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New Archbishop prays for T&T in first Mass

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Newly-ordained Archbishop of Port-of-Spain Fr Joseph Harris, with a look of surprise on his face after receiving the pectoral cross, shows it off to parishioners during evening mass at the St Ann’s RC Church on Saturday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR

Newly-ordained Archbishop of Port-of-Spain Fr Joseph Harris yesterday prayed that God bestow his holy guidance on this country’s leaders so they may unite for the well-being of the citizens. Harris was warmly welcomed by hundreds of Roman Catholic faithfuls, all of whom gathered at the Holy Cross RC Church, Buen Intento, Princes Town, where he participated in the Feast of the Eucharist celebrations, yesterday. Last week Harris became the second local member of the clergy to ascend to the office of the Archbishop of Port-of-Spain. Harris, who led his first mass in south Trinidad after being ordained, said a special prayer for Trinidad and Tobago.

“We prayer for our land, for the guidance of God’s spirit, so our political, civic and economic leaders will be able to come together and to dialogue and arrive at consensus about the best way in which we can ensure that all our citizens live truly human lives,” Harris solemnly prayed. “Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us,” the parishioners replied in unison. He also prayed for peace in countries around the world where there is fighting. Harris, in his brief sermon, urged parishioners who may be facing suffering in their lives to remember the suffering Jesus Christ endured to save the world. “We live in an age that does not accept or welcome suffering and so very often when suffering comes we reject it. We do not unite it to the sufferings of Jesus for the salvation of the whole world.

“As we begin this Eucharist we ask the Almighty God to forgive us for the many times that we have complained when suffering has come to us instead of joining our sufferings of the Lord for the salvation of the world,” Harris said. In his sermon Harris urged parishioners to “take up your cross everyday” and learn from Jesus’ suffering. “If we are parishioners of the Holy Cross, if we have devotion to the cross, then it is not simply saying Lord cover me with your blood to protect you from obeah. It means accepting and living the cross which comes because of our fidelity to the gospel,” Harris said. The celebration was followed by a family day at the church.


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