During the course of 13 days (July 26–August 7), Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB of Georgetown visited nine communities in Central Rupununi and confirmed 117 young adults.
The bishop’s visit was a time of grace for the faithful in the Shulinab, Lethem, St Ignatius, Kumu, Nappi, Baitoon, Moco Moco, West Hiawa and Potarinau communities who were very grateful that they were able to spend some time in worship and fellowship with their spiritual Shepherd.
Bishop Alleyne was accompanied on the trips by members of the St Ignatius Jesuit community: Fr Edwin Anthony SJ, Fr Ronald Fernandes SJ and Joel Thompson SJ.
A Catholic Standard article by Thompson said the trips involved a considerable amount of travel which was made even more challenging by the rains and swollen rivers.
It said that a demanding but enjoyable trip was undertaken to Baitoon, where the bishop travelled by van, boat, foot and motorcycle to reach the community and celebrate the Sacrament.
Before each confirmation celebration, the bishop took the time to listen to and speak with the candidates about their current and future aspirations, their questions about life and the challenges they face while trying to live their Catholic faith within their communities.
“The bishop in his homilies urged the young adults to ask themselves how they will use their gifts and talents to serve and transform their communities in the weeks to come.”
He also affirmed and encouraged those present to hold on to their indigenous culture and in particular he commended the group from Nappi who integrated their indigenous wear with the traditional white clothing used for Confirmation.
Bishop Alleyne also took the opportunity to inform the communities about the upcoming Synod on the Amazon in October 2019.