Monday, 31 March 2014

Ash Wednesday Photos

On Wednesday March 5th, the Lenten Season was opened with the Distribution of Ashes. HERE are some pictures that were taken by the parish's official photographer.

St. Joseph Feast Day Photos (Parishioners Edition)

HERE are some additional photos that were taken by our official parish photographer.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Life in the Spirit Seminar


Parish Notices for the 4th Sunday in Lent

  1. Fridays of Lent – Way of the Cross organized by the Youth Group and TVY Teams. We begin at the foot of Calvary at 6pm. And at Mt. D’or Stations of the Cross begin at 5.30pm in the Chapel. 
  2. A reminder, every Friday in Lent at 12 noon there is an Ecumenical Lenten Service in Holy Saviour Anglican Parish, Curepe. All are welcomed! 
  3. In this week the confessions are on Thursday, 3rd of April at 6.30 pm in El Socorro Chapel. 
  4. On Tuesday April 8th at 6PM, Our Lady of the Rosary Charismatic Prayer Group will host a Lenten Healing Mass. The celebrant: Fr. Reginald Hezekiah. 
  5. On the 9th of April there will be the second evening of confessions in our Parish at 6 pm. 
  6. Very Important Message!! On Friday Evening (4th of April) after Stations of the Cross, that means at 7 pm there will be a meeting in the presbytery for those interested in revitalizing the Hermandad Fraternity. This Society, established in our parish in 1592, was and is to be again a community designed to help men to develop the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and take care for the Parish. All interested are invited. For more information, please, ask Father. 
 Blessings to ALL our parishioners this week! 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Being cleansed through water and the Holy Spirit - A Lenten Reflection

This past weekend, we reflected on the living water and learnt that the only source of that living water is from Jesus Christ. We also learnt about a Samaritan woman in which Jesus asked for some water. Now there are some valuable lessons which we can learn from this powerful Gospel story and how we too can turn to Jesus and ask for his water, the Living Water, which will never run dry.
At that point in time, Jews and Samaritans never got along so by Jesus, who was a Jew, asking a Samaritan for some water, he broke barriers and in so doing, he teaches us that we must accept everyone. Discrimination is not of God because he came for all, not for a certain group of people since he is Lord of all. The second point to notice is that Jesus, knowing all that the Samaritan woman had been through in her life, both good and bad, offered her a moment of mercy. Jesus could have ignored her and endured the thirst until he approached another well but because his motive was to grant this woman full redemption, he initiated a conversation which eventually led to healing, of the soul. Jesus started off by asking the woman for some regular water and by the end of the conversation, Jesus offered her something which is even more real and precious, the gift of Living Water. Taken from John 4:13, it says "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." From that moment, the Samaritan woman, filled with joy and gladness accepted the 'love-offering' in which Jesus gave to her and from that moment, she was cleansed and granted eternal life.
We can all learn from the Samaritan woman. The same way that she was open to the graces from God, we too must be open. Regular water can be used for many things and one of its main attributes is that it is meant to cleanse. The Living Water in which Christ offers to us everyday is also meant to cleanse us from all iniquities. As such, we must pray daily and ask him to continuously refesh and cleanse us with his Living Water. Sin causes our souls to be dirty but the graces which we receive at the Sacrament of Confession washes away those sins. Just imagine the Living Water washing away our sinful blots and being rekindled with the Holy Spirit.
Finally, after the Samaritan woman was filled with the 'Living Water' from Jesus, she eagerly ran to the town to tell everyone there about a man (Jesus) who told her all about her life and how she found redemption. Through faith, the people of the town believed her and ran towards Jesus expecting to receive the same blessings and graces which the former woman received. What the Samaritan woman shared back at the village is what we call today a 'Testimony'! Testimony builds each other's faith because it shows us how the Holy Spirit is working in our lives and in order for others to see the Spirit of God manifesting in our own lives, we are encouraged to share our Testimony! It shows us that miracles are not only events which we read about in the bible but how it is alive in our lives in today's world. Now remember, the only person capable of performing miracles is Jesus Christ. So we all can relate to the Samaritan woman, we can have a dark past and a bright and holy future. But, we must ask Jesus to fill us with his Living Water through the Holy Spirit. Glory to God! 

-- B. Durham, 2014 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Parish Notices for the 3rd Sunday in Lent

  1. Thank you. Today above all and on the first place we would like to say thank you. We are truly grateful for all of you who worked hard and often in a humble, not spectacular way to prepare our spectacular feast, and contributed towards our joy in many, so creative, ways. Thank you for your presence, kind words. Thank you for attending our Lenten retreats, your prayers in these holy days. Thank you for going to confession. As a community we are built by the testimony of your faith and charity. So once again: thank you, Dear Friends, and May God bless you.  
  2. Fridays of Lent – Way of the Cross. We begin at the foot of Calvary at 6pm.  
  3. Every Friday in Lent at 12 noon there is an Ecumenical Lenten Service in Holy Saviour Anglican Parish, Curepe. All are welcomed! 
  4. On Tuesday April 8th at 6PM, Our Lady of the Rosary Charismatic Prayer Group will host a Lenten Healing Service. The celebrant: Fr. Reginald Hezekiah. All are welcomed. 
  5. On the 9th of April (Wednesday) we will have the second evening of individual confessions. We will begin at 6 pm.
Blessings to ALL our parishioners this week! 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Parish Lenten Retreat Recap!

As the celebrations of St. Joseph continued on Monday March 17th to Wednesday March 19th, St. Joseph Parish hosted its annual Lenten retreat which was conducted by Fr. Arnold Francis from the Bourg Mulatresse parish. The theme was based on Matthew 5:3-12, The Beatitudes. Each night of the 3-day reflection, he focused on two or three of the Beatitudes and showed how each one applies in our own lives. The retreat concluded last evening on the Feast Day of St. Joseph where Holy Mass was celebrated. For the benefit of those that may need a recap or who may have missed the retreat, here is a condensed version of the notable points which Fr. Francis shared on The Beatitudes.

Day 1
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted"

Fr. Francis started off by explaining that 'mourning' can be considered as a 'nagging emptiness that is deep inside, a deep-seated thirst that must be quenched.' He continued by stating that 'When we are apart from God, that is when we mourn'. However, those that are condemned for doing the right things also mourn but we are blessed, as Christian people, knowing that we have God who will take care of us. He then focused on how the world is right now in mourning since there are so many rights such as 'Absolute Individualism' where people are only concerned about themselves, 'Liberalism' where is truth seems to be relative and everything, including what is wrong, now seems right and that the world has given us a 'new mindset'. For example, abortion, same-sex unions, the use of Science and Technology for the development of ideas were some of the facets which Fr. Francis mentioned that causes the world now to change its way of thinking and living. And he challenged us, the faithful, that no matter what, we must stand up for what is right and just in the eyes of God. 

"Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven"

He then moved on to the second Beatitude of that night which focused on the 'poor in Spirit'. 'Poor in Spirit' means, according to Fr. Francis, 'people who recognize that they need a powerful rescuer who is Jesus'. He added that those that are 'poor' acknowledge that they cannot find fulfillment apart from God. 'Without God, human life is not worth living', he said, 'We must always believe in God and know that we must depend on him for everything, we can't depend on friends or family, we must only depend on God'. Using an analogy that the wealthy in society usually walk with their heads held high, Fr. exclaimed that 'we too must hold our heads high because God is with us', 'We should not be better than but instead be brother since we are called to live in harmony'. He quoted Pope Francis by saying, 'We don't have to be back-benchers'. As he ended his first night's reflection, he reminded us that God gives us a sense of purpose and that is to build the kingdom and that only Jesus can bring our mourning to an end. "Let us all seek to be blessed mourners and Blessed poor in spirit".

Day 2
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God"

As the retreat continued on its second night of reflection, Fr. Francis continued by commenting that those who are not pure in heart will not be able to see God because of one thing, our ego! He stated that Narcissism (loving ourselves to a point of death) is very much prevelant in our world today and this is what blockes us from seeing God. In order for us to be able to have that priviledge to see him, we must be able to love ourselves properly and listen and respond to the truth. What does it mean by 'love ourselves properly'? 'We must move from being Individualistic to Individuation which means, we must refrain from thinking of ourselves alone and consider others. He went on to discuss that there exists people who possess a controlling spirit about them and in order for this type of attitude to disappear, we must 'practice responsibility, respect and chastity and be able to love them without making demands on them'. Before he moved to the next Beatitude, he ended by saying 'We cannot be attached to what we have, we must practice humility and detachment and be ready to sacrifice for the sake of others'.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness"

Many of us are too ignorant to accept correction and faults from others and because of this, we seem to lack righteousness. He reminded us that we are righteous people since God himself is righteous and because it (being righteous) is now planted inside of us, we ought not to love 'on a subjective sense'. That means, If someone loves you, that person should not expect something in return for their love being shown. 

"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth"

As he ended his reflection with this particular Beatitude, he started off by explaining that being meek means to 'be a gentle person that exercises the gift of piety and live the motivation of Jesus which is to do good without something in return'. Humans are naturally motivated for pleasure and gratification, as such, we do not see people as they really but only perceive them in only a way that I want', said Fr. Francis. He contined by stating that we must immerse ourselves in the life of Jesus by dying to what is evil and rising to what is right and actively live out the passion of Christ. He challenged the congregation to 'recognize Jesus in everybody' and to 'come to know Jesus in a passive manner', that is, if there is something or someone who you don't like, we must love them above all things and continue to act on it with with love until you become accustom with the situation. As he ended, he shared that 'Happiness comes by giving up yourself ' and that we are called to 'bring others to Christ'. 

Day 3

On his final night of reflection, Fr. Francis' sharing on The Beatitudes took the form of his homily since the parish community celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph with Holy Mass. Before proceeding, he opened with a brief recap on his reflection from the night prior then he dealt with the following outstanding Beatitudes:

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy"

"To be merciful is similar to being meek, it requires us to be gentle and nonviolent", said Fr. Francis in his opening words. In the spirit of celebrating St. Joseph, Fr. Francis applied the outstanding Beatitudes which were reflected on this night with the life of St. Joseph by stating similarly what Archbishop Harris mentioned on Sunday; 'Joseph was a merciful and righteous man'. He continued by saying that 'we are called to be stewards of the mystery of God and that is, people who understand the Gifts of the Spirit', In so doing, we understand God even more. We must understand that each one of must be merciful to one another, that is, we must help them even if it requires some tough love since Mercy is caring for others. We should not condemn others but open their hearts up to Christ Jesus. So we must never forget that mercy is caring for someone even to a point of correcting them, why, because you want to see them excel.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"

In this particular Beatitude, it implies justice and what justice is telling us is that when we see a bad situation, we must not sit back and watch it happen but do something about it, stand up for your beliefs and values. 'We must pray for peace and in order to bring about justice, we have to get our hands dirty', he shared. He then stated that humans are quick to seek vengeance but later used an analogy of a young man running up a flight of stairs with a bucket of water, but the bucket has a hole in it so when the man reaches to the top, all the water has drained out. What Fr. was implying was that, 'Vengeance is like that bucket with the hole, it is empty'. So we should never seek out vengeance on anyone, but rather, pray for them, no matter how they may have treated you. 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God"

The final Beatitude ensures that peace prevails in all things that we do and that only comes about if we are merciful and righteous. We keep hearing that word, 'righteous', so clearly that word must become part of our character one way or the other. Peace only comes to us when we stand up for what is right and if that follows closely with persecution, then we must accept it with open arms. You see, we are always going to be bombarded with rules and views from others, including the Government and many of those 'rules and views' may not be according to our lifestyle and beliefs. That is why it is important to stand up and defend your faith and support each other in all things, rather, as Fr. Francis calls it, 'we must shepherd each other'.

As he signed off on his 3-night Beatitudes reflection and continued with Holy Mass, he left us with these words; "We must hear the word of God and keep it. Women must be obedient like Mary and men must be obedient like Joseph. We must work together, live out the Beatitudes and make them our spiritual geography". 

We thank God for blessing Fr. Arnold Francis with the wisdom and knowledge and we thank Him (Fr. Francis) for taking the time out of his busy schedule to come and minister to us in our parish. May God Bless him and bless us to be obedient in living out the Beatitudes. Glory to God!

--B. Durham, 2014

Happy Birthday Your Grace!

The parish of St. Joseph/Mt. D'or would like to extend birthday greetings to Archbishop Joseph Harris. May God abundantly Bless you! We love you! Happy Birthday!!!

St. Joseph Feast Day Broadcast

TrinityTV will air an encore presentation of the St. Joseph Feast Day Mass in its entirety which took place last Sunday and it will air at 7PM this evening (March 19th).
But, if you can't wait until tonight, here's a look at Archbishop Harris' homily from the special feast day mass:

Feast of St. Joseph

Happy Feast Day fellow parishioners! Today (March 19th), we honor the life and legacy of our patron saint, St. Joseph. I would imagine that many of us are still elated from the grand celebrations which took place last Sunday (March 16th) at the First Capital Park. Also, since this feast falls within the Lenten period, it is not known as a day of fast since it is a feast day.  Let us now remember our patron saint for his great works and legacy. St. Joseph is traditionally known as the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus and by profession, he was a carpenter. One of the notable moments in his life came when he received a calling from God to take Mary in as his wife and help raise the child which she was carrying. Knowing very well that the child which Mary was carrying was not his own, Joseph was filled with natural human instincts and decided to divorce Mary. Now, during those times, any woman caught in the act of adultery would be stoned to death so Joseph's intentions would have been to quietly divorce her without publicly exploiting her. Then God spoke to Joseph in a dream and reassured him that what he is called to do is indeed right so Joseph, concerned for the safety of Mary, answered the call of God and accepted the roles of husband and foster father. As such, Joseph left everything he owned, including his family, and went into a foreign land and obeyed the commands of the angel who guided their travels.
We see that the life of Joseph was filled with basic trials that any family goes through but what we notice is that despite all the hardships, he and his family kept the faith. As Archbishop Harris noted on Sunday, Joseph was a 'righteous' man. We all are called to fashion our lives like Joseph! How? You see, God calls each one of us into ministry because he needs his people to continue the work of Mother church. Joseph and Mary were obedient individuals and more so, obedient parents so we too must be ready to answer the will of God because he knows us more than we know ourselves. As we reflect on this great man of faith, may we be open to God's call and ready to act. St. Joseph Pray for us! Glory to God!


Prayer to St. Joseph

O blessed Joseph, faithful guardian of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ,
Protector of thy chaste spouse, the virgin Mother of God, I choose you this day to
be my special patron and advocate and I firmly resolve to honour you
all the days of my life. Therefore I humbly beseech you to receive me as you client, to instruct me
in every doubt, to comfort me in every affliction,
to  obtain for me and for all the knowledge and love of the Heart of Jesus,
and finally to defend and protect me at the hour of my death. Amen. 

-- B. Durham, 2014

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Being Transfigured - A Lenten Reflection

