Pontifical recognition of the Lay Religious Institute of the Missionaries of the Poor, founded in 1981 by Fr. Richard Ho Lung.

The Papal Nuncio in a Press Release on 12th December 2014 informs all the Ordinaries of the Antilles that the Holy Father gave his approval to the “Missionaries of the Poor” (M.O.P) founded by Fr. Richard Ho Lung, as a Lay Religious Institute of Pontifical Right.
 mop decree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘A privilege to serve’

Catholic News, Trinidad, 23rd November, 2014

AEC outgoing General-Secretary receives papal award

In recognition of his work as General Secretary of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC), Pope Francis has awarded Guyana-born Rev Michael James one of the Church’s highest medals for the laity.

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Nicola Girasoli gives Rev Mike James the lapel pin which accompanies the Cross of Honour awarded to him by Pope Francis. Looking on are Rev James’ wife, Maria, and Fr John Persaud, his successor as AEC General Secretary. Photos Raymond Syms. Continue reading

Financial Report - Antilles Episcopal Conference

Summary of Audited Accounts 2013

Following the decision of the Bishops at their Permanent Board Meeting in January 2014 AEC bishops to lead by example in financial transparency and accountability  the AEC publishes the attached summary of its own finances for 2013 which has been prepared by the auditors of the Conference and approved at the Annual Plenary Meeting held in May 2014

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30th Sunday of the Year - Sunday 26th October

The reflections for October are by Bishop Francis Alleyne, Bishop of Georgetown, Guyana and Vice-President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference

Alleyne

Similar to the Gospel passage of last week, Jesus is approached by the Pharisees with a question, “Which is the greatest commandment of the Law?”  Another similarity is that their approach was not sincere.  The Pharisees were trying to disconcert him, catch him off guard, they were bowling a “googly” at him and probably had some responses or further question ready to trap him according to how he may answer.  Continue reading

29th Sunday of the Year - Sunday 19th October

The reflections for October are by Bishop Francis Alleyne, Bishop of Georgetown, Guyana and Vice-President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference

Alleyne

In a recent article in the Tablet (UK) Fr. Nicholas King SJ, a professor in scripture, offered a cautionary word about how we read and draw insight from the bible.  One tendency can be to zero in on a text that helps to carry a position or conclusion that we want to believe.  I have heard more than one individual proudly conclude that “Jesus says its ok to drink because he turned water into wine”.  Continue reading

Good vibes from Rome

Catholic News, Trinidad, 4th October 2014, By Lara Pickford-Gordon

Archbishop reports ‘very productive’ meetings

Rome is receptive to the idea of Pope Francis visiting Trinidad and Tobago, Archbishop Harris has said.

He discussed the possibility when he met on September 13 with the Pope’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The talks followed correspondence to Cardinal Parolin inviting the pope to visit T&T.

Archbishop Joseph Harris gestures after greeting Pope Francis during the pope’s weekly General Audience on September 10 at St Peter’s Square. This L’Osservatore Romano photo was provided to the Catholic News by Archbishop Harris. Continue reading

Is the Eucharist for those who need Christ most?

By Mike James – Catholic Standard – Guyana – 3rd October 2014

Catholics around the world last weekend offered special prayers for the work of the Synod of bishops from around the world which begins this Sunday October 5 to discuss “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.”

This Synod termed “Extraordinary” is so in a number of ways. Its principal focus will not be on decision making or on submission to Pope Francis of specific recommendations for immediate action. Continue reading

28th Sunday of the Year - Sunday 12th October

The reflections for October are by Bishop Francis Alleyne, Bishop of Georgetown, Guyana and Vice-President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference

Alleyne

The gospel for this Sunday is one of the Kingdom parables; “the Kingdom of God can be compared to a King who gave a feast for his son’s wedding”.  Wedding celebrations in our own time and very much in our region still win a lot of attention; the invitations, the gifts, the dress, decor, food, drink, music, the atmosphere for the reception, who will speak etc.  There are balloons and bubbles and chocolate fountains and a sense that no detail is spared and lavish expenditure is the order of the day.  In Guyana there is a popular custom of the wedding party and guests driving in convoy through the city or district blowing horns with the newly wed couple riding in an elaborately decorated car.

In recent years I have observed a practice at weddings whereby the turn out of invitees at the reception is significantly larger than the attendance at the church ceremony.  Maybe extenuating circumstances such as baby sitters, traffic, working hours could account for this though I more get the impression that the faith aspect of the celebration is judged to be less important.  I recall one wedding where the focus and attention of the young couple was on the church ceremony.  Readings, hymns, dress and decorum were about the sacrament, the sacredness and about what was happening between the bride and groom and between God and this couple.  The couple and gathering were standing before a great mystery; a mystery of two becoming one and something very unique and special beginning for the couple and wider community.  The celebration was about love and trust and forgiveness and expansiveness of life.  In the congregation I could recognise a number of couples who were part of Marriage Encounter, their presence giving endorsement, encouragement and affirmation to the newly weds.  In that church that afternoon was laid out the banquet that Isaiah speaks of in the first reading of today’s liturgy.  In that celebration were the finest foods and drink in abundance in the form of hopes, dreams, aspirations, mystery, desire, belonging and a confidence that so much is possible when God is with us.  That is the wedding feast to which God invites us.

Marriage at its best it is the most profound expression of human relationship. This image is frequently adopted in scripture to describe the relationship between God and his people.  God’s invitation to the wedding feast is for everyone to share with Him and one another something profound.  Last year at the International Stewardship Conference I attended a workshop on “Growing an Engaged Church”.  From polls done in faith communities in North America the findings were that on average in a parish community about 16% of the members were actively engaged in the life of the community.  Using their gifts they would be committed to ministry, they would be generally interested in the life of the community and have a strong sense of ownership, loyalty and responsibility.  The individuals in this group were found to have a strong and lively faith and through their example and interaction with others were a source of inspiration and encouragement to other members.  This is a win-win situation.  But why only 16%?  The ideal would be that the full membership would enjoy a greater celebration of their faith.  I think of that famous quote from St. Irenaeus “The Glory of God is in a human being fully alive”.  How much more the glory of God would shine in a fully engaged community.  The same poll showed that on average about 50% of a faith community were quite passive, they would be present at Sunday Mass but not involved in ministry and may not interact at all with other members.  My own sense is that persons that could be described this way are selling themselves short, depriving themselves of a deeper communion with their God and neighbour.  This, as it were, is coming to the wedding feast without a wedding garment, without the best attitude and disposition, not fully attuned to the spirit of the celebration, perhaps not fully free to participate.  God’s invitation to his wedding feast is continually being extended to us.  May our hearts be increasingly free and ready to join in celebration and communion with him and one another.

God our Father, you continually call us to new and more abundant life.  Give us listening hearts to hear your call, touch us with your healing presence and dispel all fear and distress, so that with our brothers and sisters we can grow in your love and further your kingdom here on earth. 

 

Another Caribbean voice at Vatican

AEC president appointed to CEP

By Lara Pickford-Gordon - Catholic News, Trinidad, 19th September 2014

President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC), Archbishop Patrick Pinder of Nassau, Bahamas, has been appointed a member of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, the body responsible for the transmission and dissemination of the faith. The good news comes six months after Archbishop Emeritus Kelvin Felix of Castries, St Lucia was appointed a Cardinal.

On September 13 the Holy See made the announcement of Archbishop Pinder and 17 other appointments to the Congregation, including cardinals, archbishops, priests and a nun. “It is the first time that a Bishop from the AEC has been appointed to such a high office in the Vatican,” the AEC said in a release issued last Tuesday. Continue reading