Monday 1 November 2021


In January of 1833 Cure Le Geoff died. This well loved Priest was the Parish Priest for the Catholic Church in Port of Spain. A church which would later be given the title Basilica Minor Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, By June of 1833 there appeared a notice in the newspaper.. There was to be a collection to build a Plaque to the memory of this man. Below is the notice and the translation. 


Le monument a la memoire du reverend Le Geoff doit etre place inceasamment dans l'englise catholique ; le personnes qui desirent y contriber pourrant remettre le offrand au Rev Mr Smith , Cure de la paroisse, au a madame Veuve Leotaud au a Mr PN Aumaitre. la liste de suscripteures sera public, et les frais preleves l'excedant sera remain au reverend Cure pour etre distribue aux lepreux en souvenir de leur venerable protecteur.


The monument to the memory of Reverend Le Geoff must be placed inceasantly in the Catholic church; the persons who wished to contribute to it could hand the offering to the Rev Mr Smith, Parish Priest, to Mr Widow Leotaud to Mr PN Aumaitre. the list of subscribers will be public, and the excess fees will remain with the reverend Cure to be distributed to the lepers in memory of their venerable protector.

Thursday 20 June 2019


Dr Richard Patrick Smith was the first Archbishop of Port of Spain. He only served in this post for two years. 1850-1852. Below is an article from the Freemans Journal of Dublin Ireland dated June 9th 1852. noting the passing of this man. 

Sunday 19 August 2018


There is a Plaque in the Catholic Cathedral  of the Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain Trinidad dedicated to Ralph James Woodford 2nd Baronet of Carleby, Lincolnshire - 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 to be erected as a lasting memorial of his many public and private virtues and of their respect and gratitude.”

The Title of Baronet of Carleby was created for the Governors father, also called Ralph Woodford, and ended with the death of the Governor, since he was not married and had no children. 

Before he was Governor of Trinidad, Woodford lived in Madiera for a while. On the death of both parents he returned to England, but wanted a government appointment like his father before him.  He eventually secured the position of Governor of Trinidad under the patronage of Lord Henry Bathurst.

In 1812 Chacon was appointed as Governor to Trinidad.

According to Wikipedia,  he transformed the Colony:

Much of the capital had been destroyed in a major fire in 1808, and under Woodford's direction much of what is now the old centre of Port of Spain was redeveloped. In view of the recent fire, only stone buildings were permitted. Land was reclaimed to provide the first proper wharfage giving access to trading ships. He arranged the purchase of an abandoned sugar estate and laid it out as The Savannah for the people's recreation and as a cattle pasture. Purchasing also the nearby Hollandais Estate as his residence, he also established there botanical gardens and had ornamental trees planted in the town's main squares (including Brunswick Square, renamed Woodford Square in his honour). He had the streets paved, Both of the current cathedrals in Port of Spain have their origins in the churches he had built for the Anglican and Roman Catholic communities.

In 1814 The Vicar Apostolic Don Joaquim de Aristimuno discussed with the Governor Sir Ralph Woodford the need for a new Catholic Church in the Capital. The Governor drew plans for the new church and sent a report to the Secretary of the Colonies. He decreed that all debts to the Catholic church be paid no later than three months from the decreed date.

On March 21 1816 The Foundation stone was laid for New Church by Englishman and Anglican Governor Sir Ralph Woodford. The Colonial Government gave 16,000 pounds sterling at the time for its construction. The site given for construction was the most eastern part of the “plaza de Armes” (where the troops were drilled), now called the Brian Lara promenade.

In 1823,  After a stoppage of work for 18 months due to lack of funds, the then Pope Leo XII sent money to continue construction of the Building – Yes Trinidad was important to Rome too.

On September 20th 1825  The original tower (there was but one)  was damaged by an Earthquake while under construction.  In the rebuilding, two towers were erected.

In 1826  Colonial Government gives another 2,500 pounds sterling to install the roof of the building.

It should be noted that the Roman Catholic Relief act of 1791, passed by the British Parliament allowed Catholics to practice their faith openly. This allowed the Colonial Government to give Catholics money to build their new church in the Capital of Trinidad. While the Catholics were building their church, The Anglicans were building theirs too.

In 1828 Governor Woodford was on a trip to the UK because of ill health when he died on ship.  He never got to see the church completed in 1830.

The Church was made a Cathedral on 30th April 1950, when Port of Spain was made an Archdiocese, and in 1951 Pope Pius IX declares the Cathedral to rank the status of Minor Basilica and to enjoy the privileges of the Major Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome.

Friday 29 December 2017

From Saint Peter to Archbishop Jason Gordon - The Apostolic Linage

The information below is taken from the website

Charles Jason Gordon
  • Born 17th March 1959.
  • Ordained Priest  19th March 1991
  • Ordained Bishop 21st September 2011
  • Installed 23 September 2011
  • Appointed Archbishop 19th October 2017
  • Installed 27th December 2017
 Episcopal Lineage / Apostolic Succession:
So it would seem that Charles Jasons recieving of the Holy Spirit From one Bishop to Another came through the Maronite Order of Bishops of Antioch. Following from this, here is a little history on Georges Rizquallah Beseb'ely from Wikipedia-

George Beseb'ely was born in the village of Beseb'el (from which his surname came), near Tripoli, Lebanon, in about 1595, son of Hadj Rizqallah. He was chosen as auxiliary bishop and consecrated by Patriarch John Bawab Safrawy on July 25, 1656.

