expects growth of MATs, migrant support in 2020
By Kaelanne Jordan
Archbishop Jason Gordon said he is “excited” about entering 2020 with “a lot more clarity” than he had in previous years since being installed Archbishop of Port of Spain, December 27, 2017.
He shared that for 2020, his agenda will involve three major areas: the growth and development of the Ministry Animation Teams (MATs) in parishes, continue building on Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Harris’ legacy as it pertains to the “blatant injustice” of the judicial system, and taking the “amazing ministry” of the Archdiocesan Ministry for Migrants and Refugees (AMMR) to the “next stage”.
In his final instalment of Ask the Archbishop live chat for 2019 on December 18, the Archbishop said that in 2019, something “amazing” happened.
Referring to the AMMR, Archbishop Gordon said that the last time parishes turned towards the poor would have been in the 1970s through the Meals on Wheels, soup kitchens and legal clinics. He said he is “really proud” of the parishes and Catholics who, albeit with little support, responded to the migrant and refugee crisis.
“I think if we take this movement we started and go to the next stage with it…and if we understand that this is a responsibility of all of us then I think we will have a deeper connection with the gospel and the parish life and we will see fruit from that. That I think is going to be amazing,” the Archbishop told host, Catholic Media Services Limited’s (CAMSEL) Digital Media Manager Tracy Chimming-Lewis.
Another major issue of his 2020 agenda involves Catholic education. The Archbishop shared that he met with principals of 21 secondary schools and had “great open conversations”. He said they left him with a list of things he can do to help the schools move forward.
Commenting on his two-year anniversary as Archbishop of Port of Spain, Archbishop Gordon said it was a short two years and a long two years. The first two years, he said, have been a lot of pressure for him.
“It’s a lot…but it’s important because of the size of the Archdiocese to be able for people in all segments and different parts of the Archdiocese to actually have an encounter and face to face interaction with me….”
He explained that while he has been “all over the place literally” during those two years, it was a “good” experience hearing from all the different areas and gathering an understanding from all the diverse peculiarities within the Archdiocese.
In terms of the MATs, the Archbishop observed that many times a ministry is not happening because it either does not have the right persons as a resource or not enough of the right resource.
He however affirmed that dialogue is what leads to discernment and it is this discernment that allows the MATs to start functioning in a way where it becomes a vehicle of grace allowing the will of God to translate into pastoral animation and ministry in the parish.
To this end, Archbishop Gordon summed up his priority areas for 2020 under the three-fold mission of the Bishop and of the Church: social justice, parish life (sanctification) and education (Church teachings).