Monday, January 28, 2013

Today is the Feast of Thomas Aquinas

This is the resting place of one of the greatest minds of the world Thomas Aquinas.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, giving advice to a priest on how to help young man in choosing a state of life, also mentions these two elements:

Let the confessor test well the vocation of his penitent, asking whether the penitent has some obstacle to it, due to incapacity, poor health, or the need of his parents. And let him especially weigh his purpose, to see if it is right, i.e., in order to unite himself more closely to God, or to amend the falls of his previous life, or to avoid the dangers of the world. But if the primary end is worldly—in order to lead a more agreeable life, or to free himself from relatives of an unfeeling character, or to please his parents, who push him to this—let him beware of permitting him to enter religious life. For in that case, it is not a true vocation, and entering in this way, without a true vocation, will have a bad outcome. But if the end is good, and no obstacle is present, then neither the confessor, nor anyone else, as St. Thomas teaches, (Quodlib. 3, art. 14), should or can without grave fault impede him, or attempt to dissuade him from the vocation.

Notice of the Funeral Mass of Fr. Henry Charles

FATHER HENRY CHARLES, who was appointed Chairman of the Integrity Commission onFriday by President George Maxwell Richards, carried on his duties as P...
Dear Fathers/Administrators/Religious
Further to our memo of January 15, 2013, advising of the death of Fr. Henry Charles, kindly note that the funeral Mass will be on Wednesday, 23rd January, 2013 at the Church of the Assumption,Maraval beginning at 9.30 a.m. followed by interment at Lapeyrouse Cemetery. His brother, Fr. Herbert Charles, will preside.
After interment, Priests and Religious are invited to return to the Assumption Church for refreshments. Kindly advise if you will be returning to the Assumption.
On Tuesday, 22nd January at 6.00 p.m. there will be a Vigil for Clergy and Religious only at Clark & Battoo Ltd., Tragarete Road, Port of Spain.
Thanks for your attention. Please acknowledge receipt. Regards and blessings,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prayer For Dominican Vocation

O Blessed Jordan worthy successor of Saint Dominic, in the early days of the Order, your example and Zeal prompted many young men and women to follow Christ in the Dominican way of life, as given to us by St. Dominic.

AS patron of Dominican vocation continue, we beg you, to stimulate talented young men and women to consecrate their lives to God. Through you  intercession, lead to the Order of Preachers generous and sacrificing youth, willing to give themselves fervenly to the apostolate of Truth.

Help our youth to prepare themselves to be worthy of the grace of a Dominican vocation. Inspire young hearts to become learned of God, that with firm determination they might aspire to be "champions of true lights of the world."


Blessed Jordan of Saxony, chosen patron of Dominican vocation, help me to obtain the wisdom to know God's plan for me. Through your powerful intercession, gain for me the grace to find and follow my God-given vocation.

Please, pray for me, that in God's providence, I, too, may be found worthy and willing to give myself in His service as a chosen apostle in the Dominican Family, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Death of our Dear Priest Fr. Henry Charles of the Port of Spain

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Death of our dear priest Fr. Henry Charles

I just learnt of the death of our dear priest Fr. Henry Charles who died of a heart attack today. Fr. Charles was the parish priest of St. Mary's Church in St. James, Trinidad. In addition to being a priest, Fr. Charles was a qualified lawyer, holding a law degree from the George Washington University in the United States (US) and an LLM from the University of London. He attended St Mary’s College, Port-of-Spain and won an island scholarship in languages. He took an honours degree in Classics from University College Dublin, followed by a master’s degree from the Gregorian University, Rome. He went on to do further graduate studies in the US, with a master’s in Ethics from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in Ethics from Yale Graduate School. He later taught ethics, theology and literature at the Regional Seminary in Trinidad, the University of the West Indies and at St Louis University, Missouri.
“My career has not been planned; I didn't set out to have all these degrees,” Charles said.


O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant, Fr. Henry Charles to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice, to bring the Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar, and to absolve the sins of men in Thine own Holy Name. We beseech Thee to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults, admitting him speedily into Thy Holy Presence, there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labors. This we ask through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

Rest  in peace Brother.

