Saturday, 29 May 2010

The Rock and Roll Rebel....

Ozzy Osbourne has been a great disapointment for me. There was a time when I thought Black Sabbaths music to be so profound: Speaking in real terms of Heaven and Hell. The lyrics suggest a dark and wicked world where the forces of evil conspire to bring down the good in everyone.... and here we are, puny humans blown with the winds caused by bad politicians and greedy businessmen. After Ozzy left, the new Black Sabbath became better known for the lyrics of the now dead Ronnie James Dio, who sang of circles and rings, magic and kings... and other mideviel concepts. Ozzy on the other hand became the rock and roll rebel. His theatrics and drug induces behaviour painted a picture of a man that no one wants to live with... that is excpet his manager/wife. Who profited well from this mans decline. Every time he fell, she rebranded him and sold him yet again. The rock and roll rebel became the Prince of Darkness... or so he was labeled. It is amazing that ozzy still has a career.

His new album is in the news. It's called Scream. He was inspired to put this together from a guy called Robert Latimer, a Canadian found guilty of the murder of his disabled daughter. About it Ozzy says: "To put your child to death is a big decision. I'm not one to go, 'You're wrong, you shouldn't do that,' or 'You did the right thing,' I'm in the middle of the road. I question myself, thinking 'How would I deal with that?' It's a very big decision to make."

Ozzy's anti-suicide song off of his first solo album "Suicide Solution"was misconstrued by two people in seperate cases who thought it promoted suicide and killed themselves. Their parents sued Ozzy, but lost.

I can't say I will be listening to Ozzy's new album. I won't endorse it. Instead I pray that Ozzy will one day open his heart to Jesus. What a day that would be:

Could it be you're afraid of what your friends might say
If they knew you believe in God above?
They should realize before they criticize
That God is the only way to love
Lyrics from Afterforever - Black Sabbath 1971

Friday, 21 May 2010

they look over and protect the city

On the Northern side of the Cathedral, Overlooking north Independence Square and Port of Spain there is a statues of Holy Saint Joseph. Pray for us St Joseph Patron Saint of Families.

On the Southern side of the Cathedral, overlooking south Independence Square and the City is Mary, Virgin, Immaculate Conception... orange hair and all.
Hail Mary Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

View of the outside of the Basilica Minor, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain

Above: Looking east on Independence Square South

Above & Below: Looking West on Independence Square South

Above: looking west on Independence Square north

Above & Below: looking east on Independence Square North

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Former Archbishops of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain

On the Wall in the Cathedral there are some pictures. I took a picture of these pictures. They are images of our former Archbishops.

* Richard Patrick Smith (1844–1852) - Top left
* Vincent Spaccapietra (1855–1859) - bottom, second from left
* Ferdinand English (1860–1862) - Top, second from left
* Joachim-Hyacinthe Gonin, O.P. (1863–1889)- Top right
* Patrick Vincent Flood, O.P. (1889–1907)- bottom left
* John Pius Dowling, O.P. (1909–1940)- bottom, third from left
* Patrick Finbar Ryan, O.P. (1940–1966)- Top, third from left
* Gordon Anthony Pantin, C.S.Sp. (1967–2000)- Bottom right

Our current Archbishop Edward Joseph Gilbert, C.SS.R. (2001–present) is not shown on this wall.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Shame Shame Dr Selwyn Cudjoe

My Politics is that of the Catholic Church. I will not associate or disassociate myself with any political party, especially on this blog. It did not bother me that 40 years ago Makandal Daaga desecrated the Cathedral. It did not bother me that he did not apologize for the act. The fact that his political Party "NJAC" got a minuscule amount of votes meant that many people did not agree with his actions or saw his movement and what it stood for as a good thing. Still, I think it is a good thing that he should keep fighting for what he truly believes in, as I fight for what I believe in, once there is no propagation of hate please Mr Daaga. Unfortunately in the hustings of an election, there is mud slinging that reflects a poor side of our (any any other) society.

Following from Prime Minister Patrick Manning statement that Mr Daaga should apologize to the Catholics, and all Christians, Dr Selwyn Cudjoe responded by letter. I found issue with his response and so made my own post on the Trinidad and Tobago News Blog, and of course copied it here.

Maybe Dr Cudjoe's politics is not that of the PNM's. I am Ok with that, since I neither hate nor love Patrick Manning. Dr Cudjoe's letter seems to give little consideration to black Catholics who then would have thought the action of desecrating the Cathedral as a bad thing.

