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Do good deeds, but fast from ‘selfies’

Archbishop Jason Gordon celebrated his first Mass at the Archbishop Anthony Pantin Chapel/Centre for Peace, Beetham Gardens, last Sunday. In this Gerard-Paul Wanliss photo, eager boys from the community wait to be blessed during Communion. Fr John Theodore CSSp con-celebrated.

By Kaelanne Jordan

Archbishop Jason Gordon has invited the faithful to do good deeds during Lent, but fast from self-promotion. “Posting” good deeds, he believes, prevents Catholics from gaining the spiritual energy they need to harness for their inner transformation.

“You want to take this one more selfie, no, no, let’s not take that selfie…. And if every day you choose to not do something of self-promotion, then by the Lenten period, you might understand how addicted we really have become to self-promotion and in that addiction, we’re really not being very good human beings,” Archbishop Gordon said in his first ‘Ask the Archbishop’ live chat on Facebook last Wednesday. The monthly online conversation is hosted by the Catholic Media Services Ltd (CAMSEL).

The archbishop described Lent as a season of introspection, reflection, and reassessment of one’s life as disciples of Christ. Ultimately, he reminded the faithful that Lent is also a period where Catholics are to deprive themselves of all the routine “stimulation” and focus more on the stimulation to God.

Archbishop Gordon also commented on his visit last Sunday to the Archbishop Anthony Pantin Chapel/Centre for Peace, Beetham Gardens, describing it as an “amazing gift”. Most fascinating to him was that the “beautiful chapel” was in the midst of Beetham which really stood out “like a sore thumb”.

He explained, “You could see it’s painted and kept better than the [other] buildings around. And then they said to me ‘We don’t close this chapel; it is open 24/7’. Now that’s quite something.” Archbishop Gordon revealed that he plans to revisit Sea Lots and Beetham again and continue ministry opportunities there.

Noting that both the Eternal Light Community and Centre for Peace groups have been active in both communities for the last two years respectively, the archbishop seemed eager to strengthen their presence and create a resilient Catholic community that will act in a moral way, understand the teaching of the Church and witness to the truth of the teaching.

Responding to the notion of a shift of communal ideals plaguing the nation, the archbishop maintained that citizens have become ‘I’ specialists rather than ‘Other’ specialists in responding to the needs of others. “Because that is the Gospel message—‘Anyone who wants to save their life is going to lose it, anyone who chooses to lose their life for my sake, will save it,’” he said.

Archbishop Gordon also shared his views on the Carnival season, urging Facebook viewers to read his thoughts in this Sunday’s Catholic News (See back page).