To be transfigured means to change your form of appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state and the word 'Transfigured' comes from its Latin roots trans which means 'across' and figura which means 'form or shape'. Our reflection this week challenges us to transfigure our lives in the very same manner as Jesus did on the Mount Tabor. Now ideally, the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ is commemorated on August 6th, so why is it mentioned during the feast of Lent?
Let us not forget that Lent is an opportunity for us to engage in self-retrospection and find the attributes in us that are not pleasing to God and change for the greater good. As such, we are challenged to engage in our very own 'Transfiguration' because the key word in the definition of transfiguration is 'change'.
We, meaning people in general, are too comfortable with our current state that we ignore any modifications that may come in our lives. What we fail to understand is that, God may be moving us from one state to help us, shape us or even make a difference in that particular area which he has moved us to. Bad habits is one facet in our lives that must involve change for the good of others and ourselves. The Lenten season is a perfect platform for us to delve deeper in our lives, see the bad areas and correct them through the sacrament of reconciliation and when reciting the 'Act of Contrition', the line which says, ' me to avoid the occasions of sin', we must make a concerted effort to never step back into that capacity of sin.
Jesus Christ is so merciful that he longs for us to come to him with a contrite heart. The image which the Transfiguration paints is Jesus radiating in such a way that is not only beautiful but beyond our understanding. Now Jesus is free from any sin, so it is fitting for him to shine in such a way that not only depicts his transfiguration, but it shows his Lordship, in that he is indeed free from any sin.
We too can also shine bright like Jesus but under one condition, we must refrain from sin! As humans it is difficult to do this. As Blessed John Paul II states, 'The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak'. We may declare it with our words that we will avoid the moments of sin, but we eventually fall into the hands of the world. However, as I mentioned in last week's reflection, we have a secret weapon. Let us quote Isaiah in saying, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me.........'. Jesus has given us his Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us. People must see the light of Jesus shining from us but that 'light' will never come on if there is sin blocking it. Sin drifts us away from Jesus Christ. The more we sin, the more we turn our backs to God and face the world. Catholics must make a difference in the world in order for a 'Transfiguration' to take place. The Word of God should not only fall on our ears, but it should come alive and be active in our daily routines. If we stick to this special formula and stop putting pride before us, then we too will shine in such a way that will blind the sinners and in the same way that Moses and Elijah accompanied Jesus, we will have the saints of heaven accompanying us in whatever we do and wherever we go.
Let us make a difference in our lives and become transfigured children of God! Glory to God!

--B. Durham, 2014

Monday, 17 March 2014

Thanks to......

The parishes of St. Joseph and St. Michael's/St. Cecelia’s would like to extend words of gratitude to:
  • The Steering Committee
  • The Choir
  • The Altar Servers
  • Those involved in the Liturgy
  • The Caterers
  • The Member of Parliament for St. Joseph
  • The President of the First Capital Association
  • The President of the Vital Corner Boys
  • The Police
  • The Various companies that donated their products and services
  • You, the parishioners
  • and anyone who wished to remain anonymous or we may have forgotten.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 
- 1 Thessalonians 5: 18

Sunday, 16 March 2014

2014 St. Joseph Feast Day Photos

HERE are the photos which were taken during the St. Joseph Feast Day Festivities. 

St. Joseph Feast Day Recap!

After months of tireless preparations and anticipation, the day was finally executed and all Glory and thanks must go towards our almighty Father for allowing today's proceedings to be incident-free. Indeed, His grace is sufficient. The parishes of St. Joseph and St. Michael's joined forces, like last year, to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph which ideally is celebrated on March 19th across the board. The days proceedings began in St. Joseph R.C. church where Fr. Karol (St. Joseph parish priest) and Fr. Elton Letang (assistant parish priest for Barataria) led the devotions to St. Joseph. Following this, the procession was created in the streets and it slowly made its way towards the First Capital Park with the schools of the St. Joseph and Maracas, St. Joseph vicinities being represented in addition to the altar servers, participating priests, the patronal statue and the faithful. As the procession successfully arrived in the park, all comfortably took their positions as Holy Mass soon followed.

His Grace Archbishop Joseph Harris served as the Chief Celebrant with Fr. Karol Wielgosz, Fr. Gerard Tang Choon and Fr. Elton Letang all con-celebrated and in the spirit of communion, there was a joint choir which led the singing that consisted of members from Mt. D'or, the St. Joseph Senior Choir and Youth Choir.
Archbishop Harris began his homily by reassuring the faithful that even though his health state is not perfect, he is improving each day and that he and his family holds valuable memories in living in St. Joseph since his father served as the principal of St. Joseph Boys' R.C. School, his Alma Mater. He then got into the heart of his homily by stating that our nation "appears to be in a moral slide". "Allegations on all sorts, incident upon incident such as child abuse, lack of care and love in the homes" was what he had pointed out and he asked, "What does the Gospel say?" In the spirit of celebrating the life of St. Joseph, he explained that "Saints are given to us for our imitation", which means that in the same manner as those faithful men and women lived holy and virtuous lives, we too are called to live holy and virtuous lives as well and so, we must aim for sainthood. "St. Joseph was righteous because he always did the right thing even when it meant to be counter-cultural", exclaimed His Grace where he continued by reminding us that St. Joseph was "always obedient and was a faithful husband to the Blessed Virgin Mary because he did what God asked of him and that is to take Mary in as his wife and help raise their son who is Jesus".

