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Archbishop: value of ‘creative waiting’ in Advent

Archbishop Joseph Harris (right) chats with veteran journalist Sunity Maharaj and Dr Terrence Farrell at the CAMSEL Symposium on November 18. Photo: Elmo Griffith

Archbishop Joseph Harris said Advent was one of the seasons he really liked because it taught the value of “creative waiting”. He explained the expectant mother does not just sit and wait for the birth of her child; she knits booties, buys a crib, and prepares the baby’s room.

Speaking during the Ask the Archbishop live streamed on Facebook November 15, he said he has advised young priests to have a hobby so when they retire there is something they enjoy doing. He said as someone joining the ranks of retirees, or as some persons described them, “responsible people”, they are waiting for the Lord to call them. “Therefore the creative waiting is important,” he said.

Reiterating the significance of the feasts of All Saints’ and All Souls’, Archbishop Harris said the observances “are not meant to be Carnivals”. “They are meant to be moments when we recognise and meditate a little bit on what we call in Church, the Communion of Saints, that we recognise those who have gone before us, are still alive in another world, another dimension”, he said.

Commenting on the popularity of Halloween in Trinidad and Tobago and the Church’s stance, he said Halloween did not originate in the Caribbean but was “adopted” from the United States. “Anything that goes on in the United States we kind of take it on,” he added. Halloween takes place October 31, All Saints’ is commemorated on November 1 and All Souls’, November 2.

Archbishop Harris quoted Maccabees 12:46 “it’s a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins”. He said for the month of November thanks is given to God for the saints, parents and grandparents for the sacrifices they made.  The souls in purgatory purifying themselves before entering into the presence of God are also remembered.  Archbishop Harris said the observance is not about “disguises and ghosts and goblins all those kind of things”.

Providing an update on The Archbishop’s Relief Fund for Dominica and Antigua, he disclosed it was getting close to three-quarter million; a sum he said was “quite good” with the economic downturn. He praised the generosity of citizens despite the negative comments after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley offered assistance to Dominicans. “In general I would think those who donated are far more than the negatives,” he said.

The Archbishop hoped with the new Archbishop’s permission, to spend his retirement engaged in animal husbandry, which was a hobby. He plans to continue writing, lecturing and is willing to assist with Masses. Archbishop Harris however, is not keen to take on full-time responsibility for a parish. If there is a posting in a parish he would like it to be in rural areas like Cedros or Matelot. – LPG





 

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