishop Clyde Harvey on July 29.

Bishop Malzaire’s statements came at the end of Bishop Harvey’s ordination to the diocese of St George’s-in-Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique held at the Spice Basket Theatre, Grenada. Even after 15 years of Episcopal ministry Bishop Malzaire said he was still learning “the absolute necessity for a good portion of that rare virtue called humility in order to carry out properly the task of this office”. He told Bishop Harvey he would come to the realisation that he did not belong to himself anymore or the ministry to which he was being entrusted; essentially both belonged to Christ.

“You are simply called to be worthy instrument in God’s hands giving glory to Him in this portion of His kingdom, through the exercise of the Episcopal office,” Bishop Malzaire said.

Canon Law requires persons approaching Holy Orders to make a Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity. This was done with Bishop Malzaire presiding on July 27 at St Mark’s Parish Church, Victoria, where Bishop Harvey’s diaconate ordination was held in 1976. Bishop Malzaire said the significance of the ceremony was that the task of the bishop was not to preach his own ideas but to teach the faith of the Catholic Church handed to her by Christ through the Apostles.

The titles “His Lordship” and “Your Excellency” may be used for the bishop and while they may not mean much to Bishop Harvey, they need to have meaning for the people he served. “Living up to the honour associated with these titles will be for the benefit of the entire body of Christ,” Bishop Malzaire explained.

He told Bishop Harvey he did not have to say “it is not going to be a bed of roses”.  Mentioning the June 12 “fateful encounter” (when the then Fr Harvey was robbed at gunpoint at the Gonzales presbytery) Bishop Malzaire said it should not be underestimated as it had lessons to teach.

“The evil one is alive and he or she is not afraid of Christ therefore your configuration to Christ especially from this office will not always be met with positive affirmation,” the Bishop added.

Anticipating the great expectations of Catholics in Grenada, Bishop Malzaire said if they were asked the traits they would like to see in their Bishop they could respond, “A man who will try to understand us, one who will work with us, one who will become one of us, and one by his word and example will show us the way to God.” He was confident Bishop Harvey was up to the task.

The “spice people” should not spoil their bishop too much and support the ministry entrusted to him on their behalf.  Using the words of Pope Francis, he urged them to see themselves as “co-responsible” in forging the path to salvation.

He welcomed Bishop Harvey to the province of Castries on behalf of Metropolitan Archbishop Robert Rivas and to the AEC.  “Be assured there is a great deal of work to be done, no doubt in Grenada but also the region,” Bishop Malzaire said. – LPG