Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Archbishop Gordon: Make this Easter about family

Lent and Easter are the most important dates on the Catholic calendar. With COVID-19 forcing social distancing and limits on gatherings, Archbishop of Port of Spain, Jason Gordon says this is not a time of despondence, but an opportunity to refocus on family. 

In an interview with LoopTT, Gordon says despite the drastic shift, there is still much to celebrate. 

“So many things are happening for the earth, families are coming together and if you use this time in your family as a time of connecting and as a time of re-bonding as a family, that would be precious for the children,” he encouraged. 

Easter, he says, is supposed to be a time where families reflect and reconnect with their faith in remembering the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Despite the inability to traditionally carry out the stations of the cross or to hold processions and re-enactments, Gordon says there are resources available to stay close to your faith during this time. 

“You know, when I was a child there were set movies that you would see during this time like you Ben-Hur, your Ten Commandments, then it was Jesus of Nazareth, then as a teenager with Jesus Christ Superstar. More recently, there was Passion of the Christ. There are so many wonderful movies that have been made around the theme of Easter, and it would be a great thing as a family, to look at a movie or two,” he advised. 

Mass still happens, but on television and online; Easter will be no different. Archbishop Gordon says even the Catholic News is still on sale at grocery stores and pharmacies. He says the Catholic Church has had a smooth transition into using technology. 

“On Thursday, tonight, it’s going to be at 6pm, on Friday it’s 3pm. On Saturday, it’s 6pm and Sunday morning it’s 8am. Gather as a family, light a candle, have a little altar, have a sacred image, prat before the mass begins. Afterwards, talk about what you’ve heard and what you’ve seen, talk about the message as a family and ask yourself what it means to you,” he implored. 

During the time that churches have been closed, Gordon says the staff has kept themselves busy seeing after the needs of parishioners. 

“We’ve been working with people, listening to people’s cries, ensuring that they have their needs met. The most vulnerable, we’re working with them, we’re listening to the community, to where their real concerns are. We’ve been doing a lot of work in pastoral care, in spiritual formation and in leading our people,” he said. 

Archbishop Gordon says the damage caused by COVID-19 was unprecedented, but the key to overcoming any difficulty is rooting yourself firmly in optimism and faith. 

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: