THE great commission given by Jesus Christ to his disciples was that they "therefore go and make disciples of all nations". The universal Catholic Church has since striven to follow this instruction to perfection through its catechetical programmes that teach youth and elders alike the doctrine and other elements of Catholicism.
The Catholic Media Services Ltd (CAMSEL) on October 16 launched at the National Library, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, a book featuring compiled articles written for the Catholic News by former archbishop Edward Gilbert during his stewardship of the local Catholic Church titled Go Teach.
Through this collection of articles CAMSEL is seeking to encourage catechists to continue to teach because the teachings of Christ are needed now more than ever before. The publisher is also aiming to provide through the book a tool that can be used by parents to guide their children towards understanding the values and lifestyle they are expected to have as young people growing up in this era.
Editor of the Catholic News, June Johnson, said at the launch that she was initially reluctant to do the project when asked by Archbishop Joseph Harris. She said that she did not believe that a book of articles from Gilbert should be published simply because books comprising articles from Archbishop Anthony Pantin (Ask Me Another) and Fr Peter Nicholson (Nick's Corner) had been done in the past.
Johnson said she believed any such work should have a functional purpose and not just be a book that Catholics would purchase only to put on a shelf because it came from Gilbert. She was also at first overwhelmed when she noted that she would have to select from articles written weekly from 2001 to 2009. "How would I pull out articles from that span of time? But God had His plan," Johnson said, noting that the book is one to be used and used quite frequently as it offers great counsel for teachers, parents and young people.
Harris said the book is an important teaching tool for Catholics here and across the region. He joked that Episcopal priests have a way with them that they want things produced that they themselves don't have to work on. Harris, however, said he was pleased that the book was published and he knows it will serve its purpose well. The book was originally intended to be a surprise for Gilbert upon his departure, but he ended up leaving much earlier than anticipated.
Gilbert was in fact not present for the launch of his book, but he sent a message expressing his gratitude for such an honour. Gilbert also underscored the importance of teaching the beliefs of the Church and the Word of God to the youth to prepare them for the world they have to face in these times.