ISSUE NO. 2
Remembering Fr. Harold Wong SJ (July 23 1930— April 2, 2010)
IN THIS ISSUE…. Georgetown Pastoral Area 2-6 Berbice
East Coast Parishes
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Marriage Encounter (Guyana)- Sharon Grant The Worldwide Marriage Encounter– Guyana (WWME) hosted its first Community Night Activity on March 19, 2011. Community Night is a forum where the entire Marriage Encounter community comes together as family. The activity was held at the Catholic Life Centre, Brickdam. The high point of the Evening was a wonderful presentation done by one of ME’s long serving couples, Raymond & Elaine Thomas who shared how their marriage has and still continues to benefit from their involvement in Cathedral Youth Retreat - Elizabeth Small Marriage Encounter since their experience of the WWME Weekend up until the present time. This The Cathedral Youth Lenten Retreat was held at segment was followed by Couples sharing with St. Paul’s Pastoral Centre from March 18-20 under their spouses on some of their best memories ex- the theme “I am the light of the world”. This reperienced as part of the Marriage Encounter treat saw the participation of about 38 youths. Movement. After Prayer and the singing of our Team Song, it was time for socializing and partak- Two main topics were presented: “Sin-Darkness ing of delicious snacks with soft love music play- and purifying Darkness” & “Forgiveness-Light and ing in the background. We were all grateful to Life” which were followed by small group activionce again be part of another such forum as we ties. continue to bond and build relationship as com- Youths also had an opportunity to play games, munity. relax and view the film “From homeless to Harvard”. On Sunday 20, Fr. John Persaud celebrated Mass with participants. After Mass the youths were led in a Praise and worship session by Brother Kent Vincent and His Wife Gail along with Sister Dona from the Catholic Charismatic Movement. All the participants were invited to be anointed and prayed for & their letters to the Lord were burnt. At the closing session, while the theme song for the weekend was sung “Carry your candle, run to the darkness….,Carry your candle, go light your world”, youths presented to each other a blessed candle as a reminder that they are called to share and to be the light of Jesus in the world.
St. Pius X celebrates 50 years! The Golden Jubilee of the Consecration of St. Pius X Parish was celebrated on April 12, 2011 under the theme “ To Renew all things in Christ” (Eph 1:10). This was the Papal motto of Pope St. Pius X under whose patronage the parish was placed. Bishop Francis Alleyne was the main celebrant at the Mass of thanksgiving which was celebrated on the same day. Other priests from the diocese concelebrated. It was truly a day of great joy as many well wishers from around the diocese journeyed to celebrate this momentous day with us. The liturgy was further enhanced by the presence of musicians from Sacred Heart, Holy Spirit & the Cathedral as well as singers from the Sunshine Choir. After the mass, light refreshments were served and persons got an opportunity to socialize with each other and in some cases reminisce on how their association with St. Pius X impacted on their lives. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Fr. Stephen Patterson SJ who helped to guide all our plans & preparations so as ensure that all went smoothly for the day.
Several additional activities have been planned in the coming months as we continue to celebrate the Jubilee: May May 1 Children’s Mass & Crowning of Our Lady Praying of the Rosary June June 5 Seminar on the Life & Service of St. Pius x June 12 Healing Service & Pentecostal Mass July Youth Mass & Campfire August Saturday August 6 - Health Fair Sunday August 21—MASS: Feast of St. Pius X Fun Day
Pastoral Area Youth Retreat From April 01-03, a retreat was organized for the Pastoral Area Youths at the St. Paul’s Retreat Centre. Topics such as “Lectio Divina”, the “Life, Passion and Death of Jesus” and “the Influence of Lent on our lives” were explored. Retreatants also had an opportunity to participate in Blessed Exposition & Adoration, Confession and the Way of the Cross. There were also light moments where youths were able to socialise with each other, watch a movie and share in small groups. Thanks very much to presenters: Bishop Francis Alleyene OSB, Fr. Stephen Patterson SJ & Sr. Patricia Cary O.Carm. Special mention too must be made of Fr. Edwin Thadheu SJ and the Youth Coordinating Committee of the Pastoral Area (YCCPA) who organized and facilitated the weekend.
