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Archbishop Gordon installed, calls on nation to put God first

Archbishop-elect Jason Gordon knocks on the cathedral doors before the start of the liturgy. Photo: Raymond Syms

As we went to press last Wednesday evening, Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon was installed before a packed Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, taking pastoral charge of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, becoming its 11th, and third T&T born Archbishop.

There was a 30-minute delay to the start of the liturgy due to an electrical outage at the cathedral. Surrounding streets were manned by police to allow for the long entrance procession along Independence Square South to the front of the cathedral: altar servers, seminarians, deacons, priests; Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley; bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference led by President, Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau, Dominica; Archbishop-elect Jason Gordon; Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Harris; and Cardinal Kelvin Felix.

President Anthony Carmona, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and their respective spouses headed the list of invitees. While they occupied the front pew on one side of the aisle, Archbishop Gordon’s mother, Rosemarie, uncle Ken Gordon and other relatives sat on the other side. Members of the Living Water Community sat behind his family.

The Mass was filled with symbolic moments as Archbishop Emeritus Harris presented his successor with the crosier (staff), symbol of a bishop’s pastoral office. Before the procession, Archbishop-elect Gordon knocked three times on the cathedral’s door before he was invited into the cathedral.

In his homily, Archbishop Gordon spoke of the challenges being faced by the nation, at times his words causing the congregation to break into applause. He said “We have made money into a god…power and honour into a god, and put it before the living God.” He called on Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean to put God first and society’s “ailments” will be resolved. Full report and more photos in next week’s issue.