After the death of Patriarch John Bawab Safrawy happened on December 23, 1656, the bishops elected as patriarch the monk George Habquq, who anyway for humility refused and escaped in a cave of the Kadisha Valley to live as an hermit. So a second election was held and on January 1, 1657 the Archbishop George Beseb'ely was elected patriarch. The new patriarch sent to Rome his credentials to obtain confirmation of the pope; but, for unknown reasons, the Holy See took the deal for long, to the point that the patriarch had to renew his instances. His election was confirmed by Pope Alexander VII on May 26, 1659, and he received the pallium on August 30, 1660.

George Beseb'ely used, as his predecessor, to live in a monastery subject to the strict discipline of the monks. During his patriarchate he kept good relations with the Kingdom of France, which in 1662 appointed for the first time as French Consul in Beirut a Maronite noble, Abu Nawfal of the Khazen family. This act strengthened the friendship and protection of the France towards the Maronite nation.

George Beseb'ely died on April 12, 1670 because of a pestilence in the monastery of Mar Challita in Keserwan District.

Following him as Patriarch was Estephan Douaihi (image to the right). 

There were 56 Patriarchs of Antioch between the Founder of the Maronite order, John Maron and Patriarch George Beseb'ely. John Maron is the 63rd in line for the office of the Patriarch of Antioch after Peter the Apostle. "What?" says you. "But Peter was in Rome." Well here is what has to say on the matter.

Church tradition maintains that the See of Antioch was founded by Saint Peter the Apostle in A.D. 34. Peter was either followed or joined by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas who preached there to both Gentiles and to Jews, who seem to have been numerous in the city. It was in Antioch that one of the first conflicts within the Church developed between Peter and Paul. This conflict regarded the necessity of circumcision for male Gentile converts to Christianity. It was the resolution of this conflict at the Council of Jerusalem under Saint James the Apostle that determined the direction of the Antiochian mission to the Gentiles, and the dynamic nature of that Christian community in its missionary outreach. It was from Antioch that Paul and Barnabas departed for their great missionary journeys to the Gentile lands (Acts 13:1).

After spending some seven years in Antioch, Peter left for Rome. To succeed him as bishop of Antioch he appointed Euodius, who is thus counted in early episcopal lists as the first successor to the Antiochian Throne of Peter.

The See of Antioch continued its glorious contributions to the universal Church by the numerous outstanding personalities it nurtured. Saint Ignatius of Antioch for example (image to the right), is revered as both a victorious martyr during the reign of Emperor Trajan (early second century) and as a reliable historical source for the structure of Church life. Ignatius was the second successor to Peter and may actually have been consecrated by that Apostle or Saint Paul.


Congratulations to the New Archbishop of Port of Spain.

I listened to him speak to his brother priests at the installation Mass, "We will learn to work together." he said, and I thought good choice of words. Because even though our new archbishop is quite the orator, there are those among his number who really do not care for him. He is their new leader and they took a vow of obedience, so you know they HAVE TO follow his dictates.

There are also church members who do not like him, and those who are quick to criticize him. One such critique is that even though he has the gift of Gab and that constant smile, that he is not a spiritual man. Time will tell. For me, the telling is to ensure that the office of Exorcist is manned. That says that he is fully aware of the devil as an active entity and is ensuring that there is someone or some people who are cable of dealing with this issue.

There are those among us who think that he is as close (as we can get) to former Archbishop Anthony Pantin. That is to say, a rootsy priest.... a peoples person.

His Grace is known for the many good works that he has done, including the work he started in Gonzales place to reduce crime. In the next 17 years, I am sure,  the Church in Port of Spain will grow  from strength to strength under his stewardship.

As for my criticism? Well so far, I think he could have made a better choice of Vicar General.

Also I think that he has a serious issue that must be deal with.  I will not discuss (but will mention) birth control, or the oppressive Catholic secondary schools who bully poor parents for money. I will not discuss the Catholic church's lack of leadership in doing away with the SEA programme and the extortion that parents are forced to pay to get their children into a good school. No. Today I am asking that the Church address the lack of HOPE in our membership. The church today is faced with people just dropping out. They have lost "Hope" they do not believe. Please Your Grace, make this a priority, tell your brother priests that it is ok to tell the flock that they can expect and experience miracles, that it is not a thing of the past. Of the 17% of our church that go to church regularly on Sundays, we need to ensure that that the 90% of those who only walk in and out of church and do not participate in church activity (perhaps because they are not invited) come to church with a sense of HOPE. Two year Confirmation courses supposedly encourage people to come to church, but does it encourage HOPE. (Two year courses??? Really??? is this suppose to encourage activity or chase the youth away?? Why not effect these classes IN SCHOOL?) Masses that keep people in church for 90 minutes and over (not necessarily because of the homily) need to be stopped. People are busy, they don't need to be burdened by the church. Going to Church should not be like unpleasant work that has to be done. That encourages drop outs. Instead, the church needs to show that it is the proper conduit for salvation and HOPE.

