As we close this grand year in our Church, we look back at some of the most outstanding moments that stood out in not only our parish but also within our Archdiocese and the wider Catholic community. There were so many moments that it is difficult to choose just one so here are the Best Moments of 2013, month-by-month.
We started the year off by administering the Sacrament of Confirmation to 42 candidates that journeyed a year prior to their special date. This meaningful occasion took place on Sunday January 20th at 10AM in St. Joseph R.C. Church with His Grace, Archbishop Joseph Harris presiding as the Chief Celebrant.
During this month, the entire Catholic community learned that Pope Benedict XVI would resign. This shocking news broke on the morning of February 10th with almost all media outlets bringing coverage.This news took the world, more so the Catholic community, by surprise especially since it was revealed days before the start of the solemn season of Lent. During the entire season of Lent, the Vatican was preparing to choose Pope Benedict’s successor. This was also the first time that a Pope retired from this sacred position, since those that came before him took this vow until death.
The Holy Season of Lent began on February 13th (Ash Wednesday) and the parish hosted many activities surrounding this holy season. The usual Stations of the Cross were held every Friday evening on Calvary Hill and The Healing of the Memory Service took place in St. Joseph with Fr. Ian Taylor and his San Raphael youth with Keith Patrick lead the parish in deep prayer and healing through the Holy Spirit.
On March 13th, the conclave came to an agreement in Rome’s Sistine Chapel where it was announced that Jorge Mario Bergoglio now known as Pope Francis was officially named the new Pope. The entire Catholic community rejoiced when the new broke.
With the Season of Lent still in effect, the parish was preparing for its biggest feast of the year – Easter, but before this grand feast, other special events occurred. On Sunday March 17th, after a long hiatus, the Parishes of St. Michael’s, Maracas St. Joseph and St. Joseph R.C. Church merge to host the Feast of St. Joseph.This special event started with a procession from St. Joseph RC Church to the First Capitol Park followed by Holy Mass with Fr. Clyde Harvey as the Chief Celebrant and Fr. Karol and Fr. Tangchoon (Homilist) as the concelebrants. The rest of the day featured performances from the Community Schools along with a ‘bring and share’ picnic. During that week, the parish hosted its Annual Lenten Retreat and a Youth Lenten Retreat both conducted by Fr. Jason Grell.
March 24th was Palm Sunday which was the start of Holy Week. The Monday of that week, the Annual Chrism Mass was held at Fatima Parish where Margaret and Kumar Mahabir represented the parish and collected the oil of catechumens which were used on Gloria Saturday night an all the Masses for the Sick and Shuts - ins thereafter in the parish. The Easter Vigil began on the evening of March 28th with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper followed by a vigil until midnight where parishioners were given the opportunity to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.The morning of March 29 th (Good Friday) things took an unexpected turn since the entire nation suffered a severe black out which affected the Stations of the Cross on Calvary Hill but thank God that everything was able to move on and the electricity came back in time for the afternoon service for the Passion of our Lord followed by the vigil led by members of Legion of Mary and prayers led by the Charismatic Prayer Group that very same evening.On Saturday March 30th (Gloria Saturday), the church was still ‘low’ as it prepared for its biggest mass that evening. During the Easter Vigil which began at 9PM, two members were baptized into the faith- Areefa Khan and Alicia-Ann Celestine and Sasha Lackraj was received into the faith.
One week after the Easter Vigil, the parish of St. Joseph hosted the annual Suburban Vicariate Confirmation ceremony. Seven members from the parish were administered the Sacrament of Confirmation: Kristel Harricharan, Kyle Nunes, Tristana Charles, Ryszardo Jennings, Olivia Constentine, Krystle Ali and Vernon Boodhoo. Later that month, the parish celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday which was also a World Day of Prayer for Vocations with an evening of Eucharistic Adoration and Vespers. Br. Richard Jones, OSB led the evening proceedings.
