Catholics are called to be light and salt engaging in the “realities” of life. The problems which emerge can distort and bring darkness “to rob us of our taste for living,” said Fr Roger Paponette, Chancellor of the Archdiocese.
“Every time we allow our religiosity to become simply a matter of my God and myself, may God help us,” Fr Paponette said at the opening of Justice, Peace and Community Week at St Dominic’s Pastoral Centre auditorium on October 21.
This year’s theme is A Catholic Perspective on The Development of Peoples, and also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI encyclical On the Development of Peoples.
Fr Paponette questioned how anyone can honestly believe progress was achieved or lived comfortably when around them or nearby are persons without shelter. “There are those who have no means at all of being able to feed themselves,” he added.
“Some adopt the attitude ‘I have worked, I have saved….now you do the same’ but life isn’t always like that for everyone.”
For those who think their lives are secure, Fr Paponette cautioned that others living in insecurity will “come knocking”. He said, “It is not just the haves who have their doors knocked down…There is always interconnectedness we must consider. There are those who do not have the basic necessities of life.”
Referencing Populorum Progresso by Pope Paul VI, Fr Paponette said, “progress must take into consideration the whole, not just the whole in terms of everything else and everyone else, so more and more as a Church we must reflect.”
He urged the CCSJ to have more symposiums, where people consider how their faith can help them engage in “practical activities”.
Also delivering remarks at the opening were Msgr Julien Kaboré, Consular and Deputy Head of Mission of the Apostolic Nunciature; Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ; and Rochelle Nakhid, Co-ordinator Living Water Community (LWC) Ministry for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. – LPG