The Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada has come of age.
The local Roman Catholic Church will, on February 20, 2016 mark 60 years since it became a diocese.
The diocese was erected on February 20, 1956 from the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and today it is a subordinate of the Archdiocese of Castries, St. Lucia, which is overseen by Archbishop Robert Rivas.
One year of activities to mark the Diamond Jubilee will be launched on December 6 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in St. George’s during the Celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
The Immaculate Conception is universally celebrated on December 8 but significantly, Grenada was named Conception Island in honour of the Virgin Mary by Christopher Columbus when he landed on the island in 1498 where he met the Carib Indians.
The jubilee celebration in 2016 starts in earnest from February 15 to 19 with island-wide missions at the Deanery level.
The grand celebration takes place under the theme, “Reconcile, Renew, Revive, Reach Out” with the anniversary Mass on February 20.
The following day will be dedicated as a day of reconciliation at the Deanery level.
Celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday on April 3 with participation coming from all Parishes takes place at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Tivoli, St. Andrew’s.
Catholics will then partake in the annual Pentecost Rally on Sunday, May 15.
The month of July, which is dedicated to families, is designed to have visitations to the sick and homebound, especially to Parishioners who are celebrating 60 years of marriage, birthdays or other anniversaries by various organisations in the Church.
The feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, will be celebrated on July 26 recognising couples celebrating 60 years or more of marriage life.
The Church takes on a cultural flavour during the month of August, which kicks off on August 6th with the annual activity, “Catholics Can Cook.”
A Carnival Caribbean Cruise is also in the making for sometime in the month of August.
Bible week to be coordinated by the Biblical Animation Pastoral Team runs from September 25 to October 1.
The significance of the Rosary will be presented on October 7, which will be coordinated by the Diocesan Youth Ministry in conjunction with the Catholic Central Board of Management.
The Feast of Christ the King, which is observed by the Catholic Men’s League of Grenada, will be celebrated on Sunday, November 20 as a diocesan activity.
Later that evening will be the Bishop’s Dinner where there will be the Papal Awards Ceremony.
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 and he was followed by Bishop Sydney Charles who served from 1974 right up to his retirement on July 10th, 2002.
Grenada had its first local bishop, Vincent Matthew Darius, who took charge of the local affairs of the Church from 2002.
The Roman Catholic Church in Grenada is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church movement, which is under the Spiritual Leadership of Pope Francis who is based in Rome.
There are approximately 60,000 Catholics in Grenada.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has declared 2016 as being “The Year of Mercy” by the Universal Catholic Church.