Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A TVY Experience at WYD 2011 - Part 1

I, Maria Pantin, was invited to spend two and a half weeks with a group of 8 boys and two ladies of whom I have occasionally interacted with since my moving to St. Joseph and my involvement with the parish church two years ago. My interaction with the youth group Tomorrow’s Vibrant Youth and its leaders Sr. Sandra Xavier and Mrs. Maureen Clapperton became more intense weeks prior to our intended departure. These interactions basically dealt with cake sales, and the overall organizational processes in getting things completed before the actual trip.  Being the Communications Officer of St. Joseph Parish and a part of the Catholic media, specifically Trinity Communications Network, I knew that upon my return to Trinidad I had my work cut out for me, I would have to give the parish the good news on how these young boys specifically, Andrew Lall, Chike Hernandez, Larry Seelal,  Ato Benjamin,  Shane Harricharan, Josh Harricharan, Jabari Bajnauth and Jeremy Williams, all between the ages of eleven to sixteen dealt with, overcame and enjoyed their first World Youth Day pilgrimage in Espana.

A mixture of  both excitement and anxiety was very evident on the faces of parents as they released their young children into the charge of guardians at Piarco. It was to be truly an experience of a lifetime, where deep spiritual development and a cultural exchange could be thought and learnt.  After a quick photo session and a hustle though the thorough security gates, Sr. Sandra grounded the rules and reemphasised her power of authority. As firm as it may have seemed it was all for their own good as they had to learn and understand that she and Aunty Maureen were fully responsible for them.  In the end she softened it a bit by stating that for this trip, she will be adopting the role as their mummies and daddies, basically if they had any concerns they could come directly to them.  This was a rule that played a vital role throughout the trip in both good times and bad.

The following day I would be separated from the youth group, due to our differences in schedules, only to return with a bus load of our Caribbean neighbours, Jamaicans and Venezuelans a day later. When I arrived at our destination I found everyone was settled in a large stadium in Torledo. The women had to be separated from the boys who were housed in a building on the same compound. However, that little situation was sorted by Sr. Sandra who elected both Andrew and Chike to act as leaders in her place while the boys occupied the dorm. However, every night she visited TVY to ensure that they were comfortable and together. Given that the first three days were considered ‘free days’ (those are days without any set activities) the boys made the most of it. They engaged in football, interacted with the wider Trinidadian community and even took the time to do some shopping for their friends and loved ones.  Although they were miles from home, their families and friends remained close at heart as they purchased tiny items from what little spending money that they had to ensure that mummy and daddy received a small memento of Spain.
Aside from the shopping these young lads, explored the dry countryside, given that we had arrived in the midst of summer, and came to fully appreciate the spectacular views that Torledo afforded them.

Apart from the prayers and worship with the Trinidad contingent, both Sister Sandra and Aunty Maureen ensured that TVY prayed as a group. Being a Dominican Sister, Sister often read excerpts from a Dominican book ensuring that all of us appreciated aspects of Dominican Spirituality. Daily Sister reminded TVY to pray for all the parishioners of St. Joseph, Fr. Ferdi, Fr. Karol and their parents. This was particularly evident when we visited the churches and Holy sites in later days to come. Some of the boys had written petitions from St. Joseph parishioners which they offered up at masses. Sister also emphasised the need for silent prayer which the boys appreciated. They adhered to this request and they sat in private places in the various churches and prayed. During the course of our journey, when things got tough sister encouraged the boys to prayerfully reflect on their purpose in Spain and to accept things humbly and lovingly while holding on to each other. Both Aunty Maureen and Sister were very determined in leading the boys into a deeper relationship with Christ, thus, they were often undeterred by disappointments and difficulties.

As the fourth and final day came to a close, we were sent off in a farewell service in the parish church, in a very carnivalesque manner which reflected our very rich Trinidadian and Caribbean flamboyant culture. 

After this spectacular celebration we were quickly shuttled off to Mocejon where we were to meet our host families. Here in this small town a new adventure would begin and more favourable memories would be formed. 

Sunday, 21 August 2011

New Dominicans

Yesterday, in our priory in Warszawa took place of the vestment of the new brothers. Sixteen young men decided to enter our Order and begin their novitiate, life in the Order. At the beginning of this time they took off their jackets and ties - earthy clothes and were vested in the habit, a sign of their consecration and new life – only for Christ from now on. May God bless, our Mather protect them and St Dominic support them by his prayers!

more photos from this and other events can be found here:

St. Joseph

Today we present you another representation of St. Joseph. This time it is a modern icon.
The question for all of you: why St Joseph has in his hand two white doves? 

Saturday, 13 August 2011

About Dominican Life

We are pleased to present you a short film or rather a collection of some photos about the life of Dominican Students (a stge of life in the Order) from Krakow. We can add also that Fr. Karol used to live this kind of life.

St Joseph for today

Each Sunday we would like to present you one picture/image/icon of St Joseph, the Saint Patron of our community and town. Doing so, we do not intend to walk through the history of art only, but we will try to present you different, charactersistics, aspects, interpretations of the personality of this great Saint in order to know him better.