We started the Month of May out in a big way by celebrating our patron saint on the very first day of the month and also opening the Month of our Blessed Mother Mary. On Sunday May 12th (Mother’s Day), the parish arranged for a Pilgrimage to the opening of the Laventille Devotions which had an impressive turn out and the Friday of that same week (May 17th), Holy Saviour Anglican and St. Joseph RC communities merged to host an Ecumenical Service for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The theme for that evening was taken from the prophet Micah 6:6-8, ‘What does God require from us’. As a result of that evening of joint prayer, both communities agreed to collaborate in creating a ministry which aims to provide the basic needs for the less fortunate and already that ministry has been rendered. The feasts of Pentecost, The Ascension of our Lord and Trinity Sunday were all celebrated to culminate the Easter season. The Wednesday following Trinity Sunday, the parish celebrated Corpus Christi with a procession from the church, around the park and back with Benediction. It was a momentous occasion for many since that also took a little hiatus. Schools of the community all played meaningful roles as we celebrated and were reminded of how powerful the Holy Eucharist really is.
At the start of June, Our Lady of the Rosary Charismatic Prayer Group hosted its biennial Life in the Spirit Seminar which operated on a 9 week duration. Every Sunday, the candidates were exposed to various ways on how they can become closer to God and his Holy Spirit through talks and workshops lead by members of the Prayer Group and even external speakers such as Darryl Grandison and Marilyn Garcia from Precious Blood Community to name a few.
During the summer period, the parish underwent a little make shift as Fr. Karol went back home to
The parish hosted its annual Independence Day BBQ which received impressive reviews.
September started out with a bang for not only the parish but for the Archdiocese since Trinity TV hosted its Full 24/7 launch on Sunday the 8th and on the morning of September 14th, the entire Archdiocese and the AEC rejoiced as Msgr. Robert Llanos was ordained as the new Auxiliary Bishop at Fatima RC Church, Curepe during the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
The entire month of October was dedicated to the Holy Rosary with special devotions being done on the parish virtual spaces. During this Marian month, our Holy Father Pope Francis designated October 13th (the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) to be consecrated to Mary. That day was also the closing of the Laventille Devotions where an impressive number of parishioners all represented the parish despite the heavy rains which thankfully help up.
To close this month, our sister chapel, St. Jude celebrated its annual St. Jude Triduum, a 3-day celebration in honour of St. Jude, patron of hopeless cases. Featured speakers included Deacons Patrick Lawrence, Malcom Joab and Sheldon Narine respectively all with unique and pertinent messages to meditate on.
November was dedicated to the month of the dead as the parish remembered and offered masses for all departed souls that they may rest in peace. It was also the start of the parish’s Christmas celebrations. On the evening of November 10th, the parish hosted ‘Bingo with Parang’ and some groups such as the Women’s Ministry closed off their ministry with their annual year end dinner.The Liturgical Year came to a close on the feast of Christ the King and during this significant time in our Catholic Calendar, some students of St. Xavier’s Private School made First Communion on this actual feast day and the month ended with a Healing of the Memory Service hosted by the Charismatic Prayer Group which featured Fr. George Lewis.
Finally, as the Liturgical Year came to a close, the Year of Faith which Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI instigated in the Liturgical Year prior was also culminated.
In the heights of Advent, as the church prepared for the coming of the King, the parish hosted Rorate masses on every Friday evening in Advent and its usual Penitential Service which gave parishioners the opportunity to reconcile with God before the start of this joyous season. The Annual Christmas dinner took place on the evening of December 8th at St. Xavier’s Private School Hall with a remarkable turnout. Also, Our very own Sr. Gail Jagroop made her solemn profession and Pope Francis was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year among many other notable moments.
As we draw closer to the end of 2013, we have so much memories (as a parish) to take with us but we are certain that God is going to continue to guide and strengthen us. So, what do we have to look forward to in 2014? Here is a glimpse at what we can expect:
- A Parish Pilgrimage to Poland
- Healing Services hosted by the Charismatic Prayer Group in Lent and Advent.
- The Beatification of Blessed John Paul II on Mercy Sunday
- In addition to the Counselling Services, Legal Aid will also be provided for that in need.
- St. Joseph Feast Day among many other events.
Here’s wishing the parish all the very best in 2014 and May God’s grace strengthen and protect us. Happy New Year!