By Lara Pickford-Gordon
The Catholic Students Movement (CSM), The University of the West Indies St Augustine met Tuesday, July 7 with Archbishop Jason Gordon who suggested the group reinvent and evolve the way campus ministry is conducted.
The meeting was held at Archbishop’s House, Port of Spain to introduce the newly elected CSM executive: President, Joshua Gouveia; Treasurer, Dana Reyes; Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Joseph and Social Events Coordinator, Stephanie Gouveia. Accompanying them were Episcopal Delegate for Youth Taresa Best-Downes and Administrative Assistant Catholic Youth Commission (CYC) Sherette Almandoz.
Sharing feedback from the meeting, Joseph reported Archbishop Gordon, “specifically stated that a space, where young and young adult Catholics of not just the university but from any area, is desperately needed and the CSM should do its utmost best to create and maintain such a space”.
The CSM executive had the opportunity to ask questions of His Grace centred on the growing concern of many young Catholics and young adults moving away from the Church. Joseph said, “He gave refined and pertinent answers that were well received by everyone in attendance”.
The discussion was described as “beneficial” not only for the CSM members present, His Grace was informed about some issues of concern to both the CSM and the CYC. Also raised were various plans to develop the CSM and the role and function it performs, as well as collaborations for engaging youth across the Archdiocese.
At the end of the meeting, with a blessing and many words of wisdom and guidance shared, His Grace commissioned the new executive and entire CSM group for the academic year starting September. CSM members received copies of Teach us to Pray authored by the Archbishop.
The CSM has been on the UWI St Augustine Campus for 30 years as an official group recognised by the university administration. The CSM was preceded by the UWI Prayer Group, which existed for about 20 years prior. The CSM is a regional body with a presence also on the Mona and Cave Hill campuses. It was formed to create an environment for Catholics and interested persons, to pray, reflect and fellowship amidst the pressures of tertiary education and personal life. Transitioning from the aforementioned prayer group, the CSM represents the presence of the Catholic Church on campus and serves to be the home for Catholic students and persons away from their parishes.