Weekly column by Archbishop J

Salvation – God’s ultimate plan

Q: Archbishop J, is God’s plan of salvation working? To know if God’s plan of salvation is working, we first need to understand it. At the […]

What is God asking you to give?

Q: Archbishop J, why another collection? The Ascension collection is old. It was instituted in the time of Archbishop Anthony Pantin CSSp as an annual collection […]

Synodality, the prophetic option

Through the call to synodality, Pope Francis seeks to structure the Church around its prophetic dimension. The International Theological Commission document stresses this objective nine times […]


Q: Archbishop J, why—with all our prayer—are we not moving more steadily toward discipleship? In a classic article, ‘Looking at God Looking at You’, author Robert […]

Forming disciples: A first step

To progress to the Church of our dream, the most urgent task is to have third- and fourth-level disciples leading in all its parts: family, school, […]

Road map to our dream synodal Church

Q: Archbishop J, how do we get to our dream synodal Church? You have probably heard the expression, “Mind the gap.” What are the gaps that […]

My dream for a synodal Church – Interconnected. Discerning. Prayerful

I dream of a Church that is synodal in every way. It will be nurtured, at every level, by its encounter with Christ and the guidance […]

Opening up our spiritual ‘toolkit’

Q: Archbishop J, what toolkit will we need for this new OS upgrade? We have seen in the past weeks the upgrade that Pope Francis has […]

Moved by the community to discernment

Q: Archbishop J, what is the synod about, really? Part II In part one of this series, we explored the metaphor of the Synod on Synodality […]

St Joseph, a man for the present age

Q: Why a consecration to St Joseph? Masculinity in our time is in peril. Western civilisation has moved from patriarchy to matriarchy. It used to be […]

Communal discernment, loading… loading

Q: Archbishop J, what is the synod about, really? The Synod on Synodality is a major upgrade of the operating system (OS) of the Roman Catholic […]

Call to the wilderness to heal our ancient wound

Q: Archbishop J, why prayer, fasting and almsgiving?     As we saw last week, Lent is a ritual space where we are plunged into the inner purpose […]

Lent – a sacred rhythm, a ritual space

Q: Archbishop J, why Lent?    If Carnival is a mirror of our soul, we must conclude all is not well with our soul. We need a […]

At the other end of the rope…

Q: Archbishop J, is roping off bands a regression?   This is a sensitive issue and needs delicacy. The question came from a female reveller who held […]

Carnival – the good, the bad, a reflection of T&T’s soul

Q: Archbishop J, is Carnival evil?  This is a complex question that deserves a detailed answer. But I will begin with the simple answer. Carnival, the […]

Understand meno, understand discipleship

Q: Archbishop J, what is a disciple? A disciple is one who follows his master, sits at the feet of the master, and learns and is […]

Dare to see the face of God…and live!

Q: Archbishop J, who can see the face of God and live? The request to see the face of God is denied in the Old Testament. […]

Be inspired by sacred Scripture

Q: Archbishop J, how important is reading the Bible? St Jerome has said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” It is that important to the […]

For 2024, commit to a year of prayer & spirituality

Q: Archbishop J, what is your roadmap for 2024? The roadmap for 2024 comes from two sources: first, Pope Francis’ call for a year of prayer […]

Contemplate the crèche

Archbishop J, what is the significance of the crèche? Every  Christmas, as a family, we would set up the tree and the crèche in the living-room. […]

Keep hope alive, T&T

Q: Archbishop J, how can you have hope in T&T? Recently, I was with four friends from my school days in Fatima when we started talking […]

Dialogue: A call to action

“The Church is very big, there is a plurality and a lot of fragmentation. Some feel they are better than others. Many have agendas and we […]

Inclusivity: a divine call

People want more connection, community, and dialogue within the Church, and with those outside it. Our youth want more involvement and leadership in Church activities, and […]

To live our vocation before us

Q: Archbishop J, what is your vision for vocation ministry in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain? Archbishop Anthony Pantin used to say that “the Seminary […]

Building community: a clarion call

On November 18, over 600 Catholics gathered at the Centre of Excellence to deepen the synodal experience. Priests, members of parish councils, Ministry Animation Teams, finance […]

Synod – upgrading ‘systems’ and conversing in the Spirit

Q: Archbishop J, why a gathering of the church on Saturday, November 18? The Church is going through monumental changes. Pope Francis has set in motion […]

Synodality – Church, modelled differently

Our previous synods have focused on one dimension of the Church—youth, family, pan-Amazon region. This synod focuses on the Church, as a whole; more specifically, on […]

A new mandate requires a new structure

December 27, 2023, will be six years of my serving as Archbishop. During this time, I have had many consultations on family, youth, education, migrants and […]

A catechist’s mandate – accompany others to God

Q: Archbishop J, what is the catechetical mandate? Transmitting faith to the next generation is the most urgent and challenging task of the Church today. This […]

Where T&T can and should go

Trinidad and Tobago celebrates its 61st Independence Anniversary on Thursday, August 31. Archbishop J answers the question, will we emerge from this cycle of racial politics?  […]

Women – their voice and vote in the Church

Q: Archbishop J, what about the role of women in the Church? The role of women in the Catholic Church is a global concern. This topic […]

Archbishop J, help us understand WYD Way of the Cross

The Way of the Cross is a venerable part of Catholic tradition from the earliest times. First, it was associated with Mary. One tradition had it […]

Defining synodality and a synodal Church

Q: Archbishop J, could you explain the new document on the synod? The Instrumentum Laboris (IL) is the working document for the synod in Rome October […]

Healing from T&T’s traumas, a national imperative

Q: Archbishop J, what is the impact of 1990 on T&T today?  Do you remember where you were when you found out about the 1990 attempted […]

A reminder of our mission and challenge

Q: Archbishop J, could you summarise your pastoral letter? Building Community, Inclusivity, and Dialogue: A Pastoral Letter Summary Introduction Building a harmonious community based on inclusivity […]

No time for boredom, lots to do during the holidays

Q: Archbishop J, are holidays a help or a hindrance to children? As a child I looked forward to holidays. It was a magical time that […]

