Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Caribbean Man: The Cardinal

Kelvin Edward Felix, was the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop of Castries. He was born in Roseau, Dominica on 15 February 1933.[1] He was ordained into the Catholic priesthood in 1956.[1]
Archbishop Kelvin Felix was born in Dominica on 15 February 1933. He was ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church on 8 April 1956. In 1962 he left the West Indies for St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, where he attained a Diploma in Adult Education in 1963, gained a Masters Degree from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in Sociology and Anthropology in 1967 and completed post graduate studies in Sociology at the University of Bradford in Yorkshire, England in 1970. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1986 from St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia.
Archbishop Felix was the Principal of the Roman Catholic High School in Dominica from 1972–1975 and Associate General Secretary of the Caribbean Conference of Churches from 1975–1981. He was ordained Archbishop on 5 October 1981 and served as President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference from 1991–1997 and President of the Caribbean Conference of Churches from 1981–1986. He is presently a member of the Roman Curia.
The Archbishop received the Honour of OBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1992, the Dominica Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service in 1999 from the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica. In 2002 he received the Medal of Honour (Gold) (SLMH) in the Order of St. Lucia for services to Religion from the Government of St. Lucia in respect of the 23rd anniversary of Independence. This medal of honour is awarded to a person who has rendered eminent service of national importance to Saint Lucia.
The Province of Castries, of which Archbishop Felix was the Metropolitan, includes St. George's-in-Grenada, Roseau, Dominica and St. John's-Basseterre, Antigua/St. Kitts. The Diocese of Kingstown was suffragan of the Archdiocese of Castries until 2011 when it was transferred to the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Port of Spain.
In addition to the administration of the Catholic Church in St. Lucia, Archbishop Felix was responsibile for 33 Primary Schools, 2 Secondary Schools, 1 girls' Vocational School, 2 homes for the elderly, one shelter for the homeless and an orphanage for young children.[2]
On 12 April 2006, Felix was attacked and grabbed on the neck by a man with a knife, as soon as he finished an evening sermon at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries. The man ran after Felix was aware of a sawing motion on his throat, and then pushed him backwards. News of the event made Saint Lucian natives reminiscent of a similar attack at the same Cathedral on New Year's Eve, 2000.[3]
As he approached his retirement age, Felix requested of the Vatican that a co-adjutor archbishop be appointed to ensure a mooth transition in the Archdiocese. On 19 July 2007 Bishop Robert Rivas of the Diocese of Kingstown as Co-adjutor Archbishop of the Diocese of Castries. His installation will be on 14 October 2007.[4]
Since his retirement, the Archbishop emeritus has moved back to Dominica where he assists in smaller parishes.
On 12 January 2014, Pope Francis announced that Felix was to be made cardinal on 22 February for his service to the church.[5]

Observations on the new Cardinals-elect

(Vatican Radio) In the wake of Pope Francis’ eagerly anticipated announcement of the names of the new Cardinals, the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, offered the following observations:

The Pope has adhered to the rule of 120 Cardinals under 80 years of age who will be eligible to vote in a papal election. Currently there were 13 seats “vacant”; 3 others will be “vacant” by the end of May. So the Pope has chosen 16 electors.

Of the 16 eligible to vote, 4 are members of the Curia (i.e., ¼ of the total) and 12 are residential archbishops or bishops, all from different countries .

The distribution of electors who are residential prelates is well distributed among the different continents: Two from Europe, three from North and Central America, three from South America, two from Africa, and two from Asia.

The choice of Cardinals of Burkina Faso and Haiti shows concern for people struck by poverty.

Two residential prelates were chosen from places not traditionally considered Cardinalatial Sees (namely, Perugia in Italy, and Cotabato on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines).

Among the Cardinals who are not electors, one should notice Archbishop Capovilla, the secretary of Pope John XXIII (who will soon be canonized during the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council).

Archbishop Capovilla, aged 98, is the oldest of the Cardinals-elect; the youngest, Bishop Langlois (55 years old).

