Translate

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Matthew Ragbir: A Rare Privilege

 
    
 
Serving in Rome     Trinidadian Matthew Ragbir of Living Water Community, who is studying in Rome and preparing for the priesthood, was among those chosen to serve at the opening Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, celebrated at St Peter’s Basilica. In photos, Ragbir greets Pope Francis before the Mass and stands with other torch-bearers during the Eucharistic Prayer. He also carried the procession crucifix.
Serving in Rome
Trinidadian Matthew Ragbir of Living Water Community, who is studying in Rome and preparing for the priesthood, was among those chosen to serve at the opening Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, celebrated at St Peter’s Basilica. In photo, Ragbir greets Pope Francis before the Mass
Trinidadian Matthew Ragbir had the privilege of carrying the processional crucifix and serving alongside seminarians from Eastern and Western Churches at last Sunday’s opening Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in Rome.
And, he had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis.
“Meeting the Holy Father, or baciamano as it is commonly called here in Rome, was an amazing personal experience. It was like meeting a father who in those few moments devotes all his attention to you, looks you in the eyes, and smiles. It was an experience of deep joy.”
Ragbir, 31, is a Brother of the Living Water Community and is studying in Rome. He recently received the ministries of Lector and Acolyte from Archbishop Joseph Harris in preparation for diaconate and priestly ordination.
Describing his brief encounter with the Pope, Ragbir said: “His humility and joy were very striking. I had prepared two sentences in Italian to say to him but in the moment I simply said in Italian: ‘Thank you for everything’.”
Ragbir is an assistant at the Synod, which is in its second week. When people ask where he’s from, he said he is “very happy to say Trinidad and Tobago and to also share about the life of the Church at home, about my Community and my family”. Ragbir noted that it was a privilege to participate in an Extraordinary Synod “on a topic in which I am doing a specialisation in theology, namely marriage and the family”. The Synod ends next Sunday with a closing Mass.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Patron Saint of Novies and Formators: Louis Bertrand

 

Louis Bertrand
  • Saint Louis Bertrand, O.P. was a Spanish Dominican who preached in South America during th…
    Saint Louis Bertrand, O.P. was a Spanish Dominican who preached in South America during the 16th century, and is known as the "apostle of the Americas". He is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church
  • Born: 01 Jan 1526 · Valencia, Spain
  • Died: 09 Oct 1581

Timeline

1539: At an early age he conceived the idea of becoming a Dominican Friar, and despite the efforts of his father to dissuade him, was clothed with the Dominican habit in the Convent of St. Dominic, Valencia on 26 A…
1547: In 1547 he was ordained to the priesthood by the Archbishop of Valencia, Saint Thomas of Villanova.
1557: When the plague broke out in Valencia in 1557 he devoted himself to the sick and dying; the dead he prepared for burial and interred with his own hands.
1562: Receiving permission he sailed for America in 1562, and landed at Cartagena, where he immediately entered upon the career of a missionary.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sharing the joy of Collin’s first vows

  
      
By Alphie Skerrette, Couples for Christ (CFC)
Holy Trinity Parish, Arouca came alive on Saturday September 6, when Collin Victor Jackson made his first vows as a member of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans). One could sense it was a special and sacred occasion, as the joy shared was palpable and communal.
Bro Collin (second from left) at the altar for the signing of his commitment documents.
Collin (second from left) at the altar for the signing of his commitment documents.
Collin receives a congratulatory gift from CFC national director, Dr Neil Peters.
Collin receives a congratulatory gift from CFC national director, Dr Neil Peters.
Collin, originally from Sangre Grande, was a member of the Singles for Christ (SFC) ministry of the CFC family of ministries. He has been resident in Arouca for the past few years as he studies for the priesthood as a member of the Holy Ghost Fathers.
I could clearly see the pride and sense of accomplishment in the faces of those gathered for the ceremony, while simultaneously I felt the welling up of emotions when I saw Collin stand and in his usual confident voice, commit himself to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience.
To me, there was a very powerful statement being made in the choice made by this talented young man, given the varied options available and favoured in today's worldly environment by so many of our capable young men and women.
What was obvious and very satisfying to me, was the wide range of groups of diverse people who felt an affinity to Collin and a common ownership of him.
In addition to his biological parents and family, Collin had gathered around him over his years of formation a formidable team of uncles and "tanties”.
Confirmation of this was seen in the presence of groups like CFC, members of the Sangre Grande and Arouca youth ministries, catechists, Confirmation candidates whose lives he had touched over the years, and the strong presence of religious sisters. This speaks to the unifying personality of our beloved brother.
Even Archbishop Joseph Harris did not escape the touch of Collin’s charm, so much so, that he ensured that the crucifix with which Collin was presented was his very own, which some would say he had since ‘king hatchet’ was a hammer.
In his reflection during Mass, Provincial of the Holy Ghost Fathers, Fr Gregory Augustine, threw out a challenge.
Commenting on Jesus' disciples eating ears of corn on the Sabbath, he invited the Church’s faithful and Collin to dare to do something different, even something forbidden, in taking the Gospel's message to the nation.
Such a challenge could not have been thrown out to a more fitting person, for Collin has shown himself quite willing, even at the risk of running afoul of the status quo, to make his mark wherever he is planted. He has opted to enter the teaching profession at Fatima College.
While experiencing the pride and joy of Collin’s first religious vows, one important thing this event brought home to me, was the need for us to reexamine the quality of the contribution that we are called to make to our Church.
When Fr Augustine at the end of Mass instructed us to go in peace, it hit me quite forcibly that our responsibility to Collin’s formation did not end there.
We can no longer afford to allow our religious sisters, brothers and priests to live out their vocation apart from the community.
The Christian life, and perhaps moreso the priestly life, should be lived out within and as part of a community of love, support, faith and unity. Let us pledge to Collin our continued prayers, support, service and love.

Former Prioress at Rosary monastery dies

 
 
 
Sr Mary Gabriel Quesnel OP at her diamond jubilee celebration. Photo: Desmond Durham
Sr Mary Gabriel Quesnel OP at her diamond jubilee celebration. Photo: Desmond Durham
Former Prioress of the Rosary Monastery, St Ann’s, Sr Mary Gabriel Quesnel OP has died. She was 84 years old.
Her sudden passing after 4 a.m. last Wednesday was a shock for the nuns of the monastery since she had not been ailing. Current Prioress, Sr Ann Bradshaw OP said Sr Mary entered the monastery at the age of 17 years.
“Her contribution was immense. She was prioress for a number of years. She was one person who gave her all to the community. She loved her sisters,” said Sr Ann. In October 2008, Sr Mary celebrated her diamond jubilee as a religious. Her funeral Mass will be held at the monastery's chapel on Monday from 10 a.m