As he continued preaching he urged the members of the congregation that we must allow the Holy Spirit to shape us and make the decisions for us in the same manner that St. Joseph did and through these acts we will be imitating the saints. He later shifted from talking about the patron saint and began by making the faithful aware that corruption is caused by our wrong doings. He used the analogy of travellers coming through the airport and instead of declaring their goods in the red line, they "cheat the system" and move through the green line, and from that he noted that "If we are people of faith, we must let God form our decisions" and so, when parents indulge in these "corrupted" acts in the midst of their children, they too (the children) will eventually engage in it and in order for this cycle of corruption to end in this nation, we must live righteous lives.
As he concluded, he said that 'it must be a commitment to have St. Joseph as a model and that our nation looks to us with hope  because like Joseph we must be filled with righteousness. Change must come through all of us together and so, righteousness will spread'.  With the powerful and enlightening words to leave everyone with food for thought he ended his reflection and the mass continued.
Following Holy Mass, all were able to mingle and share their refreshments with each other as the entertainment portion began to get under way. Mr. Errol Fabien served as the emcee for the entertainment leg which featured performances by the St. Joseph Boys' and Girls' School Choir, a dance and drama presentation by the St. Xaviers students, a musical medley by an Ecuadorian band named Kayna and parang legends, Nuestra Cosa to name a few. The children all had their moment of fun with the bouncy castle, the dunk tank, face painting and moments with their favourite television character (in disguise). Rain came down for a short while to what some people call it as 'blessings' and the curtains were closed on another St. Joseph Feast Day. If you missed out on anything surrounding the day of celebrations, you can check out the pictures HERE and you can also view an encore presentation of today's Feast Day Mass on Trinity TV on Wednesday March 19th at 7PM.
St. Joseph, Pray for Us!

--B. Durham, 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Parish Notices for the 2nd Sunday in Lent

  1. Tomorrow/Today we are going to celebrate our patronal feast of St. Joseph our Protector. This weekend we are going to celebrate the masses at 5 pm and 6.30 pm on Saturday and at 6 am on Sunday morning. Sunday morning we will gather at 9.30 am in the St. Joseph Church to say short prayers and go with the procession to the First Capital Park where at 10 am Archbishop Harris will celebrate the Holy Mass. The fete will follow after. Please come, be happy and share your joy with others. 
  2. We will continue our celebration in the following days, by participating in the Lenten retreats and going to confession. The retreat which will begin on Monday 17th March to Wednesday 19th March. Fr. Arnold Francis will be preaching on the Beatitudes. We begin at 6.30pm each evening. Before every talk there will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 5.30 pm. 
  3. On the actual feast of St. Joseph (Wednesday, March 19th) we will have two masses: at 6 am and at 6.30 pm. 
  4. The Lenten Penitential Service with individual confessions will take place on Thursday, March 20th at 6 pm in St. Joseph Church – let us come back to the Lord. 
  5. Fridays of Lent – Stations of the Cross: In St. Jude’s Chapel at 5.30 pm and at the foot of Calvary Hill at 6pm. Please come that together as a family we may follow our Saviour in his way of the Cross. 
  6. Every Friday in Lent at 12 noon there will be an Ecumenical Lenten Service in Holy Saviour Anglican Parish, Curepe. All are welcomed.
Blessings to ALL our parishioners this week!

St. Joseph, Protector of Preachers

On the eve of our Parish Feast Day, here is an interesting article by Br, Gabriel Torretta, O.P. (published on June 20, 2013) which was featured on the Dominican Blog Spot US.