So, is Dr Cudjoe saying then, that every person who had an enslaved ancestor in Trinidad or anywhere in the world should go into any catholic church and desecrate it. NO! that should not happen DR Cudjoe.

What about the North & East African Muslims who themselves had slaves? Should the Christians (Catholic, Ethiopian Orthodox, etc), defecate in their holy places? NO!

Is it right then that every person who feels they have been wronged should take the law into their own hands? NO! DR Cudjoe.

Come on Dr Cudjoe, Say it was wrong. Do not defend someone who
is wrong. Do not encourage the politics of Hate.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Stuff in the Cathedral

From my previous postings you would have seen some interesting items at the Cathedral. In future posts I will endevour to show more of these items.

The entrance doors are heavy wooden doors. On one of these doors is a Jubilee Plaque.

As you enter this is the view that hits you.

On the right of the entrance there is a metal installation of Jesus on the cross. Below Him are His Mother and the Apostle John. We can imagine Jesus saying to all of us what He says to John... Behold your Mother. After all, you are in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Behind the Altar the huge Stained glass window shows the Saint, Bernadette kneeling in pray to the Virgin. The grotto located in the church shows the same thing. "Hail Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us who have recourse to thee."

Key to every church is the baptismal font. Here we become Christian. Here our children become Christian.

Above the main entrance is the Choir loft. On the loft is the third Pipe organ installed since the Cathedral was dedicated.

Following Vatican II the high Altar was taken down and moved to the location shown here. That is, to the left of the main altar area. The Communion railing was taken down, however, a piece of it was moved to the front of the Altar, which is used now as the tabernacle. Praise you Lord, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Peter and Paul

As you enter the Minor Basilica, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Peter greets you with his keys and Paul with his Sword.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Of miracles and plane crashes

So I guess everyone has heard about the Plane that crashed in Lybia killing everyone except a boy. Almost everywhere there are cries of "It's a Miracle." Well maybe it is. Maybe he will grow up to become someone great, and the crash will be the catapult that helps him to get where he needs to be. I don't know.

What I do know is the great sadness I feel for him. He has lost his mother, father and brother. If I survived a crash that killed my entire family and someone says to me, "hey it's a miracle," I will punch him/her so hard, it would hurt for a year.

Well! God bless this kid, and his extended family.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

When a large (medium) family shares the sign of peace... they share the sign of peace

I always like the part of the Mass when we show each other love. When we share the “Sign of Peace”. I sometimes feel bad for the people around because I must hug and kiss my wife and four children, then I must shake their hands, then they must hug and kiss me. It takes a while.

But I don’t just love it for my family. I love that many people use that opportunity to reach out to others. Not just a handshake, but sometime two hands grasping yours - a smiling face and a “Peace be with you.” It is the joy and love of Christ in each of us reaching out.

I read somewhere that to love someone you must have a relationship with them. To have a relationship you must know the person. I think that is true when we see the hungry man on the street. We want to love him, but he’s so dirty. What if we reached out to him and started talking. Getting to know him. Then we can be filled with greater compassion, and love. Perhaps we can offer some peace to him even as Jesus offers us His peace in today’s gospel.

Give God’s Peace today!

Gospel Reading...

"Jesus said to his disciples: 'Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.'" [Jn. 14:23-9]

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Stay at home mom and her life of leisure ???

"Honor your father and your mother,so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Ex 20:12

There are few things more traditional than honouring your mother. In fact the idea is so important that God gave it to Moses as one of the ten commandments. He definitely meant for it to take place every day of our lives, but we celebrate it on the second Sunday in May.

Did you know that Mothers day is one of the busiest shopping days here in Trinidad - after Christmas and Valentines day.

Here is an article that I have placed in the Cathedral newsletter for the past three years. I think it captures the idea of the stay at home mom. NOT A LIFE OF LEISURE.


In this election time, are you considering how the political parties are approaching issues that are in support of Catholic values? What about how they view family life? Some years ago a census lady came by. When she asked if my wife was employed or unemployed I responded that she was a stay at home mom. There was no place in the census form for that. As far as the government was concerned she was unemployed.

My wife may be unemployed, but even if she was paid, I don’t think I could do her job. Victory in effort is through temporary success. Everyday the dust returns, the children fight, clothes are dirtied, dishes need washing, and food has to be cooked. Everyday is an effort to get all the children to eat all of the same food at the same time, because no matter how that chicken is prepared, somebody is going to say in disgust “gyeead! I don’t want that.” She can’t quit the job and go home. She is there already, and as she often says, “You can’t fire me. Slaves have to be sold.”

