Sunday, February 17, 2013

There is a New Deacon in Town form the West of Trinidad.

The pictures of newly ordained deacon Rev. Matthew Martinez OP. The ordination was officiated by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin. The Irish Dominican friars here in Trinidad and Tobago rejoice over this our brother on reching thus far. He was ordained to the diaconate in Saint Saviour's Dominican church, Dominick Street in Dublin. The ordaining prelate was Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. Our brothers were joined by many friars of the province, families and friends, representatives of the Dominican family in Ireland and local parishioners from the Dominick Street area to witness the joyful liturgy.

These are some pictures of the diaconate ordination of  ReCongartulations.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Prayer as Sanity and Balance

Our generative years are a marathon, not a sprint, and so it's difficult to sustain graciousness, generosity, and patience through the tiredness, trials, and temptations that beset us through the years of our adult lives. All on our own, relying on willpower alone, we too often fatigue, get worn down, and compromise both our maturity and our discipleship. We need help from beyond, from somewhere even beyond the human supports that help bolster us. We need God's help, strength from something beyond what's human. We need prayer.

But too often we think of this in pious rather than realistic terms. Rarely do we grasp how much prayer is really a question of life and death for us. We need to pray not because God needs us to pray but because if we don't pray we will never find any steadiness in our lives. Simply put, without prayer we will always be either too full of ourselves or too empty of energy, inflated or depressed. Why? What's the anatomy of this?

Prayer, as it is understood in all its best traditions, Christian and other, is meant to do two things for us, both at the same time: Prayer is meant to connect us to divine energy, even as it makes us aware that this energy is not our own, that it comes from elsewhere, and that we may never identify with it. Genuine prayer, in effect, fills us with divine energy and tells us at the same time that this energy isn't our own; that it works through us, but that it's not us. To be healthy, we need both: If we lose connection to divine energy we drain of energy, depress, and feel empty. Conversely if we let divine energy flow into us but identify with it, somehow thinking that it is our own, we become grandiose, inflate with self-importance and arrogance, and become selfish and destructive. 

Robert Moore offers a very helpful image to illustrate this, that of a small fighter-plane having to fuel-up inflight. We have all seen video footage of a small fighter-jet fueling-up while still in the air. Hovering above it is a mother-plane with a huge reserve of fuel. The little plane has to fly close enough to the mother-plane so that a nozzle from the mother-plane can connect with it so as to refill its fuel tank. If it doesn't make this type of contact it runs out of fuel and soon crashes. Conversely, if it flies into the mother-plane, identifies with it, it goes up in flames.

Few images capture as astutely the importance of prayer in our lives. Without prayer, we will forever find ourselves vacillating between being too empty of energy or too full of ourselves. If we do not connect with divine energy we will run out of gas. If we do connect with divine energy but identify with it, we will destroy ourselves.

Deep prayer is what energizes us and grounds us, both at the same time. We see this, for example, in a person like Mother Teresa, who was bursting with creative energy but was always very clear that this energy did not come from her, but from God, and she was merely a humble human instrument. Lack of real prayer makes for two kinds of antithesis to Mother Teresa: On the one hand, it makes for a wonderfully talented and energetic man or woman who is full of creative energy, but is also full of grandiosity and ego; or, on the other hand, it makes for a man or woman who feels empty and flat and cannot radiate any positive energy. Without prayer we will forever be bouncing back and forth between grandiosity and depression.

Thus, unless I have real prayer in your life, if I'm sensitive, I will more than likely live inside a certain habitual depression, afraid that really accessing my energies and acting on them would lead others to think I'm full of myself. Since my sensitivity won't allow that, I entomb many of my best energies on the unconscious premise that it's better to be depressed than be accused of being an egoistic. But Jesus, himself, in his parable of the talents, warns us strongly about the price that's to be paid for burying one's talents, namely, emptiness, anger, and lack of delight in our lives. Often times, if we check beneath our angers and jealousies, we will find there a buried talent that's bitter because it has been suppressed. Virtue at the cost of suppressing our energies leads to bitterness.

