Sunday, 31 July 2016

WYD Announcement!

At the closing mass of the 2016 World Youth Day on July 31st in Krakow, Poland, our Holy Father announced that the next host city for World Youth Day 2019 will be Panama!
This will be the first time a pope visits the Central American country since Pope John Paul II when he last visited in 1983.
After the special announcement, Pope Francis closed with these words, "Trusting in the intercession of Mary, let us ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten and sustain the journey of young people in the church and in the world, and make you disciples and witnesses to God's mercy".
Check out his official announcement:

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Big Change for the Local Church!

If you look in this weekend's Catholic News, you will see that the Archdiocese will undergo a major reshuffle on or around September 01. According to Archbishop Joseph Harris, in his statement he made for the Catholic News (which can be seen here), he stated that "even though we are in a very difficult stage in the development of the church, the priests are generally prepared to make whatever sacrifices may be necessary to serve God's people". He also made reference to Canon Law which served as an influence to the decisions made. It states in Canon Law 517 that "Canon Law allows the Bishop to group parishes and to group priests", this is what is referred to as "Clusters". His Grace also reassured the members of the church that the Archdiocese will maintain the 64 parishes according to Canon Law but will now be serviced in clusters and is calling on the people of God for their "supporting commitment". In his statement, he also mentioned that five (5) new Regional Episcopal Vicars will soon be announced.

In light of all the changes that the local church will soon undergo, our very own parish will experience its own changes. Msgr. Cuthbert Alexander has been assigned to the Manzanilla/Biche parish to assist with parish ministry with Fr. Dwight Merrick. The new parish administrator for the St. Joseph/ Mt. D'or parish community will be Fr. Hasley King, O. Carm. The St. Joseph House has been host to other religious orders such as The Holy Ghost Fathers and the The Dominican Fathers and now, it will house the Carmelite Friars. In addition to the Priory which exists in the Maracas, St. Joseph area, the Carmelite Friars will also service our parish, making both Maracas, St. Joseph (and environs) and the St. Joseph Parish Communities a Pastoral Area (Cluster). 

To the left, our incoming parish administrator for the St. Joseph/Mt. D'or parish communities as of September 01, 2016, Fr. Hasley King, O. Carm..Photo courtesy: St. Michael's Parish

Msgr. Cuthbert Alexander's final weekend mass will be on Sunday 28th August, 2016. 

With excerpts from the Catholic News (31st July, 2016)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Mother's Day Greetings

We would like to wish all our Mother's a Happy Mother's Day! May your day be filled with greatness. We ask the greatest mother, our Blessed Virgin Mary of all to keep you all in her mantle.

Monday, 2 May 2016

With Thanks......

From the Bicentennial Committee, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who journeyed with us over the past year. There were many moments which we were able to share as a parish and we thank God for allowing him to make each one possible for us. We still have some unfinished business concerning our Bicentennial projects and we urge you all to look out for that. Again, we thank you for your support and we hope that it does not end here. We are a Community Fired for Mission as we need your support in order for our mission to be accomplished! God Bless!

Monday, 25 April 2016

UPDATE on the Late Fr. Reginald Hezekiah

The Funeral Mass of the late Fr. Reginald Hezekiah will take place on Tuesday 3rd May at 9.30AM in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain.

There will also be a prayer vigil at 6PM on Monday 2nd May in St. Charles R.C. Church, Tunapuna with the body present from 4PM. May his soul rest in peace.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


The parish of St. Joseph/ Mt. D'or extends condolences to the parish and family of the late Fr. Reginald Hezekiah, past parish priest of Tunapuna.
Eternal rest grant upon him O Lord, May he rest in peace. Amen

Monday, 4 April 2016

The Solemnity of the Annunciation

Mary, in her selflessness, opened herself to the grace of God through the archangel Gabriel because through her faith, she knew that it was a divine message from God. She listened, received and responded and in so doing, she shows us the way to respond to God's call in our own lives. God desires to have a relationship with each one of us and we are therefore invited to surrender ourselves to the holy will of God by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour not just once but daily.
March 25 is normally the date when we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. However, due to the calendar this year, since this Solemnity clashed with Good Friday, preference was given to Good Friday, leaving today (the first open day outside the octave of Easter) free to celebrate the Solemnity.

