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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.

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