Ex-politician/calypsonian now priest in Dominica

“Keep the candle burning….keep the candle burning….” 
Newly ordained priest for the diocese of Roseau, Fr Brancker John, could not help but inject something from his past life into his June 29 ordination Mass. Members of the congregation joyfully sang his hit calypso along with him. “This is not Carnival City you know,” he joked, much to the delight of those who packed St Peter’s Church, Colihaut.
Fr John, a two-time calypso king who performed under the soubriquet ‘De Brakes’, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gabriel Malzaire.
His parents, Blaize John and Gretta Philogene, as well as his siblings, sat in the front pews. Invited guests included President Eliud Williams and his wife, the acting Prime Minister Ambrose George, and government ministers.
Bishop Malzaire had some advice for the diocese’s newest priest. “From today onwards you will not be the same, I guarantee you, you will not be the same. Essentially you will maintain the same features, the same form, the same stature …the sacraments will impose on you a pact and you will have the power to effect a certain kind of change to people’s life. What a privilege you will have.”
The bishop described John as “Christ’s ambassador” who must give “authentic witness” to the people of God. Bishop Malzaire said Jesus Christ was in search of ambassadors with great spiritual and physical fortitude and told the new priest not to run away from the tough questions that might come his way while he “witnesses for the Lord”.
Fr John was warned that he should not shortchange the people of God but should “keep them encouraged by your person and by a mission that is rooted in Jesus Christ.” Bishop Malzaire told him that the people of God must see him as a man on fire, a man of sacrifice, a man of prayer, “so that you maybe best able to respond to the people in their pastoral needs”.
“Make Jesus a special friend so you can properly share him with God’s people…And for the love of God’s people, keep the candles burning.”
Before he entered religious life, Fr John worked in many government departments and once served as a senator in the House of Parliament for the United Workers’ Party, from 1995-2000. He ran as a UWP candidate for Colihaut in Dominica’s 2000 general elections but lost. As a calypsonian, he sang his way to the throne with “Put the Brakes on Them” and “Keep the Candles Burning.”
– Adapted from Dominicanewsonline.com and The Chronicle - See more at: http://www.catholicnews-tt.net/joomla/caribbean-news/4796-ex-politiciancalypsonian-now-priest-jul-28#sthash.IGMCnSrN.dpuf