Parishes across the archdiocese celebrated the feast of Sts Joachim and Anne over the weekend of July 26-27. Here are snapshot reports received from some parishes.
1,123 years of marriage
Twenty-seven couples of the Holy Cross RC Church parish, Santa Cruz, who have been married for more than 25 years, each received an apostolic blessing as they renewed their marital vows on the feast of Sts Anne and Joachim.
Archbishop Joseph Harris presided at the Mass and presented the couples – representing a total of 1,123 years of married life – with their papal blessing.
The 27 couples were:
- Bertie & Lucille Yearwood – 66 years;
- Carlisle & Barbara Provoteaux – 61 years;
- Ellis & Rita Charles- 55 years;
- Harold & Lucille Taylor – 55 years;
- Johnson & Rita Emmanuel – 51 years;
- Clyde & Claire Raphael – 51 years;
- Edmund & Linda Chung- 50 years;
- Reynold & Veronica Barker – 50 years;
- Kenneth & Eunice Alleyne – 49 years;
- Magellan & Monica Garib – 48 years;
- Lennox & Annette Thomas- 44 years;
- Ronald & Lydia Faria – 44 years;
- Michael & Jemma Dasent – 42 years;
- Michael & Kyline Sue – 41 years;
- Hugh & Marian Golden- 40 years;
- Michael & Joy Nanton – 40 years;\
- Simon & Lenore Carimbocas – 39 years;
- Robert & Joycelyn Lewis – 37 years;
- Mervyn and Gail Choo Loi – 33 years;
- Herman & Marlene Eligon – 31 years;
- Gerard & Sandra Mang- 29 years;
- Moses & Gillian Ruben- 29 years;
- Carl & Rosita Hospedales – 29 years;
- Carl & Lystra Francis – 28 years;
- Urick & Moreen Lazarus – 28 years;
- Anthony & Bianca Sue – 27 years;
- Gregory & Donna Ramsammy – 26 years.
‘Choose the better of two goods’
Having to choose between two good things posed a greater challenge than having to make a choice between good and bad, said recently appointed Arima parish priest Fr Ferdinand Warner OP.
“If the choice is between two good things we have to decide what to give up in favour of the Catholic values we hold,” he said to a packed Santa Rosa RC Church, Arima, at the July 26 7 p.m. Mass which commemorated the feast of Sts Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and patron saints of married couples.
Referring to the Gospel reading (Matt 13: 44 – 52) about someone who found a treasure hidden in a field and went off and sold everything and bought the field, he said when people chose to become part of the Catholic community they should be like the person who sold everything and bought the field.
Noting that there were four vocations – married life, single life for the sake of the Kingdom, religious life, and the priesthood, Fr Warner said anyone who committed to married life couldn’t be in an intimate relationship with other people. “That’s what it means to buy the field,” he said, adding that married persons must give priority to their commitment to married life. “It’s the same for the single life for the sake of the Kingdom, the same for the religious life and the same for the priesthood.”
Fr Warner added: “We can’t live our Christian commitment for one hour a week, it’s an every day thing.”
He acknowledge that there were daily challenges to one’s Catholic faith and urged the congregation to set priorities. He said they should ask themselves: What do we have to give up in order to give an honest day’s work; or to stand by a friend in need? What do we have to give up to attend Mass on the weekend?
If the choice was between two good things, then Catholics must choose God, Fr Warner said. “We have to choose the good in keeping with our faith and in favour of the values that we hold as Catholics. We have to choose what nourishes our faith and what gives life.”
He added that the faithful must be able to sacrifice good things for the sake of commitments made to living a certain way of life. “We can’t make a commitment to God and live how we like…Where there’s a commitment, we must be clear in our priorities and values”.
After his homily, Fr Warner led married couples in the renewal of their vows to each other and invited them to show a sign of their love: a kiss.
After Mass, couples and their children gathered in the ‘El Patio’ Parish Hall for a reception. The highlight was the sticking of a cake by the most recently married couple, Nigel and Nicole Pierre, married 14 days, and the longest married couple, Francis Max Lezama and his wife Zienna. They will celebrate 47 years of married life this month.
Blessing for widows too
Couples in Maloney celebrated the July 26 feast in a well-decorated church, thanks to a wedding earlier that day. Bright yellow and white flowers and balloons adorned the space. During the Mass, parish priest Fr George Lewis invited married couples to stand before the altar for a blessing. The couples were joined by four widows. Each couple later received a token of appreciation.
– Photo and story by Rosetta Ransome.
Prayers for couples
The feast was celebrated at the weekend Masses in all communities of the Sacred Heart Parish, La Brea. Couples were blessed, invited to renew their marriage vows and given a candle and special prayers to recite.
Grande celebrates ‘institutions’
The parish of St Francis of Assisi in Sangre Grande celebrated the feast of Sts Joachim and Anne on July 25 in keeping with their theme, The Year of the Praying Family. Led by parish priest Fr Derek Anton, more than 65 couples, their children and other relatives gathered for Holy Mass to celebrate the important institutions of marriage and family.
In his homily, Fr Anton lamented that marriages and family life were suffering from selfishness and too much self-love. To add to this, the ongoing attacks on family life have pervaded many aspects of society, including our sources of entertainment. Citing one of the opinion polls on the ironically titled game show “Family Feud”, he said that whilst there were some positive
responses to a survey on marriage – such as children and happiness, the majority of respondents felt that marriage led to divorce, fights and frustration. In addition, contestants on the game show contributed infidelity and heartbreak to the list of outcomes from marriage. These negative views, he pointed out, resulted from inadequate preparation for marriage, lack of commitment and brokenness in relationships.
At the close of Mass, Fr Anton blessed all the couples, who also renewed their marital vows. Mass was followed by a wonderful time of fellowship at an elegant and lively reception. The event was organised by the parish’s Family Life Unit.
– Lorraine Hodges-Ramjit, Family Life Unit, Sangre Grande