Friday, November 23, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
1. Fr. Steve Duncan, Parish Priest of Tobago with residence in Scarborough, effective October 1
2. Fr. Alan Hall, Parish Priest of Tortuga-Gasparillo, effective October 1
3. Fr. Gregory McLawrence - Parish Priest of Rio Claro, effective September 1, 2012
4. Fr. Glyn Jemmott - Diocesan Hispanic Ministry with residence in Tortuga.
+ Joseph Harris
Archbishop of Port of Spain
"To The Faithful of the Archdiocese and to All People of Faith and Goodwill in Trinidad and Tobago"
Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. (Mark 9:24) These words find an echo in my heart as I seek to respond as your bishop, to the invitation of the Holy Father to journey with him on a Year of Faith and to invite you to join me here in this Archdiocese on that journey.
We in Trinidad and Tobago are adherents of many faiths. God is in our constitution. Prayer is very much a part of our life as individuals and as a nation. Yet we know how much and how often we fall short. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! This Year of Faith extends from October 11 this year to the Feast of Christ the King, November 24, next year. Its beginning marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church; both landmark moments in the history of the modern Church. October 11 also marks the beginning of the Synod on the New Evangelisation which seeks to confront the challenges we face in proclaiming the Gospel to today's world. In this year, we will give thanks to God for the faith which the missionaries brought to our shores and which our parents, grandparents and generations of catechists have passed on to us. Our Catholic institutions across the land bear witness to the meaning, affirmation and joy - abundant life - which we have found in the faith for more than two centuries. This year our Pro-Cathedral community celebrates 225 years of such witness and the parish of St. Michael’s, Maracas Valley, 150 years.
From 2003 to 2009 the archdiocese engaged in the Synod process, an expression of our on-going desire to deepen our faith and its expression. Even as we give thanks for this witness throughout the years, we continue to pray, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! The strong foundations of our faith face the crisis of a decaying edifice symbolised by our Cathedral in disrepair. How do we build on these strong foundations an edifice able to withstand the current storms which assail us and become a beacon, a light on the hills of Aripo and Naparima for God's people in Trinidad and Tobago?
The Archdiocese will mark the nation’s jubilee year by issuing special awards, in memory of Archbishop Anthony Pantin, to persons and organisations that have shown commitment to serving the “common good”.
Camsel’s board of directors, in seeking ways to honour those who have contributed to the development of the society in the last 50 years and the memory of the late Archbishop of Port of Spain, decided on the Archbishop Anthony Pantin (AAP) Awards.
Homily delivered by Archbishop Joseph Harris at the ordination to the order of the Diaconate of Elton Letang, CSsR (Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 at the St Theresa's RC Church, Malick, Barataria.
Dear friends, let me begin by welcoming Bro. Elton’s family, his mother and sister and other relatives and friends to Trinidad and Tobago and to this Archdiocese of P.O.S on the occasion of the ordination to the diaconate of their son, brother, relative and friend. I thank you Mrs Letang and your husband for this gift of God to the Congregation of the Holy Redeemer and to the Church of the Caribbean.
In a special way I welcome the Redemptorist provincial and his delegate here in the Caribbean Fr. Mark Owens and congratulate them and the Congregation for bringing this young man to the point where he can be declared worthy of receiving this sacrament. May he be an asset to the Congregation!
This man, your relative and friend, is now to be raised to the order of deacons. Consider carefully the ministry to which he is to be promoted. He will draw new strength from the gift of the Holy Spirit. He will help the Bishop and his body of priests as a minister of the word, of the altar, and of charity. He will make himself a servant to all. As a minister of the altar he will proclaim the Gospel, prepare the sacrifice and give the Lord's body and blood to the community of believers. It will be his duty, at the Bishop's discretion, to bring God's word to believer and unbeliever alike, to preside over public prayer, to baptize, to assist at marriages and bless them; to give viaticum to the dying and to lead the rites of burial. Once he is consecrated by the laying on of hands that comes to us from the apostles and is bound more closely to the altar, he will perform works of charity in the name of the Bishop or the pastor. From the way he goes about these duties, may you recognize him as a disciple of Jesus, who came to serve, not to be served.