Food Security – everyone’s concern

Q: Archbishop J, what happened to your garden? During the Covid pandemic it became clear that food security was vital for our nation. Many who usually […]

Male or Female – the body doesn’t lie

Q: Archbishop J, can a man become a woman? This is a hotly charged issue, so let us begin by affirming that the Catholic approach calls […]

T&T Education needs partnership, not conflict

Q: Archbishop J, what is happening with Catholic Education? Denominational education is in peril and is being challenged on all sides. Weeks after winning the General […]

Between Cain and Abel – the path to true masculinity

Q: Archbishop J, what is happening to our men? Masculinity has been in flux for a long time now, since the end of the World War […]

A way forward together

Q: Archbishop J, what about ecumenism in T&T? In this world of fracture and division, ecumenism has had a very difficult time. Older readers would perhaps […]

Have a heart…a heart like Jesus

Q: Archbishop J, how do we celebrate June? June has great celebrations for us Catholics. It is the month of Holy Trinity, the Sacred Heart, Corpus […]

The Ghana Experience

Q: Archbishop J, what did you learn from Ghana? Of all the national Churches that I have been privileged to see up close and minister to, […]

A dynamic way to participate in the Liturgy

Q: Archbishop J, how do we achieve full, active, and conscious participation in the Eucharist? The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy by the Second Vatican Council […]

AI – a reflection on us

This week I asked the question: What does an analysis of “Conversations with Archbishop J” reveal? An Analysis by CHAT GPT “‘Conversations with Archbishop J’ is […]

Re-imagining the faith

Q : Archbishop J, can we re-imagine the Church for the 21st century? Pope Benedict XVI, when he was elected pope chose the name Benedict, in […]

Transformative faith in and through the Resurrection

Q : Archbishop J, what of the Resurrection? I do not think we have begun to understand the decisive nature of the Resurrection in human history. […]

The perfect sacrifice, our redemption

Q : Archbishop J, how do we heal our soul wound?  A soul wound is ancient; it is never new. How do we heal it? There […]

To heal our ‘soul wound’

There are times when the physician must pay attention, not just to the symptoms that the patient might display at a particular time, but all the […]

Stay connected to the positive

Q: Archbishop J, what have you learnt from your fast from negativity  I have been happily surprised to learn that so many are fasting from negativity […]

To heal a nation haunted by trauma

Q : Archbishop J, how do we chart a way forward for T&T? The solution to every challenge begins with recognising the challenge. In T&T, too […]

Keeping it real…for our future

Q : Archbishop J, is T&T a real place? One of our great characteristics as Trinbagonians is to make fun of everything. By jest and humour, […]

Exercising Christian hope in challenging times

Q : Archbishop J, why a fast from negativity? This Lent, I am offering you an option to the traditional abstinence from food and other things. […]

Rekindle your relationships for Lent

Q : Archbishop J, explain Black Stalin’s party tune?   First, I must say when I wrote on Black Stalin’s ‘Feeling to Party’, in August 2022, […]

Work on a Carnival renewal – from inside out

Q : Archbishop J: How could we redeem the Carnival? There are many elements to the Carnival. Some brilliant, some noble and praiseworthy and some just […]

Carnival: evolution or cycle?

Q: Archbishop J, what’s with Carnival? Carnival has a long and complex history. Its beginnings, in Trinidad, reaches back to the country’s early contacts with Europe […]

Panyard vibes, sacred spaces

Q : Archbishop J, what about the panyard? Recently, I did a panyard crawl. It was a very rich cultural experience. In conversation with the leadership […]

Carnival – ‘morality’ and mirror

Q :Archbishop J, does Carnival have a morality of its own? Carnival is not one event or one type of event, it is a multi-layered tapestry […]

The God-human relationship

Q: Archbishop J, what is the anthropology of your recent pastoral letter? The word ‘anthropology’ is derived from two Greek words, anthropos and logos—meaning literally, a […]

Sacrifice – mine and yours

Q: Archbishop J, could you explain the priesthood of all believers? When we hear the word ‘priest’, we think immediately of those ordained through the laying […]

The struggle to evolve into a republic

Following is an edited version of the address given by Archbishop Jason Gordon at the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute’s 22nd annual general meeting on Thursday, […]

It’s Christmas – a profound dialogue with God

Q: Archbishop J, what does the Christmas story teach us about dialogue? Happy Christmas, everyone! We have made a wonderful journey towards this day of the […]

Dialogue – a portal to the Divine

Q: Archbishop J, is dialogue really a way to inner transformation? I believe our contemporary culture too often underestimates and misunderstands dialogue. By taking a secular […]

Towards building community, inclusivity, and dialogue

Q: Archbishop J, how are we going to move the Church towards building community? Building community is a significant spiritual initiative. It will require all of […]

Advent in this Kairos moment of synod

Q: Archbishop J, what do you hope for this Advent? I hope every Catholic would use this wonderful Advent season to engage their faith more deeply […]

Building Community, Inclusivity and Dialogue’

Q: Archbishop J, how did we arrive at the overarching theme for the Archdiocese? Synodality is about a people walking together, discerning the voice of God […]

Forming a generation of missionary disciples

Q: Archbishop J, why a meeting of schools in World Mission Month? The purpose of the meeting of schoolchildren in October, World Mission Month, is to […]

Witnesses of His mission

Q: Archbishop J, what is Mission Month? Mission Month celebrates the missionary thrust of the Church and reminds us that we are all missionaries. This year […]

Communion and Mission to cure the ‘mischief’

Q: Archbishop J, what is the mischief that Pope Francis hopes to correct with synodality? (Pt II) This is such an important idea that I want […]

Curing the ‘mischief’ through synodality

Q: Archbishop J, what is the mischief that Pope Francis hopes to correct with synodality? In English Law, the Mischief Rule is one of three rules […]

On a journey of teaching and accompaniment

Q: Archbishop J, with all the changes in the Church, what is the role of the catechists? From the earliest times, the catechist has been vital […]

Let’s dream, T&T…

Q: Archbishop J, what is your dream for T&T at 60?   For Integral Human Development Beloved T&T, I dream that over the next 60 years […]