It is not an easy choice. We do not have the finance or lifestyle of our friends, however, we feel it is important for family life. Still, the choice has it’s joys. Nursing the newborn and singing gently to it. Watching it grow; sit up; walk; coo; talk. Building and shaping a little person; a little mind. Spending the most amount of time with the child that grew in your tummy when he or she comes out, before they must be sent off to school. Few working mothers, if they had the choice would not choose to stay home with their children.

Eternal father Bless all mothers today.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Shields at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Many have visited the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain and not noticed the shields hanging from the pillars. Below are the fifteen shields:

Mary - Lily of the Valley

Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny

Holy faith Sisters

Dominican Sisters

Corpus Christi Carmelites

Jesus Christ Lamb of God

Dominican Fathers

Holy Ghost Fathers

The Presentation Brothers

The Benedicteen Order

Trinidad & Tobago
National Flag

Trinidad and Tobago
Coat of Arms

Papal Shield

(Former) Archbishop
Anthony Pantin

Archdiocese of
Port of Spain

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Memorial plaques at the Cathedral - Port of Spain

On the Walls of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain, there are some very interesting plaques besides the two noted in a previous post.

This image is of three:
1.Copper plaque of the last supper.
2.A commemorative copper plaque of Pope John Paul II
3.A stone memorial of the Pontificate of John Paul II

Memorial Plaque to Sir James Woodford. Former Governor of Trinidad.
The plaque is in English an reads: “ To the Memory of Sir Ralph James Woodford Baronet. For fifteen years governor and founder of this church. Who was born on the 21st July 1794 and died on the 16th May 1828. The inhabitants of Trinidad deeply sensible of the substantial benefits which his long administration of the government conferred upon the colony and of the irreparable loss which they sustained by his death have caused this monument ot be erected as a lasting memorial of his many public and private virtues and of their respect and gratitude.”

Memorial Plaque to William Le Goff
I am not sure who this plaque is for. The wording is in Latin and it appears to be In Memory of father Le Goff – Cure of Port of Spain, “a hard working priest” who died on January 5th 1855. It may be that of William Le Goff, a former Vicar General.

Memorial of past Ordinaries
This is a plaque in memory of Past ordinaries of Port of Spain erected by the then Archbishop Vincent Spaccapietra. It is dedicated to three people and is in latin so I do not have a translation however below are some notations on the three people honoured:
James Buckley (6 Mar 1819 Appointed Vicar Apostolic Trinidad - 26 Mar 1828 Died)
Daniel McDonnell (23 Dec 1828 Appointed Vicar Apostolic Trinidad - 26 Oct 1844 Died)
Richard Patrick Smith ( 1844 Appointed vicar Apostolic Trinidad, 1850 Appointed Archbishop of the newly erected Archdiocese - 1852 Died)

Memorial Plaque to Patrick Vincent Flood OP
This is a beautiful plaque for Archbishop Flood. Archbishop Flood was Born on September 16th 1844 in Lagan Ireland. On July 7th 1887 he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. On March 8th 1889 he succeeded Joachim-Hyacinthe Gonin as the Archbishop of Port of Spain. He died on May 17th 1907. His plaque is in Latin and so I am not able to translate.

Memorial to Father William Dominic O’Carroll OP

Another Beautiful Memorial. This Plaque celebrates the life of Father O'Carroll. Here is some information on the Priest:
1871 - AppointedCoadjutor Archbishop of Port of Spain, Trinidad.
1871 - AppointedTitular Archbishop of Alabanda
1880 – Died Coadjutor Archbishop of Port of Spain

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Jean Michel Cazabon and the Catholic Cathedral in Trinidad

This is the painting of the Catholic Cathedral in Port of Spain. It was done not long after the completion of the building. The building was completed in 1832. The artist Jean Michel Cazabon (1813-1888) was a Trinidadian artist of international renown. He exhibited in Paris for many years. At one time the Governor of Trinidad was his patron.

In the painting there is lots of greenage (trees etc) around the building. In the foreground we see the the sea at the bottom of the embankment.The long boats would come up to the landing at high tide and be loaded with cocoa etc. At low tide the area was black sand otherwise known as mud flats. It is important to know that the Sea did not come right up to the building as many would think. There is a great distance between the building and the embankment - about 60-80 feet. Also the painting would have been done on land (have you ever tried painting on the seas?)

Looking at the painting and seeing the building itself today we may observe some differences. In the painting there is no door in the area right behind the carriage rear wheel.