/author unknown for us/

St. Joseph pray for us!

Friday, 12 August 2011

New Translation of the Roman Missal

As you know we prepare ourselves for introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal. For us it is an opportunity to review and refresh our celebration of the liturgy.

The goal of the every reform of the liturgy (it is a very bad expression) was and is to make it more sacramental – helpful for us in the entering the mystery of God’s life. So think, that by the process of introduction of the new translation of the missal we are invited to enter deeper the liturgy of the Church … by knowing more about the language, the code of the liturgy.

So here are some internet sites (the list is not complete) that should be helpful in learning more about the liturgy and the new English Translation of the Roman Missal.

I.                    Liturgical Sites – general

4.       Ratzinger J., The Spirit of the Liturgy, search in google.books.com

5.       E. Schillebeeckx, Christ, the sacrament of the encounter with God, search in google.books.com

6.       R. Guardini, The Spirit of the Liturgy, search in google.books.com

II.                  Documents of the Church

1.       Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1076 – 1209.

III.                New Translation of the Roman Missal

Saturday, 6 August 2011

An Interview With Fr. Karol

A miracle! That is probably the best way to describe Fr. Karol Wojciech Tomasz Wielgosz’s entrance into this world. Before he was born, his mother Krysyna was given the devastating news that it would be almost certain that her child will not be born alive because of various complications to his health. But her ultimate faith in God led her on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine - Jasna Gora in Poland where, during the mass celebrated by the late Pope John Paul II, she dedicated her son’s life to the Blessed Virgin Mary should he survive the pregnancy.  However, this was not revealed to Fr. Karol until three years after his ordination into the priesthood.

According to Fr. Karol , this most possibly explained why as a young man growing up, he had a great desire to join the religious life. He explained in this interview that when he was in the last year of the secondary school, particularly in the last semester, being so fascinated by biology and genetics, he experienced irresistible and inexplicable call to enter the Order. So at the tender age of 18 he joined the Dominicans with 29 other young men, he being the youngest.  

Some might be curious as to how Fr. Karol came to the shores of Trinidad when he came from such a distant country like Poland. It seemed again as if God was guiding him to our small island. Because at the same time two things happened – Trinidadian Dominicans sent an invitation to Polish Brothers to join them and work together here in Trinidad and he learned of our twin island state in Ireland, where he was furthering his studies, particularly in English. Having learned the history of the Irish Dominicans and their connections to Trinidad and Tobago,  Fr. Karol wishing to use this opportunity to engage in missionary work, submitted his request and it was granted through God and his superior’s will.

It has been 18 months since Fr. Karol landed on our shores and he stated that he continues to be fascinated by the people and our culture. Particularly of our mixed heritages and the multi nationalities that co-exist in this tiny state. He smiled, as he stated that he enjoyed the warmth of our people and the hospitality that is always extended to him as his new parishioners are very welcoming and cooperative.

When questioned on how he was coping with the language barrier, Fr. Karol maintained that he tries to listen and understand what people have to say to him. Given that it was a part of his training as a Dominican priest – study of philosophy and prayer.  In so doing, some Trinidadians have even 

questioned how is it that he knows what their fellow Trinidadians are saying when they themselves do not understand. He reiterated that he takes the time to understand what is being said to him as opposed to just hearing what they say. And he hopes that people are able to understand him.

As the new parish priest of St. Joseph and Mt. D’Or, Fr. Karol is very excited and happy about the opportunity to serve, as with it comes many challenges all of which he welcomes. As his parishioners we pray that God will continue to guide him in all his endeavours as he continues to spread God’s Holy Word.

Becouse Fr. Karol comes from far distant country, somewhere from the north, here are some links to find more about Fr Karol’s past life in Poland:  

      1.      http://1lo.bytom.pl/

2.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland

3.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_cuisine

4.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bytom

5.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominicans

6.      http://dominikanie.pl

7.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_cuisine


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Archibishop Thomas E. Gullickson

On the 22nd of July, Archibishop Thomas E. Gullickson, Papal Nuncio for Trinidad and Tobago left our island to become the Papal representative in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. He was and is a diplomat but above all the servant of the Lord, and Bishop. Not everybody had a chance to meet him personally or to chat with him. Those who had this chance know him as a very open and wise person. One of his passions is reading and writing. So we would like to present you a blog written by him during his years of service in Trinidad which contains his homilies and commentaries. 

Better late than never, as we say here in Trinidad.

Enjoy ! 

Monday, 1 August 2011

New Parish Priest of St. Joseph/Mt.D'or Parish - Fr. Karol Wielgosz o.p

On July 1, 2011 Fr. Karol was appointed Parish Priest of St. Joseph/Mt. D'or. He has been in Trinidad about 18 months, staying at the Dominican Community House at St. Finbar's Parish, Diego Martin. He is from Poland. Fr. Karol welcome to St. Joseph.