Wake up! We’ve become a nation of sleepers

Q: Archbishop J, what is the greatest threat to our democracy?   I believe the greatest threat to our democracy is that we have become a […]

Take a stand for family morality, parental rights

Q: Archbishop J, who has responsibility for the education of a child? A global movement is spending a lot of money in Trinidad and Tobago around […]

The family in Bethany – a pathway to the domestic Church

The domestic Church is first and foremost a theological concept. It is primarily seen by the Church as rooted in the marriage bond of a man […]

What we must do for true freedom

Q: Archbishop J, what is freedom? For the young nations of the Caribbean, August 1 is historic. On that day, 188 years ago, the British parliament […]

Adam’s mandate is ours too

Q: Archbishop J, if the domestic Church has a real liturgy, where does the priesthood come from? Marriage is a very special sacrament. I remember learning […]

Domestic Church – connections and configurations

Q: Archbishop J, why family rites? I have written before that every family—on pilgrimage to be fully a domestic Church—has rites: (1) rite of relationships, (2) […]

Domestic Church – a working definition

Q: Archbishop J, what is a domestic Church? At Pentecost 2020 we left the Upper Room to mission the domestic Church. The question lingers, however: What […]

Prepare to encounter Christ: Holy Spirit, Word, and Liturgy

Q: Archbishop J, explain the work of the Holy Spirit in the prayer of the Church? When we think about the Holy Spirit we think of […]

Treating a grave matter with mercy and compassion

Q: Archbishop J, why is the Church so harsh on women and abortion? Many people believe that abortion is a gender issue. It may also be […]

Rotten fruits of the same tree

Q: Archbishop J, how have we been so accommodating to abortion? The foetus in the womb of the mother is a human life. It has an […]

Heavy weight of two ‘rights’

Q: Archbishop J, is abortion wrong? You won’t find a more contentious issue in the western world today than abortion. This has been made more so […]

God is calling – listen, trust, follow

Q: Archbishop J, why is May so special? (Part 2) As I wrote last week, this month embraces three major celebrations: the Resurrection of Jesus—always in […]

Make May special with Marian devotions

Q: Archbishop J, why is May so special? May has three major celebrations. Each is vital to the lifeblood of the Church. The most obvious is […]

Continue contemplating Mercy

Q: Archbishop J, why Divine Mercy in the height of Easter? Some liturgists have seen the Feast of Divine Mercy, which we celebrated on April 24, […]

Christ’s Resurrection – examining the evidence

Q: Archbishop J, how do we know if the Resurrection really happened? The whole claim of Christianity hangs on a single question: Was Jesus really raised […]

Easter changes Everything

Q: Archbishop J, what’s so special about Easter? Christmas may be the beginning of the mystery of Christ, but Easter is its climax. Without it, Jesus […]

Sacred oils – essential and vital for life

Q: Archbishop J, why does the Church bless oil in Holy Week At the Chrism Mass every year, the bishop blesses two oils and consecrates one. […]

Give accordingly…

Q: Archbishop J, why almsgiving? The tradition teaches us that almsgiving covers a multitude of sins. Does this mean we can sin all we want, then […]

A time to pray and fast for the nation

Q: Archbishop J, why a special day of prayer and fasting during Lent? Consider our world, our nation, your family, and your life. Are we living […]

Long before the ‘I do’…

Q: Archbishop J, why must we spend 12 weeks in Marriage Preparation? Marriage is the most significant decision you will take in your adult life. It […]

Battling the real enemy through reconciliation

Q: How do we live with Covid as we move to an endemic phase? In recent weeks, I have received letters on a variety of topics […]

Get excited! Yes – it’s Lent!

Q: Archbishop J, how should I approach this Lent? Approach Lent with great joy, anticipation, excitement, and consciousness! Our culture highlights comfort, security, pleasure, and power. […]

Justice and Mercy

Q: Archbishop J, is justice sufficient? As children, we have a concept of fairness, which somehow is built into our brain. Sharing of a cake in […]

Our grieving nation…

Q: Archbishop J, how do we keep hope in a time of such deep despair? In the first half of 2020 the question was: ‘Do you […]

In the afterlife

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 12)? Consider the ultimate question! What happens when you die? Is there just an exhale […]

The source is in the scriptures

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 11)? The Magi read from the book of creation, and it got them to Jerusalem. […]

I’ve encountered the living God

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 10)? You may say I am writing all this because I am a priest and […]

A guide for our lives

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 9)? We have looked at the challenge of belief and unbelief from many different perspectives. […]

The resilience of religion

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 8)? Have you ever wondered why we humans have a concept of God? Why there […]

God always was, is and will be

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 7)? While walking the Camino de Santiago in 2016, I met a young man from […]

Contemplate the crèche and our God constructs

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 6)? The Christmas mystery For God to become a baby, born of a woman is […]

Faith and Reason – inseparable

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe God exists (part 5)? Many modern thinkers have proposed that faith and reason are diametrically opposed. If you have […]

Living between faith and doubt

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 4)? Blaise Pascal was a 17th century philosopher, theologian, and mathematician. Trying to build a […]

Life – chance or design?

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 3)? Modern atheism and the conflict between faith and science reached a crescendo with the […]

In the beginning….

Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 2)? Everything that exists has a beginning. This is a simple statement with many profound […]

Belief and Unbelief

There are some people who do not have even a minimal foundation. They simply do not believe. And they do not want to believe. God gave […]

The poor, our brothers and sisters

Q: Archbishop J, how should we respond to the growing poverty in T&T? The pandemic has been a wrecking ball to the financial stability of many […]

Choosing to be for all

Q: Archbishop J, why would anyone want to become a priest or consecrated person? Priests are an integral connection between Christ and God’s mission. There have […]

Potential pitfalls on the journey

Q: Archbishop J, what are the challenges while on the synodal journey? Every journey to mission begins with temptations. Right after Jesus was baptised the Scripture […]

Listen to develop a synodal mentality

Q: Archbishop J, what does Pope Francis intend with Synod 2023? The Pontiff’s intention is to invite the Church to synodal conversion and thus to turn […]

Delving into discernment

Q: Archbishop J, how do we transform a ‘deliberative assembly’ into a ‘discerning assembly’? Pt 2 A discerning assembly has its own rules. The first rule […]

Walking together as Church

Q: Archbishop J, how do we transform a ‘deliberative assembly’ into a ‘discerning assembly’? A ‘deliberative assembly’ and a ‘discerning assembly’ share several things in common. […]

Mission – our very nature

Q: Archbishop J, what is the role of synodality in the mission of the Church? October is mission month. We are invited again to reflect upon […]

Synod process – through dialogue and discernment

Q: Archbishop J, why synodality? Synodality speaks about a way of being Church, where its members walk together, where its leaders listen to all the faithful, […]

A change of era in catechetics today

Q: Archbishop J, what is the task of the catechist? The catechist’s task is first and foremost to hand on a living faith to this generation […]

Communion, participation, mission—the new ‘S’ word

Q: Archbishop J, why is the Church speaking synod again? Shortly after I was installed as Archbishop, a good Catholic said to me: “Archbishop, I hope […]

Oikos, our home, our family

Q:Archbishop J, why a Season of Creation? Between September 1 and October 4, Christians on six continents are coming together “for a time of restoration and […]

A reflection of our watchwords

Q: Archbishop J, what has Covid taught us about our nation? We are living in unprecedented times. For the fourth time in our young history, we […]

The Blessed Virgin Mary, the new ark

Q: Archbishop J, kindly provide the text of your homily on the Assumption? At first look, the readings for the Solemnity of the Assumption do not […]

Destined for the divine

Q: Archbishop J, what does the Assumption mean for us today? Look at the painting titled, ‘The Assumption’ by Jackie Hinkson done in 2019. Look very […]

School is in – grow your faith

Q: Archbishop J, why so many schools during the holidays? The long primary and secondary school holidays are a great opportunity for learning. I know this […]

Our Emancipation journey continues

Q: Archbishop J, what do we celebrate on Emancipation Day? I would argue that no event has shaped our national identity more than the day slavery […]

Grandparents: essential to the next generation

Q: Archbishop J, why a day for grandparents and the elderly? Our grandparents and the elderly are indispensable for a renewed tomorrow. They hold the burden […]

Marriage and Family: Rediscover God’s intention

Q: Archbishop J, why a week for marriage and the family? Marriage a sacrament from Creation The family is the load-bearing wall of civilisation. As the […]

Gay and Catholic

Q: Archbishop J, I am gay and Catholic, what am I supposed to do? I want for you what I want for every Catholic. I want […]

Pride month: the paradox of love, and truth

Q: Archbishop J, could a Catholic support Pride month? Social Justice There is a historical reason why Pride month emerged. For a long time, persons with […]

Caribbean masculinity – work in progress

Q: Archbishop J, what is happening to our men? Every Caribbean man who shows up consistently to father all his children is a special man. If […]

The vaccine – Our best option

Q: Archbishop J, why vaccinate? We will not get out of the series of lockdowns, mask-wearing, social-distancing, and isolation until significant proportions of the planet are […]

Contemplating the many mysteries of Mary, our mother

Q: Archbishop J, how is Mary Mother of the Church? Pope Francis, in 2018, instituted the feast Mary, Mother of the Church (May 24). This feast […]

The Eucharistic sacrifice and family life

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt 10) The Feast of the Body and Blood and Christ is pivotal […]

Being transformed

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt 9) At the beginning of Lent 2020, we found ourselves in the […]

Clothed from on High

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt 8) Handing on the faith to the next generation is one of […]

God’s invitation to grow up

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt 7) You know how hard it is when your children go away […]

Called by name

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt 6) There is a moment in spousal relationship where the vision grows […]

Living the Resurrection – betrayal to forgiveness

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt 5) Forgiveness is a deep part of the Resurrection story, an aspect […]

Jesus’ peace to right relationships

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt 4) The Resurrection peace “Peace be with you!”. This is the standard […]

True faith: let go and let God

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt III) What is the Resurrection if it does not transform the way […]

Living the Resurrection in the family

Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? (Pt II) Last week I began the journey to explore the Paschal mystery from […]

Living the Paschal mystery in the family

Q: Archbishop J, the Paschal mystery: how does it relate to family life? This weekend, beginning with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy […]

A special year to renew family life

Q: Archbishop J, what is Amoris Laetitia Family Year? Amoris Laetitia (AL) is Latin for “The Joy of Love”, the title of an apostolic exhortation written […]

God’s grace is always sufficient

Q: Archbishop J, what is the special grace of March 19?   The special grace that I pray for during this time of St Joseph is […]

St Joseph can be our choice too

Q: Archbishop J, why consecration to St Joseph? To consecrate is to set apart for God. It is a solemn act of entrustment of our very […]

Head of the household – service, not domination

Q: Archbishop J, St Joseph, “Head of God’s household”: How? One of the titles of Mary is Mother of God (Theotokos). This title allowed the early […]

The testing St Joseph endured

Archbishop J, why St Joseph in Lent? What is at the core and inner heart of Lent? I believe we have a clue in the Gospel […]

An inner transformation through suffering

Q: Archbishop J, tell me truthfully, why St Joseph? (Pt. III) St Joseph is a man of deep suffering. Things did not go the way he […]

Humility and Obedience

Q: Archbishop J, tell me truthfully, why St Joseph? (Pt. II) St Joseph is an obedient man. He obeys God and, in this way, opens salvation […]

Caribbean man, look to St Joseph

Q: Archbishop J, tell me truthfully, why St Joseph? “St Joseph is a very, very hard sell for a Caribbean man!”  That is how the conversation […]

33-day challenge for men, all for St Joseph

Q: Archbishop J, what are we doing for the Year of St Joseph? For this special year of St Joseph, we are inviting all men to […]

Let sacred scripture speak to your soul

Q: Archbishop J, how do we read the scripture? The Bible is a love letter from God. If we understand this, we understand how to approach […]

Men like St Joseph

Q: Archbishop J, why a year of St Joseph? Pope Francis, in this time of pandemic, called for a year dedicated to St Joseph. From  December […]