In the courtyard of the Dominicans’ magnificent new priory in Charlottesville, Virginia, stands an unusual statue of St. Joseph, made by the sculptor Thomas Marsh. Marsh depicts St. Joseph just as he enters his home in Nazareth, exhausted from his day’s labor, wearing a short work tunic with a sling of tools over his shoulder. A dog bounds up to greet him, catching him in mid-stride; the dog, cast as a symbol of the Dominican Order with the torch of the Gospel in his mouth, receives a loving scratch on the head from the weary laborer.
The composition of the sculpture is remarkable for its tender expressiveness, but perhaps the most striking thing about it is the title: St. Joseph, Protector of Preachers. At first the title might seem malapropos: St. Joseph is famously silent, not uttering a word in any of the canonical Gospels, so is it merely an act of pious self-promotion for members of the Order of Preachers to call St. Joseph the Protector of Preachers?

Happily, no. The statue itself points toward the deep reality signified by its title. St. Joseph has his head turned down and slightly toward the dog, but his eyes are cast elsewhere, suggesting that he has caught sight of someone he’s even happier to see: the child Jesus, perhaps, running behind the family dog to welcome his foster father and Protector home. The whole composition of the statue takes its power from the implied presence of Christ: this child who is the Son of Man is the reason St. Joseph has wearied himself with labor, and this child who is the Son of God is the reason the dog comes running to his master with the light of Christ quite literally on his lips. The simple meeting between a man and his dog is transformed into an image of the life of the preacher by the hidden presence of Jesus.
Pope Francis spoke about a similar reality in the homily at the beginning of his Petrine ministry, reflecting on St. Joseph’s vocation as Protector:
How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own… Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping.
This glorious characterization of St. Joseph is, in many ways, the inner meaning of all Christian life, but it bears special importance for members of the Order of Preachers, who have sworn their lives to bear witness to Jesus Christ. Although preachers may speak with voluminous eloquence, their call is nonetheless a hidden one; the fruit of preaching is grace, a meeting with Christ in the hearts of the listeners, and only rarely can the preacher catch a glimpse of the marvels God has wrought through his servant. The preacher must pour himself out for the people that he meets every day, responding to their deepest needs and desires, guided by the silent promptings of the Holy Spirit, who speaks in “sighs too deep for words” (Rm 8:26).
This intimate vocation impels the preacher to go out in the world and speak of Christ—“Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16)—but it also impels him back to the silence of the hidden life with Christ, the source and end of all his ministerial action. The inner dynamic of Dominican life is what Marsh’s statue captures so beautifully: having spent himself in service of Christ, St. Joseph returns to the peace of his home, to be filled once again by the presence of that same Christ.
The vocation that St. Joseph lived as Protector is what the Dominican attempts to live as Preacher. The statue at the heart of this priory is a physical representation of the mission for which it exists, a prayer cast in bronze.

Saint Joseph, Protector of Preachers, pray for us.

-- taken from

Dominican Blog Spot

The Blog of the Dominican Studium of the Province of St. Joseph is a blog that is under the leadership and maintenance from our student brothers in the United States of America. As such, here you can find various faith articles, videos, journals and many other interesting links. It also appeals to the youth and young adults so feel free to pay this site a visit. Click HERE to visit the site.

Here are some other websites which are maintained by student brothers from other English speaking provinces. We encourage you to also pay these sites a visit since you will also find intersting articles, videos, images and journals to help you understand the faith and the Order which our parish (St. Joseph/Mt. D'or) is under.

Myths on Pope Francis

On Thursday last (March 13th), our Holy Father, Pope Francis celebrated his first anniversary of his Papacy. In this past year, there have been reports circulating the internet on his leadership skills and ability to run the Catholic Church. As with most criticisms, there were a mix of good and bad (fortunately, more good than bad, especially since he was recently named Time Magazine's Person of Year for 2013). Permit me to show you an article which surfaced on the Official Dominican Blog. Have a READ and feel free to leave your comments below.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Conquering Temptation - A Lenten Reflection

