Although he is “sad” to leave the diocese at this stage of their journey, Bishop Jason Gordon of Bridgetown takes consolation that the country is not being abandoned as provision has been made for the continued growth of the Church.
He asked the faithful to join him in praying that God may give the diocese a shepherd who is ready and able to lead in this new stage of growth and development.
“I feel like David who was not allowed to build a temple. He, however, made every provision for his successor to have all that was needed to construct a magnificent edifice. Or, as Jesus says, one man plants, another harvests. This is a true saying. Those who have gone before me had laid foundations that I built upon. Together, your clergy, lay leaders and myself have planted new seed. I am assured it is good seed and it will bring in a rich harvest,” Bishop Gordon said in an October 21 post uploaded on the diocesan blog, catholicbb.org.
In his message, Bishop Gordon said that when he takes up his appointment as Archbishop of Port of Spain, December 27, he will continue to serve as administrator of the diocese.
This he explained, will ensure that the work they have started together can continue.
“We have had six years together building the Church in Bridgetown. This has been an amazing learning experience for me, one that I will always treasure, for you taught me how to be a bishop. There is much to celebrate about our time together. A lot has been achieved and learnt, but we will have time to reflect on this together over the next months,” he said.
Bishop Gordon lamented a “bitter-sweet feeling”, adding that the diocese has only just begun to understand together the elements of discipleship in the 21st century; grasp and glimpse the vision of what the faithful can be as Church in Barbados; and lay the foundations of Catholicism for a stronger church in the 21st century.
He identified a few changes that take effect in December: Fr Charles Dominique OP being reassigned to Grenada and two priests assigned to serve in Barbados. Frs Peter Mc Isaac SJ, a Jesuit priest will take responsibility as administrator of the Catholic Formation Institute from January 2018 and Andrew Rosiak, of the Pallotine Order will be returning to the diocese from February 1, 2018.
“They will both bring gifts and energy to the diocese,” Bishop Gordon said.
Bishop Gordon believed that their priest complement is being strengthened with three seminarians in training—Kirt Prospere, Omar Valmond and Kabuga Gikandi, along with deacons George Waithe and Stephen Foster and other deacons in training.
He asked the Catholic diocese of Bridgetown to pray for all of these men who have committed themselves to the vocation.
Bishop Gordon mentioned that for the last eight months, he and the diocese’s priests have had “a very intense discussion” on how to move the Church in Bridgetown to a missionary key.
The result, he noted, is the establishment of a new community, Corpus Christi, to grow the Church in the parish of St George.
The diocese has also met and invited a community of the Neocatechumenal Way, a charism within the Catholic Church dedicated to Christian formation, to take residence in St Thomas and work within that area.
The Archbishop-elect of Port of Spain beseeched the faithful to consider their commitment to Christ and deepen it significantly over the next few years with Bible reading and daily prayer habits.
“There is nothing that would be more precious to me and nothing that will give me more joy than to see each of you flourish and become stronger in faith, witness and love,” Bishop Gordon said.