And now my brother since this is your day, let me address a few words to you.
“Repent and believe the Good News.”
My dear Brother, You have chosen as the Gospel reading for this your ceremony of ordination to the diaconate, these words of Jesus with which according to the Gospel of Mark, the Lord Jesus began his public ministry and which he repeated again and again in different words and in various ways. “Repent and believe the Good News.”
At the beginning of this homily, addressing your relatives and friends, I told them that as a deacon you will be a minister of the word, of the altar and of charity. How will you be a minister of the word, of the altar, and of charity?
The rite of ordination itself provides the answer. After being vested as a deacon, I will place the book of the gospels in your hand and say to you; receive the Gospel whose herald you now are; Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.
The reception of the book of the Gospels means much more than taking this book into your hands. The reception of which we speak is a reception of mind and heart. It is a reception which says that you accept intellectually what is written in it and that you embrace it with all your heart and strength. You will then be told; Believe what you read! If you have not already understood, you will come to the realization if you are faithful to the reading of the Gospel that the object of our belief is not simply the words and ideas and values enunciated in the scriptures, but a person, Jesus Christ. Then you will be told teach what you believe; If the subject of our belief is the person Jesus Christ, then as St. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 2,2) this person Jesus Christ is whom we teach and Him crucified and Risen from the dead. The third injunction you will receive is; “practice what you teach!” In other words be another Christ, who spoke with authority because his life validated what he taught and because he spoke truth to Power, even when Power in the persons of the Pharisees and scribes and chief priests had the power to annihilate him, he was crucified with a crucifixion which brought freedom to those in slavery to sin. In this you have the example of St. John the Baptist, who was put into prison and lost his head for speaking Truth to Power. You have the example of so many martyrs who also spoke truth to power and paid with their lives for it. Never let power be stronger than Truth. . Never make compromises with power, in whatever form even when power has the potential to do you great harm. Then you will truly be a minister of the altar becoming yourself the bread sacrificed and broken for the sake of Truth (with a capital T) Jesus Christ himself. Dear brother, be another Christ letting your life validate whatever you say.
As another Christ let your life be one of gentleness and love, so that it can be said of you as it was said of Jesus, he did all things well. As a minister of charity, you are called to make the love of Christ present to all with whom you come into contact.
My dear brother, these three functions which you are called to fulfil must not simply be functions. They are to be expressions of your belief in the Lord Jesus who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. You will live these functions, (notice I said live and not fulfil) in the measure that you respond with total generosity to the call which you have received from God. Remember the words of Jesus to his disciples, “You did not call me. I called you and sent you so that you may bear fruit, fruit which will remain.”(John 15, 16) The fruit which Christ wants of you and for which he chose you is that through you the Love of God, Father Son and Spirit will be made manifest in this world, a love lived for us in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. In this enterprise you have the example of St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Congregation to which you belong and who often exhorted his followers to be saints and who followed Christ the redeemer so closely that they have become models for others. After being ordained as a priest, he himself Caring for the poor, wherever his journey took him, was the hallmark of his calling. St. Alphonsus realized he could no longer be comfortable in his role of popular preacher living apart from the poor. So, leaving his family and his dearest friends, he set out to dedicate himself completely to the service of the poor and most abandoned.
Within your Congregation you also have the examples of St. Clement Hofbauer, St. Gerard Majella St. John Neumann and Blessed Francis Seelos. Be a friend of these saintly men, know their lives, draw inspiration from them as you strive to be faithful to the Gospel and to the charism of your congregation.
Finally be a man of prayer, of deep and frequent prayer. Only in a life of intimacy with the Lord, following the examples of these saints of your congregation will you find the spiritual stamina to be faithful in good times and in bad.
May Mary Immaculate be with you always on this journey to which you pledge yourself today and may God bless you.