‘Till and keep’ to heal our ‘soul wound’

Q: Archbishop J, how do we build a culture of care? I hope that in 2021, we can work together to build a culture of care […]

Find a welcoming place for Christ

Q: Archbishop J, what is your hope this Christmas? PART 2 No room in the inn! This was how the world responded to the birth of […]

Pray and work for Peace

Q: Archbishop J, what is your hope for T&T this Christmas? I hope and pray for peace in Trinidad and Tobago, at the end of a […]

What to hope for in Confirmation

Q: Archbishop J, what do you hope for in Confirmation? ‘Confirmation’ is a character sacrament. It is unrepeatable. It leaves an indelible mark on our soul. […]

Why the sacrament of Confirmation lays a foundation

Q: Archbishop J, why is Confirmation necessary? Confirmation is an integral part of the initiation into the Catholic Church. It is a structure of grace and […]

It’s Advent – create holy moments

Q: Archbishop J, what do you hope for this Advent? My hope this Advent is that each family will find ways in this season to deepen […]

Prepare for an encounter with our King

Q: Archbishop J, why do the readings become so dramatic around this time? The Church has its own rhythm. It sees the year as a sacred […]

Breaking the cycle of shame

Q: Archbishop J, how does the family move past shame? Shame is a break in harmony with God, neighbour, creation, and self. It leads the individual […]

Standards to follow

Q: Archbishop J, how can we discern our vocation in the domestic Church? Parents, what is your dream for your children? What do you agonise over? […]

From Shame to Redemption

Q: Archbishop J, what is the greatest challenge to the Catholic Family? Shame! Let me explain. Behind the dysfunction, behind the drama, the many quarrels, and […]

Share the faith, support the mission

Q: Archbishop J, why a World Mission Sunday? In 1926, Pope Pius XI instituted World Mission Sunday for two reasons: first, to raise people’s consciousness of […]

Our families, on pilgrimage towards the domestic Church

Q: Archbishop J, is every family a domestic Church? I wish to make a distinction between a Christian family and a domestic Church. The domestic Church […]

At the point of no return

Q: Archbishop J, what can the domestic Church do about our climate? Once upon a time there was a family, the Maanavatas. They lived in the […]

Meet the migrant in our midst

Q: Archbishop J, how can the domestic Church support migrants and refugees? Forced like Jesus Christ to flee. This is the theme of the 106th World […]

Learning forgiveness in the family

Q: Archbishop J, how essential is forgiveness and mercy for the domestic Church? Mercy is what love does when the beloved messes up. Mercy is not […]

Know your rites

Q: Archbishop J, what are our rites as domestic Church? The modern child knows about his or her rights, but very few know there are rites. […]

Service – let the good works flow

Q: Archbishop J, what is the mission of the domestic Church? (Pt 3) The mission of the Church, as we saw over the last two teachings, […]


Q: Archbishop J, what do you see as our greatest challenges in Trinidad and Tobago? Quite possibly, we are facing the most challenging decade since independence. […]

Parents must be the first and best catechists

Q: Archbishop J, what is the mission of the domestic Church? (Pt 2) The mission of the Church, as we saw last week, is always threefold: […]

Make your family a domestic sanctuary

Q: Archbishop J, what is the mission of the domestic Church? The mission of the Church is always threefold: Sanctification, Teaching and Service. ‘Sanctification’ has to […]

Exercise your duty wisely, vote for the common good

Q: Archbishop J, what is the responsibility of a Catholic in the General Elections? As we approach the General Elections, I would like to propose some […]

Stop, reflect, pray for our democracy

Q: Archbishop J, why a National Day of Prayer on August 2nd? Democracy did not come easy to us. It took a long time for us […]

Family and the big Church

Q: Archbishop J, what does the Church teach us about the domestic Church? The term domestic Church first appears in the documents of the Second Vatican […]

Stages on our spiritual journey

Q: Archbishop J, what can I do to ensure my Catholic DNA is active? Part II Our Catholic DNA was given in baptism when we were […]

Response calls for authentic development

Q: Archbishop J, what is the response of the Church to the protests of June 30? Taking a life is always a grave matter. When the […]

A dose of Intentionality and Grace

Q: Archbishop J, what can I do to ensure my Catholic DNA is active? Awakening the Catholic DNA is the responsibility of every adult Catholic. It […]

Reigniting the Catholic DNA

Q: Archbishop J, what is the path to renewal? Renewal requires that we understand that we face a fundamental challenge requiring us to respond in new […]

Key practices of the domestic Church

Q: Archbishop J, what does the domestic Church and the greater body have in common? If the family is the domestic Church, Church miniature, then we […]

We are vitally connected to Christ

Q: Archbishop J, how long must we wait? Last Sunday, Prime Minister Keith Rowley advanced the date for reopening of churches from Friday, June 12 to […]

Family, on mission, become what you are

Q: Archbishop J, why missioning the Domestic Church? In the New Testament on Pentecost Day, many amazing things happen. A mighty rushing wind fills the Upper […]

Cues to Pentecost

Q: Archbishop J, how can I make Pentecost come alive in my life? Pentecost is a triple feast. The word ‘Pentecost’ literally means 50. In the […]

A good story for all time

Q: Archbishop J, why World Communications Day? For 54 years, the Church has celebrated World Communications Day. This is because of the realisation that communications are […]

Living a ‘good life’ caring for our common home

Q: Archbishop J, why the AEC bishops’ priority on the environment? We are in the midst of a pandemic that has raised consciousness of our environment […]

Why turn to Mary, Our Mother

Q: Archbishop J, why do Catholics turn to Mary in times of trouble? Catholics see Mary as a sacred vessel that contained the Most Holy One, […]

Finding the right balance

Q: Archbishop J, what is the REAL challenge of COVID-19? Is physical health and death the real challenge? Is it the high rate of infection? Is […]

In a time of challenge, remember justice and mercy

Q: Archbishop J, how do we become mercy? Mercy is at the core of the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is what a lover does when […]

Let us go where the transformation of the apostles took place

Q: Archbishop J, why the Upper Room?   The Upper Room holds a central place in our understanding of the early Church. It is central to […]

