Conference on work, life and ageing
April 14, 2018
Catholic youth want to feel welcome
April 14, 2018

New President hit the right note

President Paula Mae Weekes

Archbishop Jason Gordon said he was “very impressed” with Her Excellency President Paula- Mae Weekes’ inaugural address at her inauguration ceremony March 19.

Describing the ceremony as “amazing” the archbishop said that President Weekes’ maiden speech was positive, uplifting and it really spoke to what the country needed to hear at that time.

“It challenged [us] in all the right ways. It dreamt of a different kind of society that we want to become. It engaged people to build nation in amazing ways. I thought it was a fine celebration and she’s off to a wonderful start in really giving leadership at the highest level to the kind of citizen we expect of this nation,” the archbishop said during an Ask the Archbishop live chat, March 28.

The archbishop said that since returning to Trinidad, he has been learning and observing changes that weren’t there prior. He made reference to his visit to the Port of Spain prison, March 28 adding that it is evident Government is taking restorative justice “very seriously”.

He said, “They are actually talking to the inmates very differently. They are calling them clients and they are engaging them differently and empowering people to grow and to dream and to develop so that when they come out they’re ready for society and they have evolved to another place in their life. That was not happening when I left,” he said.

During the live chat, Archbishop Gordon was asked why baptism occurs only on Holy Saturday. He replied that that is “absolutely false” as persons are baptised throughout the year.

Archbishop Gordon explained that the persons who are entering the Catholic Church prepare for a period of time and are subsequently brought in on Holy Saturday night.

“Because that’s the night when the whole of salvation history was opened and when the floodgates of heaven washed the salvation of so many people. So, we use the Holy Saturday night to bring our new converts into the church,” he said.

One Facebook viewer commented on the archbishop wearing different hats during his ministry.

Archbishop Gordon gave an illustration highlighting that the smaller of the two hats, the zucchetto, is the common hat for the bishop; fuchsia for bishops; red for cardinals; and white for the pope.

The archbishop went on to expound that the liturgical rule states that the bishop will always wear the zucchetto at the beginning of the Mass. “You come in with the mitre-—the symbol of a bishop’s authority, you put the mitre on when you sit and take it off before you stand. You never pray with the mitre. You have no authority over God. For the consecration, you take off both mitre and zucchetto….The zucchetto comes off as preparation for the appearance of God…After Communion, he puts it back on again but only after all the vessels are cleaned off the altar.”

Archbishop Gordon conveyed some parting words for the faithful urging them not to take their eyes off discipleship—the key to growing faith and happiness and “don’t ever be afraid to open your heart to Him and allow Him in your life”. – KJ