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New parish named after St Joseph


The Parish of St Joseph, Husband of Mary – that is the name of the newest parish in the Diocese of Georgetown.

Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB established the new parish according to the Code of Canon Law 515 during Holy Mass on March 19, the Solemnity of St Joseph.

Bishop Alleyne was the main celebrant; Chancellor Msgr Terrence Montrose, Frs Britto Arockiam SJ, Paul Martin SJ, Joel Ratna and other clergy concelebrated, according to the diocesan weekly Catholic Standard.

The bishop explained to parishioners that the process was a formal one where a decree has been made stating that St Joseph, Husband of Mary, Little Diamond, East Bank Demerara, is now a parish.

He also explained that part of the process included petitions from parishioners giving sound reasons why this should be a parish. He then consulted with his presbyteral council (council of priests) who gave their affirmation.

In his homily, Bishop Alleyne spoke of his first visit to St Joseph, Little Diamond in 2004. At that time, the church feared being suppressed entirely because of varying factors. Today, he continued, it had moved to becoming a parish. Bishop Alleyne said this could only have been accomplished by “courage and determination”, and that there were clear signs of growth which he encouraged.

Msgr Montrose read the decree outlining the clauses pertaining to becoming a new parish. Msgr Montrose is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Mount, Meadow Bank, which is the mother parish for the St Joseph Husband of Mary parish.

The boundaries of the new parish will be from the Arch marking the extent of Georgetown (Agricola) and all the areas served by the East Bank and the Linden Soesdyke Highway as far as Kuru Kuru (Kuru Training College).

The new parish comprises seven communities: St Joseph, Husband of Mary in Little Diamond; Sts Peter and Paul, Peter’s Hall; St Jerome, Supply; Little Flower, Land of Canaan; St Teresa of Calcutta, Timehri; St Catherine, Kuru Kuru; and St Michael, Yarrowkabra.

St Joseph’s church in Little Diamond will function as the main parish church, where all the parish records will be stored. The faithful have already set up a parish hall and a priest’s residence.

Fr Arockiam, who has been ministering in the East Bank cluster communities as priest-in-charge for the past six years, was appointed the new parish’s first parish priest according to Canon 526.

Fr Arockiam, in accepting his oath of fidelity, promised to be faithful to his office, the pastoral and priestly needs of those entrusted to him and to the local and universal Church. He sealed his commitment and act of faith with the recitation of the Nicene Creed.

All formal documentation was signed. Registers which were updated and kept at Meadow Bank were also handed over to Fr Arockiam.

Fr Arockiam extended gratitude to all who made the day a reality. These included Bishop Alleyne, past and present Regional Jesuit Superiors, and fellow priests, the faithful of the different communities and his family. Tokens were given to those present.

In his closing remarks, he extended an open invitation to all the faithful living within the East Bank corridors to visit the new parish community.

All COVID-19 protocols were observed with some parishioners seated in the church, with a few in the parish hall which was equipped with a projector and other equipment to follow the proceedings. The event was also live-streamed on the Catholic Media Guyana Facebook page.