‘Milestone’ for Barbados

Catholic News, Trinidad - Sunday, 26 October 2014 08:51
Bishop Jason Gordon of Bridgetown has described the recent Synod in Barbados as a “milestone”. “Synod 2014 will be remembered as a milestone in the life of the Roman Catholic Church in Barbados. It will be remembered not for what it will do for us as a Church but, more importantly, I pray, for what it will do to us as a nation.”

Debra Smith, a delegate from Our Lady of the Rosary, makes a submission during the Synod.
Bishop Jason Gordon at the Synod’s closing Mass. In the background are Fr Peter Clarke (left) and Fr Michael Barrow. Photos Christopher Williams

The Synod began on October 16 with an opening Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Bishop Gordon presided and the 350-strong congregation included Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

The bishop’s homily set the tone for discussion on ways the Church could become more effective in ministering to a changing Barbadian society. He called on Catholics to be pillars of the Word, Eucharist and Service so as to transform the Church and society, and urged them to enter into open, frank and respectful dialogue during the Synod.

A total of 360 delegates, drawn from across seven parishes, attended the two-day Synod sitting at the Living Water Community Centre, St David, Christ Church.

Delegates tabled recommendations under four headings: Word, Eucharist, Service and Other. Bishop Gordon has been encouraging Catholics in Barbados to read the word of God, the Bible; rediscover the Eucharist, as food for their souls; do service by ministering to the poor and the lonely, and evangelise family and friends who have turned away from the Church. There was a high level of participation in the discussion and 34 resolutions were approved.

The closing Mass was held on October 19 at sunset on the grounds of the Living Water centre. Bishop Gordon said he was thankful to God for his blessings to the diocese. He explained that while the Synod sitting has ended, the Synod process would continue until 2019. He said the journey towards fulfilling the mandate of Synod 2014 would require a deepening of faith and Catholic discipleship.

– compiled by Christopher Williams