Monday, 24 October 2011

Rest in Peace Rev Cyril Paul

The Caribbean Catholic would like to offer his condolences to the family of the late Reverend Cyril Paul - Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad.

There are some interesting newspaper articles on the passing of the good reverend, but nothing on the church website:

Rest in Peace good and faithful Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The following is an article on Rev Paul By Lara Pickford-Gordon Monday, October 24 2011 from the Newsday Newspapers:

Former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church and head of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO)Reverend Cyril Paul, 70, lost his battle with prostate cancer yesterday.

Paul died at about 9 am yesterday at Vistas House, a hospice run by the Cancer Society of TT on the compound of the St James Medical Complex. Paul had for a few years been dealing with other medical conditions but it was only a year ago that prostate cancer was diagnosed.

In an interview at their San Juan home yesterday, Paul’s wife of 46 years, Barbara said, “He really suffered.”

When his health deteriorated, Paul was warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope where he spent two weeks. Last Friday, he was moved to Vistas House. Doctors at Mt Hope had given him one to seven weeks to live.

Despite this, Barbara said her husband was ready for the afterlife.

“He kept saying he wanted to go home. He did not mean here (San Juan). He meant his heavenly home. He was prepared to go,” said Barbara.

She told Newsday he was never bitter about his illness or questioned why God allowed this to happen. “He accepted it.”

Reflecting on her husband’s life Barbara said, “He lived a good life and was able to do a lot.

“He gave his life for his vocation. No one could have faulted him for that. He really enjoyed life, living, and what he was doing. If he had to do it all over, he would do it the same.”

Barbara said Paul had expressed a wish for “two more years” to complete a book he was working on based on stories from his childhood. Paul last year launched the book Response to a Call, a compilation of his speeches from 1979-2006.

Paul is remembered for his sense of humour and remarked to friends that he was the most beaten priest in the country. He was robbed once but beaten twice.

In February 2005, as president of the IRO, Paul was beaten and robbed of a car at Curepe not long after dropping home a fellow IRO member, who had attended a meeting with him at Archbishop’s House, Port-of-Spain.

In the second incident, Paul was accosted at the Aramalaya church, Tunapuna as he was about to open the gate of the church.

Paul served for three terms as head of the IRO, and was a member of the organisation for more than 20 years. He served three two-year terms as Moderator of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church. He was well known for his Palm Sunday sermons and being outspoken on national issues. In July, he celebrated 40 years serving the church.

At the service held at the Curepe Presbyterian Church, Paul said, “If my life and ministry have helped persons, congregations and communities in any way, then I give credit to Almighty God and I join with the hymn-writer in saying, to God be the glory, great things he has done.”

Paul’s funeral is expected to take place at the Susamachar Church, San Fernando where he was ordained.

Moderator of the Presbyterian Church Brenda Bullock said Paul was a tower of strength not only in the Presbyterian Church but also as president of the IRO. According to Bullock, “He was a minister of the people. A sterling light in the Presbyterian Church.”

There was controversy in 2003 at the opening of Parliament when Paul in his prayer said, “We ask your forgiveness for the times when in our desire to score points we make statements and say things which we know are not true and responsible.”

Former Moderator Elvis Elahie said Paul was fair to all and did not have political bias.

“He commented as he interpreted, based on his own opinion.” Paul gave of himself as a counsellor and according to Elahie, “confronted individuals” where necessary.

IRO president Emrol Gould said Paul was a beloved friend whose service to the organisation will always be remembered. Gould said the passing was a great loss for him, members of the IRO and the country. He extended prayers to Paul’s family and members of the Presbyterian Church and persons who knew Paul.

Secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Satnarayan Maharaj, who worked alongside Paul in the IRO for many years said, “He was an active member of the IRO to which we all belonged. For many years he provided good service, leadership in the organisation and held various religious grouping together.”

Maharaj also worked with Paul in other groups and said he was thankful for the contribution he made to “religious unity in the land.”

Acting Prime Minister Winston Dookeran extended condolences on behalf of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the Government.

Dookeran said Paul was one of the architects of the modern Presbyterian church in TT and the West Indies.

“He was one of our country’s builders who left no stone unturned in playing his role to fashion a new society, of which all of us were partners. He gave selflessly to the cause of youth empowerment, and played a significant part in the development of a society where equality, social justice, peace and truth were hallmarks of his contribution.”

Dookeran said Paul’s death was a great loss to the church and the nation. He described him as a “deep thinker, remarkable orator and an attentive listener, who had the distinct passion to uplift the human condition for all his congregation and the populace at large. He gave new credentials to service which must always be conducted within the bounds of moral and ethical values.

He was committed to truthful service, which at times did not receive the fullest support of all.”

Dookeran said Paul was a great soul and true patriot who always practiced national unity and would be sadly missed by all.

When Newsday was started in 1993, Paul blessed the office at 19-21 Chacon Street, Port-of- Spain. He hoped for organisation to do its work with honesty and responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. R.I.P.Rev you were a man of god to heaven you will be forever happy its a great loss to all