First Cardinal of the English Specking Caribbean

2014-01-12 12:36:16 

Pope Francis announces names of new Cardinals

(Vatican Radio) After the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis announced the names of those who will be created Cardinals at the upcoming Consistory.

Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father’s announcement:

As was previously announced, on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, I will have the joy of holding a Consistory, during which I will name 16 new Cardinals, who, coming from 12 countries from every part of the world, represent the deep ecclesial relationship between the Church of Rome and the other Churches throughout the world. The following day [February 23] I will preside at a solemn concelebration with the new Cardinals, while on February 20 and 21 I will hold a Consistory with all the Cardinals to reflect on the theme of the family.

Here are the names of the new Cardinals:

1. Pietro Parolin, Titular Archbishop of Acquapendente, Secretary of State

2. Lorenzo Baldisseri, Titular Archbishop of Diocleziana, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

3. Gerhard Ludwig Műller, Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Regensburg, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

4. Beniamino Stella, Titular Archbishop of Midila, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

5. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster (Great Britain).

6. Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of Managua (Nicaragua).

7. Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec (Canada).

8. Jean-Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan (Ivory Coast).

9. Orani João Tempesta, O.Cist., Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

10. Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve (Italy).

11. Mario Aurelio Poli, Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina).

12. Andrew Yeom Soo jung, Archbishop of Seoul (Korea).

13. Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Archbishop of Santiago del Cile (Chile).

14. Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

15. Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., Archbishop of Cotabato (Philippines).

16. Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes (Haïti).

Together with them, I will join to the Members of the College of Cardinals three Archbishops emeriti distinguished for their service to the Holy See and to the Church.

They are:

1. Loris Francesco Capovilla, Titular Archbishop of Mesembria.

2. Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, C.M.F., Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona.

3. Kelvin Edward Felix, Archbishop emeritus of Castries.

Let us pray for the new Cardinals, that vested in the virtues and the sentiments of the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, they might be able to help more effectively the Bishop of Rome in his service to the universal Church. 
Cardinal Elect Kelvin Edward Felix, Archbishop emeritus of Castries. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


By Lara Pickford-Gordon

The people of St Lucia are “coming back to normal so far as normal can be”, said Archbishop of Castries Robert Rivas after a trough system left devastation and death behind on Christmas Eve.

Canaries RC Primary School in the aftermath of the flood waters. Photo Archbishop Robert Rivas
Canaries RC Primary School in the aftermath of the flood waters. Photo Archbishop Robert Rivas
These vehicles were tossed aside by the flood waters. Photo courtesy Trinidad Express
Canaries RC Primary School in the aftermath of the flood waters. Photo Archbishop Robert RivasThese vehicles were tossed aside by the flood waters. Photo courtesy Trinidad Express
Residents begin cleanup efforts. Photo courtesy Trinidad Express
Residents begin cleanup efforts. Photo courtesy Trinidad Express
Archbishop Robert Rivas comforts a bed-ridden resident of Anse La Raye, one of the affected communities.
Archbishop Robert Rivas comforts a bed-ridden resident of Anse La Raye, one of the affected communities.
Six persons were killed in St Lucia. Anse La Raye and Canaries in the West, Vieux Fort in the South and Bexon in the East were among the areas hardest hit.

The weather system also severely affected St Vincent where nine people were killed and three have been listed as missing.

In St Lucia, torrential showers caused rivers to overflow their banks and invade or wash away homes. Roads and bridges were destroyed or badly damaged. Access was cut off to some communities. Several residents were left without potable water and electricity.

These vehicles were tossed aside by the flood waters. Photo courtesy Trinidad ExpressThe traditional Christmas Eve Night Mass was cancelled across the diocese. Archbishop Rivas said it was the first time in 42 years as priest he did not celebrate the Christmas Eve Mass.

While St Lucia usually has some rain during December, last month's downpour was extraordinary. Archbishop Rivas reported that some elderly people said “they have never experienced anything like this.”

In a telephone interview with the Catholic News last Monday Archbishop Rivas said, “Right now people are beginning to pick themselves up after the devastation of Christmas Eve.”