The full meaning of Mary's cooperation in God's plan has inspired some of the most profound reflection in the Christian tradition. As well it should. She freely chose to say YES. Our first reading at Mass today is taken from the messianic Prophet Isaiah, and places the event within the fulfillment of God's plan and the answer to His promise to Israel. "Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us!" (Isaiah 7). 
 The encounter between Mary and the Angel opens up the meaning of our own lives, by shedding light on our call to participate in God's loving plan. In the midst of all of the challenges we face as Catholic Christians in a Culture which has forgotten God, we are invited to celebrate God's loving plan - and to remember the great liberating promise of the Gospel is intended for all men and women. We are the bearers of Good News in an age of bad news.
The little Virgin of Nazareth teaches us how to live our Christian life. When the Angel of the Lord appeared, bearing the message and calling her to a special mission, she said "YES."  We must say "Yes" as well and believe that "nothing is impossible with God." 

Let's consider her response to the message: "I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word."  It is in these words that we can discover the heart of every Christian vocation.
Mary´s "Yes" is called the Fiat:  in Latin, "Let it be done." Mary´s Fiat was spoken from a heart filled with love for God. In a Biblical context, "heart" is a word that means much more than the fleshy organ at the center of our chest cavity. It refers to our center, the core of each of us, the place where our deepest identity is rooted, and from which our fundamental choices about life are made.

Mary´s words proceeded from her humble, surrendered heart. This young woman was not full of herself, not self-protective, not cynical; she was emptied, in order to be filled. She was therefore able to completely surrender herself in love, to Love, and be filled with His Life for others. 
The encounter between Mary and the Angel opens up the meaning of our own lives, by shedding light on our call to participate in God's loving plan.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday

O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, we trust in you!

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, a day which Pope John Paul II (Now Saint John Paul II) declared when he canonized Sr. Faustina a saint. 
In his writings on Mercy, Pope John Paul described Divine Mercy as he answer to the world's problems and the message of the third millennium. When he canonized Sr. Marie Faustina Kowalska, the nun associated to the with the message of the Divine Mercy, he did it in Rome and not in Poland where Sr. Faustina was originally from because he knew that the Divine Mercy was for the whole world. When Pope John declared this day a feast day, he described it as "the happiest day of my life".
Today, the Divine Mercy is given as a gift for salvation for the whole world.
Jesus Christ himself appeared to Sr. Faustina as in the image above and instructed her to paint this image. The image denotes two rays shining from him heart which symbolizes the blood and water gushing from his heart onto the whole world for salvation. 

May the Divine Mercy of Christ make us more like him. 

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter


Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter Triduum: Day 3

The hours are counting down when the tomb will open and life will re-enter the body of Jesus. One of the many purposes of Jesus' death was so that he would descend to Hades to free the souls and reopen the gates of heaven, after they were closed when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Here, we have full evidence that Jesus' death had purpose. Now, this is day when we count down the hours to his resurrection.
Our liturgy tonight will bring to a close the Easter Triduum which began on Holy Thursday evening with the Lord's Supper. As you may have recalled, there was no final blessing on the Holy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies. There will be a final blessing at the end of this liturgy. The liturgy is divided into four (4) sections:

  1. The Service of Light: This is where we will light the pascal candle for the first time and that light will spread to the faithful present where we will reflect on Jesus as the 'Light of the World'. 
  2. The Liturgy of the Word: This is where we will listen to all the marvels of God and what he has done for his people since the beginning of time. 
  3. The Liturgy of Baptism: As we are reborn into the newness of Christ through his resurrection, we also take the opportunity to renew our baptismal promises. This year, our parish will not have any baptisms since our RCIA programme has now adapted a two (2) year period, so we will have baptisms next Easter.
  4. The Liturgy of the Eucharist: Now that Christ has conquered death and is now alive, we enjoy his presence which he gives to us every week through the Holy Eucharist. That is why we eat of Christ, The Resurrected on this night. Here we bring to an end our three day mass.
In St. Joseph, we will celebrate our Easter Vigil at 8PM. Please remember to walk with your candles.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Easter Triduum: Day 2

After being arrested in the garden, Jesus surrendered himself to the guards where he was then taken to Annas and Caiaphas and then to Pilate where he was sentenced to death under the influence of the people of the town who shouted "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!".
The same people who shouted "Hosanna in the Highest Heavens!" some days prior is now sentencing Jesus to death in place of a prisoner, Barabbas. Simon Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, also denied Jesus. This was the day which Jesus faced the severe challenges of mankind - betrayal, insult, rejection and humiliation to name a few.
Our Liturgy today is not a mass, it is a continuation from last night's celebration, that is why we had no final blessing. The priest and altar servers will approach the altar in silence at the top of this liturgy and prostrate themselves before a stripped altar, recognizing the absence of Jesus in the tabernacle. The liturgy has three sections:

  • The Liturgy of the Word
  • Veneration of the Cross
  • Communion Rite
We venerate a cross which reminds us of the greatest love act ever performed for mankind. There are different ways we can venerate the cross, kiss, bow or kneel before it. This is pay our respect and honour to which hung our Lord.
There is no consecration during this liturgy, since it is not a mass so the host from the Holy Thursday liturgy is brought out and distributed among the faithful. Again, there is no final blessing since the liturgy continues the next night, the Easter Vigil.

In St. Joseph, we will celebrate the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord's Passion at 3PM. 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Easter Triduum: Day 1

The Easter Triduum begins today and it is a three day celebration which leads towards our Lord's triumphant victory over death into new life. Palm Sunday, which we celebrated last Sunday, opened Holy Week, which symbolized Jesus' return to Jerusalem and it was in this holy city where all of his fates were met. 
Our Paschal feast begins with what we call 'the very first mass ever celebrated'. It was on this night where Christ broke bread and shared wine for the first time with his twelve and he offered it up as his body and blood. What is also momentous about this first day of the Triddum is the ultimate betrayal of Judas and Jesus washing the feet of his disciples which serves as a sign of humility and service. 
Following the sacred supper, Jesus withdrew with a few of his disciples into a garden in Gethsemane where he spent all night in prayer, just before he was arrested and taken away. The famous words taken from Luke 22:42 are spoken from Jesus where he says, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done". 
Our Liturgy today will reflect the events which took place at the Last Supper. We will sing the Gloria where bells will be rung for the last time until the Easter Vigil, wooden clappers will replace the bells at this liturgy during the consecration. The priest will also wash the feet of twelve lay persons from the community as a symbol of Christ washing the disciples' feet. After the liturgy of the Eucharist, the priest and altar servers will process with the remaining host in a ciborium throughout the church and it will be placed into an altar of repose where the faithful will be invited to spend time with Christ, this relates to the disciples in the garden with Jesus after the supper. During the Holy Thursday liturgy, enough hosts will be consecrated to be used for the Good Friday liturgy since, at that service, no consecration is allowed. 
Once the Holy Thursday liturgy comes to a close, the faithful are invited to depart in silence. No dismissal blessing is given since the service continues on Good Friday.

In St. Joseph, we will celebrate the Lord's Supper at 6.30PM. Bring bread so that we can share with the poor.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Bicentennial Book Notice

The Bicentennial Book committee is still appealing for old photographs. We are seeking photos taken inside the church before 1970. Events such as weddings, first communion, confirmation, feast days, Christmas, Easter, Corpus Christi. Any photo that shows what the inside the church looked like prior to 1970. Please forward these photos to the parish office with your name and contact number. Please be assured the photos will be returned to the owner as soon as they have been scanned or photographed.

With Thanks.

Holy Thursday: Notice

At the Last Supper, Jesus broke bread and gave it to his disciples. As part of our Holy Thursday tradition, we invite all to bring a loaf of bread so that we can distribute it to the poor.
Mass of the Lord's Supper begins at 6.30PM in St. Joseph.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Good Friday or The Annunciation?

QUESTION: This year, the Solemnity of the Annunciation will clash with Good Friday (March 25th). Which will we celebrate?

ANSWER: We will celebrate Good Friday since the liturgies within Holy Week takes preference over any other feast days/solemnities. We will celebrate The Solemnity of the Annunciation on the first open day after the Octave of Easter (That is, anytime after Divine Mercy Sunday).

Chrism Mass 2016

The Annual Chrism Mas takes place on Monday (21st March) and it will return to its original home, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Our parish will be sending two (2) representatives:
  • Irma Leslie (St. Joseph)
  • Gyasi Husbands-Vialva (Mt. D'or)
They will receive, on behalf of the parish community, the Sacred Oils which will be blessed by our Bishop during the mass and used in the parishes for the next year. These Sacred Oils include:
  • The Oil of Catechumens 
  • The Oil of the Infirm (for the sick)
  • The Holy Chrism
Let us pray for our parish representatives.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Happy Birthday Archbishop Harris

The St. Joseph Parish would like to extend birthday blessings to our local leader of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Joseph Harris. May God continue to bless you and give you his strength.