– AYANNA KINSALE
ROMAN Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon has faith that the people of Trinidad and Tobago, working together, can find a way through any difficulty the country faces.
He expressed this view to the media after participating in a procession through the streets of San Fernando on Friday.
The procession marked the 15 stations of the cross signifying the last moments of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion on Calvary Hill.
“Things in this country right now are very tight.” Gordon said, “Inflation has gone crazy. Prices are going through the roof. Gas prices are going to go through the roof (higher fuel prices are scheduled to take effect on April 19). Rising prices on everything.”
But challenges such as this are not new to the people of TT, the Archbishop said.
Gordon said, “This is not something that we have never done before. This is something that we in TT have done.”
Describing the people of TT as generous and vibrant, he added, “I think we will find a way through this difficult time as a nation.”
“It was just a matter about people being aware of what is happening and asking what they can do to help the less fortunate in TT.”
Gordon opined that “if every person does a little bit, a whole lot will start happening.” As an example, he observed the children of Venezuelan migrants and children in TT face a lot of similar challenges. This, Gordon continued, is a case of helping everyone.
“If we understand that, then it is no longer about this one or that one or the other one. We have to be able to help them.”
Traditionally, Good Friday celebrations in San Fernando involve a trek up San Fernando Hill. Gordon said this was not held this year because under covid19 restrictions, only gatherings of 100 people were allowed on the hill.
He said last year when the restrictions were tighter, he did a one man walk through the streets of Port of Spain to mark the stations of the cross on Good Friday
In doing so, Gordon said it was a way to take the whole nation in prayer through the way of the cross.”
He could not say whether or not the traditional Good Friday celebrations on San Fernando Hill would take place next year, as the covid19 pandemic continues.
“This is such a changing reality. We have to take it year by year.”
In an address at the end of the procession, Gordon urged the gathering to be considerate of people in their communities who are in need. He said when people do not do this, they are continuing to crucify Jesus Christ.
He cited children being unable to adapt back to in-person in school, ignoring domestic violence in families and ignoring the poor as examples of this.
At different stages of the procession, prayers were offered by the participants for different things. These included people who were ill, victims of crime, unemployed people and people killed in the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine.