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January 26, 2023
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A chosen one of God who understood sacrifice

Bernadette Salandy can be pointed out as someone whose sacrificial life showed she was a chosen one of God, said Fr Gregory Augustine CSSp at the funeral of Bernadette Salandy, Thursday, January 19 at the Church of the Nativity, Diego Martin.

Salandy, 77 years, died January 12, after a period of illness. Many people including Religious Sisters (Salandy was a former Carmelite Sister) attended the Funeral Mass to celebrate her life.

Archbishop Jason Gordon was the main celebrant with clergy concelebrating including Archbishop Emeritus Robert Rivas OP, Vicar General Fr Martin Sirju, General Secretary of the Antilles Episcopal Conference Fr Donald Chambers, Parish Priest Fr Christopher Lumsden, and Vicar for Communications Fr Robert Christo.

Fr Augustine based his homily on the gospel reading from the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, John 1:29–34 in which John points out Jesus saying, “Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”.

Fr Augustine said as people reflected on the new year and made plans, at the personal and community level, “all of these plans have to come under the Lord”.  As John points out Jesus, Catholics should look to Him to transform their lives and take away the sin from the world in 2023.

In introductory statements, he mentioned the concerns about crime and the pandemic, adding the list of issues could go “on and on”. However, people of faith “have to hold fast; we are in God’s hands”.

While the experts and professionals can prescribe solutions and have a contribution to make, faithful followers of Jesus look to Him for transformation of their lives, society and world. They, too, must also be willing to sacrifice themselves for change to happen.

Fr Augustine said Jesus is the lamb of sacrifice who gave His life on the altar of the cross and Catholics must follow in His footsteps. In this regard, he said the congregation gathered to celebrate Salandy, “who gave herself in service, sacrifice”.  He commented, “Bernadette belonged to that great tradition of teachers who sacrificed themselves…a teacher is a lamb of sacrifice”.

Salandy was involved in many things but did not complain or indicate she was burdened. She just did what she had to do “because she understood sacrifice”.

Fr Augustine told the congregation, “As we bid our sister farewell, we can say like John, I have seen, and I have witnessed this woman was a chosen one of God. She did glorious deeds in the name of the Lord; not in her own name.”

Andre Walker, a friend of the Salandys, sang ‘Old Rugged Cross’ before the final commendation, which was done by Fr Roger Paponette, Judicial Vicar, Eastern Antilles Interdiocesan Tribunal, a body which Salandy served for a number of years. —LPG