President Richards at CIC: Values are born in the home - Jan 13

Saturday, 12 January 2013 22:57 Children must be introduced to values in their homes so that doing the right thing would become the norm, President George Maxwell Richards told staff and students of St Mary’s College last Tuesday morning.
St Mary’s College principal Fr Ronald Mendes CSSp escorts President George Maxwell Richards to Centenary Hall as some of the college scouts salute the Commander-in-Chief.
St Mary’s College principal Fr Ronald Mendes CSSp escorts President George Maxwell Richards to Centenary Hall as some of the college scouts salute the Commander-in-Chief.
The students of St Mary’s sing the college song.Photos: Raymond Syms
The students of St Mary’s sing the college song. Photos: Raymond Syms
“Morals and ethics flow from values and therefore it is important that the value systems that are inculcated are those that will develop high moral standards and ethical behaviour. The first introduction to values systems occurs in the home. Other institutions have their influence but the critical incubator is the home.”
Speaking on the theme “Ethics, Morals and Values”, the President warned that if the right values were not taught at home, “it becomes difficult for a person to break out of the mould of all the negative behaviour that accompanies reaching for the wrong goals, with the wrong motives: money for the sake of power; power for the sake of influence and control; and a comfortable life without hard work and diligence”.
President Richards was invited to speak to the student body and staff as part of a series of year-long activities to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Holy Ghost Fathers to Trinidad & Tobago and the establishment of the college.
President Richards briefly traced the history of the college and touched on elements of college life, including the football rivalry with his alma mater, Queen’s Royal College, and the achievements of the St Mary’s scouts. He said the values instilled in students came “partly and significantly from the religious aspect of life at St Mary’s… Ethics, morals and values were taught not only by precept to be recited but also by example to be lived”.
He added that the challenge came after the student has left the school environment and has entered a world which promoted the idea that right was relative. “I believe that it comes down to responsibility” in using the free will that has been God-given, he remarked.
“We either yield to enticements of various sorts, including money, prestige and popularity, where nefarious intent can abound, or we take the long and sometimes lonely road towards achieving noble objectives that have, at their heart, being the best that we can be, while uplifting other members of the human family,” he said.
The President commented on the importance of laws, saying no country could function without them, but added that the threat of sanction should not be what inspired people to do the right thing.
“Doing right should be the norm,” President Richards said, “even when no one is watching. This way of life is nurtured by a consciousness of ethics, morals and values which are part of a set. And, while I have no doubt that since the fall human beings have not lived in a perfect world, it seems to me that, more than ever, these three pillars are under heavy siege.”
He lamented increasing reports of corruption, the disintegration of family life and the rise in human trafficking, saying “as far as some people are concerned, human life itself seems to have little value, except as a commodity to be traded.”
President Richards said the home, school, media, religious bodies, service organisations and role models all had a part to play in setting the right values, but the individual was responsible “for receiving or rejecting the guidance, admonition, correction, counsel and sanction given by parents and others in authority over them”.
He concluded his speech, saying, “Ethics, morals and values are informed by how we see life and our own purpose. Preoccupation with self can lead to decisions which sometimes call for dishonourable behaviour. On the other hand, taking a broader view and seeing oneself as part of a community inspires us to live with the wellbeing of a wider constituency in mind.”
Principal Fr Ronald Mendes welcomed the President, while vice principal Nigel Joseph gave the vote of thanks. Master of ceremonies Enrico Rajah, dean of Form Six, joked that he was “disappointed” that the President had attended QRC and invited him to St Mary’s upcoming all-inclusive Carnival fete.
Rajah led students in singing the college song before the President departed.
– Raymond Syms

