By Kaelanne Jordan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Archbishop Jason Gordon said since his installation as archbishop last December, 2018 has proved to be his busiest year. It was one that brought him to all corners and “fringes” of the archdiocese—from Toco to Tobago for various engagements.
He disclosed one big challenge which he is “enjoying” is writing weekly articles for Catholic News.
“That has been quite rewarding in its discipline [and] challenging in finding time every week. It means 5.30 on a morning being up and focusing, giving the time for thinking, reflecting and researching to make sure that I get that out on time,” the archbishop said in the final instalment of Ask the Archbishop Live chat 2018, Wednesday, December 12.
Archbishop Gordon mentioned that he is working with the Port of Spain Mayor, Joel Martinez and the Society of St Vincent de Paul to accomplish “some things” necessary for the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons. “It seems like it will happen early on in the [next] year,” he commented.
During the chat, the Archbishop provided updates on the email account established for persons to report sexual abuse in the archdiocese and the participation of three local priests at a “workshop” in Chicago.
He emphasised that all incoming emails are accessed with strict confidentiality by one person who acts as the Delegate for the Protection of Children. Emails received will be taken “seriously”. He however warned, correspondences cannot be anonymous.
Catholic Media Services Limited’s (CAMSEL) Web and Social Media Officer, Tshenelle Bethel-Peters asked the Archbishop for advice on how to treat with persons who prefer to share complaints without divulging necessary contact information. Archbishop Gordon commented on this “challenge” stating that the archdiocese can only act on information if someone has given their name and contact.
He further explained, “If somebody does not give contact information, then you can only take it as advice. That’s not a report. A report needs a name, it needs an address, contact information and signed.”
Msgr Esau Joseph, vicar for Clergy; Msgr Cuthbert Alexander, vice-rector Seminary St John Vianney and Uganda Martyrs and Fr Matthew d’Hereaux, vicar for Vocations and Priestly Formation attended workshops organised by the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) in Chicago from July 10 to 21 this year on vocation assessment and discernment. The US-based NRVC promotes vocation awareness, invitation and discernment to life as a religious or priest.
Topics included: Foundational Elements of Vocation Ministry, Assessment of Inquirers and Discerners, and Application and Admission Processes.
Cognisant of persons still dealing with the after-effects of the October floods, Archbishop Gordon shared a message of hope and solidarity. He mentioned plans to meet with Catholic groups such as the Living Water Community for Christmas to assess what the needs are, what has been done and what else can be done.