The parish of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Carapichaima hosted its 11th annual Lenten outreach crusade from Monday, March 2 to Friday 6 on the parish grounds under the theme Put on the full armour of God so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics (Eph 6:11).
Each evening the crusade commenced with recitation of the rosary at 6 p.m. followed by praise and worship led by the various choirs.
On Monday evening, the rosary was led by the Carapichaima RC prayer group followed by prayers of intercessions led by the Preysal prayer group. Parish priest Fr Gerard Bernier did the opening prayer. Fr Cornelius Phillip was the speaker, and he was led in music ministry by the Point Fortin Music Ministry.
In his charismatic discourse, Fr Phillip executed the theme of the outreach by highlighting the Bible as the sword in hand. In the army of life, he urged God’s faithful to put on the belt of truth, the shield of faith, breastplate of righteousness and shoes of peace. He highlighted that there was an answer or solution to all the attacks we faced in the Word of God.
On Tuesday, the Tortuga RC Choir led the praise and worship. Speaker Fr Urban Hudlin OP shared that just as parents know the cry of their children and if there is a problem, they get a feeling about their child, so it is with God and us.
Fr Hudlin likened the armour of God to that of studying at the university. He said to graduate you must not just complete your elective but the other requirements. Family crises, enemies, pains, hurts, difficult marriages etc. these require you to put on your armour in prayer and call on God.
On Wednesday evening, praise and worship were led again by the Tortuga choir. Speaker Fr Pax Jey-Sharwan VC reminded all present that they are in a spiritual warfare and the armour of God is needed. Don’t be like Eve and dialogue with the devil, he remarked, rather be like Jesus who told Satan: “Get behind me Satan!”.
The parish’s St Vincent de Paul group led the rosary on Thursday night while the People of Praise choir from Arima led praise and worship.
Mary Baptiste of the Zion RC Community, San Fernando presented that evening, inviting members to grow spiritually in Christ. She said Lucifer was created in the light, by God, but he opposes light and uses our sins to try to make us oppose the Kingdom of God.
Baptiste cautioned us about playing with dark forces to bring us quick fixes. She encouraged all not to just dress with the armour but to clothe ourselves in God to fight this battle on earth.
The parish’s Confirmation group led the rosary on Friday with the St Paul’s RC Couva choir leading the praise and worship. The celebration of Holy Mass followed celebrated by Frs Bernier and Kwesi Alleyne. In his homily, Fr Alleyne greeted the congregation with a resounding “Ah back home!”.
Fr Alleyne said as Christians we need to be awake and to alter our ways. We can miss the mark he said, but the miracle of transformation is possible both individually and as a community if we put on the armour in the person of Jesus Christ.
He reminded us that Pope Francis calls us to be the presence of Christ in the world; not tear down each other in our parishes and communities but build an army of people to love and mend the broken amongst us.
At the end of the prayer of intercessions, the prayer requests were burnt as offerings to God before the altar.
Outreach number eleven was an awesome experience.
—Rosemarie Siewnarine, parishioner