Fr. Clifton Harris: Saints are not distant Figures

The Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada has saluted the Beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta who has been canonised as the Patron of Missionaries.

Celebrant at the Mass, Father Clifton Harris greets the Sisters of Charity

Celebrant at the Mass, Father Clifton Harris greets the Sisters of Charity

Mother Teresa who was born in India went on to form her own Religious Congregation known as the Sisters of the Missionary of Charity in 1948 which has spread throughout the world including Grenada with an estimate 5,000 Religious Women, bringing relief to the poor and destitute, and the sick.

She died on August 4th 2016 and was canonised by Pope Francis in Rome.

The local diocese, which is served by the Sisters of Charity in St. George’s, St. David’s and Carriacou, celebrated the Canonisation with Holy Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in St. George’s.

Diocesan Administrator, Fr. Clifton Harris who was the Celebrant indicated that Mother Teresa’s service was one of love for one another, especially for the least among those in society.

Fr. Clifton noted that Mother Saint Teresa has demonstrated that at the core of justice is the understanding that life is precious.

He reminded the congregation that based on the life of Mother Theresa, they need to reflect on how they treat each other.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that all life are protected, honoured and celebrated, even when it seems to be a burden,” he said.

The Celebrant referred to a phenomenon called “individualism” which is today overtaking the society.

“It’s me, myself and I, and I take care of my own if I have the extra time I will do something for my neighbour,” he told the congregation.

Two Carmelites Nuns are seen venerating the Blessed Mother Teresa

Two Carmelites Nuns are seen venerating the Blessed Mother Teresa

Fr. Clifton said that he is rather moved to celebrate and offer the Mass that recalls the memory of Mother Teresa who received the Nobel Prize in 1979 for her works of charity.

He recalled that he was still a student studying for the priesthood when Mother Teresa visited Jamaica in 1986, and left her footprints through the mission houses that she established.

The Celebrant indicated that the experience he has had of Blessed Mother Teresa reminds him that “Saints are not distant Figures.”

He said while Mother Teresa and Saint John Paul ll are modern saints, mankind do walk and talk with future saints.

Fr. Clifton regarded two of his Dominican Brethren, Fr. Gilbert “Peace And Love” Coxhead, and Fr. Francis Xavier Corr, along with Bishop Emeritus, Sydney Charles as future Saints.

“They may never be canonised, but they are people of heroic virtue in every sense,” he said.

Bishop Charles was instrumental in having the Sisters established themselves in Grenada on July 27, 1985.

Although he has retired, Bishop Charles continues to minister to the Sisters by celebrating Holy Mass with them on a weekly basis.

The Diocesan Administrator recognised the work that the Missionary Sisters of Charity has been rendering to the local diocese by visiting the sick, suffering and the dying.

Since coming to Grenada, the Sisters have established a soup kitchen in St. George’s, and have undertaken pastoral work throughout the diocese.

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