Abstinence Pledge - Shondell Ferdinand In February 2011, the Programme on Abstinence— Guyana (PAG) held its Annual Pledge Ceremony at the St. Pius X Parish during the 8:30 am Mass. Persons from various parishes in the diocese are involved in the programme which is sponsored by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The Abstinence Pledge is a commitment to remain abstinent in one’s state of life and it is renewed annually. Participants included a married couple, a religious sister & candidate and single young adults. The ceremony was witnessed by Fr. Stephen Patterson SJ and those who came from various parishes and organizations.
Sacred Heart– Robin Chase GOOD FELLOWSHIP ‘Jesus said to his apostles, “Come by yourselves to an out-of-the-way place and rest a little…” – Mark 6:31 Sunday April 2, 2011 was a special day for the Catholic communities of Kuru Kururu and Sacred Heart. Thirteen vehicles formed part of the entourage from Georgetown to the Linden/Soesdyke Highway to celebrate, as part of their planned outreach with the Kuru Kururu community. A service was conducted under the guidance of Sacred Heart’s Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Ursuline nuns, Missionary Sisters of Charity, Sacred Heart CPD members, the choir, altar servers, religious, readers and a number of parishioners from both communities contributed to an afternoon of great music and the proclaimed message of spiritual and physical blindness. Sacred Heart parishioners were provided with some historical data regarding the community and the vision of a future with a new church in the area. Following this, light refreshments were shared.
Although the Sacred Heart community is presently raising funds for their new church, they donated hymns books to the parishioners and offered their services in getting the catechism classes etc started as there is a lot of work to be done in this faith community. A survey of the Catholics in the community is scheduled to take place shortly. We hope that this visit will inspire the community to follow through with their plans for future development.
Fr. Paulose Vellakada SJ April 09 1983 Fr. Keith Hardless
April 18 1971
Fr. James Gonsalves SJ
April 28 1980
Fr. Joachim, D’Mello SJ
May 03 1986
Fr. Anil Tirkey SJ
May 20 1986
Diocesan Quiz Competition– Shondell Ferdinand
The Following is a list of the Quiz Results: Juniors 1st Place—Our Lady of the Mount (Meadowbank) 1nd Place—St . Peter’s (BV) 3rd Place—St. Pius X 4th Place—St. Paul’s (Mahaica) Seniors
Between the months of March & April, the Roman Catholic Diocesan Youth Office held it’s Annual Quiz Competition at the Marian Academy. This event saw the participation of various parishes in the diocese from the East Coast, East Bank and Georgetown. Questions for the various rounds were based on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah which was the text used for study this year. At the Final Round questions on the Sacraments were introduced. Participants and members of the audience were encouraged by Bishop Francis to not just be readers or listeners of the word but to allow it to bear fruit and give expression in their lives. Prizes & Certificates were distributed to all those who participated in the Quiz.
Fr. Varghese Puthussery SJ April 04, 1953
1st Place—St. John the Baptist (Plaisance) 2nd Place—Sacred Heart 3rd Place—St. Peter’s (BV) 4th Place—St. Pius X
Teresa’s Parish—Sonya Van Sluytman On Sunday March 27, there was a retreat for the first year confirmation candidates with the theme “Come Back to Me”. Activities included role-play on specific bible passages, individual reflection, group sharing and a Penance Service. The Penance Service consisted of prayers, an examination of conscience based on the Ten Commandments, each child writing a letter to Jesus and burning it before the Crucifix, a sign of peace and ended with the singing of the hymn – Make me a channel of your peace. The retreat certainly afforded an opportunity for the candidates to grow closer to God as individuals and as a group. In early March, the Committee for Pastoral Development (CPD) held a coffee morning after the 8am Mass. This was wonderful opportunity for parishioners to chat with them and also socialize with each other. Additionally, a suggestion box was made available. Finally, the Parish welcomed 9 new members to our family as Fr. Marlon Innis SJ conferred the Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday March 20.
