It was Mercy Sunday, but at the Parish of St Charles RC in Tunapuna, Sunday, April 24, 2022 was also the occasion of the ten-year anniversary milestone of the Ministry of Consolation (MOC).
The Mass in thanksgiving was a celebration for all who have journeyed with MOC rendering their support to console those bereaved. What a grace-filled day to celebrate and give thanks and praise. A day when the floodgates are open wide, and God lavishes us with more than we could hope for.
Adorned in their green shirts, MOC members greeted and welcomed invited guests and parishioners in anticipation of this special and celebratory occasion. The visual delight of the décor that enhanced the ambiance of the church and the quiet rhythm of activity of the people assembling inspired much joy—the Easter Joy.
Soon the congregation led by the choir was on their feet lustily singing ‘Sing Alleluia’ warmly welcoming celebrant Msgr Esau Joseph and Rev Terrence Caesar who assisted him.
Monsignor’s homily focused on the significance of Divine Mercy Sunday. He highlighted how the early Christians lived their lives when they experienced the power of the Resurrected Lord. He explained that we were celebrating the fact that God loves each of us individually and emphasised that we are all called to show mercy to others.
Monsignor also spoke about the Apostle Thomas who doubted the Resurrection until he had seen Jesus’ wounds. He said Thomas’ story reminds us that it could be our story because it is part of our being sometimes, to doubt, and to wonder and to question our faith that we believe in.
He added that it is only by the grace of God that we can cope, believe, and hold on to this faith that God has placed in our hearts, of course receiving forgiveness, support, and reconciliation.
Msgr Joseph shared several reasons for celebrating Mercy Sunday and he spoke about the cross, the hatred, pain and suffering that led to Jesus’ crucifixion and His Resurrection and new life. He explained that we too walk around with our loneliness, pain, fear, difficulties, disabilities and unforgiveness but when we experience God’s mercy, it is always a new beginning.
In closing, he urged the congregation to hold on to their faith even when it is tested and shaken. He prayed that God would lead us to the fullness of truth to discover the rich life of mercy that awaits anyone who believes and trusts that God’s mercy will always be available, giving us the ability to be merciful to others.
As the order of the Mass continued, the congregation joyfully participated in the sacred mysteries heightening the Easter joy and celebrating the Resurrected Christ.
At the end of Mass, MOC’s team leader Barbara Wafe called on the congregation to applaud the cadre of persons who shared their time, talent, and treasure to support MOC’s work over the years.
She conveyed the appreciation of team MOC to the pleasantly surprised guests and acknowledged their contribution to MOC’s ten-year milestone and achievements. Also celebrating the occasion with team MOC was the Episcopal Delegate for the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission, Tricia Syms.
MOC’s events and activities over the ten-year period were captured in a slide show presentation which received lustrous applause from the congregation.
The event concluded with a brief mingling and the distribution of a gift bag to the special guests.
—Manuelita Gomez Thomas, on behalf of MOC