‘Youth Army’ takes conference by storm - Jan 13

Saturday, 12 January 2013 23:03 By Racine Grant
“I am a soldier in the Army of the Lord!” That was the chant of the youth at the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) National Conference as they marched throughout the auditorium of St Augustine Secondary School last week Saturday.
Anika Johnson of Living Water Community offers a prayer for the youth during their presentation on Saturday.
Anika Johnson of Living Water Community offers a prayer for the youth during their presentation on Saturday.
The youth walk in the aisles during their presentation on Saturday.
The youth walk in the aisles during their presentation on Saturday.
The Youth Leg of the conference began at 9 a.m. that day and ran simultaneously with a talk delivered by Deborah de Rosia in the main auditorium and also the workshop portion of the morning. The young conference participants, who ranged from seven to 25 years, were invited to congregate in a separate room for the session.
The youth segment, based on the conference theme “I have appointed you sentry to the nations,” commenced with a talk by Fr Trevor Nathasingh, who related the story of his conversion to Roman Catholicism and his vocation to the priesthood. He urged the youth to pray for a desire to know and love Jesus Christ and for Sunday Mass to become a life-changing experience.
Referencing the scripture passage John 10: 10, Fr Nathasingh likened the challenges facing today’s youth, for example sex and drugs, to a thief that came in the night to destroy. He told them that seeking the Kingdom of Heaven and making Jesus Christ the top priority in their lives was the key to enjoying the abundant life promised to all by God. In addition, he said the Church’s youth should strive to become healthy and educated young Catholics, deeply rooted in spirituality, and with the aim of being living witnesses in the world.
On the heels of Fr Nathasingh’s talk, a member of the laity – Henry Charles – took a different spin on the role of youth in society. Charles noted that the youth were mostly seen in a negative light, even though there were many who made positive contributions to the nation. He defined the concept of a sentry to the young participants, taking time to ensure they understood the responsibility ahead of them.
The youth were then divided into two groups for an interactive session: those 13 years and under assembled in a separate room under the supervision of Charles’ wife Madgerie, while those 14-25 years were broken up further into two groups and remained with Charles. The exercise entailed the youth responding to questions concerning the role of a sentry and how the Church, the Government and society could help young Catholics become sentries to the nation.
The interactive session concluded with the groups sharing the fruits of their various discussions. Charles remarked that the responses were very impressive and profound, and that it was good for the youth to have outlets where they could enter into open discussion about issues relating to their faith and the Church. He also affirmed the youth as sentries by stating that they were best positioned to carry out the revival and transformation within the Church – and recalled the role of young David in the battle against Goliath.
Before the youth segment ended, Fr Nathasingh laid hands upon each youth participant and prayed for God’s anointing on the Church’s potential sentries.
Having been inspired by the activities of the morning, the youth made a powerful presentation to the general audience during the post-lunch segment. Assembling on the stage in a manner similar to a platoon of soldiers, several of the youth presented passionately on what had been discussed during their morning session – and were greeted by thunderous applause from the audience.
The young Catholics then proceeded to march throughout the auditorium, gathering others as they went, while singing “Marching in the light of God.” They ended by congregating in front of the stage and CCR chairperson Deborah de Rosia requested the crowd to join her in praying for them. The youth then marched off singing “These Jericho Walls.”

Church gets new deacon …shaped through experience of the ‘cross’ - Jan 13

Rev Simon RostantA month shy of what might have been his third anniversary of ordination to the permanent diaconate – had he not fallen ill, retired Catholic school principal Simon Rostant (IN PHOTO) received Holy Orders last Sunday afternoon at Sacred Heart Church, Gasparillo.
Expressing his appreciation at the end of the Ordination Mass, Rostant thanked God, family, the parish community and all who supported him during “my extended journey”.
That extended journey to ordination was as a result of a stroke he suffered on November 21, 2009, which prevented him from being ordained as planned on February 6, 2010 as one of the archdiocese’s first permanent deacons.

