Fifteen years ago when visiting missionary, Fr John Campoli advised that the shrine to be built by Bert Manhin at La Vega Estate, Gran Couva should be dedicated to the Divine Mercy, he could not have envisioned the turnout at last Sunday’s Divine Mercy celebrations. Nearly 2000 pilgrims from Icacos, Penal, Port of Spain and other parts of Trinidad came in fervent prayer, joyful praise and vibrant worship. The shrine’s centrepoint is the Divine Mercy mosaic done by Joann Aldred-Humphrey.
Parishioners of the Gran Couva/ Tabaquite Parish assisted with hospitality, music and liturgy. The planning committee led by Tarra Sant coordinated the day’s activities while parish priest, Fr Meenuga Prabhudas MSFS was available for reconciliation, master of ceremonies, Dave Marcus, led the music ministry, Diahnna Wells led the choir and Lynn Perreira-Seetaram led the hospitality teams.
Seminarian Paul Ramlogan, a parishioner from Flanagin Town, linked the breath of God with His mercy, and shared a personal experience of God’s mercy concluding that God’s constant mercy is a two-way street – as we receive mercy, we are compelled to also extend mercy to others. This is possible by engaging in works of mercy, giving words of mercy or saying prayers of mercy.
Fr Robert Christo whose focus on mercy paralleled it to the very nature of God, concluded that mercy, through Jesus is a personalised experience. While on a national level, our country’s name espouses a Trinitarian love, itself an emblem of mercy, we currently live in a place of great violence, in a culture which admires mercy but still perceives it as a weakness.
Dysfunctional, amidst chaos, denial, abandonment and betrayal just like the disciples in the Upper Room, our world stands in need of mercy. Jesus appears. He shows us His wounds – not to offer blame or seek revenge but to give peace, forgiveness, mercy.
The homily delivered by Msgr Julien Kaboré, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature acknowledged that we are all doubting Thomases, yearning for an encounter with the risen Lord.
Jesus’ invitation to put our hands in His wounds has led to the birth of a church, directly from His wounded side. In a church characterised by charity and mercy – all are called to holiness, through small acts of mercy. These small gestures of love are steps towards holiness which includes practising the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and praying the Rosary, through Mary, Mother of Mercy. – Sharon Syriac