This was evident at the Feast of the Holy Family Mass last Sunday which he celebrated at the Church of the Holy Family in Jacmel. Archbishop Rivas said there were 30 children present who made their First Communion. While there was no pipe-borne water anywhere, the children “were spotlessly dressed. The girls were in their nice dresses and boys in their little suits”. He saw that as indicative of the resilience of the people and the "hope they have through their faith. They did not give up. They did not cancel the First Communion. I think that will help families deal with the challenge of disaster and stress they are experiencing”.

He said he saw the havoc caused by the rainfall in a visit to the parishes. At Anse La Raye, according to the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), 95 per cent of the 4,000 population were affected, the archbishop said.

“The river rose and broke its banks and affected all communities at that level in the villages – a lot of simple, humble homes, which means the poor are suffering,” he said.

Archbishop Rivas said it was difficult seeing what had happened to elderly persons. They showed him the state of their bedrooms; there was as much as five feet of water in some homes.

Archbishop Rivas said he saw homes in Canaries where there was mud all around. He was concerned that with water settling there could be a mosquito problem. Another impending health issue was the overflow of outhouses. “People in the Ministry of Health are taking that seriously,” he said.
Archbishop Robert Rivas comforts a bed-ridden resident of Anse La Raye, one of the affected communities.
Two Catholic primary schools in Canaries were flooded. “The story is just mud, mud, silt and damage.”

The Church has offered the St Anthony’s church to the Education Ministry for use when school resumes, and has been assisting NEMO with relief supplies, including clothing, hand soap, all-purpose cleaners and personal hygiene kits. The archbishop said mattresses and bottled water were needed.

Bishop Jason Gordon of the diocese of Kingstown said the rainfall was some of the heaviest he had ever seen and heard in his life and there was a period of non-stop lightning. “This thing came upon us without any warning,” he said.

It caused some of the worst flood damage in years. On Christmas Eve night Bishop Gordon cancelled Mass because the road in front of the St Mary’s Cathedral of the Assumption in Kingstown was “like a river”.

On Christmas Day members of the youth group and other parishioners were out to clear the forecourt, garage and presbytery of mud. Due to the work which had to be done, Mass did not take place at the scheduled 8 a.m. but at 10.15 a.m.

Bishop Gordon said some parishioners were reluctant to attend because they felt they were not appropriately dressed but he encouraged them to come in.

“It was a very powerful Mass in the midst of tragedy,” he said. Bishop Gordon visited Buccament Bay, which was one of the most affected areas of St Vincent. While there he spoke to persons who lost homes and loved ones and were being housed at a community school which was converted to a shelter. He said the “initial” response from the diocese was to get food, bedding and clothing for these persons.

The “second level” of response, Bishop Gordon said, was to arrange trauma counselling. He was not able to visit Chateaubelair, which was also affected, because the road was damaged.

“People were really caught out. People lost homes, were trapped, nearly died. There was quite a bit of trauma. In the midst of that was an incredible resilience,” he said.

The Dominica Government has reported EC$45 million worth of damage to infrastructure and homes. Bishop of Roseau Gabriel Malzaire said there were no reports of damage to any churches in Dominica and no loss of life.

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Port of Spain Joseph Harris has appealed for the T&T faithful to support the relief efforts in any way possible.

The Catholic Youth Commission (CYC) is mobilising support for St Lucians through its counterpart there. Episcopal Delegate for Youth Winston Garcia said the CYC contacted a supplier of mattresses and was able to get a good deal on mattresses. He is appealing to all parishes, prayer groups, diocesan groups and religious to assist by each purchasing five mattresses. The target is $86,000.

Funds can be donated to the Catholic Youth Commission Project –Republic Bank account number 560 176 620 701. For accountability, deposit slips must state St Lucia Relief, and a faxed copy sent to the Commission’s office at 625-0702.

Garcia said donations needed to be quickly collected so the supplier could be paid and a shipment made ready for a boat commissioned by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management which sails from Trinidad on Tuesday.

Persons seeking more information can contact Garcia at 685-0321 or email .