Where we must put our hope

Q: Archbishop J, how do you keep hope alive in a time like this?   Hope is only real when the hour is dark. It is […]

The grace of vulnerability

Q: Archbishop J, will the Church survive COVID-19? At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus promised His disciples: “I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall […]

What this little microbe is doing to us

Q: Archbishop J, is COVID-19 a tool of the devil? Well! This virus is frightening. It is spread by human-to-human contact, forcing us into isolation. It […]

Extreme generosity to lessen COVID-19 impact

Q: Archbishop J, how will we survive COVID-19? Only through extreme generosity will we cope, through extreme generosity will we get through this as a nation, […]

For the common good

Q: Archbishop J, not giving precious Blood …is that a lack of faith? The Archdiocesan policy on COVID-19 has spawned much comment on digital media. It […]

It’s all in the giving

Q: Archbishop J, why collection? Collection is only one part of the Offertory. It is representative of our offering to God who has been so generous […]

Initiating a mystical union with Christ

Q: Archbishop J, are there different kinds of homilies? Each type of homily has its place in history and in the toolkit of the preacher. The […]

Black Power revolution unfinished

Q: Archbishop J, why are we celebrating the Black Power revolution? Every country has its defining moments—a watershed that fundamentally changes the nature of the social […]

Understanding the sacred mysteries

Q: Archbishop J, what are the sacred mysteries? The Mass begins with the Sign of the Cross. Here, we are plunged into the mystery of the […]

Divine interconnection – Word and Eucharist

Q: Archbishop J, what is the impact of the homily? The General Instruction of the Roman Missal 65 says the homily is necessary for nurturing the […]

The homily gives meaning to the Word

Q: Archbishop J, so what is the purpose of the homily? The homily is an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word. Through the homily, […]

Want to encounter Christ? Read your Bible

Q: Archbishop J, is the Bible really the Word of God? The Mass is an invitation to feed at three tables, the table of the Word, […]

Receive Communion with reverence

Q: Archbishop J, why so little true devotion to the Eucharist? When a missionary asked me this question, my response was very defensive: “Of course, T&T […]

Hope for more dynamic Catholics

Q: Archbishop J, why a Christmas book giveaway? Many people were very surprised by the Christmas book giveaway. They had not experienced a Christmas gift like […]

Advent of the Messiah

Q: Archbishop J, in Advent who is waiting? Advent, if we think about it, is about Mary. John the Baptist, Isaiah, the gospels all heighten the […]

We all need Advent

Q: Archbishop J, why wait to celebrate Christmas? The secularisation of Christmas has been a creeping spiritual cancer. By October we are already in the height […]

Behind prison walls, Advent lives

Q: Archbishop J, what is your Advent highlight? Advent is about waiting in joyful hope. Visiting the prison during this time has opened the season’s mystery […]

Advent keeps the end in mind

Q: Archbishop J, what is so special about Advent? Advent is a healing balm for the sick soul, sight for the spiritually blind, grace for the […]

Sacred spaces and blurred lines

Q: Archbishop J, a fashion show in a cathedral? There are many implications in this wonderful parable of modern life. I want us to read it […]

See the face of Christ in the poor

Q: Archbishop J, really? A world day of the poor? Yes really! The scandal of poverty in our world today is no longer felt and seen […]

Discern, respond and live the calling

Q: Archbishop J, What’s all the fuss about vocation? The Archdiocese of Port of Spain has struggled to have adequate vocations to the priesthood and religious […]

The Saints: heroes, witnesses to the faith

Q: Archbishop J, why celebrate All Saints? The saints are our elder brothers and sisters in the faith. They have gone before us and have triumphed […]

Culture and religion

Q: Archbishop J, is incorporating Hindu elements into the liturgy syncretism? The simple answer is, it depends on which elements and how they are incorporated. In […]

Listen carefully for Christ’s voice

Q: Archbishop J, what is the heart of missionary discipleship? At the core, centre and heart of missionary discipleship is obedience to God. This may seem […]

Mary was the first

Q: Archbishop J, who was the first missionary disciple? First, we must determine what is a missionary disciple? To answer this, I will turn to Pope […]

Mental illness – a health issue

Q: Archbishop J, does the Church really care about persons living with mental illness? In the creation story, after God created all other species, He said, […]

Creation Time

Q: Archbishop J, why all this fuss about creation? In his now celebrated encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis put a spotlight on the destruction we cause […]

43 years a republic: time to grow up

Q: Archbishop J, What’s with our Republic? The move to becoming a republic in 1976 was a significant next step in our evolution as a nation […]

AEC Mission Congress – a golden opportunity

Q: Archbishop J, what has come out of our 40 days of prayer? Our Church has prayed for 40 days. I want to thank each of […]

Receive, live, share your Catholic faith

Q: Archbishop J, who is a missionary disciple? Missionary disciples are not a special type of disciple. They are disciples living out the missionary mandate of […]

The road we take

Q: Archbishop J, are we independent yet? Independence, like emancipation, is a work in progress. Sometimes we are on target and, at other times, we lose […]

What we need to get right

Q: Archbishop J, What explains the high crime? There are many ways that we could look at this present crisis in Trinidad and Tobago. I have […]

A Pill for Our ‘Picaroon’ Society

Q: Archbishop J, why “exaggerated responsibility for the common good”?  Every civilisation has its unconscious assumptions, driving forces that motivate and at the same time act […]

Consider the golden rule

Q: Archbishop J, How is prayer going to help us? This is a great question! I have asked that every Catholic participate in the 40 days […]

A culture of disrespect

Conversations with Archbishop J Q: Archbishop J, what are we doing about the disrespect for life in our country? Every year, hundreds of citizens are violently […]

Levelling the education ‘playing field’

By Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ & Director, CREDI A just society is inclusive. Years ago, the late Prof John Spence, who established T&T’s Education Discussion Group, of […]

Time to have ‘the talk’

Q: Archbishop J, what are we doing about the early sexualisation of our youth? Trinidad and Tobago has been ranked within the top ten countries in […]

Our Caribbean word about God

Q: Archbishop J, why a theological conference in the Caribbean? Catholic Theology in the Caribbean Today celebrates 25 years of theological reflection in the Caribbean region. […]

Rooted in Christ

Q: Archbishop J, what is Corpus Christi? Corpus Christi comes from two Latin words, corpus, body and Christi, Christ, thus it means the body of Christ. […]

Which side of the line do you stand?

