Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Joachim Hyacinth Gonin - Archbishop of Port of Spain

Joachim-Hyacinth Gonin, O.P.- 4th Archbishop of Port of Spain (appointed 21 Dec 1863)
Born 14 Dec 1815 (Bourgouin, France)
Died 13 Mar 1889

Joachim Gonin, O.P. as 4th Archbishop of Port-of-Spain ushered in a period of growth and consolidation. His tenure lasted twenty-six years (1863-1889). His appointment satisfied the wishes of the contending power brokers in colonial Trinidad . Born in France , he grew up in Mauritius , a British colony in the Indian Ocean . French in culture, Gonin was above all a British subject. He was also a Religious, a Dominican Father.

Gonin’s arrival in 1864 with a party of six young Dominicans was a critical development for the church in Trinidad . The church would now be assured of an adequate supply of clergy to man the increasing number of parishes.

The Dominican Order was further entrenched with the arrival in 1868 of sisters of the Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena of Etrepagny, France, who came to take charge of the leprosarium at Cocorite. The Order’s presence was completed in May 1874, with the coming of the contemplative nuns from Venezuela . They fled their Dominican Monastery in Caracas during the persecutions of the President, Guzman Blanco.

The archdiocese was not only a stronghold of the Dominican Order. The Holy Ghost fathers arrived in 1863 to administer St. Mary’s College. The Cluny Sisters were also in an expansionist mood during Gonin’s time. In 1866, Providence was established. Convents were founded in St Joseph (1870), San Fernando (1882) and Arima (1885). The Good Shepherd Sisters of Angers arrived in 1890. Richard Rawle, first Anglican Bishop of Trinidad (1872) commented: “The Roman Church has Dominicans and sisters and all kinds of organised help”.

During Gonin’s episcopacy, there was a “rapprochement” between the church and the colonial officials. Governor Arthur Gordon nurtured the easing of tensions as colonial policy. The once vexing issue of the primacy of the Anglican Church was resolved by its dis-establishment in 1872.

The church won an even more significant battle for it’s continuing role in education when the Keenan Report (1869) recommended that church schools be granted state aid under certain conditions. The dual system of primary education subsequently came into effect (1870). The colonial government sought the church’s help in furthering its work in education and welfare. In 1868, Gordon got Gonin to bring the Dominican sisters to care for the lepers. His successor, Henry Turner Irving in 1878 offered Gonin government funding if the church undertook the responsibility of finding a suitable religious order to run a reformatory. In 1890 the Girls Reformatory was opened, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters of Angers.

Archbishop Gonin laid the cornerstone for Sacred Heart Church. The Church was built specifically for Mass in English - The Cathedral and many other churches had mass in Latin or French.

Below is the Episcopal Lineage of Archbishop Gonin:

Archbishop Joachim-Hyacinthe Gonin, O.P. † (1863)
Costantino Cardinal Patrizi Naro † (1828)
Father Carlo Odescalchi, S.J. † (1823)
Giulio Maria Cardinal della Somaglia † (1788)
Hyacinthe-Sigismond Cardinal Gerdil, B. † (1777)
Marcantonio Cardinal Colonna (Jr.) † (1762)
Pope Carlo della Torre Rezzonico † (1743)
Pope Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini † (1724)
Pope Pietro Francesco (Vincenzo Maria) Orsini de Gravina, O.P. † (1675)
Paluzzo Cardinal Paluzzi Altieri Degli Albertoni † (1666)
Ulderico Cardinal Carpegna † (1630)
Luigi Cardinal Caetani † (1622)
Ludovico Cardinal Ludovisi † (1621)
Archbishop Galeazzo Sanvitale † (1604)
Girolamo Cardinal Bernerio, O.P. † (1586)
Giulio Antonio Cardinal Santorio † (1566)
Scipione Cardinal Rebiba †

Ref Bernard Tappin
Ref Catholic Hierarchy

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