Conversely, if I don't care if people think me an egotist and I don't have real prayer in my life, I will let the divine energies flow freely through me, but I will identify with them as if they were my own, my talents, my gifts, and I will end up full of ego and grandiosity, with those around me wishing I was depressed!
Without prayer we will always be either too empty of energy or too full of ourselves.
By RON ROLHEISER, OMI Speaker, Columnist and Author

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pope’s resignation reminds us that office is not essentially about power and the exercise of authority, but rather about ministry and service: AEC - Feb 11

Following is the statement issued by Archbishop Patrick Pinder of Nassau, Bahamas, the president of the Antilles Episcopal Conference, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The people of our region, like Catholics around the world, are surprised to learn of the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to renounce the office of Bishop of Rome. Surely a Pope can resign, but it has not happened in centuries.

We the Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference greet this news with some degree of sadness. We have fond memories of our group and individual meetings with him during our last "ad limina" visit in 2008.

His warm and serene personality, his profound erudition coupled with his gift for clarity and simplicity of expression and his gentle character all endeared him to us.

We understand the basis of his decision, namely his declining physical health. Indeed his less than agile gait has been apparent for some time.

The decision of Benedict XVI is one of great courage. It is also a profound lesson to is all. It reminds us most forcefully that office in the Church, even the highest office, is not essentially about power and the exercise of authority. Rather it is essentially about ministry and service. We give praise and thanks to God for the petrine ministry of Benedict XVI.

As we now continue our journey through the Year of Faith and as we begin our lenten journey, let us pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Let pray that the Holy Spirit continue to guide and inspire the Church as we prepare for the election of the next Successor of St. Peter. Like Benedict XVI may he shepherd us wisdom, courage and humility.

Most. Reverend Patrick C. Pinder

Archbishop of Nassau

President, Antilles Episcopal Conference

Ash Wednesday & Lent in Two Minutes


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bro. Martinez OP to be Ordained Transitional Deacon

Bro. Matthew Martinez O.P. of the Irish Vicariate of Trinidad and Tobago will be ordained a transitional deacon in the studentate the covent of  Dominican Community St. Saviour's, Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1 Ireland, on 16th February, 2013. Our prayers are with you Bro. Matthew.

Friday, February 8, 2013


In 1887, J.H Collens described the unrest of the Carnival of 1881 thus:

“The two days immediately preceding Ash Wedne...sday are, as in most Roman Catholic countries, devoted to King Carnival. Business is partially, if not altogether, suspended ; masquerading and tomfoolery generally being the order of the day. The better class of Spaniards dress themselves in fantastic costumes and ride or drive about visiting their friends, showering small confitures upon them. The custom is gradually dying out, and of late years it has degenerated into the lowest form of buffoonery ; vulgarity and thinly-disguised obscenity being rather the rule than the exception. The roughs, rowdies, and diametres take advantage of the privilege of masking, and indulge in coarse ribaldry, till the police finally take them temporarily under their wing. These orgies used to begin with ' Canboulay.' Bands of ruffians armed with staves, calling themselves Bakers, Freegrammars, etc., each set having their leader, paraded the town of Port-of-Spain at midnight on the Sunday and fought each other,

annoyed the peaceably disposed, and even defied the police on occasions, if the latter presumed to interfere with them. Things got to such a pitch at last that the Government was compelled in the interests of Law and Order to put this down with a high hand. This caused some trouble at first, and not a little bitterness of feeling, but eventually Might, which for once was also Eight, prevailed, and the ' Canboulay ' as such has become a thing of the past. Peace he to its ashes !””

The Canboulay Riots only served to heighten the fever pitch of Carnival, for the Governor had reinstated the right of masqueraders to assemble in the streets of the capital after the unrest. By 1890, the street mas of downtown POS had become little more than a rabble, although the creativity of the chantwells (calypsonians) and the odd masquerade troupe could be lauded. The day of organized bands was still some years in the future but groups of poor people from the depressed barrack yards of East POS joined together to make merry in fine style. Using the materials at their disposal, they created colourful and jaunty costumes which mimicked the popular themes of the day. While the wealthy had Carnival dances and balls, the lower classes frolicked through the city in the wild abandon that is really the spirit of Trinidad Carnival. This photo from 1896 shows a typical street mas of the period.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in today's liturgy.
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the end of the Christmas season. The reformed calendar has designated that the Sunday after Epiphany, the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, is the end. This feast in the Ordinary Form is no longer referred to as the "Purification of Mary" but the "Presentation of the Lord". 

Order of Preachers Vocations: St. Thomas recommends the Dominican life - Part II...

Order of Preachers Vocations: St. Thomas recommends the Dominican life - Part II...: It has been a while since our last installment , in which we started to give the context of St. Thomas’s treatment of the religious life i...