First Peoples and the Catholic Church
October 21, 2017
SJCSJ students for ‘Olympics of Scrabble’
October 21, 2017

A Catholic perspective on Development

Suggested format for service in parishes and schools, homes, prayer groups…wherever the family of God may be gathered.

Suggestions: Lord I’m Sorry – Matthias Marfan /Where Charity and Love Prevail – Dom Paul Benoit OSB/Cry Out The Word – Carol Gordon


Let us pray: (… that we may truly promote justice, peace and community in our land) Merciful God, we have sinned against you. We have reduced our suffering brothers and sisters to statistics and have failed to see you present in each person. We have not truly committed ourselves to the good of all people and of the whole person. Grant us the courage to change our own lives, the wisdom to understand the social message of the Gospel so that it will be a basis and a motivation for action. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Romans 12:9–18

Let love be without any pretence. Avoid what is evil; stick to what is good. In mutual love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself. In the service of the Lord, work not halfheartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit.

Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly; share with any of God’s holy people who are in need; look for opportunities to be hospitable. Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them. Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow. Give the same consideration to all others alike. Pay no regard to social standing, but meet humble people on their own terms.

Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom. Never pay back evil with evil, but bear in mind the ideals that all regard with respect. As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability, be at peace with everyone.

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 146

Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!
I will praise Yahweh all my life,

I will make music to my God as long as I live.

Do not put your trust in princes,
in any child of Adam, who has no power to save.

When his spirit goes forth he returns to the earth,
on that very day all his plans come to nothing.

How blessed is he who has Jacob’s God to help him,

his hope is in Yahweh his God who made heaven and earth,

the sea and all that is in them.

He keeps faith for ever,

gives justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry;

Yahweh sets prisoners free.

Yahweh gives sight to the blind,

lifts up those who are bowed down.

Yahweh protects the stranger,

he sustains the orphan and the widow.

Yahweh loves the upright, but he frustrates the wicked.

1Yahweh reigns forever, your God, Zion, from age to age.

Luke 10:25–37

And now a lawyer stood up and, to test him, asked, “Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? What is your reading of it?” He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”

Jesus said to him, “You have answered right, do this and life is yours.”  But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”  In answer Jesus said, “A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of bandits; they stripped him, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side.

“But a Samaritan traveler who came on him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Look after him, and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.’

Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the bandits’ hands?” He replied, “The one who showed pity towards him.” Jesus said to him, “Go, and do the same yourself.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Homily or Reflection or song:  To Be The Body – Bishop Clyde Harvey / Whatsoever you do – WF Jabush /We have gathered


Response: O Lord, when we call, answer us we pray

The whole Church, in all her being and acting – when she proclaims, when she celebrates, when she performs the works of charity – “is engaged in promoting integral human development. Human development stands at the very centre of the Church’s mission, and everything the Church does can be seen as a service to this development.” – Pope Benedict XVI

For the Pope and all leaders of the Church: that God’s Spirit will fill them with wisdom as they promote integral human development. May they be faithful to their vocation and to the proclamation of your gospel. Strengthen them as they serve your people especially the poor and marginalised.
Lord hear our prayer…

Integral development means bringing together and integrating various sectors, “the economy, finance, work, culture, family life, religion,” each of which is ‘a fundamental circumstance for this growth. – Pope Francis

For the members of Government and leaders of our country: that their decisions promote integral human development among all peoples; we pray that they may lead with honesty and integrity. Keep them single minded in their resolve to serve, and free them from the temptation of corruption, prejudice and vindictiveness.

Lord hear our prayer

Since baptism is a true entry into the holiness of God through incorporation into Christ and the indwelling of his Spirit, it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalistic ethic and a shallow religiosity.
– Pope St John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte 31

For all citizens and those who dwell in our land: especially those deprived of their human needs, all who are forgotten or cast off, all who are lonely or afraid and all who are experiencing mental illnesses, the unemployed and the retired. Gift us with a sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare.
We pray for employees everywhere, that they will be honest with their time and take pride in their work; we pray for employers and the labour movement, that being born of Christian principles, they will be motivated by concern for the common good and the spirit of the law, leading both employers and unions to value people more than profit.

Lord hear our prayer …

We help, we lead others to Jesus with our words and our lives, with our witness.  I like to recall what St Francis of Assisi used to say to his friars: “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary, use words.” Words come … but witness comes first: people should see the Gospel, read the Gospel, in our lives.
– Pope Francis, September 27, 2013

For unity among all: Giver of abundant life, we pray for unity among all peoples of every creed, class and race. Grant us the grace and perseverance to transform society into a ‘civilisation of love’ by the way we live our daily lives in our homes, schools and communities. Remove from within us the hearts of stone that let us be unaffected by the vagrants we meet on our streets, persons struggling with life; the victims of poverty; the images of hunger, pain and trauma of refugees; those afflicted by the effects of war and those who suffer from natural disasters.

