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Archbishop’s Tobago visit – Synod, Education among issues discussed

Archbishop Jason Gordon and the Episcopal Vicar of the Eastern Vicariate and Tobago, Fr Steve Duncan, paid a courtesy call on Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Chief Secretary the Honourable Farley Augustine at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, Scarborough Friday, January 28, as part of the Archbishop’s four-day pastoral visit to Tobago.

Speaking to Catholic News on Monday, the Archbishop said that the meeting was “very good” and opened a “great dialogue” between Church and State in Tobago.

The Archbishop arrived in the sister isle Thursday 27 via flight BW 1528.

His pastoral visits commenced Friday with an early morning live television interview on Tobago Channel 5 where he spoke on ‘The Effects of Covid-19 on the Catholic Church in Trinidad and Tobago.’

The courtesy call on the Chief Secretary followed at 10 a.m.

Archbishop Gordon paid a visit to Scarborough RC School, meeting with the teaching staff.

A 12.30 p.m. Mass at St Anthony’s RC Church, Mason Hall followed. The Archbishop stated that among the congregants were a Pentecostal pastor and the oldest parishioner which “was really beautiful to see”.

He added, “The parish there is doing very good work in evangelisation and reaching out to families who are no longer coming and bringing them back.”

On Saturday, the Archbishop met with the Tobago Archdiocesan Synod representatives at 9 a.m. to settle many of the synod challenges and move forward the process.

“And Fr Steve took that leadership with them,” the Archbishop said.

Appointed Vicar of the Eastern Vicariate and Tobago September 2021, Fr Duncan, a Tobagonian, has brought “something very different to the Tobago experience,” the Archbishop commented.

He said he had a “great meeting” with the Chairman of the School Management and Advisory Committee (SMAC) Dr Trevor Garcia on education, among other issues.

Dr Garcia reports to the Chief Executive Officer of the CEBM, Sharon Mangroo, and liaises with the Senior Manager, Primary and Secondary Schools, as well as the Vicariate managers for Tobago.

Archbishop Gordon asserted that Tobago will have a pastoral council comprising the leadership of the two parishes (Scarborough RC and Delaford RC) with each parish having a Ministry Animated Team (MAT).

The day culminated with a 5.30 p.m. Mass at St Joseph, Scarborough to a “wonderful crowd.”

The following day, Sunday, Archbishop Gordon celebrated 9 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart, Delaford.

After the Mass, the Archbishop met with men of that parish to set up a men’s ministry in the island and had lunch with the Parish Administrators before his departure.

By Kaelanne Jordan