Over 300 parishioners from the Laventille Morvant Pastoral Area (LMPA), joined by members of the Franciscan community, Sangre Grande, came together on pilgrimage the first Sunday in Lent.
We took to the streets in procession, singing, praising God, praying the rosary and the Stations of the Cross. On return to the St Francis of Assisi RC Church, the first session was delivered by feature speaker, Winston Garcia, Episcopal Delegate for the Youth.
He cautioned that we must not be “seasonal Catholics” as 365 days God is God and He does not take any time off. If we are children of God, then we should not want to take any time off; we should want to stay with God and the Holy Spirit.
Garcia said that Lent is about reconnecting with God and that many people live in a partially anointed way of life e.g. those in irregularised relationships. Lent, he continued, is not only a season; it is a lifestyle, where you are not afraid to go into the wilderness to face the devils of the world because you know that God’s angels are with you.
He declared that walking with Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit is the most exciting thing in life. Garcia then gave an overview of the Vatican II highlights, some of which are obedience to the Holy Spirit, preaching the gospel and teaching the faith.
In closing, he reminded us that the message of the kingdom has to be proclaimed and we will see life, conversion, peace, joy, love and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Garcia said that we must build character first (Isaiah 11) and that most people are interested in the charismatic gifts but a lot of Catholics have no spiritual ambition.
It takes character to say, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’. Getting into a relationship with God is where it begins and Lent is a time of growth, purging and release.
A blessing was prayed on each person and the youth of the pastoral area were specially invited to the sanctuary to be prayed with for the release of the Holy Spirit upon them.
The afternoon session ended with Holy Mass celebrated by parish priest of the pastoral area, Fr Trevor Nathasingh. His homily focused on the readings of the day. – Cheryl-Ann Mader, parishioner, LMPA