Rev Simon Rostant is vested by wife Paula and daughter Alyssa. Looking on at right is his brother Lambert Bourne.
Rev Simon Rostant is vested by wife Paula and daughter Alyssa. Looking on at right is his brother Lambert Bourne.
Archbishop Joseph Harris lays hands on Rev Simon Rostant. Looking on are Reverends Derek Walcott and Dennis Bryan.
Archbishop Joseph Harris lays hands on Rev Simon Rostant. Looking on are Reverends Derek Walcott and Dennis Bryan.
Rev Simon Rostant, a former principal of Presentation College, Chaguanas, is congratulated by former Presentation Brother and principal of Presentation College, San Fernando, Michael Samuel. Rostant also served as principal of the San Fernando school for a short stint.
Rev Simon Rostant, a former principal of Presentation College, Chaguanas, is congratulated by former Presentation Brother and principal of Presentation College, San Fernando, Michael Samuel. Rostant also served as principal of the San Fernando school for a short stint.
Rev Simon Rostant with Archbishop Joseph Harris and other permanent deacons. Photos: Raymond Syms
Rev Simon Rostant with Archbishop Joseph Harris and other permanent deacons. Photos: Raymond Syms
Rev Rostant made special mention of the medical personnel, some of whom were present, who had helped him recover.
In his homily, chief celebrant Archbishop Joseph Harris said God, in his wisdom and for his purposes, had decided on another two years of formation for Rostant, “this time not books or intellectual pursuits but the formation gained through the self-emptying which any cross entails”.
He said, “This was a cross which was not only physical. It was a cross which entailed seeing all the other candidates achieve the goal which he could not achieve because of his illness. It was a cross which entailed, like that of Christ, leaving oneself completely in the hands of a Father whom we know to be loving but who appeared to be absent.”
“Simon, my brother,” the archbishop continued, “the experience of the cross which you have undergone must have prepared you to be a better minister for someone who needs the understanding care and concern that only the experience of the cross can give.”
Focusing on the Feast of the Epiphany being commemorated in the Church last Sunday, Archbishop Harris said that Gospel story taught “a great and important truth”: that God was an inclusive God and all peoples were called “to share in the salvation which God offers to the world”.
He said the disciples of Christ were called to make “the inclusivity of God our own” and challenged Rostant to make himself always available, “to proclaim by your words and your life, the message of the Epiphany… In this divided nation of ours, divided politically, ethnically, socially and financially, your life must proclaim to all the inclusivity of Christ, who was lifted up on high so that all might be saved.”
He said many men and women have lived this inclusivity of Christ, among them the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin, whom many considered “the true father of this nation”; Fr English, who founded the first credit union in T&T; Blessed Mother Teresa; the founders of teaching orders who educated those who otherwise would not be educated; and the founders of religious institutes dedicated to health care, who lived this inclusivity by looking after the sick and dying.
“To celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, God’s self-revelation to the whole world, and to live its message is to commit oneself to bringing the experience of God, who is love, to every single human being we meet. It commits us to being inclusive. That, my dear brother, is the commitment that you accept today. Your diaconate ordination commits you to being a minister of God’s inclusivity in this Archdiocese of Port of Spain.”
“May your availability to the Father facilitate the self-revelation of God to many in our land to take place,” Archbishop Harris ended, after placing Rostant under the care and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Vicar General Msgr Robert Llanos, Vicar for Clergy Fr Clyde Harvey, neighbouring Marabella/Pointe-a-Pierre parish priest and animator Msgr Michael de Verteuil, Chaguanas parish priest and Vicar for the Central Vicariate Fr Christopher Lumsden, Scarborough parish priest Fr Steve Duncan, Tortuga/Gasparillo parish priest Fr Alan Hall, and Fr Dwight Black OP concelebrated the Mass.
Permanent deacons Narine, Laurence, Toussaint, Mathura, Bryan, Walcott, Raghunanan, Moore, Woodruffe, Smith, de Verteuil (K), Supersad, Joab and Sylvester were present. So too was Guyana-born Rev Mike James, general secretary of the Antilles Episcopal Conference.
Rostant was vested with his stole and dalmatic by second wife Paula and daughter Alyssa, one of his three children from his first marriage. Rostant’s first wife, Margaret, died in 1994. His two other children, Elize and Kamara, sat in the front pew near his step-daughter Jiselle. His brothers, Albert Rostant and Lambert Bourne, also witnessed the ordination rite with other relatives, friends and parishioners from various communities.
The ordination rite, which included the presentation of the Book of Gospels, ended with Rostant receiving a fraternal embrace of peace from the archbishop, and then from his brother deacons. Rev Rostant was all smiles as he was introduced to the congregation by the archbishop as the archdiocese’s newest permanent deacon.
Before the final blessing, Archbishop Harris was presented with a large basket of fruit, while former parish priest Fr Duncan presented Rostant with new vestments on behalf of the parish community. Fr Duncan, who had nominated Rostant as a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate Programme, asked the parish community to continue “rallying” in prayer around him as he began his life as a permanent deacon.
Rostant thanked wife Paula for standing by him through “the most difficult moments” and pledged “to work in and for harmony with our Archbishop and all priests and authority, to fulfil the mission of Christ in our Archdiocese and our world”.
Parishioners shared in refreshments after the Mass, while the clergy joined the Rostant family for dinner.
– Raymond Syms

Full text of the Archbishop’s homily is online: