“Who do you say I am?” This provocative question, derived from Mark’s gospel, was posed by Archbishop Jason Gordon to the students of Mount Hope Secondary School on January 27.
In a bold yet unconventional attempt to reach out to the youths of Trinidad and Tobago, the Archbishop of Port of Spain embarked on a series of visits to non-denominational government secondary schools throughout the country, with Mount Hope Secondary being the second stop on the journey.
Gathered in the school’s hall to participate were Head of the Pontifical Missions Society and Directress of the Eternal Light Community Deborah de Rosia, the school’s principal Lisa Marcella Henry-Legall, catechists, members of the teaching staff and 350 students.
The morning’s proceedings began promptly at 9 a.m. with the National Anthem, the recitation of the school prayer and the principal’s welcome address. This immediately flowed into a spirited Praise and Worship segment which was led by the day’s Music Ministry, comprising GRACE Music Ministry’s Atherly Nicholas and Stacey Fitzpatrick-Caesar, teachers on steelpan and keyboard, as well as student drummers.
The lively session featured music which appealed to many of the students, who enthusiastically and energetically sang and danced along.
The morning’s tone swiftly transitioned to solemn and pensive with a meditation exercise led by the Archbishop, which concluded with the reminder that being constantly surrounded by noise gives little to no room for quieting one’s self, which is essential for the human psyche.
With the assistance of Archbishop Gordon, students were engaged in Lectio Divina, which featured the piece of scripture from which emerged the theme of the day’s events.
Highlighting the statement “Jesus asked His disciples”, the Archbishop put forward the question to students, who responded impressively to the declaration and interacted well with him.
Leaving the ponderous mood of Lectio Divina behind, the morning’s tempo soon picked back up with a musical performance of an original number penned by school Science teacher, Darryl Grandison, who was accompanied by students.
Subsequently, students were requested to complete and submit an evaluation of the morning’s proceedings, while administrative and teaching staff were presented with autographed copies of the Archbishop’s book, Teach Us to Pray: A Little Book on Christian Prayer.
Rounding off such a blessed morning at Mount Hope Secondary, was the Vote of Thanks and the Archbishop’s blessing on all gathered in the assembly.
Touched by the events of the morning, students graciously accepted rosaries and other prayerful tokens on exiting the school hall, and even stopped to chat with the Archbishop individually.
This monumental move on the part of Archbishop Gordon epitomises the call to go out and reach our brothers and sisters in all spheres of life and illustrates that the Holy Spirit is forever moving in our land.
—Racine Grant, teacher