Thursday, 13 October 2011

Patrick Vincent Flood - Archbishop of Port of Spain

Patrick Vincent Flood OP - 5th Archbishop Port of Spain

Born - 16 Sep 1844 (Lagan, Ireland)
Died - 17 May 1907

7 Jul 1887 - Appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago,
7 Jul 1887 - Appointed Titular Bishop of Hephaestus

Patrick Vincent Flood, O.P. He was the first of the Irish Dominicans to govern the see of Port-of-Spain. His appointment signaled a new era. In 1897, the Irish Dominican fathers replaced those from the Province of Lyons, France in staffing the archdiocese, following the departure of the Superior , Fr. Hilaire Arnaud. The long-standing battle between the French and English elements in the society was abating. The church could no longer continue to allow itself to be viewed as “foreign”.

Archbishop Flood’s episcopacy stands out for his unflinching support for Catholic education at the primary school level. In 1890, discussions were renewed concerning the dual system. There was again widespread support for a secular system of education. Flood was adamant about his church’s position. He won the day. A new ordinance was passed giving church primary schools increased financial support from the government. The dual system was maintained, with the government very generous with its support.

By 1903, the Catholic Church ran the largest number of schools, 72, with a student population of 11,286. The government had 51 schools with 8,731 pupils, the Anglicans ran 48 primary schools and 8,831 pupils and the Presbyterians 50 schools with 5,200 on roll. The long battle for church schools had borne fruit; the church treasured its schools established throughout the colony.

Before Flood died in 1907, he moved into the Archbishop’s House, built in 1904 in St. Clair. Flood himself designed the residence. Previously, the archbishops lived in a residence on the grounds of St. Joseph ’s Convent.

The Following Plaque was erected in honour of the Formr Archbishop Flood

Ref Bernard Tappin
Ref Catholic Hierarchy

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