The Catholic Church in Trinidad and Tobago was among the religious groups invited to make its “spiritual contribution” as the nation became independent of colonial rule.
On July 13, the press officer for the Independence Celebrations Committee James Andrews wrote to Archbishop Finbar Ryan indicating: “The Publicity Sub-Committee of the Independence Celebrations Committee has been contacted by representative of various religious bodies with offers of prayers for independence.”
His correspondence continues, “I am sure the Catholic Church will have its own spiritual contribution to make, it would help to give a balanced future if I could have details of your plans before releasing these of other denominations.”
In separate correspondence two days later, from the Office of Premier, Whitehall, the Permanent Secretary (PS) invited His Grace on behalf of the Government to participate as Head of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain in the official “Raising of the Flag of Trinidad and Tobago at 12.00 midnight on August 30, 1962”.
The correspondence informs of the proposal that “a representative of each of the four denominations having the majority of adherents in the country and a representative of the Ministerial Council of Evangelical Churches be asked to offer a short prayer immediately following the raising of the national flag and commencing from 12.02 a.m.”
It was hoped that all denominations would find it possible to arrange services in places of worship starting at 12.30 a.m. The PS stated, “ I shall be grateful for details of these so that the information may be included in the Independence Celebrations Programme.”