Thursday, August 27, 2015

Friends in the West Indies

My first volunteer trip was for Holy Week last year. I was there from March 29 - May 6, 2015
My next trips are in December 2015 and February 2016.

 Some photos of my friends in 
St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Bishop Jason Gordon
born in Trinidad
Bishop of Bridgetown, Barbados
Bishop of Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

A view from the balcony of the Chancery/Bishop's House/Retreat House, 
Diocese of Kingstown SVG

Father Alando Williams (left) is the pastor of St.Michael Church on the island of Bequia

Father Rex Ramos, from the Philippines, is pastor of the parishes
on the islands of Canouan, Mayreau and Union Island

Family members of St. Therese Parish on the island of St. Vincent SVG
I celebrated Mass there on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

Fergal Redmond, myself and Martin Folan
Fergal and Martin are volunteers from Galway in Ireland

Father Richard Paynter (former Anglican priest) and his wife Daphne. Daphne is the Bishop Gordon's secretary and my driver taking me around to Holy Week Services April 2,3,4,5, 2015. Driving on the left, dodging huge potholes and maneuvering through hairpin turns while meeting buses coming the other way, I would never have made it on my own. I owe her my life!

On one of those trips, Daphne (on the right) stopped along the way each trip to pick up her friend Ella (on the left) who serves as the sacristan at the parish in Mesopotamia where I celebrated Holy Week Services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday 2015. The church could not do without either of them. They are both dedicated and competent. Here we stopped to get a good view of the island at a pull-off. 

Cathedral of the Assumption, Diocese of Kingstown SVG

Msgr. Michael Stewart, Rector of the Cathedral, and the June 2015 First Communion Class 

This strange cathedral complex was the master mind of a Benedictine monk from years ago. I believe it was a monastery at one time. Built in stages beginning in 1823, the strangely appealing design is a blend of Moorish, Georgian and Romanesque styles applied to black brick.

One of the back porches

Downtown Kingstown
The Diocesan Center is at the top of the hill, left.

There are only six priests in the whole diocese. There are four priests on the main island of St.Vincent. Father Alando takes care of Bequia. Father Rex takes care of Canouan, Mayreau and Union Island. Bishop Jason Gordon flies back and forth (about a half hour small jet flight) between his two dioceses: the Diocese of Bridgeport, BARBADOS, and the Diocese of Kingstown, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES. He is the only bishop in the world with two dioceses in two different countries.