This week, our reflection deals with Conquering Temptation and this topic is quite pertinent especially in this season where we are required to make some sacrifice for the Lord. Of course, it is known that the evil one will try everything is his powers to prevent this from taking place. As such, just as how he tempted Jesus while in the desert, he constantly pokes us with his lance until we give in, but before I proceed, let us remind  ourselves of the powerful scripture verse taken from 1 John 4:4, 'Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world'. The 'He' that is in us who we speak of is the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As Christian people, we often forget that we have the companionship of Jesus Christ as it is clearly stated in Romans 8:11, 'The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Jesus Christ was both human and divine, so in addition to being blessed, he also experienced natural human-like emotions such as anger, sadness and of course temptation among others. But, we are reminded from last Sunday's Gospel from Matthew 4:1-11 that despite the luring statements made by the tempter (Satan), Jesus overcame them because he had the Spirit of God with him to strengthen him and fill him with the necessary grace to resist any temptation that assailed him. Like Jesus, we all will experience temptation in our very own lives. There is no way that a human will not face some form of temptation because Jesus himself endured it. Temptation often creeps up on us when we suffer some form of addiction and the moment we try to make a concerted  effort to break it, Satan comes in to entice us until we eventually give in; and the moment we give in to temptation, Satan gets the better of us and we become the laughing-stock in his evil eyes.
As Catholics, one of our main priorities is to NEVER allow Satan to have victory in our lives. How are we to ensure that he sees defeat at all times? Jesus overcame temptation in that desert by using his greatest weapon of choice, the gift of prayer. In his 40 day/night stay in the desert, he was praying all the while and so, the Spirit of God sustained him and Jesus shares with us his weapon of choice; It is up to us to outstretch our hands and not only accept it but use it. The gift of prayer is so powerful because it is that moment where you and God converse and the more we pray, read the word to know more about God and defend ourselves as Jesus did in Matthew 4:1-11 and receive him in the Holy Eucharist, Satan will always try but will always be defeated because the Spirit of the Lord is with us. As for those addictions that may seem hard to break, always remember that Christ is bigger and more powerful than all things, even the addictions that we face, just pray and ask him to grant you the grace to break them and call on the maternal help of the Blessed Virgin Mary and ask her to make you more like her son- pure, holy and spotless.  
During this Lenten season, we will face many temptations because, as mentioned earlier, it is during this time where make extra sacrifices for Jesus and Satan does not like that, but we must strong in the faith and guarded in prayer because the evil one is prowling like a lion looking for vulnerable ones. Be strong in the Spirit and call on him. Glory to God!

--B. Durham, 2014

Sunday, 9 March 2014

History of St. Joseph

As we draw nearer to the Patronal Feast of St. Joseph which is slated to take place next Sunday, March 16th, we thought that it would be a great idea to take a trip down memory lane and discover where the origins of this great feast started and some other documents regarding the general History of the former capital.

Here we have the official St. Joseph Feast Day programme from when it was first celebrated and recognized back in 1937.
Back in the day, this feast day celebration was a site for pilgrims to stop and pay homage to St. Joseph.

 These two documents are the official description of the St. Joseph R.C. Church taken from the Catholic Directory all the way in 1914. If you look closely, you'll see parish priests from the church's inception.

Here we have a picture of the certificate of the relique of St. Joseph which was taken from his cloak which was kept and venerated in the parish. Unfortunately, there are no signs of these said reliques now.

 Finally, when the train and ferries were in service in 1914, these are the official train and ferry schedules. The Fast train which ran from Port of Spain to St. Joseph took approximately 12 minutes. Now, how long does it take from P.O.S. to St. Joseph?

So we hope that you enjoyed our moment of nostalgia! And don't forget to join us as we celebrate our Parish Feast Day next Sunday March 16th as we make even more History. All are asked to assemble at the church (St. Joseph RC) at 9AM and the procession begins at 9.30AM towards the First Capital Park where His Grace Archbishop Joseph Harris will be waiting as he serves as the Chief Celebrant for Holy Mass at 10AM. Don't forget to make it a fun day so bring along something to share with your brothers and sisters in Christ as we picnic in the park following Holy Mass and be entertained by the students of the schools of the area, St. Joseph Parang legends, Nuestra Cosa and our Comedic Emcee for the day, Mr. Errol Fabien to name a few.