Q: Archbishop J, is this really happening in Trinidad and Tobago? On Thursday (June 13) night I went to the Oval to walk around. What I […]

Plenty fathers, need more dads

Q: Archbishop J, is fatherhood undervalued in today’s family? I meet many men who make significant sacrifices for their children. When I enquire about their experience […]

‘Vene’ crisis: What do you see?

  Q: Archbishop J, how can we meet the needs of Venezuelans who have come to our shores? In 50 years, history will judge us on […]

Going back to our baptismal roots

Q: Archbishop J, Why an AEC Missionary Congress? Pope Francis has called for an extraordinary mission month in October 2019. The bishops of the Antilles, in […]

In the Cross – love, discipleship, victory

Q: Archbishop J, If Jesus is risen from the dead, why do we still focus on the cross? Great question! One would think that once the […]

Mary, our Queen Mother

Q: Archbishop J, La Divina Pastora—Is Mary a god? Mary is not God! She is not part of the Trinity! She is not a god! She […]

The challenges of Catholic media

Q: Archbishop J, What are the challenges facing Catholic News? This month Catholic News celebrates 127 years of faithful, uninterrupted journalism. Congratulations to all who work […]

The Resurrection – ultimate sign of Mercy

Q: Archbishop J, Why should I show mercy? Our natural inclination is to go for justice. Every child knows what fairness is. It is built into […]

The Resurrection – process and power

Q: Archbishop J, What is the Resurrection? Some people see the resurrection as an event that happened 2,000 years ago. It is! It is the most […]

The empty tabernacle – what God has done for us

Q: Archbishop J, Why is there a special altar on Holy Thursday? The Triduum is the celebration of all celebrations in the Catholic calendar. As the […]

Partnering with the strangers among us

Q: Archbishop J, What has been your Lent highpoint? Now that is a hard question! I have three: (1) The sacrifice people made towards the upkeep […]

Marriage prep and beyond

Q: Archbishop J, How are we forming people for the vocation of Marriage? Marriage is a vocation; it is a sacrament, a commitment for life! It […]

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving to rebuild a community

Q: Archbishop J, what is the Generation S challenge? Each year Generation S challenges young people to sacrifice for something bigger than themselves: this is at […]

Calling our men to mission, mentorship

Q: Archbishop J, Why launch a men’s ministry? At a meeting with Catholics some time ago, I asked the group to look around. They did. I […]

Renewing our Baptismal call

Q: Archbishop J, What is the inner meaning of Lent? Lent is a time of renewal—either a time of preparation for Baptism or recommitment to our […]

The rhythm and routine of prayer

Q: Archbishop J, teach us ways of praying. TO pray is to live and become fully alive in Christ. I will focus here on methods and […]

Movement towards God

Q: Archbishop J, why is it so hard to be consistent in prayer? If a profound and deep prayer life is so advantageous, why do so […]

‘Daddy, deliver us from temptation’

Q: Archbishop J, How do we pray? Pt 4 The ‘Our Father’ is a gym for spiritual development and growth in discipleship, stretching the one praying […]

Trusting Daddy for our daily bread

Q: Archbishop J, How do we pray? Pt 3 The ‘Our Father’ is an ancient prayer. Originally spoken in Aramaic, it was written in Greek, translated […]

Meeting Daddy in our true home

Q: Archbishop J, How do we pray? Pt 2 God is daddy! A loving father! This as we have seen is the foundation of Christian prayer. […]

God is our daddy!

Q: Archbishop J, How do we pray? Jesus’ disciples asked the same question—“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples” (Lk 11:1). At […]

Prayer – Covenant and Communion

Q: Archbishop J, what is prayer? Having looked at why we pray in last Sunday’s column, now we will look at what is prayer. Remember from […]

Alive in Christ

Q: Archbishop J, why do we pray? Prayer for the Christian is like water for fish. It is through prayer that we realise the full measure […]

All have a part to play for Peace

Q: Archbishop J, how do we promote peace in T&T for 2019? Peace is not the absence of war or murder; it is the establishment of […]

Give a gift of support to our priests

Q: Archbishop J, why is the Christmas collection for our priests? At Christmas and Easter the whole collection from all parishes goes to the support of […]

The many titles of Our Mother

Q: Archbishop J, which is more important, the Immaculate Conception or Guadalupe? The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is the patronal feast of our cathedral and […]

Declare a different kind of ‘war’

Q: Archbishop J, with the high murder rate do you have hope for T&T? The high rate of criminal activity has fostered a deep anxiety and […]

Live Advent fully

Q: Archbishop J, why do we celebrate Advent when everyone is celebrating Christmas? The early celebration of Christmas is commercial. Merchants have realised that the season […]

Petrotrin – a pastoral perspective

Q: Archbishop J, What does Catholic social teaching say about the layoff of workers? The Petrotrin workers are in the hearts and minds of our nation […]

This poor man cried and the Lord heard him

Q: Archbishop J, Why a World Day of the Poor? We live in a world with a widening gap between rich and poor. The gap is […]

A plan to transform our Church

Q: Archbishop J, why a pastoral plan? The Church today is facing some difficult challenges. The things we have done as Church in the last 50 […]

Remembering those who have ‘fallen asleep’

Q: Archbishop J, why do Catholics pray for the dead? On November 2, All Souls’ Day, many people light up the tombs of their ancestors. Days […]

God in times of disaster

Q: Archbishop J, is God still a Trini? I will say a resounding ‘yes!’. God is still a Trini. But we must also hold that God […]

A mission we all must accept

Q: Archbishop J, what is Mission Sunday? Many think the Church has a mission. St John Paul II thought, however, it is rather the mission which […]

