‘The Magnificat’ is an ecstasy of praise for the inestimable favour bestowed by God on the Virgin, for the mercies shown to Israel, and for the fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham and to the patriarchs.
It is also the opening words of the prayer which resonated with Archbishop Patrick Pinder of Nassau as he celebrated Mass in recognition of his 20th anniversary of episcopal ordination and 43rd priestly ordination.
“These opening words of ‘The Magnificat’ [My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour] resonate with me today as I recall that 20 years ago today [August 15], I was ordained a bishop,” said the Archbishop according to a report by The Nassau Guardian.
Archbishop Pinder, the first Bahamian bishop and first Bahamian archbishop said the events of that day two decades ago remain vivid in his memory. He said as he ponders them, he questions where the time went.
The Archbishop’s anniversary was recognised with a Mass at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, during which he gave credit to the people that had a hand in who he is today.
Archbishop Pinder spoke to being “deeply convinced” that there was a direct connection between his maternal grandmother’s embrace of the Roman Catholic faith and his vocation.
“The Catholic faith entered my family through my maternal grandmother – she first encountered the faith by the early Benedictine missionaries at Mangrove Cay, Andros, when she was a young teenager. She had very little, if any, formal education, yet she had an instinctual grasp of the spiritual treasure which is our faith, and she never wavered in that. I am deeply convinced that there is a direct connection between her embrace of the faith, and my vocation. The Lord does work in mysterious ways,” said Archbishop Pinder.
He also credited Fr Elias OSB for taking his vocation seriously and introducing him to Bishop Paul Leonard Hagarty, whom he described as a “man of enormous grace and generosity”.
During the Mass, the Archbishop also remembered with gratitude his immediate predecessor Jamaica-born Archbishop Lawrence Aloysius Burke SJ, who gave 22 years of excellent leadership and example as a shepherd and leader in the faith. He also recalled with gratitude Msgr Preston Moss, his first Vicar General.
As he recognised his 20th year as a bishop, he said the Episcopal Office and the responsibilities attached to it are many and that they can be burdensome. But with the cooperation, support, encouragement, and all the other ways of accompaniment by which the faithful, both lay and clerical, provide, he said they lighten his load considerably.