Eco Retreat ―A Divine Experience‖ Gibion Moonsammy
This Retreat was organized for the Youth Coordinating Committee of the Pastoral Area (YCCPA). However, a few other youths from Georgetown attended along with Bro. Robert Fanovich from Grenada. It all began with the scare of knowing that there were no means of communication except for one telephone that would be about half an hour’s walk away. It took us a little over three hours to arrive at the resort (Rockstone) which is endowed with beautiful scenery: tall trees, lush green grass and a redwater creek. I was urged to look for the good, beauty and oneness in the nature. The retreat was based on the five elements: Ether, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Each session was based on one of these; my favourite was the fire, where we had exposition before the Blessed Sacrament and all had a candle to pray in thanksgiving for the things that were beautiful and good in our lives. We then released the small candles on the water and they were taken downstream by the current. It was one of the most beautiful things I've seen.
The other highlight was the Mass down at the redwater creek! The Altar was placed between two trees and retreatants sat around it with their feet in the creek. This was a totally new experience for me, I saw God alive in nature and had a look of how more majestic nature can look than any cathedral known to man. Also, all retreatants were given an opportunity to walk in-and-out of the resort to find items in the nature that could be associated with them to make models of themselves .This exercise gave us an opportunity to know each other better and reflect on the things that affect our lives. We left that retreat having a better appreciation for nature and became a closely-knit group. Many thanks to Fr. Edwin Thadheu SJ for his efforts in organizing this beautiful retreat.
Church of the Annunciation (Malgre Tout) - Danny Persaud
During the month of February, Parishioners were engaged in restoring the two shrines in front of the church. The project included the cleaning & repainting of these structures. The parishioners are also desirous of replacing the statues but these cannot be located. Help from other parishes is most welcome. The shrines were built in the early 1970's by Father James Kudilil SJ who came to Guyana from India.
Bishop Benedict Singh
April 18 1971
Sunday, March 13, 2011 was an auspicious day for the parishioners of St. Joachim's Church, Springlands. On this day, Mrs. Sybil Regina Francis celebrated her 90th Birthday. Along with her sons, daughters and grand children, the whole congregation came together to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of Mrs. Sybil. At the felicitation after the Eucharist, the Sunday School children and others praised her for her faithfulness in following God's Providence. According to them she never failed to attend Sunday Mass at this age.
Thanks to Fr. Edwin Thadheu, SJ for committing himself for a week long spiritual accompaniment with the parishioners. The mission ended with a reconciliation programme which has prepared more than a hundred parishioners to encounter Easter meaningfully.
The neighbours of Port Mourant community gathered at the Jesuit run Guyana Human Development Centre (GHDC) on March 18 to celebrate the festival of Phagwah. At the gathering, Frs. Gilbert & Edwin SJ shared on various themes which sought to highlight the spirit of the celebration. This year the 100th International Women's Day was celebrated on March 8. For the Occasion, the Guyana Human Development Centre organised a seminar for the people of Berbice."The Women in Society" was the topic of the seminar. Participants were also given the opportunity to share their views. The seminar brought out the areas of women's subjugation in the present context of Guyana and was described as a truly beneficial event.
The East Berbice parishes organized a Lenten Pilgrimage to the Holy Name Catholic Church and community at Lesbeholden, Black Bush Polder on Sunday April 3. After Mass, four buses departed the Church of the Ascension for the farming community. A parade was held some distance from the church and processions made their way into the church building, singing hymns and praising the Lord. Parish Priest of the St Francis Xavier and Sts Joachim & Anne communities, Father Gilburt Camillus SJ said the 12:00 hrs Mass. Even though the heat was sweltering, the faithful participated in the Eucharistic Celebration. The choir from New Amsterdam led the singing with guitars .
The mission week was organized at the Church of the Ascension by Msgr. Terrence Montrose, the Parish Priest. The noon Eucharistic celebrations, evening talks on catholic tradition, Scripture, Sacraments and Lent led the parishioners to introspect their Christian way of life.
