Over the years the youth Mass at La Divina Pastora RC, Siparia has grown from strength to strength. On Sunday, April 29 another youth Mass occurred but this one stood apart from others for several reasons. The most obvious difference was the decision to seek a collaboration with members of the St Christopher’s Anglican Church.
The relationship between the Catholic and Anglican communities has always been cordial. This year also marked an official resumption of the tradition of a joint Good Friday walk.
The parish priests, Fr Alan Hall of La Divina Pastora and Rev Aaron Charles of St Christopher’s have both also intensified efforts to encourage many of the absent Siparia youths to return to their respective communities. These two young priests have also sought to encourage their youths to become more involved in parish life. As Rev Charles emphasised at the end of his sharing “We may be different theologically but we are all children of God called to draw His people to Him.”
Rev Charles began stating “God is Love, and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him” (1Jn 4:16). He focused on the question ‘Where is the Love?’. He made references to songs by popular artistes like Barrington Levy, Jah Cure and The Black Eyed Peas to share different popular views on love and the absence of love. The result of his search was the realisation that without the divine, unconditional love of Jesus Christ it will be difficult for us to genuinely have a good life.
All other types of love celebrated in love songs such as, romantic love and love between family and friends are good but the agape love demonstrated by Christ through His life, death and resurrection remains the best example of love that leads to a good life.
He also reflected on the Sunday’s Gospel (Jn 15:1–8) by reminding us that we are connected to the true vine and must therefore increase our efforts to bear fruit. The true vine is Jesus Christ and we must follow His example of love.
He stressed that it is our duty “as good Christians, Catholics and Anglicans” to take example from the love of Jesus and bring people into the sheepfold through service that will improve lives around the world.
He urged the congregation to no longer sit self-righteously within the confines of our churches and question “Where is the Love?” but to go out into the world and bear fruit, connect with people and show them “Here is the love!”, via our actions and service as exemplified by Jesus Chri st.
During this particular youth Mass there was liturgical dance performed by 13 teenagers, 6 males and 7 females, as well as pupils of St Brigid’s Girls’ RC. The recently confirmed parish youths lived up to their promise to start a liturgical dance ministry. This promise was made in the presence of Archbishop Jason Gordon at their April 8 Confirmation Mass.
Dressed in school uniform, pupils of La Divina Pastora Boys’ RC used their exuberant voices and excellent drumming skills to lead the parish in song throughout the Mass. The first and second readings and psalm were also done by pupils, as well as some of the Prayers of the Faithful. Members of the pre-Confirmation class were responsible for the collection.
The youth Mass culminated with the announcement of the winners of the La Divina Pastora Colouring Contest. This year in an attempt to increase the involvement of the parish youth in feast day celebrations a colouring competition was launched to encourage the youth to foster a deeper appreciation of our beloved patroness. There were 43 submissions and medals of participation were given to all participants. Trophies were awarded to the first, second and third place winners in all categories. – Crystal GM Sylvester
(5-7 Years): 1st – Celine Yorkshire; 2nd – Annie John; 3rd – Jadon James
(8-9 Years): 1st – Teyha Archibald; 2nd – Caleb Haynes; 3rd – Aquilla Lesaldo
(10-12 Years): 1st – Marvion Gokool; 2nd – Emily Ann Rajack; 3rd – Oshea Voisin
(13-15 Years): 1st – Amara Quash; 2nd – Krishma Ramnarine; 3rd – Teann Alexander