Lord hear our prayer …

Progress becomes true progress only if it serves the human person and if the human person grows: not only in terms of his or her technical power, but also in his or her moral awareness. – Pope Benedict XVI, August 5, 2006

For our beloved Trinidad and Tobago: Lord, we are blessed in so many ways, in our rainbow peoples, our different cultures, in our ability to live peacefully side by side. We pray that we may genuinely strive to live and promote peace, beginning in our own hearts, our homes, our communities and our country. Grant us the wisdom to admit our failings, our lack of concern for the next generation; our lack of parenting skills; the ways we encourage division and disunity in our communities. Give us the courage to change our own selves so that we may be better citizens.
Lord hear our prayer …

 All people of goodwill must know how peace comes from development. Teachers, journalists, statesmen, delegates, all have a part to play. God gives them strength to rouse the public’s mind.  Teachers can awaken in children’s hearts a love for those in need.  Journalists can keep before our eyes what has been done, and what still remains undone. For consciences can fall asleep, simply by forgetting. The rich must be reminded constantly that the poor,             starving at their gates, would gladly eat some crumbs. (Lk11:19) – Pope Paul VI, 1967

For all our youth: That they may know their vocation in life and be given the help to nurture that vocation. We pray that all may use the gift of technology to bring good to people, society and the world, and that all our thoughts, words and actions be for the building up of God’s people.
Lord hear our prayer …


Pope Francis’ confidence in Our Lady developed because of two key personal awakenings that happened in the mid-1980s. In 1985 he attended a recitation of the rosary that was being led by Pope St John Paul II. The sight of the Polish Pope on his knees greatly moved him.

He did some acute soul-searching as to how much he trusted Our Lady, and he later reflected: “I became aware of the density of the words of the Mother of Guadalupe to St Juan Diego: ‘Don’t be afraid, am I not perhaps your mother?’”

From that day forth, he said 15 decades of the Rosary. Now as Pope, he has used the symbolism of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, to explain matters of the faith. For Pope Francis, the knots represent the sins that separate us from God, and Our Lady, in untying them, brings us closer to God. As the Pope has said: “Mary, whose ‘yes’ opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that he can untangle the knots of our soul by his fatherly mercy.”

The following reflections are taken from ‘Go Teach’, a selection of Archbishop Emeritus Edward Gilbert, pages 250–251.

First Glorious Mystery – The Resurrection

There are five aspects of Mary’s spirituality which the Church recommends for our imitation. The image is the five fingers on our hand. Each finger is a reminder of one of the five aspects of Mary’s spirituality.

Presence: Read the Scriptures carefully and note well that the evidence about Mary is she was present to people. As we try to incorporate the spirituality of Mary into our own lives we have to remember presence. Many people who are struggling are frequently all alone. They are looking for presence, for someone to listen, for someone to care, for someone to make real for them the message of love taught by the Lord. Our Father; Ten Hail Marys, Glory Be …

Second Glorious Mystery – The Ascension

Prayer: Read the Scriptures carefully and note well that the evidence about Mary is she was involved in the major events of New Testament salvation history in a special way. She was with Jesus, the apostles and disciples, and she prayed with them and for them. It is very important to note that she persevered in prayer even when things looked very bad. Our Father; Ten Hail Marys, Glory Be …

Third Glorious Mystery – The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Charity: Read the Scriptures carefully and note well that the evidence about Mary is she cared about others and touched their lives with kindness and love. Remember, Elizabeth, the young couple at Cana, John at the foot of the cross, the apostles before Pentecost – all were beneficiaries of her love. Our Father; Ten Hail Marys, Glory Be …

Fourth Glorious Mystery -The Assumption of Our Lady

Witness: Read the Scriptures carefully and note well that the evidence about Mary is that people drew strength from her witness – how she hung in during rough times, how consistent her witness was in the various moods of her life. Our Father; Ten Hail Marys, Glory Be …

Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Coronation of Our Lady

Mission: Read the Scriptures carefully and note well that the evidence about Mary is she was with Jesus at every important moment of New Testament salvation history.  She is the co-redemptrix – not in the sense that she was equal to Christ but in the sense she has been given the mission to bring forth new life in the Church through her intercession. As such, Pope Paul VI declared Mary to be the Mother of the Church. Our Father; Ten Hail Marys, Glory Be …

Prepared by Sr Juliet Rajah CHF,

Archdiocesan Catechetical Office