After Mass, the pilgrims had lunch, by sharing whatever they had from lunch baskets that they brought on the journey. Parish priest of New Amsterdam, Monsignor Terrence Montrose was also present during the pilgrimage. After lunch, the pilgrims continued in praise songs. The dayâ€™s activities were brought to a successful end just after 16:00 hrs. Fr. Gilburt Camillus SJ & Leon Suseran
News from Aishalt0n– Sch. Edwin Anthony SJ The presence of Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB at the Deep South Rupununi had been a grace-filled occasion. The sacramental graces were bestowed upon hundreds of Catholics in different villages. On 27 Feb, in a solemn concelebrated Mass, 13 faithful were confirmed at Shea. On the same day, a score of catholic babies were baptized in a concelebrated Eucharist in Aishalton. The number of babies baptized in the first quarter of the year in the satellite parishes of Aishalton are 63. The following day was a day of celebration and commemoration at Maruranau where 18 children were confirmed in the catholic faith in the presence of more than 700 people in the Church. Dancing, singing and socializing transformed the occasion unique and spectacular.
As the second phase programme, 70 youngsters were gathered at Maruranau for a two-day-seminar on “Call to Life”. Sch. Edwin SJ and Novice Letroy made the days eventful and fruitful through their innovative games and talks. As the third phase, a three-day-workshop on “Leadership” was organized for more than 75 youngsters at Aishalton. Fr. Edwin Thadheu SJ was the resource person who made the programme down to earth and professional. The seminar ended with a cultural programme organized by the various teams who participated in the workshop. More than 15 Altar Servers are given an ongoing formation in service and leadership. The newly trained enthusiastic crusaders serving at the Altar brings an overall spiritual ambiance in St. Robert Bellarmine Church at Aishalton. Keep it up guys. The Jesuit novices from Jamaica and the US had volunteered to undertake a comprehensive survey (Socio-economic , political and spiritual) of Aishalton, Sawarwau and Maruranau. The studies are hoped to enhance the missionaries to vision for the future.
The Month of March was filled with faith formation programmes in various parts of South Rupununi. On the first phase more than 120 teenagers participated in the Youth Seminar organized in Sawariwau. Novices Letroy and Kevin planned and executed the two-day seminar on “Call to Life”. Ms Emma, a local youth joined the organizers to make the global issues very local and concrete. Her debut performance is likely to encourage many more youngsters to come forward to organize ongoing programmes of this kind.
At the Human Development Centre at Aishalton, 10 youngsters undergo a training programme organized by the CRS. During these two months of intensive training, the trainees will be exposed to Wapishana and Portuguese, Amerindian Crafts, personality development and computer literacy programmes. We wish the staff and students all the best.
News from Aishalt0n Cont’d Sch. Edwin Anthony SJ Fr. Stephen Patterson SJ was in Aishalton for about three weeks to give technical assistance and labour to the community. His presence brought light to the community through his dedicated electrical work. We await his second coming. Thanks Fr. Steve. The arrival of Sr. Irma OSU has made the Ursuline community at Aishalton a Trinitarian. Her missionary zeal draws her easily into the different communities. She is overwhelmed by the warm gesture of welcome offered by them. Sr. Roshni OSU, the provincial and Sr. Clare OSU paid their visitation to the Aishalton community on the occasion of starting a new convent at Karasabai. After serving the South Rupununi for Four Years, Sr. Calista OSU has returned to her home province. Thank you sister for your pioneering works.
On Sunday April 3, a Lenten Pilgrimage was organized for all six (6) of the East Coast Parishes. Parishioners gathered at St. Anthony’s Parish, Buxton where the Chief Celebrant was Fr. Dermot Preston SJ. Fr. Dermot spoke on the spiritual meaning of Lent and the need for building a personal relationship with God.
Anna Abraham The Search Group aims to “deepen the prayer lives of young adults so that together they may hear more clearly how God is calling them to follow & serve Him”. The Group meets at a different Parish or Location on the second Sunday of each month and is made up of youths from the East Coast, East Bank & Georgetown. However, there is planned outreach to Berbice & Bartica later this year. For 2011, topics such as Who am I? What is my Purpose? Wisdom & Being Counter– Cultural and Vocation have been examined. Guest Visitors are also invited to share their spiritual journeys/vocation stories with the young people. Movie Nights held at Arrupe House serve to provide food for thought and provoke discussion with their life enriching themes. We are heavily indebted to Fr. Stephen Patterson SJ who serves as a spiritual guide to the group.
Congratulations to Fr. Dermot Preston SJ on his appointment as the new Jesuit Provincial of the British Province Search Group Gathering
Diocesan Newsletter for the month of April.