A new chapter in the life of the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada has begun as another was closed last Sunday with a Thanksgiving Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to mark the conclusion of activities for the Church 60th anniversary as a diocese.
The diocese was erected on February 20th 1956 from the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and today it is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Castries, St. Lucia which is overseen by Archbishop Robert Rivas.
In what could be described as a spirit-filled celebration with praises to God through songs and dance, Roman Catholics have been encouraged to thirst for service and to remove the thirst for power.
Papal Nuncio, His Grace Archbishop Nicola Girasoli who presided over the Mass told the congregation they need to dream with God so as to generate hope.
“If we dream alone, we only generate disillusion. So Church of Grenada, priests of Grenada, men and women of Grenada dream with God, don’t dream alone, dream with God,” he advised.
Archbishop Girasoli indicated that the Church is not just celebrating the past, but is also celebrating the present.
“But also we are celebrating the great success for the next 60 years. We celebrate our past, we celebrate our present, and now we are to look to our future,” His Grace said.
The Papal Nuncio told the congregation they should be grateful for the past 60 years which he felt was one of love, service not only to the Catholic Faithful and Institutions, but 60 years of service to the nation.
“We remember the Bishops, the priests, the men and women Religious, all those members of the Laity who humbly gave themselves to this diocese,” he said.
The first Bishop of the Diocese was Justin James Field who served from 1957 to 1969, and was then succeeded by Patrick Webster who served from 1970 to 1974.
Then came Bishop Sydney Charles who served from 1974 right up to his retirement on July 10th, 2002.
Grenada then had its first local bishop, Vincent Matthew Darius, who took charge of the local affairs of the Church from 2002 until his untimely death last year.
Although Bishop Darius died almost one year ago, the Pope is yet to name someone to lead the local Church as Bishop.
Fr. Clifton Harris, a Jamaican-born priest, currently serves as Diocesan Administrator.
The Roman Catholic Church in Grenada is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church which is under the Spiritual Leadership of Pope Francis who is based in Rome.
There are approximately 60,000 Catholics in Grenada.
The issue of a new Bishop for Grenada was addressed by the Papal Nuncio in the mass.
Archbishop Girasoli gave a commitment that he will try to do his best to meet his Superior in Rome to get Pope Francis to give the people of Grenada a Bishop as soon as possible.
He exhorted the Catholics to be faithful to the diocese, and to keep uniting and smiling while they are waiting for the new pastor.