Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 13th 2014 Contents As we hurtle down the road---too busy to do any-
thing about corruption, child and other abuses, sex
in schools, gangsterism and the drug menace---our
Church continues to cry out for help. Maybe as we
approach Easter, we can pray for a resurrection of
a spirit of determination to stop the rot.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt April 13, 2014
Today is Palm Sunday, which means we are near-
ing the end of another Lenten season. Today, then,
should be a good day to reflect, as Catholics, on
what kind of Lenten season we have just been
through. Let us not think about the Lenten retreat.
That is run-of-the-mill Lenten practice for ages in
the modern Church.
Let us dig deeper into our hearts and see whether
we have lived the season, not merely by giving up
this or giving up that. Have we done something we
do not usually do, like feed the hungry and not just
drop a few coins in a beggar s hat or hand, but rather
prepare meals and take it to the hungry? Have any
of us visited with any terminally-ill people, offering
solace and kindness?
So many are the occasions when as Catholics we
feel good because for Lent we increased our weekly
collection or increased our donation to the St Vincent
de Paul Society, or even were very generous to the
Archbishop s Appeal Fund to assist in repairing the
Cathedral; and for so doing, we smugly believe that
we are in fact being very charitable and doing some-
thing special for the penitential season.
Did we ever think about looking around the neigh-
bourhood or the workplace to select a person or a
family to share a Sunday meal with our family at our
homes? Have we ever thought about seeking out
seniors who are not enjoying the best of health and
finding out their immediate needs and offering to
help? Did we ever think about visiting the lonely---
folks who have lost a spouse or whose children live
These are some of the exemplary things that could
have been done during Lent. But wait! It s not too
late. Kindness and neighbourliness are not specific
to Lent. These acts, which are guaranteed to bring
joy to many hearts, can be carried out at any time
and should not be encumbered by the parameters of
the Lenten Season.
When Keith Patrick addressed a congregation in
the Valley Harps panyard two weeks ago, he spoke
about Catholics who were "playing Church," attending
Sunday Mass because that is what we Catholics are
supposed to do. So we do it, many times unwillingly.
He struck at the very heart of the malaise.
Have we noticed the dedication with which the
members of evangelical churches---usually referred
to as "small church"---pursue their spirituality? Or
the passion with which they preach and read the
Bible? Compare their devotion to their Church respon-
sibilities and how seriously they take them, to ours.
How many of our parishes are unable to attract
members to the various ministries? First and foremost
we are lacking in vocations and consequently priests.
How many parishes operate with a full complement
of altar servers; ushers or the hospitality ministry?
Further, have you ever noticed the ages of those
who remain dedicated to their calling? In the same
way young men are not answering the call to priest-
hood, the younger members of our Churches are not
up to being part of Church ministries. Yes! Many of
them attend Sunday Mass, but that seems to be all
that matters. All this is reflected in the paucity of
numbers in parish choirs and pastoral councils, the
youth ministry and liturgical committees.
Vernon Khelawan is media relations officer of
Catholic Media Services Limited (Camsel), the
official communications arm of the Archdiocese
of Port-of-Spain. Its offices are located at 31
Independence Square. Telephone: 623-7620.
Wake up to the call of the Church
Let us dig deeper into our hearts and see
whether we have lived the season, not merely
by giving up this or giving up that. Have we
done something we do not usually do, like feed
the hungry and not just drop a few coins in a
beggar's hat or hand, but rather prepare meals
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