Answer Pope’s call – pray against evil

Q: Archbishop J, why is the Pope asking for special prayers? In this month of the rosary, the Holy Father invites the whole People of God […]

A time for reparation

Q: Archbishop J, Why should we do penance and fast for this crisis? We did not do anything wrong. The Church is the body of Christ; […]

Decriminalise it, not legalise

Q: Archbishop J, should we legalise marijuana? Trinidad and Tobago’s response to this very important conversation about marijuana has deep implications for our society. Marijuana is […]

We need to take back our schools

Q: Archbishop J, how can we help our Catholic schools? Catholic education is one of the most vexing, troubling and complicated areas of pastoral life in […]

We all have a responsibility to protect God’s children

Q: Archbishop J, what has the Church done to protect our children? The Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC), on April 23, 2007, issued a […]

We Must Protect Our Children

Q: Archbishop J, What is happening to our Church? The recent publication of the 1300-page grand jury report in the United States, detailing the systemic abuse […]

A Church in Service to the Nation

Archbishop J, what is the Church’s contribution to the nation over the last 56 years? In many significant ways the Church has contributed to the life […]

Our earth groans in travail

Archbishop J, What does the Church teach about our care for the environment? Pope Francis begins his encyclical on the environment with the words Laudato Si’(LS). […]

The Pope’s Death Penalty Position

Q: Archbishop J, can the pope really change the teaching on the death penalty? This is a complicated question that needs an appreciation of paradox. The […]

Opportunities for ongoing faith formation

Q: Archbishop J, why does the Church have so many schools during July-August? In every field of life we need to update constantly. Our faith is […]

Moving towards a Pastoral Plan

Q: Archbishop J, what has happened to the Parish Consultation you began? First, I would like to thank all the priests, religious and laity who participated […]

The family – our Caribbean reality

Q: Archbishop J, what is the AEC bishop’s plan to transform the Caribbean family? The Afro-Caribbean family has a unique history. For 400 years we have […]

The reality of family life 50 years after Humanae Vitae

Q: Archbishop J, was Pope Paul VI right about Humanae Vitae? Humanae Vitae (HV) was an encyclical letter issued by Pope Paul VI 50 years ago, […]

Symbol of authority in the call to serve

Q: Archbishop J, what is a pallium? The pallium is a woolen vestment conferred by the pope on an archbishop. It signifies his authority as the […]

Parents, first teachers on human sexuality

Q: Archbishop J, what is Comprehensive Sex Education Guidance? In January UNESCO, as part of its Education 2030 initiative, issued the ‘International Technical Guidance on Sexuality […]

The truth about justice

Q: Archbishop J what is Restorative Justice (RJ) and why does the Church support it? Restorative Justice (RJ) is a system of justice that brings together […]

The ‘heart’ of our Archdiocese

Q: Archbishop why SOS—Support our Seminarians? Some 75 years ago the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs was established. Five young men offered […]

The real presence of Christ in the world

Q: Archbishop, what is Corpus Christi? Many years ago, anticipating the feast of Corpus Christi and the holiday, a teacher asked: “Why do we have a […]

The Trinity: love perfect

Archbishop why a Trinity? Why not just one God? The Holy Trinity is central to our faith. As the Catechism says: “The mystery of the Most […]

Pentecost, renewal and the Church

Archbishop, what is the meaning of Pentecost? The word Pentecost means ‘50th’. It refers to the Jewish feast of Pentecost, which is held on the 50th […]

Mary, A Sacred Vessel

Archbishop, why do Catholics worship Mary? Catholics venerate and love Our Blessed Mother: we do not worship her. Worship is due to God and God alone. […]

In each parish, a ministry to refugees

Archbishop, if we keep accepting refugees to Trinidad and Tobago how are we going to cope when we have so many poor people with no jobs […]

Archbishop, what is an ad limina visit?

Conversations with Archbishop J QUESTION: Archbishop, what is an ad limina visit? Every Sunday at Mass we say in the Creed, “I believe in the one, […]

Marriage: a Covenant

Given the Church’s position on decriminalising buggery does it mean the Church will endorse same-sex marriage? In a 2015 statement, the AEC bishops defined marriage as […]

Thinking with the Church

QUESTION: Archbishop would you tell me clearly the teaching of the Church on decriminalising buggery in Trinidad and Tobago? I will begin by saying that in […]

Jesus, I trust in you

QUESTION: Archbishop, How can I trust in the mercy of God when I have done such bad things? Divine Mercy calls us to a radical trust […]

Easter hope

QUESTION: Archbishop, with all the darkness around is the resurrection real for us living in Trinidad and Tobago 2018? The Gospel for Easter Sunday has a […]

Make Holy Week a memoria

QUESTION: Archbishop, what is the significance of Holy Week? In the life of the Church, Holy Week is our most important week. We celebrate the central […]

Archbishop Pantin, the founder

Your Grace, Why did you use the crozier of Archbishop Anthony Pantin for your Installation?  God gives a special spirit and grace to founders. Their pastoral […]

In the midst of human weakness…

Dear Archbishop, how does Pope Francis propose that we help couples in irregular unions? I would begin with another question: How did Jesus treat people in […]

Amoris Laetitia – Mercy and Truth have met

Dear Archbishop, is it true to say that “a small section of Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia raises very serious questions to us Catholics who would […]

A time and a season for everything

Question: Why do you ask Catholics not to partake in Carnival-like activities during Lent? In the February 11 column that focused on Carnival, I raised the […]

Sacrifice for something bigger than yourself

by Archbishop Jason Gordon A sacrifice is giving up something good for something that is better. This is the hidden dynamism of Lent. Prayer, fasting and […]

The Holy Spirit and the Church II

by Archbishop Jason Gordon Today, we speak of the Holy Spirit as if the Spirit relates only to individuals, people who are gifted and anointed for […]

The Holy Spirit and the Church

by Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a […]

God calls YOU

by Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon You have a vocation! This is a truth you may not have wrestled with deeply enough as a Catholic man or […]

Let’s work in solidarity

Welcoming, protecting, promoting, integrating migrants and refugees by Archbishop Jason Charles Gordon, January 9 Men and women in search of peace.  This is how the Holy Father, […]