The parish of Penal held its second edition of Pews to Pavement on Monday, September 25, the day after Republic Day. Eight buses lined Olivere Drive, Penal awaiting the excited parishioners embarking on a journey of serving the most vulnerable. Morning prayers began at 5 a.m. as young people of the parish selflessly packed breakfast to take to street dwellers in Port of Spain.
The first stop was on Duncan Street at the Living Water Community’s breakfast shed. Meeting those who come there for meals was a real encounter with Jesus. Many in Penal realised how great this need is and the different stories of how people reach the streets.
Next was Mass at the Living Water Community Chapel, and then the St Dominic’s Children Home. Many in this Home are not orphans but have parents who cannot adequately take care of them. The children enjoyed their visit and were moved by the residents’ ambition and positive outlook on life.
Other encounters included the home for those dying and abandoned, and abused children who had been placed in institutions by the law. This too, was an eye opener for many.
The journey ended at Mt St Benedict with prayer, reflection, testimonies and a much-looked- forward- to hike to Mt Tabor. The journey was truly synodal because it allowed all participants to walk patiently, intently, and open their hearts to all people encountered on the journey.
It was a life-changing experience for all and made people appreciate each other, their own life, and the many ways that the Church ministers to those in need.
Many testified that their faith in Christ highlighting the Church’s Corporal Works of Mercy became stronger and intensified their own commitment to continue serving. It proved to be a pilgrimage from the head to the heart. Encountering the living Christ in all met was truly transformative.
Thank you, Fr Christo and the evangelisation team for another ‘Pew to Pavement’ experience. We recommend this to each parish. It is a Church alive experience.
The parish is also planning its next edition ‘eucharisticade’ – a motorcade with the monstrance, blessing and adoring throughout the villages on the first Sunday of Advent 2023.