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JPCW 2017 focuses on the development of peoples


By Leela Ramdeen,

Chair, CCSJ, ( & Director, CREDI


CCSJ urges all parishes and Catholic institutions in the archdiocese to plan/attend some of the events for Justice, Peace and Community Week (JPCW) which will run from Saturday, October 21to 28. The theme for the week is A Catholic perspective on the development of peoplesThe theme commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Blessed Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples) which was published in 1967.

Inter alia, he said: “Development cannot be limited to mere economic growth. In order to be authentic, it must be complete: integral, that is, it has to promote the good of every person and of all humanity”.

Pope Francis has said that “One major integration that has largely been lost is that of community and the individual”.  He said forms of integration we can improve are the solidarity between those who have too much and those who have nothing, and integration of the different systems: the economy, finance, labour, culture, family life, and religion.

In next Sunday’s Catholic News you will find a Prayer Supplement which we encourage you to use during the week and beyond. Advertised last Sunday and today is the Calendar of Events and information about the launch of the week.

Please join us at St Dominic’s Pastoral Centre Auditorium at St Finbar’s RC Church compound on Saturday, October 21 from 1.30 to 4 p.m. to listen to our Chancellor, Fr Roger Paponette and Msgr Julien Kabore, Charge d’Affaires, Apostolic Nunciature, speak on the theme. We will also be screening the documentary: Warehoused, which focuses on the plight of refugees at Dadaab, Kenya.


On CCSJ’s Ask Why programme in September, we focused on ‘The Church’s teaching on Democracy. I share an excerpt of Michael Logie’s spoken word poem which he called in. Please note that he has sole rights. It’s a very powerful piece from a young person who is making a special plea for our Democracy to work for our Youth also.

Each child is a steel pan

But before they can become a pan and play the perfect tune,

They are first an oil drum

Empty and hallow at the insides

With no insight on lift, just darkness in sight

Their minds are as rich and ripe as gold mines

If only we can harness it

If only we’d realise that we the parents are the craftsmen

The ones with the hammers and chalk

To sketch neat notes onto our kids and show them the ways that they can walk
Only so that later on in life, when they grow up, their resilience will stalk everyone

And they will be die hard winners and not just die hard

But it’s up to us, the craftsmen, we must, craft them,

Into Bass, Tenors or seconds and not leave them as scrap iron to rust


Because each child is a steel pan

That has to be moved, from being an oil drum, to being grooved

So later on in life they won’t be a pan that’s out of tune

Pan is the sweetest thing

So let us not abandon our children and leave them to roam into never land

Because the devil, he sure finds work for idle hands

So the crime rate will go up, up, up and never land

Then the only pan we’d be grooving is Peter Pan


We are Trinidad and Tobago

Land of sea and sand

And the most majestic sounds I’ve ever heard is that of a pan band

Sounds of upliftment

Lets eradicate the meaning that bent criminals put behind our flag

Red does not represent bloodshed

White does not mean our hearts are as white as snow

Black should not mean a funeral for another black brother
Each child is a steel pan

That can be carefully crafted into the perfect tenor

That can be taught how to release their frustration on a bass pan

So they can be the tenants of oil drums pan sticks and greasy palms

Teach them to latch onto success like the rubber at the end of pan sticks

So their cold heart will never become a target for ice picks


And it’s only then, we can say we have created perfect pans

Where boys, no longer walk the streets with their pants beneath their backsides because they have found perfect pants

And we can all hold hands, whether red, white or black…