So Our Archbishops work begins as he aims to breathe new life into the Archdiocese. Good Luck and may God bless you in your Ministry Your Grace.

The photo at the top is taken from the online Trinidad Guardian and was taken by Marcus Gonzales. It is of two former Port of Spain Archbishops (Gilbert and Harris) with Jason Gordon.

Friday 5 May 2017

Mike Pence (Chairman of the National Space Council) - Creationist, Catholic or both?

As a Catholic I know that there are many Catholics who believe in Creation, as there are many who believe in Evolution. However, most of the Catholics that I know believe in both. That is to say that God Created, but most likely through evolution.

To many non Catholic Scientific  minded people, and atheists, Catholics are a type of Christian and Christians are closed minded and fools. Never mind that most of us Catholics believe in Scientific analysis.

Now, being closed minded is not opening your mind to other peoples beliefs or worse, not accepting that other people could have a belief different from yours. Ergo it would seem that atheists are closed minded people.

Now in reality,  Catholicism is not opposed to science. In fact we embrace it. The very concept of a university as a place of higher learning was created by the Catholic Church. There was nothing like it before. By 1500AD there were over 80 Universities in Europe, almost all founded and run by the Catholic church, and we continue to found and run Universities even today.

All this being said to establish an idea in the readers head that the Catholic Church (which are made up of ordinary people and others) are all about learning, about languages, science, etc. Did you know that Catholic Priest George Lemaître put forth a theory he called his "hypothesis of the primeval atom" which is now known as the Big Bang Theory. There are hundreds of Catholic Priests over the centuries whose names are linked to scientific studies and discoveries.

Now lets talk about Catholics and Politicians - Enter Mike Pence.

So Mike Pence describes himself as an evangelical Catholic, or as a Christian Conservative Republican.  In a speech in the US Congress on July 11 2002 he spoke about new scientific discoveries and that the Theory of Evolution is just a Theory. He said that in schools it has been taught as fact for quite a while, not as a theory.

So we can take from that speech that he is a Creationist and that he is opposed to the teaching of Evolution and of course that he is not a scientific person. Well, maybe or maybe NOT. Rational people might say "not necessarily", and that they need more information to make a definite determination.  But in the mud slinging of politicians its about inciting hatred, not about rational thinking.  

And of course there is the press. The press will print what their Opinion Writers think. And many of the Opinion pieces are written by people with political agendas. So maybe there is a reporter somewhere who would have investigated this matter. Enter interviewer Chris Matthews.

In a 2009 interview Chris Matthews asked Mike Pence directly if he was a creationist. And I must say, his answer is the answer that I would give. And I believe strongly in science.... as I do believe in God. Here is the excerpt from the interview:

MATTHEWS: Do you believe in evolution, sir?

PENCE: Do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them.

MATTHEWS: Right. But do you believe in evolution as the way he did it?

PENCE: The means, Chris, that he used to do that, I can’t say. But I do believe in that fundamental truth.

So now Mike Pence is the Vice president of the United States of America and the atheist and scientist are all in a tizzy. Why? Because he is the Chairman of the National Space Council. But does anyone really know what that is?

The National Space Council was founded in 1958 by the US President Eisenhower. It was designed to be a policy-deciding committee – comprised of members of both public and private sector interests.  It has authority over any of America’s federal agencies that deal with space in some way, including  NASA and the Department of Defense.

Yes! They are all upset because in their mind  a Catholic is stupid and Mike Pence is a catholic and you can't put a Catholic (aka a stupid person) to head a scientific (political) body.

Well I hope he proves them wrong. But I believe that no matter what he does, they will still find fault with him.

And just in case you didn't get what I said before: Catholics are usually Open Minded, scientific people who believe in God. We are Good People and we do make every effort not to be linked to hate speech and actions, and I do believe that Mike Pence has so far fit this description.



Sunday 19 March 2017

St Joseph Feast Day - break the fast, but still pray

I always look forward to St Josephs Day in Lent. It is about feast not famine. We as Catholics are allowed to break the fast. Now, even though I have Irish Ancestry, I am not Irish, and so I do not break the fast on St Patricks Day. One may also break the fast on St Patricks day if your Parish is dedicated to St Patrick.

As a Family we say a prayer every morning, and in that prayer, we ask Saint Joseph, Patron Saint of Families to Intercede for our Family.

On this Feast of St Joseph, I wish to thank St Joseph for his intercession and carrying our prayers to the Throne of God that he may answer positively.

Maybe it is not an accurate image, but I love the painting of the "holy family and dog" by the Spanish Baroque artist Murillo... which i have included here.

Prayer of Pope Leo XIII to St. Joseph
This prayer is often said after the Prayer of the Holy Rosary during the months of March and October.
To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.

O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.