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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]

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